Oh dear pores: your face would be a mess without them, but, when too big, they can be kind of annoying, right?
Enlarged pores are just like a shadow, something that stays with you all day and all night. They stare back at you when you look in the mirror and you can even feel them ruining your perfect makeup.
Don’t get me wrong! They are kind of important too. Pores help to release sebum and have an essential role when it comes to moisturizing the skin. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to leave with big pores our whole lives.
So, if you’re wondering how to minimize pores, I’ll share my fave tips, tricks, and even products that could help your pores go from too obvious to flawless!
Keep reading to find out!
First, why are pores so important?
Pores are little openings in the hair follicles that are located in your whole body and, beyond being annoying when they are too obvious, they have a crucial role when it comes to regulating your body temperature. Just imagine what would happen if you didn’t have pores! Simply put, your skin would be a hot, sweaty mess because you don’t have a way of releasing the heat from your body.
Additionally, pores allow sweat and oil to escape. And they act as a point of entry for nutrients! How do you think your skin absorbs all the products you put on it if it isn’t through those openings?
Basically, pores allow your skin to breathe in all the goodness you apply to your skin and breathe out sebum and sweat to help you stay cool. However, that doesn’t mean that pores don’t absorb bad things, like impurities, and that’s where they can get really large and obvious.
Can you actually reduce your pore size?
Yes and no… Actually, the answer depends on what’s causing your pores to enlarge.
From genetics and hormones to the products you’re using or your skin type, there are many things that can result in large pores. So, let’s unwrap all of them to figure out if it’s possible to reduce the appearance of pores.
It's no secret that genetics plays a role in determining our physical attributes. From the color of our hair and eyes to the size of our feet, our genes have a lot to say about how we look. And pores are not the exception!
Just like the rest of your body, the size of your pores is largely determined by your genetics. That means that if your parents had large pores, chances are you will too.
Of course, that doesn't mean you're doomed if you have genetically given enlarged pores. There are treatments you can use to treat them, however, you need to bear in mind that you can’t actually reduce their predetermined size, all you can do is work to make them less obvious.
2. Dead skin cells
If you have a lot of product build-up and never use an exfoliator to remove dead skin cells, there’s a big chance that this is causing your pores to be more obvious than usual.
Why does this happen? Because the build-up can result in clogged pores and clogged pores can enlarge and cause acne breakouts and blackheads.
The good news is that you can reduce the size of your pores if this problem causes them. How? Include an exfoliator in your skincare routine at least 2 times a week.
Note: if you want to check which exfoliator is the best for your skin type, discover it here.
The size of your pores is largely determined by the levels of certain hormones in your body. And unfortunately for those of us who are concerned about our complexion, these hormones tend to fluctuate throughout our lives.
For example, during puberty, rising levels of testosterone can cause an increase in sebum production, leading to larger pores. Similarly, estrogen levels tend to drop during menopause, which can also lead to an increase in pore size.
There’s not much you can do if your enlarged pores are caused by hormonal changes. You can still treat them to avoid making them even bigger for other reasons, but their size will probably remain the same.
4. Skin type
Your skin type plays an important role in pores size.
Those with oily or combination skin are more likely to have enlarged pores. That's because the oil glands in these skin types are larger and produce more oil. This excess oil can clog the pores and make them appear stretched out or enlarged.
On the other hand, those with dry or sensitive skin tend to have smaller pores because there's less sebum to clog them up.
For this concern, you can use sebum-reducer products that control your oil production and, thus, are pore tightening.
5. Comedogenic products
Comedogenic products can clog pores and cause them to become enlarged. This is because comedogenics, like coconut or corn oil, don’t get absorbed by the skin, so they build up on the skin surface and clog pores.
If you're noticing that your pores are looking bigger than usual, it might be time to check the products you’re using and switch to a non-comedogenic skincare routine.
6. Sun exposure/heat
Beyond tanning your skin or even causing skin cancer if you never wear sunscreen, the heat radiated from excessive sun exposure can cause large pores.
Why? Because, as I said above, pores are openings that help to release the heat of the body. So, if you are constantly under the sun *or maybe working out a lot*, it’s highly possible that your pores are bigger because they are doing their job: cooling down the body.
How to make pores smaller? 6 Tips and tricks
Pores are like doorways into your skin. They allow things like sweat and oil to escape, but they can also let dirt and other unwanted visitors in. That's why having large pores can be problematic - they make it easier for your skin to become dirty and clogged.
Now that you know what may be causing those big, annoying pores, here is a list of my oh-so-mighty tips and tricks to treat large facial pores and not die trying!
So, buckle up and get ready to get rid of that pizza face:
1. Wash, wash, wash!
Be sure to wash your face twice a day *and before and after your workouts* with a gentle cleanser. This will help to remove any dirt or makeup that could clog your pores and improve your skin health without stripping you of your body’s natural oil.
You can opt for a water cleanser alone or kick your cleansing game up a notch and perform a 2-step cleansing routine with oil-based cleansers first and then water-based cleansers. This will keep your pores clear and help reduce their size.
Sloughing off dead skin cells will help to keep your pores clear and prevent them from becoming enlarged.
You can use a physical exfoliator (like a scrub) or a chemical one (like an AHA or BHA serum). Just be sure not to overdo it, as too much exfoliation can actually irritate the skin and make pores look worse.
Pro tip: Exfoliate your skin 2-3x times a week!
3. Include pore-minimizing ingredients in your routine
There are plenty of topical treatments on the market that claim to shrink pores. Here are my favorite ones:
Lactic and glycolic acid
Lactic acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that gently exfoliates the surface of the skin, helping to remove dirt, oil, and other debris that can clog pores.
Glycolic acid is another AHA that penetrates deeply into the pores to remove built-up sebum and dead skin cells. Both of these ingredients help to reduce the appearance of large pores and give your skin a smoother, more even texture.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative that helps to boost skin cell turnover, which in turn helps to unclog pores and reduce their appearance. This happens because the new cells are less likely to get clogged.
Additionally, retinol can help to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a more youthful appearance.
So, retinol is basically a 2-in-1 goodie that reduces the appearance of pores and has anti-aging properties.
Green tea has astringent properties that help to tighten pores and control sebum production. As a result, regular use of green tea can help to reduce pore size and improve the overall appearance of your skin.
By regulating sebum production, niacinamide can help to reduce the size of your pores. Plus, it has tightening properties that can help to shrink the pores even more.
When it comes to reducing pore size, salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, is the MVP of the skincare world.
This powerful ingredient works by dissolving the oils and debris that can clog pores and cause them to appear larger. In addition, salicylic acid helps to exfoliate the skin, preventing dead skin from building up and further enlarging pores.
4. Choose your skincare and makeup products wisely
This may seem like an obvious step, but it's actually very important. The right products can help to control excess oil production, remove impurities, and tighten pores. On the contrary, pore-clogging products can cause the openings to look bigger.
So, choosing products for your skin type that are gentle, effective, and non-comedogenic is a great way to prevent clogged pores and nourish your skin.
5. Go for a clay mask
Clay is known for its ability to absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin. When applied to the face, it helps to draw out all the dirt and gunk that's clogging up pores, making them appear smaller.
In addition, clay masks also help to exfoliate the skin, getting rid of dead skin that can make pores look larger.
6. Don’t forget the sunscreen
By creating a barrier between your skin and the sun, sunscreen helps to protect your facial skin pores from becoming inflamed and enlarged.
In addition, sunscreen can also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving you a youthful glow that is worth its weight in SPF 50.
Best pore tightening products: My top 3 picks
Formulated with 16 different kinds of tea extracts and naturally-derived BHA, this powerful cleanser will help to detoxify and exfoliate your skin, resulting in a more radiant complexion.
The ingredients in this product will unclog your pores, reducing their size! It is ideal for people with oily skin or that have acne/blackheads concerns.
You can use it twice a day for better results.
This is one of my favorite pore-minimizing products! Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide is the perfect solution for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Its lightweight, non-greasy formula leaves the skin feeling hydrated and looking radiant.
Niacinamide helps to reduce sebum production while propolis works as an antibacterial agent that clears the pores and moisturizes the complexion.
You already know that BHAs and AHAs are must-try ingredients that can help to reduce the appearance of pores, so there’s no wonder why this toner from COSRX is one of my favorites.
Formulated with a potent blend of AHA, BHA, willow bark, and apple water, this toner is your one-stop shop for controlling pores. It gently melts impurities, exfoliates dead skin cells, and leaves the skin looking glowy and healthy.
Best treatment for large pores: Where to find it?
Visible pores are a pain in the you-know-what, but now you have every tip and product you’ll need to reduce their size. And you know what’s the best part? You’re in the right place to find everything you need to get down to work!
In Asian Beauty Essentials you’ll find the best pore tightening products to include in your skin care routine and get rid of those enlarged pores that are taunting you!
So, whether you have combination, acne-prone, or oily skin, you’ll find a product that suits your needs and help you with this enlarge problem *no pun intended*
Visit our shop and say bye to large pores!