A close glance in the mirror after your morning shave may have you feeling much more aware of your pores. While everyone has pores, their size depends on both genetics and skin type. Men with blemish prone and congested skin often find that their pores expand more than others. Pores respond to skin care that deeply cleanses and balances the surface. Add a few extra steps to your daily routine to reduce your facial pores.
Step into the shower and wet your face with warm water. Smooth an oil-free shaving cream over any areas that require shaving, and smooth a razor over it in the direction of hair growth. Shaving in the shower helps to open your pores, allowing for a close shave and preventing ingrown hairs that can highlight pores.
Wet your skin and work a dime-sized amount of cleanser into it, using an upward, circular motion. Rinse with warm water. Use a cleanser containing salicylic acid to purge pores of debris that makes them more noticeable. Men's sebum glands are more active than women's, and the excess oils they produce can clog pores. Use a cream-based cleanser in a tube -- it's more sanitary and less likely to leave residue on your skin than bar soap.
Pour a quarter-sized amount of face scrub into the palm of your hand, and work it into your skin using an upward, circular motion. Use a gel-based scrub with fine grains to buff away dead skin without overdrying. Soak a face cloth in warm water and wipe the scrub away. Concentrate on areas where pores are most visible, such as the nose and cheeks. Avoid your eyes, nostrils and mouth. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells for a smoother appearance to make pores appear smaller. Men's facial skin is thick and can be exfoliated twice a week.
Apply a thin layer of a cleansing mud mask to your face, avoiding the eye area, nostrils and mouth. Allow the mask to dry and remove it with warm water. Mud masks deeply cleanse pores to remove embedded debris, and tighten pores once rinsed. Use a mask formulated for oily skin twice a week after cleansing and exfoliating.
Soak a cotton pad in toner, and gently sweep it over visible pores. Toner removes any remaining dirt while temporarily shrinking pores. Choose a witch hazel based toner if you are prone to blemishes, or a rosewater formula if you have sensitive skin. Tone your skin morning and night. This will refresh your skin like an after-shave would, without the stripping effect or scent that can irritate sensitive skin.
Pour a dime-sized amount of pore-reducing serum into the palm of your hand, and gently pat it into your skin while still damp. Damp skin will absorb the product better than dry skin. Use a serum containing glycolic acid to smooth the surface and tighten pores. If you have sensitive skin, opt for a serum containing licorice root to gently smooth while protecting the surface. Apply serum morning and night.
Always use a clean razor, to avoid transferring bacteria to your pores.
If a product causes irritation, discontinue using it immediately.
Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.