Open pores is a very common yet stubborn skin-related problem which may appear on the face (generally, the nose), the chest or the back and can result in the outbreak of acne and spots on the skin.
What are open pores?
A pore is a pathway for the oil within the skin to reach to the superficial skin surface. It has a sebaceous (oil) gland at its core, out of which the sebum (oil) travels up and exits through the pore. These pores are therefore essential to keep the skin soft and supple. Sometimes, constant oozing of oil from the sebaceous gland along with the accumulated oil and dirt in the pore causes the loss of elasticity in the skin around the pore and enlarges it.
People with over-active sebaceous glands (oily skin) have a tendency towards enlarged pores as the excess oil secreted from the glands stretches the pores, making them larger. Similarly, exposure to sunlight damages the collagen in the skin, which again reduces the elasticity of the skin resulting in enlargement of the pores.
Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy and menopause also aggravate the problem of open pores. Stress, genetics and a poor skin care routine, aging, excessive moisturizing and make-up, use of low-quality skin products, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells are other possible causes.
Treatment of open pores
The condition of open pores is not an easy one to treat- once they appear, they cannot be made to disappear overnight, all we can do is make them less visible using a concealer. Various kinds of skin treatments can be used to reduce the appearance of open pores. Topical creams with vitamin A or alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) can prevent the enlargement of pores as they remove the dead skin.
Similarly, certain products can be used for exfoliation, which is the removal of dead skin cells. These treatments and procedures can be quite time consuming and costly, so we can use several natural methods and home remedies to combat the problem.
Home remedies for open pores
Many readily available ingredients in our kitchens can be used to treat open pores.
- Fruits and vegetables with astringent properties can help tighten open pores. For instance, a few drops of lime juice mixed with tomato pulp can be applied over the affected area for about 20 minutes and then rinsed with normal water. A mixture of tomato juice with honey is helpful for dry skin.
- Juice/ pulp of peach or pineapple can be used as a home-made face pack to reduce the open pores. We can also apply dried and powdered peels of oranges mixed with some rose water as a face pack.
- Fullers earth (multani mitti) is the best remedy for oily skin as well as open pores. Make a paste of multani mitti with some rose water and apply it on your face, wash it off after it dries up. It will remove the excess oil, leave the skin dry for a long time and tighten the open pores.
- A mixture of rose water and cucumber juice in equal quantities applied on the affected area for about 15 minutes is an effective remedy.
- A paste made of 2 tablespoons oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and one egg white is to be applied on the face for about half an hour. Then scrub it off with cold water. Use it twice a week for best results.
- A facial scrub can be prepared by mixing rice powder with rose water to exfoliate dead skin.
- Make a paste of 2 tablespoons of curd and 1 tablespoon gram flour, refrigerate it for some time and apply over the affected area for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with tepid water.
- A mixture of an egg white and 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel can be applied on open pores for 20 minutes and then rinsed off. Results begin to show within 8-10 days. Alternatively, aloe vera gel can be mixed with lemon juice in equal quantities.
- Papaya pulp is another effective remedy for open pores. Daily application on the affected area helps exfoliate dead skin cells.
- Massaging with pure almond oil at bedtime not only improves skin texture but also tightens open pores.
- Mix 1 tablespoon fenugreek powder and 1 teaspoon ginger powder in cucumber juice or fresh milk to make a paste. Apply it on the face for 15-20 minutes and then rinse with normal water.
Tips to avoid formation of open pores
Be sure to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. Keeping the skin clean is the best way to keep all kinds of skin troubles at bay. Avoid washing your face more than 3 times daily as it may rob the skin of the natural oils. A face wash with anti-oxidants like vitamin C and retinol can be effective to cleanse blocked pores.
Also, do not use water that is too hot or cold. Remove all make-up before going to bed to allow your skin to breathe. Using a toner helps tighten the pores.
Include more minerals and vitamins A, B, C and E in your diet and avoid oily and fried food. Use a good quality sunscreen while going out. Do not squeeze your pimples and avoid touching the affected areas repeatedly. Make exercising an integral part of your daily routine as it helps remove toxins from your body and promotes a healthier skin.