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How to Shrink Pores: 10 Proven Tips

Believe it or not, the gradual enlargement of your skin pores may be attributed to a number of different things. Read on to learn what creates large pores on the face and how to reduce pore size. 

With the exception of your feet and the palms of your hands, there are tiny hair follicles on your skin covering your entire body. A small pore is present at the upper end of every single hair follicle, the size of which is affected by multiple factors. The three major causes of skin pore enlargement include:

  • Excessive secretion of sebum: Your follicles’ sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum. When this production goes into overdrive, it results in the development of large pores.
  • Reduced skin elasticity: If the elasticity and suppleness of skin is compromised due to aging or chronic sun exposure, it also changes the appearance of your skin pores.
  • Increased volume of hair follicle: This occurs whenever your skin pores become heavily clogged from the accumulation of sebum.

Additionally, active sex hormones, recurring acne, and the wrong skincare routine could further alter the size of your skin pores.

What’s a safe, affordable, and effective way to tackle enlarged skin pores? There’s no one right answer. Since a wide array of factors contribute to the creation of large pores, there’s a wide array of appropriate treatment options for minimizing pores. 

As a general rule, you’ll want to keep your pores clean and clog-free and your skin healthy and supple. Though not clinically proven, the following practices may help reduce pore size:

If you have large pores and oily skin, opt for water-based skincare and cosmetics to avoid introducing extra oil into your pores. Look for labels that say “non-comedogenic,” “oil-free,” or “won’t clog pores,” as these will be your safest bet. 

Use a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water both when you wake up and before bedtime to remove dirt and excess oil from your skin pores. 

Ready for another piece of good advice on how to shrink pores? If you have oily skin, select a gel-based face cleanser as opposed to creams and lotions. They’re great at clearing excess sebum from your skin pores and minimizing their appearance.

Acne makes clogged pores highly visible. Use salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or other OTC remedies to battle breakouts. If self-treatment doesn’t work, consult your dermatologist. 

Individuals with oily skin should exfoliate one to two times a week to scrub away dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells. Use exfoliating products that contain salicylic acid to unclog your skin pores and prevent future blockage.

Still searching for creative tips on how to minimize pores? Although it seems counterintuitive, it’s important to moisturize oily skin because having dry skin can lead to an overproduction of sebum. 

Although it seems counterintuitive, it’s important to moisturize oily skin.

Once you’ve washed your face, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer to soften and hydrate. This will allow the sebum to penetrate the deeper layers of your skin, rather than sitting on the surface and clogging your skin pores. This can also help to shrink large pores on the face.

Try using a clay mask once or twice a week to eliminate extra oil and prevent the enlargement of skin pores. Just remember not to apply a mask on the same day that you’re exfoliating. Overtreating your skin can lead to irritation and actually enlarge, rather than reduce, pore size.

If you often fall asleep with your cosmetics on, your skin pores will accumulate a great deal of oil and bacteria, so it’s very important to wash your face before you go to bed.

Sun-damaged skin often becomes very dry, which can make skin pores appear larger than usual. Protect yourself from the sun’s damaging rays to keep your skin soft and supple, while also reducing pore size. Be sure to:

  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 30) when you go outside.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat if you’re in the sun.
  • Stay in the shade on particularly bright days.

Here are a few alternative methods for curbing sebum production, shrinking follicle size, rejuvenating skin, and minimizing the appearance of your skin pores.

Topical therapies: These include retinoids, derived from vitamin A, which reduce pore size, minimize wrinkles, and reverse hyperpigmentation. Tazarotene and tretinoin are especially effective when targeting large pores. However, retinoids cannot be used if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

In addition, chemical peels, such as those made with glycolic acid, could be beneficial for your skin pores and overall skin health.

Topical and oral therapies as well as laser, ultrasound, and radiofrequency devices are among other treatments helping in shrinking pores.

Oral therapies: Since your sebaceous glands contain androgen receptors, antiandrogen drugs like spironolactone, cyproterone acetate, and combined oral contraceptives can be quite effective at treating certain skin conditions. They tackle large pores by regulating sebum production.

Laser, ultrasound, and radiofrequency devices: Delivering targeted ultrasound or thermal energy, these devices remodel your skin, increasing elasticity, lowering sebum production, and shrinking large pores on the face. Clinical research regarding diode, YAG, and nonablative fractional lasers is currently limited, but they may help improve the appearance of skin pores.

Enlarged skin pores represent an aesthetic challenge for many, and treatment varies according to what’s causing them. The right approach to shrinking large pores depends on the individual. If your attempts to minimize pores remain unsuccessful, consider seeing a dermatologist.






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