Splashing your face with cold water, steaming your face, using astringent toners – these are some things you may have tried while trying to figure out how to tighten pores and get your skin looking smoother.
Contrary to belief, pores don’t open or close, they are an essential part of the skin that helps sweat and sebum to reach the surface of the skin to cool it down, or to hydrate it. Simply put, there’s just no way you can get rid of them but you can definitely tighten pores to make them look smaller.
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There are certain factors that contribute to the enlargement of pores, which can affect the skin’s overall texture and glow. When there are impurities on the skin, they can clog pores and over time, cause them to look larger. Sebum which has oxidised in the form of blackheads can also draw attention to the pores, and make them appear larger. As we age, skin around the pore loses elasticity and can be stretched out due to sagging, giving the appearance of enlarged pores as well.
Reducing large pores is more than just dealing with the size of the pores itself, but improving the overall condition of the skin. Here are some ways you can help tighten your pores.
#1 Cleanse Well
If you’re wondering how to tighten your pores, the most important step is cleansing. Impurities in the form of dirt or makeup left on the skin can end up clogging pores and enlarging them over time. If you wear makeup, it’s wise to do double cleansing with a cleansing oil, followed by a gentle face cleanser.
You should not be experiencing any skin tautness, although it gives the impression of being squeaky-clean, as this means that skin has been stripped of its hydration.
How To Tighten Pores and Get Glowing Skin – Cleanser
Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, $93 for 120g, SK-II
The SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser contains SK-II‘s proprietary PITERA™ and skin conditioning White Willow extract. It forms a rich lather, with microbubbles that are able to reach into pores to gently rid it of any impurities while leaving the skin feeling comfortable and hydrated.
Sublimage L’Huile-en-Gel de Démaquillage, $134 for 150ml, Chanel
If you’re strapped for time, this gel-to-oil cleanser can remove makeup and cleanse skin at the same time. Start by applying on dry skin and massaging it to dissolve makeup and impurities and then dampen it to emulsify the cleanser and and continue applying in circular motions before rinsing off.
Soy Face Cleanser, $23 for 50ml; $63 for 150ml; $113 for 400ml, Fresh
This cult favourite contains soy proteins which are rich in amino acids. It also includes soothing ingredients like cucumber extract, and rosewater which can help calm redness, while removing impurities gently.
Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser, $52, Glow Recipe
This cleanser is rich in antioxidants to help skin stave off attacks from free radicals. It also contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate, as well as AHAs to gently exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of pores.
#2 Balance and Tone
Toners serve a few purposes and are key in helping to tighten pores. Traditionally, toners were used to balance the pH level of skin as cleansers would leave skin more alkaline when its natural pH is more acidic. Modern toners can do anything from infusing skin with more hydration to gentle exfoliation so that it’s able to receive all the active ingredients in the products which follow in a skincare routine.
How To Tighten Pores and Get Glowing Skin – Toner
Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, $116 for 230ml, SK-II
The SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion contains PITERA™, a bio-ingredient containing amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to support healthy skin. It also contains AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy acids), a gentle chemical exfoliant that works by loosening the “glue” which holds the top layer of dull and dead skin cells, allowing it to fall off naturally without hard scrubbing. This also means that skincare ingredients will be able to penetrate the skin better.
Cell Essence Biome Plus Serum, $80 for 150ml, HERA
The new HERA Cell Essence Biome Plus helps to support skin’s natural biome with a blend of probiotics and prebiotics. It’s lightweight texture also means that it imparts hydration to the skin, without leaving any sticky feeling behind.
Clarifique Refining Enzymatic Dual Essence, $140 for 150ml, Lancome
#3 Boost Your Serums
Essences and pre-serums are sometimes overlooked, but they make up an important part of a skincare routine to tighten and minimise appearance of large pores. Formulated to be absorbed quickly, these essences and pre-serums also help to boost the efficacy and absorption of the serums which follow in your skincare routine.
How To Tighten Pores and Get Glowing Skin – Pre-serums
Facial Treatment Essence, $108 for $75; $220 for 160ml; $489 for 230ml, SK-II
The star product of SK-II contains a high concentration of its proprietary PITERA™ to transform skin for optimum hydration, clarity, and smoothness. Derived from the fermentation process of a special yeast strain, the PITERA™ Essence (a.k.a. Facial Treatment Essence) is born out of the discovery that elderly sake brewers, despite the wrinkled faces, had incredibly soft and youthful hands thanks to constant exposure to this yeast strain during the sake fermentation process. Used as an essence before serum and after toner, this miracle water is bio-compatible with skin, allowing it to absorb quickly, infusing skin with all the amino acids, vitamins and minerals needed to transform skin to crystal clear.
First Care Activating Serum, $118 for 60ml, Sulwhasoo
First Care Activating Serum contains the JAUM Balancing Complex, a blend of five Korean herbs that hydrates, nourishes, and firms skin. Formulated to be used before serums, the First Care Activating Serum preps skin to be more receptive to products applied after it, as well as amplify the efficacy of the products you apply after it.
Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, $110 for 30ml
The Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate focuses on improving the skin’s defenses against environmental aggressors. It’s fortified with ImuGeneration Technology, which strengthens skin so that it is able to attain optimum skin health, all while enhancing the serums that follow after it.
Superstart Skin Renewal Booster, $95 for 30ml, Elizabeth Arden
The Elizabeth Arden Superstart Renewal Booster improves skin’s innate ability to renew and repair. It contains flaxseed which hydrates skin, and prevents trans-epidermal water loss; sea fennel to improve skin’s barrier functions and a probiotic complex to maintain skin’s natural microbiome health.
#4 Pick The Right Serums
Serums contain potent ingredients that target specific skin concerns like pigmentation, dehydration and most importantly, sagging skin. Tighter skin means tighter pores and when it comes to reducing the appearance of pores, ensuring that skin has a healthy supply of collagen and elastin to stay firm, means that pores aren’t as likely to stretch out.
How To Tighten Pores and Get Glowing Skin – Serums
Capture Totale Super Potent Serum, $175 for 50ml, Dior
Containing Acetylated Hyaluronic Acid, a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, the Capture Totale Super Potent Serum is able to deeply hydrate skin. Longoza extracts, nicknamed the ‘eternal plant’ thrives in the harshest conditions and helps to revitalise parched skin.
Clé de Peau Beauté The Serum, $380
The Clé de Peau Beauté The Serum is fortified with Kelplex, a complex containing green, red and blue algae to stimulate the production of new epidermal cells, as well as boost skin’s natural ability to regenerate.
MT Essential Serum, $185.10 for 30ml, $270 for 50ml, MT Metatron
The MT Essential Serum is formulated to target skin sagging by improving collagen production and skin firmness. Active ingredients DMAE, Carnosine and Alpha Lipoic Acid prevent cell damage to skin, improves collagen synthesis and suppress free radical damage for youthful skin and minimised pores.
#5 Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
Even though it might seem unrelated, applying sunscreen is actually the most important step when it comes to how you tighten pores. Ultraviolet light from the sun damages skin and without protection, can exacerbate skin problems and accelerate skin ageing. Daily sunscreen applications can help maintain skin health and youthfulness, thus helping to keep pores tight, as well as preventing the formation of pigmentation too.
How To Tighten Pores and Get Glowing Skin – Sunscreen
S3 Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++, $73.83, IDS Skincare
Perfect for those who need lightweight coverage, the S3 Tinted Sunscreen also functions well as a makeup base, helping to mattify skin while evening out the skin tone. It offers SPF 50 PA+++ protection and uses zinc oxide as its active ingredient to prevent UV damage while neutralising free radicals.
Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Aqua Gel SPF 50 PA++++, $56 for 30ml, Kiehl’s
Lightweight and perfect for use in Singapore, this gel-based sunscreen leaves skin feeling fresh while keeping it protected against UVA, UVB and free radicals.
Pure Shots Airthin UV Defender, $92, YSL Beaute
This lightweight sunscreen contains citrus peel (which is rich in antioxidants), as well as niacinamide to protect the skin barrier against the onslaught of daily aggressors.