People with any skin type can experience enlarged pores, although this common skin concern is more prevalent in people with an oily skin type.
Some people have naturally larger pores, but pores often appear larger due to congestion or damage to the surrounding skin. While it’s impossible to erase or get rid of pores, there are many options for how to minimise the look of pores on the face.
This article will act as a step-by-step guide on how to reduce pores in size and visibility. We’ll also dive into what causes enlarged pores and give some skincare recommendations from our Effaclar range.
WHAT IS AN ENLARGED PORE?
Before detailing the causes of enlarged pores and how to manage them, it’s important to nail down an understanding of the features and functions of healthy pores. So, what is a pore?
Our pores serve the crucial purpose of helping the body self-regulate its temperature via the skin. In addition to forming a channel to house our hair follicles, pores allow sweat and sebum (the skin’s natural oil) to pass through to cool and lubricate the skin’s surface.
Pores naturally vary in size person to person and on different parts of the body. For example, pores on the t-zone tend to be larger than those on other areas of the face. What do large pores look like? While small pores can be difficult to see with the naked eye, enlarged pores look like noticeable dots or depressions in the skin’s surface.
WHAT CAUSES LARGE PORES?
Appreciating the factors that cause enlarged pores is key to understanding how to manage this common skin concern. There are several different root causes that can result in visibly enlarged pores.
Perhaps the most well-known cause of large pores is blocked pores. Oily or combination skin types are most prone to blocked pores because pores often become blocked with sebum. Dirt, pollution and other impurities can also combine to form plugs within pores. The pore walls expand to accommodate the blockage, resulting in larger, more visible pores.
The other causes of blocked pores are linked to decreased firmness and elasticity in the skin. Excessive UV exposure and the body’s natural ageing process both lead to decreased collagen and elastin production within the skin, meaning both these factors can cause enlarged pores over time. This is because pores are usually held tight by the surrounding skin. When the skin around each pore is less firm, the walls can expand slightly due to a lack of support.
WHAT CAN LARGE PORES LEAD TO?
When enlarged pores are caused by blockages consisting of excess sebum, this can be a precursor to blackheads, whiteheads or acne-prone skin. Blemishes occur when clogged pores become inflamed or infected by bacteria that feeds on sebum, which is why these two skin concerns are inherently linked.
HOW TO MINIMISE YOUR PORES
When it comes to how to shrink pores, it’s important to remember that it’s impossible to reduce pores beyond their natural minimum size. However, it’s definitely possible to minimise enlarged pores by targeting the causes of large, clogged pores.
Follow the below targeted appropriate skincare recommendations to minimise your pores and maximise your healthy-looking complexion.
TRY A MICRO-PEELING CLEANSER
Begin your pore minimising skincare routine by swapping your regular face cleanser for a micro-peeling cleanser formulated with exfoliating acids like our Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Cleanser. Acids such as LHAs and BHAs can help remove dead skin cells and excess oils before they have a chance to cause enlarged pores. For pores that are already blocked, potent acids like salicylic acid can also reach within the pores to dissolve debris.
USE A RETINOL SERUM OR CREAM
Face serums containing retinol are an effective next step in how to prevent large pores. Retinol products like our Retinol B3 Serum and Redermic Retinol Anti-Ageing Gel Treatment are known to help stimulate collagen production for firmer skin. They’re also great for regulating sebum production and speeding up skin cell turnover, both of which help minimise the causes of enlarged pores.
SMOOTH ON A PURIFYING FACE MASK
In terms of how to minimise large pores when your skin is prone to excess sebum, we recommend utilising the purifying powers of kaolin clays. Face masks enriched with naturally absorbent clays can remove excess oil to help minimise enlarged pores. Smooth on our Effaclar Anti-Acne Purifying Mask for five minutes for a mattified, refined complexion.
CHOOSE A MOISTURISER WITH LHAS OR BHAS
Oily skin needs moisture too, but it’s important to choose a face moisturiser designed for skin with enlarged pores to avoid exacerbating the concern with heavy formulas. For example, our Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Acne Moisturiser has a lightweight non-comedogenic formula including lipohydroxy acid and salicylic acid, to help simultaneously minimise enlarged pores and moisturise.
APPLY SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY
Considering the fact that sun damage can lead to visibly enlarged pores, the final step in your pore minimising skincare routine should be applying a broad-spectrum facial sunscreen every single day. Look for a light mattifying formula like our Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+. This sunscreen is designed for oily, acne-prone skin, meaning the non-comedogenic formula won’t contribute to large pores.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.
Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.