Let me begin by saying that you are your own worst critic. Although it doesn’t help to have perfect, poreless faces constantly shoved in front of us. But you can bet that behind the scenes, without filters, editing, and perfect lighting, no one has poreless skin.
But we’re human, and no matter how hard we try to age gracefully, some things are difficult to accept, including aging skin. If you’re distracted by large pores every time you look in the mirror, you’re not alone. Enlarged pores are a common complaint as people get older.
Pore size and appearance vary from one person to the next. For the most part, the size of your pores is mostly due to genetics. But other factors can cause pores to enlarge, including age, oil production, sun damage, and hormones.
Regardless of the cause, large pores can negatively impact your self-confidence. I’m hoping to help you gain some of that self-confidence back. So let’s get into it: Can you actually reduce pore size?
Can You Actually Reduce Pore Size?
You can’t actually change the size of your pores. Simply put: you were born this way. But before you leave disappointed and discouraged, I do have some good news. You may not be able to shrink pores, but you can minimize their appearance. Let me explain.
Your pores are connected to your hair follicles. Those follicles contain sebaceous oil and sweat glands. Through your pores, natural oil (sebum) lubricates the surface of your skin. Your pores also release sweat. Although neither may sound pleasant, they’re both important for your skin’s health, which means your pores are too.
Despite their importance, you want to know how you can make them less visible, right? Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize pores.
First, it’s important to understand what might be causing your pores to enlarge. Other than genetics, pores can become more noticeable due to aging, dehydration, sun damage, excess sebum production, or enlarged hair follicles. Chronic recurrent acne, hormones, and your skincare routine can also affect pore size. (Read this post for more info on how hormones affect your skin!)
Once you’re able to narrow down the cause of your enlarged pores, you can work on finding a solution that will work for you. However, keep in mind that this is a process that takes time and patience. But if you stick with it, I’m confident that you’ll be pleased with the results.
How To Reduce Pore Size
As frustrating as it can be to deal with skin imperfections, don’t start attacking your skin. Picking, scrubbing, and squeezing your pores will only cause irritation that can make your pores look ever larger.
Take a gentle approach instead. When you apply a product, such as a cleanser, gently massage it into your skin. And as tempting as it might be to pick at areas of your face, don’t do it.
Use The Right Skincare Products
Starting a new skincare routine is a great way to make your pores look smaller. An effective skincare routine includes products that are specially designed for your skin type. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, then apply a serum, face oil, and SPF. Lightweight, and water-based are ideal.
Pro Tip: A product labeled “non-comedogenic” usually won’t clog your pores.
As the name of my blog suggests, I’m all about a minimalist approach to skincare. Following a minimalist skincare routine allows the products you use to do their jobs correctly and effectively, without creating a pH imbalance or pH interference. Plus, the fewer products you use, the less likely your pores are to become clogged with ingredients.
To unclog pores, you have to get rid of the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that can build up and fill them, making your pores more noticeable. Exfoliation is the most effective way to do just that.
AHAs, like glycolic acid, exfoliate the top layer of your skin. These types of exfoliants are ideal for dry or sensitive skin.
BHAs, like salicylic acid, penetrate deeper into your skin. They tend to work best for people with oily skin.
Apply Sunscreen Daily
Applying sunscreen is arguably the most important part of anyone’s skincare routine. Yes, even homebodies with no plans to leave their house should wear sunscreen every day. It’s just that important.
It’s somewhat horrifying what the sun can do to your skin. Sun damage can cause a myriad of skin problems, from dark spots to a greater risk for skin cancer. It can also contribute to more visible signs of aging and larger pores.
No matter your plans or the weather forecast, I recommend applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 every day.
Best Products To Reduce Pore Size
I’ve spent over a decade helping my clients achieve healthier skin. No matter your skin type, a nourishing and gentle cleanser is crucial. My favorite textured cleanser is Marie Veronique Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, which just so happens to be a fantastic pore-minimizing product.
This holistic cleanser is made with adzuki bean powder and lactic acid to gently exfoliate without damaging the skin barrier. It’s great for dry, sensitive, mature, acne-prone, combination, or normal skin. The gentle yet powerful ingredients, including AHAs and BHAs, effectively unclog pores and leave your skin feeling polished, soothed, and refreshed.
To use the Daily Exfoliating Cleanser from Marie Veronique:
- Shake well
- Dispense one pump and warm between your palms
- With small, circular movements, apply the cleanser to your face, neck, and chest for 1-2 minutes. Add water as needed for a smooth application.
- Rinse thoroughly and gently pat dry.
Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment with 2% BHA is a daily leave-on exfoliator that improves skin by visibly reducing pore size and smoothing rough texture. It also noticeably reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
This water-based formula cleanses, exfoliates, and refines your skin with the help of antioxidants, anti-aging peptides, 2% salicylic acid, and hyaluronic acid. Even better, it contains no fragrances or parabens. It’s gentle enough to use daily and works on all skin types.
To use Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment:
- Gently apply over the face and neck after cleansing and toning, using your hands or a cotton pad.
- Don’t rinse.
- Finish with an SPF.
The Instant Smoothing Serum from Grown Alchemist is one of my top summer skincare essentials. This anti-aging daily facial serum works on all skin types to hydrate and smooth the surface of your skin.
This serum uses a combination of just four plant-derived ingredients: purified water, sodium hyaluronate (tri-hyaluronan complex plant), benzyl alcohol, and dehydroacetic acid. These ingredients effectively hydrate and smooth your skin, minimize the effects of environmental skin damage, and prevent future fine lines and wrinkles.
To use the Grown Alchemist Instant Smoothing Serum:
- Gently massage a small amount of the serum into your face and neck.
- Apply morning and evening after cleansing and toning.
- Follow with a moisturizer.
Although you can’t actually reduce pore size, there are several ways to minimize their appearance for clearer-looking skin.
What are your skincare goals? Are you achieving them? I want to hear from you!
My hope for my clients, as well as my readers (like you!), is for them to love what they see in the mirror. This is just one of many goals of the Beauty Collective.