Enlarged or clogged pores can plague us from time to time for seemingly no reason. Although pore strips, scrubs, and face masks can provide some temporary alleviation, they don’t always solve the problem. Genetics do play a role in natural pore size, but plenty of things can also be done to improve their condition, thus reducing appearance. Consider turning to these alternatives when you want some new results with a natural approach.

1. Kiwi

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One of the first courses of action against pore problems is incorporating more vitamin C into the mix. Kiwi is a great source of this vitamin, with your entire daily value in a single serving. Vitamin C plays a valuable role in pore size because it plumps the skin, improving pore appearance. It also stimulates collagen and elastin production which protect from pore stretching and enlargement.

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Although you can always enjoy kiwi on its own, don’t hesitate to transform it as well. Highlight it in this Raw Kiwi Lime Cheesecake for a memorable dessert. However, kiwi can also work beyond sweet dishes. Try this Thai Seared Tofu With Kiwi or an Arugula, Kiwi, and Fennel Salad for a light and refreshing midday meal or appetizer.

2. Sunflower Seeds

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Your pores can also benefit from things like sunflower seeds. They contain lots of vitamin E, which hydrates the skin in a healthy way and keeps pore blockage away with soluble oils. Vitamin E also prevents sebum oxidation, keeping your pores clean and less clogged.

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An easy way to enjoy the perks of sunflower seeds is to sprinkle them on top of salads, cereals, and toast to add some flavor and crunch. They can also be integrated into this Sunflower Seeds and Brussels Sprouts Pesto for the perfect nutritious addition. Or, get creative with this Raw Sushi Rolls With Sunflower Seed ‘Rice’ recipe.

3. Coconut Oil

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It may seem counterintuitive to turn to an oil for pore clearing, but the qualities are unmistakable. Coconut oil is a great source of healthy fats, which are necessary for the absorption of vitamin E (the benefits of which we just discussed). Since vitamin E is fat soluble, it’s important to consume enough healthy fats to reap the full benefits for your skin and pores. However, be mindful if you want to apply coconut oil topically, because it can potentially block pores if you use a lot.

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It’s important not to go completely overboard with coconut oil while still enjoying it. Treat yourself to this 4-Ingredient Dark Chocolate Coconut Oil Fudge for a simple yet decadent reward.

4. Sweet Potato

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Another great way to tackle pore problems is by eating more sweet potatoes. Since they’re high in vitamin A, these help with cell turnover so that dead skin and dirt doesn’t stick in pores. Cleaner pores means they appear smaller and less noticeable. Some people also rely on vitamin A to decrease sebum production, which also limits the propensity for irregular  texture and blockages.

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Sweet potatoes are beautifully versatile. Make this Chickpea Flour Frittata With Sweet Potatoes and Kale for a delicious weekend brunch. Some Adzuki Bean and Kale Hummus With Sweet Potato Chips can also serve as the perfect nutritious snacking option. On a relaxing evening, these Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells With Cashew Alfredo will be your favorite new pasta alternative.

5. Mind the Sun

You may not think that the sun plays any role in your pore condition, but it actually does. Lack of sun protection and UV light exposure can cause collagen and elastin to be weakened. This makes your pores less able to close firmly, thus making them more prominent. To remedy this, keep your skin covered and wear sunscreen. Make sure you opt for one that’s non-comedogenic, since you don’t want to counteract the benefits by clogging those pores. This natural option by Raw Elements uses non-nano zinc oxide and bypasses the common nasty chemicals.

You may feel like there is nothing you can do to remedy enlarged pores. While their natural size may be innate, you can use these tips to create some surprising results that can certainly reduce their prominence. Keeping them clean and nourished from the inside out is a great way to boost your skin confidence and overall health.

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