If you could use a photo airbrush as a tool in your beauty bag of tricks, nobody would ever know you have pores. But life is not a photograph or a movie and real people have real pores. Pores help the oils we need for hydration reach the skin’s surface. The good news is you can minimize the appearance of your pore size, not with smoke and mirrors, but with basic, consistent cleaning methods and natural products. Those tiny pores which look large to you can also be tightened, making them appear smaller.

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Wash your face daily, as gently as if it were a baby’s skin. You may not be a baby anymore, but your skin still needs gentle care. Overwashing, or vigorous washing, or scrubbing the skin can damage the pore’s lining and worsen skin pore problems according to chemist and formulator of natural cosmetics, Robert Rister. Apply a cleanser to clean fingertips, not a face cloth to clean. Pat, don’t rub the face dry.

Exfoliate skin twice a week, advises Karen Bruno of WebMD. Visible pores may be simply due to poor exfoliation and improper cleaning. “Too much surface oil and remnants naturally shed skin cells can collect around the edges of pores, creating the illusion of the pores being larger than they really are,” according to Audrey Kunin, M.D. Mix your own exfoliator by mashing 8 tbsp. of oatmeal into warm water. Leaving it whole can clog the drain. For a stronger exfoliant, add 1 tbsp. each of honey, apple cider vinegar and ground almonds. Use a circular motion to exfoliate skin with the mixture. Rinse off after 10 minutes.

Apply a natural astringent or toner to the skin with a cotton ball or face cleaning pad to minimize pores. Use a toner with apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or mint or green tea, and cucumber. Store the toner in the refrigerator, advises businesswoman and former model, Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy. Make your own simple toner with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.

Wear a mask, not to go out, but at home, at night, when you’re alone. Steam clean pores by filling the bathroom sink with hot water. Place a large towel over your head and hover over the sink, allowing the steam to penetrate the skin. Wipe the skin with a cotton ball to remove any dirt. The last thing you want to do is apply a mask over a minuscule object lodged in a pore, because it will erupt into a painful pimple. Apply a mask to your skin weekly. Slather on a thick clay mask to absorb excess oils and smooth skin.

Moisturize skin to keep it healthy and apply it at night only. Hydrated skin looks pleasantly smoother, reducing the appearance of pores. Use an oil-free, non-comedogenic product containing either vitamin C or retinol. These ingredients stimulate collagen production and help tighten and shrink up pores. Other pore-tightening natural ingredients found in moisturizers include aloe, rosewater and cucumber.

Smooth on pore refining gels under foundation before heading out for the day. Gels and creams are also available and they can be used all over the face or just in problem areas, including the forehead, chin, nose and cheekbones. Choose matte foundation to smooth the look of skin.