While it’s not possible to get rid of your pores altogether, there are ways that you can improve the appearance of them. Here’s how.
On the quest to achieve skin that looks smooth and glowy, like it’s lit-from-within? Yep, we’re definitely committed to this journey, but one thing that gets in the way from time to time is the size of our pores. We’re talking about the tiny holes that you can see on your skin when you’re looking super closely, which can look dirty or enlarged when you don’t look after them properly.
You’re not alone; it’s actually something that affects absolutely everyone with different skin types - from oily to combination, and even dry skin. Now, the tricky thing is… they’re not entirely erasable as they’re a natural part of your face. In fact, they’re designed to allow sweat and sebum (natural oils) from your sebaceous glands to come out of your skin, and sometimes double as a hair follicle. To put it simply, they play a vital role in maintaining the health of your skin.
what causes large pores?
Everyone can be on the receiving end of enlarged skin pores because of these four factors:
Genetics: A large part of what determines the size of your pores comes down to the DNA that’s passed down to you. If one or both of your parents have large pores, odds are, you will also experience a similar condition. Those with larger pores experience more oil flow, leading you to have combination or oily skin.
Gender: On average, men tend to have larger pores than women. However, women who have very oily skin or are experiencing hormonal changes due to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can also experience the development of large pores on the nose and cheeks.
Age: As we get older, our pores tend to get larger, and this comes down to our skin producing less collagen and therefore being less firm and elastic in the long run.
Sun exposure: The sun may feel nice on your face, but its rays can be harming your skin invisibly. Specifically, UVA rays cause sun damage and break down the collagen in your skin, making it less elastic. When your skin lacks elasticity, your skin can sag and make your pores look more noticeable.
how to address large pores
Ok, but what about the size of them… can you really shrink your pores? The actual size of your pores cannot be technically changed, as they are largely connected to your genetics. But the appearance of your facial pores can be improved! And it comes down to nailing your skin care routine.
This leads us to our next point… the importance of cleansing. This is something that you should be doing twice a day - morning and night - and is a non-negotiable component of your skin care routine. The reason why we have to be on top of cleansing is that it can effectively remove dirt, make-up, excess sebum, sweat, and dead skin cells. When your pores are clean and free from debris, it’ll prevent them from clogging and then turning into blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes.
Another way to look after pores is with a product you can apply through the day, such as micro-pore mist. It’s a daily spritz that you use on cleansed skin, and boasts the power to visibly minimise the appearance of pores, improve luminosity and fade hyperpigmentation like acne scars. That's all thanks to ingredients like Wild Rose Hips Flavonoid Complex to reduce shine, Witch Hazel, Green Tea and Matricaria Flower Extracts to tighten up pores, and Cucumber Extract to soothe your skin and keep it feeling cool.
There’s also another hero ingredient in this product that’s worth mentioning - niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a seriously top-performing skin care MVP. The reason why we’re always on the lookout for products with this ingredient is because it can effectively reduce the size of pores and even tighten them, boost your complexion’s luminosity and improve your barrier function too, which leads to skin healing. We’re hooked!
Don’t forget to follow with moisturiser to boost hydration and make your skin look really plump and smooth. A word to look out for, when it comes to hunting down a good moisturiser, is ‘’non-comedogenic’. In short, this word means that the product won’t clog pores, which is exactly the aim of the game here.
During the day, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to protect your face from the sun’s harmful rays. This step should be incorporated into your daily routine no matter what the weather is like outside. Believe it or not, overcast, rainy or snowy days still mean that your skin comes across sun exposure.
the dos and don’ts for large pores
If you’re still searching for answers to “how do I get rid of large pores on my face?” and want to take your skin care routine to the next level, read this list of list of dos and don’ts carefully.
- Use clay masks. These are usually made from real clay such as kaolin and are really good at degunking your skin and help clear pores to prevent congestion and breakouts. They’re super easy to use: pop them on for a few minutes, then wash it away with some warm water. You can use a clay mask once to twice a week.
- Use Retinoids (with care!). This ingredient is ace at encouraging your skin to produce more collagen, making your complexion look really plump and juicy. When skin is plumped, it stretches out slightly and therefore makes your pores look more noticeable. Be careful with products that feature this ingredient though; it can be pretty intense and when used too often, can cause your skin to flake or become inflamed. This ingredient also sensitises skin with sun exposure, so it is best to use it at night.
- Try products with alpha hydroxy acids. AHAs are an umbrella-term for ingredients such as glycolic, malic and lactic acid. These can exfoliate the top layer of your skin, making it look smoother. A professional chemical peel is a stronger version of this, and can just feature AHAs, or with BHAs (this means beta hydroxy acid, which is technically salicylic acid).
- Fractional laser treatments are also a great way to address pore size, however this should only be administered by a professional and only after a consultation with a professional.
- Touch your face through the day. We know it can be awfully tempting, but avoid touching your face through the day, unless you are doing things with clean fingers like cleansing or moisturising. This is because your hands can carry dirt and debris, and touching your face can transfer it onto your skin and - worst case scenario - into your pores.
- Pick at your face. If you have spotted a spot or a blackhead on your skin, only remove it with a comedone extractor when your skin is freshly cleansed. If not, you could risk scarring or an infection, and nobody wants that.
- Expect your skin to be smooth and pore free. Having perfect skin may be at the top of your wish-list, but it can really have a mind of its own. Skin can be affected by stress and hormones which are out of your control. Set realistic skin care goals that you can adhere to daily, and you will be on your way to healthy-looking skin in no time. And try to love the beautiful skin you are in in the meantime!