How to Minimize Pores and Whiteheads

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Large pores result when oil, dead skin and bacteria clog and stretch the pores. Whiteheads appear when the clog is trapped just beneath the surface of the skin. Large pores and whiteheads often occur when hormones are going berserk throughout the teenage years. However, the problem -- which isn’t limited to oily skin -- can affect people well into adulthood. You may not be able to shrink the size of your pores, but you can minimize their appearance by removing clogs and whiteheads.

Step 1

Wash your face two to three times per day, using a mild cleanser formulated for your skin type. Avoid soap and cleansers containing alcohol or fragrance. Massage the cleanser gently to make a lather, but don’t rub. Rinse with cool water to close your pores, then dry your skin by blotting it with a soft towel.

Step 2

Smooth a medicated acne pad over clean skin every night before bed. Use a second pad if you notice grime or debris on the first pad. Look for products containing substances such as benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria, and salycilic acid that works to remove dead skin cells. Cut use down to every other day if your skin becomes red or irritated.

Step 3

Treat your skin to a clay mask every one to two weeks. Clay absorbs oil, exfoliates dead skin and draws debris from the pores. Although you can purchase a clay mask, you can make one at home by combining about 2 teaspoons of kaolin clay with 1 or 2 tablespoons of aloe-vera gel and a tablespoon of rosewater. Smooth the mixture over the skin and leave it for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Step 4

Use noncomedogenic or oil-free skin care products, including sunscreen and makeup, because products containing oil contribute to clogged pores and whiteheads.