What Causes Enlarged Pores and How to Shrink Them

If you have large pores, you may wish that they would just disappear. But, pores are important; they house a hair follicle and provide a path for the body’s natural oil, sebum, to reach the skin’s surface. While you can’t actually shrink a pore without laser treatments or taking Accutane (which often only shrinks pores while you are on the medication), there is a lot you can do to make your pores appear smaller.


Keep Your Skin Clean

Pores are most noticeable when they are filled with oil and dirt, and washing your face on a regular basis can help reduce the apparent size of pores. This may sound obvious, but it means that any time your face gets dirty or sweaty, such as after a workout, it’s important to clean your face as soon as possible.



Exfoliate Regularly

If your pores are filled with gunk, which often includes dead skin cells, dirt and oil, they will appear larger. You can remove this debris by exfoliate skin on a regular basis. How often you exfoliate will depend on how sensitive and oily your skin is, but it is a good idea to do so at least two to three times a week. Some people can use a gentle scrub every day without suffering irritation.



Use Products With Retinol or Salicylic Acid

Along with exfoliating using a scrub, you can also use a face wash or facial mask with products like retinol or salicylic acid in them. Pores appear smaller and less noticeable when they are not clogged, and these products can help clear out pores. Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and it is commonly used to reduce the signs of aging by increasing cell turnover. Salicylic acid is frequently found in acne treatments, and it also speeds up cell turnover and can eliminate bacteria in pores, reducing the chances of blackheads forming.



Take Care of Collagen

Collagen is a type of tissue that provides support for skin as well as elasticity. People who are older will frequently see a reduction in their collagen production, but too much exposure to the sun can also damage it. Since collagen provides support for the skin pores won’t have the support they need if your collagen is damaged; thus potentially making them appear larger and obvious.



Don’t Dry Your Skin Out

Oil is often responsible for causing pores to appear larger, but it is important to not dry out your skin because dead and dry skin cells can also make pores look bigger. It can be tempting to dramatically reduce the oil on your skin by using toners and drying face washes. But if you aren’t careful, you may end up creating a new problem.

Although there’s no over-the-counter method for reducing the size of pores, there’s a lot you can do to make them appear smaller and less noticeable. Start by making changes to your skin care routine.