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How can I minimize the appearance of large pores?

by Tatiana SAMOY December 26, 2022 4 min read

Large or congested pores are one of the most frequently asked skincare questions. If you're wondering how to minimise the size of your pores and make your skin look smoother, you're on the right track. In this article, we'll take you through the basics of what pores really are and how to optimise your skincare routine to make them less visible (and yes, we can't erase them entirely).

Your pores regulate the physiological functioning of your skin by allowing oil and hair to appear on it. They also play a vital role in protecting you from external stressors like climate change or pollution, damaging healthy cells.

Pores allow for sebum (a type of moisturiser) and sweat glands that help control body temperature; they let water vapour pass through them, so we don't get overly wet when out in a hot environment.

So how can one skin have pores that are much more visible than others? The size of your pores is affected by several things, including hormones and makeup.


Pore care

1. Genetics

Yes, it's hereditary. If your parents have more or less visible pores, you are more likely to inherit a similar "baseline" for your pore size.

2. Skin type

When sebaceous glands produce oil in excess, they stretch to allow the oil to drain out, creating that "larger" appearance. Also, when sebum is trapped with lots of other dirt, it clogs pores and makes them more visible to the naked eye.

3. Skin elasticity

With age, our skin can lose its ability to hold itself together because collagen and elastin are reduced. This makes our pores more visible to the naked eye.

We know that pores are a normal physiological part of our skin and are totally necessary. We know that large pores are less appreciable from an aesthetic point of view. There are some ways to minimise your pore size with a few easy steps you can do daily, weekly and occasionally in your skincare routine!


Daily skin care tips:

These steps are necessary and fundamental to maintaining healthy skin with minimal pore size.

1. Cleanse

Thoroughly cleansing your skin is the first step to keeping your pores clean. Never skip a night without editing your skin. For very oily skin types, it is recommended to remove dirt or makeup and the accumulation of excess oil on the surface layer of your skin.

2. Moisturise

When your skin is hydrated and plumped up, it creates the illusion of less visible pores because it fills in the "openings" in your pores. So always remember to moisturise your skin and seal it with your favourite moisturiser.

3. Sunscreen

Never forget your sunscreen! It's an essential part of everyone's skincare routine to keep skin healthy and juicy for as long as possible. It keeps our skin from "ageing" too quickly and allows us to control our pore size for as long as possible.

Daily - Weekly

Measures that can help prevent clogged pores and loss of skin elasticity:


1. Exfoliate

AHAs, BHAs, or PHAs help unclog your pores and prevent the formation of new pores by cutting the "glue" between your dead skin cells. Sebum drains more quickly, and BHA can even penetrate the inner lining of pores to allow for a "deep clean".

2. Retinoids

Vitamin A is known as the king of anti-ageing ingredients. This is a well-known skincare ingredient that has been shown to induce collagen production. Use retinoids daily or weekly, depending on your skin's tolerance and the product you are used to. Your skin will stay supple, and your pores will look smaller for longer.



Tips for occasional skincare:

1. Clay mask

Kaolin clay or bentonite is my go-to if I need an extra boost for large pores. They absorb excess oil from the surface of the skin and inside the pores. It gives that temporary "pore shrinking" effect and is perfect if you have a special day coming up. Be sure to moisturise your skin whenever you need a "cleanse".


Additional tips:

Pores are a reality of human skin, but if you keep the magnifying mirror close to your face and peer into it critically, then who knows what can happen. It's best not to get caught up in unrealistic expectations like thinking pore-free beauty is achievable!


Pore myths and realities:

1. Myth: Pores open and close

Steam and ice do not open or close them, respectively. They release sebum and oil build-up on the pores and allow them to seep much more quickly to the surface. The ice signals the sebum not to produce as much oil and thus minimises the size of the pores.


2. Myth: It secretes a toxin

There is no such thing as a mask that eliminates toxins or other products that "detoxify". Our pores will not secrete toxins because there are no toxic substances that can harm our bodies.

Tatiana SAMOY
Tatiana SAMOY

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