Homemade Cleansing and Refining Masks to Reduce Pores
What Causes Enlarged Pores?
Pores are the tiny holes in the skin through which sweat and oil can pass. Each pore has tiny sebaceous glands at its root which produce sebum, the skin’s natural lubricating oil. There are many reasons why these glands may produce either too much, or too little, oil. In both cases, the pores may appear larger.
In the case of over-production of sebum, the pores can become blocked and clogged with oil. Dried skin debris then forms a plug, often referred to as a blackhead. This mixture dries and becomes hard, stretching the walls of the pore. When we clean our skin to remove blackheads, the pore does not shrink back to its original size but remains open. Over time, enlarged pores make our skin look coarse and dull.
On the other hand, when our skin does not produce enough sebum (this often happens as we age) we can develop lines and wrinkles. In addition, mature skin loses its elasticity due to diminished collagen production. Collagen fibers form the matrix that keeps the skin smooth and supple. When there isn't enough collagen and elasticity, individual pores become slack and appear more open and enlarged.
No product can "cure" open pores, but there are a lot of (often quite expensive) products on the market that work on a short-term basis. To save money and be sure that you only put natural ingredients on your skin, making a homemade pore mask is a great solution.
Ingredients for Homemade Facial Masks
Advice for Sensitive Skin
If you are at all concerned about skin reactions, to this simple test: Prepare mask according to directions. Apply a small amount either behind your ear or to the inside of your elbow. Allow to dry and leave in place for an hour. Meanwhile, place the remainder of the mask in the refrigerator overnight. If you have no adverse reaction by morning, apply mask to face. Better safe than sorry!
Egg Whites and Lemon Mask
This mask combines an egg white, which is wonderful for tightening and minimizing the appearance of your pores, and a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. You should not use this mask if you are allergic to eggs.
The lemon juice acts as an astringent on oily skin, but can be a little harsh on sensitive skin. Mix one part lemon juice to four parts water if your skin is sensitive, and then just use a teaspoonful of this diluted mixture.
Using the Egg White and Lemon Mask
- Beat the egg white and lemon juice until it is thick.
- Thoroughly clean your face. Apply the mask with a brush, avoiding the area around your eyes and lips.
- Allow mask to dry completely. Your skin will feel tight whilst the mask dries.
- To remove, just rinse using tepid (not hot) water. Finish the process by gently rubbing an ice cube over your skin.
- If you have blemishes, add a teaspoon of honey to the mixture. Honey is healing for skin eruptions like blemishes.
- To gently exfoliate, thicken the mask with a little regular oatmeal. Use the fine version, not coarse, rolled oats, and cook it in the normal way. Allow to cool and add to the egg whites and lemon juice mixture.
Banana Oatmeal Mask
As mentioned above, nothing will permanently reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. However, you can diminish their appearance by giving your pores a deep cleanse, drawing out the "plug" of sebum, debris, and bacteria that cause inflammation. A deep cleanse will remove blackheads and help to reduce oiliness.
This mask is really good to deep-clean pores and give your skin a lift. You will need a blender for this mask but it is very quick to make.
- Into your blender place a peeled, ripe banana, half a ripe apple, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and four teaspoons of honey.
- When everything is blended, transfer to a small bowl. Add a little oatmeal that you have previously cooked and allowed to cool. Make your mixture thick enough to spread on your face. Cover and leave in a cool place to set.
- Cleanse your face. Finish by soaking a face cloth in hot water and spreading over your face for a few minutes. Make sure the water is not too hot. The warmth will open your pores and make the mask more effective.
- Pat your face dry and apply the mask with your fingertips. The mixture will harden a little as it dries. Gently massage your skin during the drying process to exfoliate dead skin cells and give your skin a glow. Leave mask in place for twenty to thirty minutes.
- Rinse away all traces of the mask with tepid water and pat dry. You can then use a toner, chilled water, or an ice cube on your face to help close the pores even more.
How Often to Use a Mask?
Do not use a mask every day. If your skin is oily, you can use one twice a week. For most skin types, however, a weekly treat is enough for their skin.
Using a Toner After a Face Mask
Toners remove any unseen residue after you have cleansed your face. Some helpful toner tips:
- Use straight from the fridge. Cold toner is more effective at tightening pores.
- Use cotton balls to apply liquid toner and only use once to avoid bacterial contamination.
- Tone up your complexion and improve blood circulation by patting your face and neck after applying toner.
Recommended Pore-Refining Toner
A good toner restores the pH (acid/base relationship) of your skin, which will help tighten pores and prevent oil-buildup. Whether you use a toner after each daily cleanse, removing makeup, or apply a facial mask, an application of cold toner will complete your cleansing process.
Rice and Yogurt Exfoliating and Pore-Reducing Mask
Try the recipe in this video for a gentle exfoliating mask. It is easy to prepare if you have a blender or coffee grinder. Just whizz up the uncooked rice grains into a powder that has a gentle, exfoliating effect. This mask is helpful to reduce scarring from acne blemishes. Follow the diagram at the end of the video for a demonstration of how to massage the mask whilst it is drying on your skin. Enjoy!
Want More Homemade Skin Care Resources?
- My Top Picks of Books for Home Made Beauty Treatments and Skin Care
Amazon is a great resource for information about homemade skin care. Here is a link to my favorite picks. I hope you enjoy them too!
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