Enlarged pores can often occur at the level of the nose, chin, and cheeks. An excess of sebum, as well as premature aging of the skin, are the factors that can trigger this skin imperfection. And it can be rather unpleasant to be dealing with large pores, especially considering the fact that we don’t have a general treatment that delivers results in all cases.
So, what can you do if you have large pores? Well, mostly, it is all about prevention and trying to minimize their aspect. Let’s have a look at what are the causes of enlarged pores and what can be done to get rid of larger pores.
How do you know you have enlarged pores?
We can easily diagnose pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and acne cysts, but how about large pores? Well, you know your pores are larger than normal when you are dealing with:
1. Excess sebum
Enlarged pores are often associated with oily or combination skin. This means that the sebaceous glands are producing an excess of sebum. As a result, your skin feels oily to the touch and can have an unhealthy glow.
Keep in mind that the skin can feel just the same if you are sweating after working out or running, but this doesn’t mean you have oily skin. When it comes to oily skin, you can feel the excess of sebum the moment you wake up in the morning. You eliminate it during the morning beauty routine, but as the hours pass by, the skin gets oily again.
2. Orange peel aspect of the skin
The orange peel aspect of the skin is usually associated with cellulite and easy to notice. However, a similar type of skin aspect can be noticed at the level of the face – especially around the cheek area. If this is the case, the chances are that you also have large pores.
The blackheads are nothing more than open clogged pores. This means that dead skin cells, as well as other impurities accumulated at the level of the skin and clogged the pore. As a result, the blackhead occurred. If you are struggling with blackheads, you might want to start looking into treatments to minimize pores.
4. Acne-prone skin
People with large pores are more at risk of developing acne with all the associated symptoms – whiteheads, cysts, etc.
What causes enlarged pores?
The surface of our skin has hair follicles all over it. The hair follicles are associated with sebaceous glands. The sweat and sebum (natural skin oil) are released through the pores. However, when dealing with an excess of oil, the pores can become larger and larger, and they can even get clogged.
This is the process in very few words. However, to be able to find a solution to the enlarged pores issue, it is important to know what causes are behind it. So, let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you might be dealing with large pores now:
1. Using the wrong skincare and makeup products
We use skincare products to treat large pores and makeup to minimize their appearance. However, you should know that there are products that you might be using every day, which have the exact opposite effect. One of the most common causes of enlarged pores is an unsuitable beauty routine.
You might be tempted to use alcohol-based products if you are dealing with a shiny face, but these products will actually accentuate the enlarged pores look as they make the glands produce more oil. Or maybe you exfoliate too often, triggering a similar effect.
At the same time, there are products that are highly comedogenic (they clog pores). Usually, these products contain mineral oils, paraffin, and other ingredients that can clog pores.
2. Hormonal changes
There is no doubt about it; hormonal changes affect not only our health in general but also the aspect of our skin in particular. This is the reason why teenagers can be dealing with enlarged pores, as well as women during pregnancy or menopause.
3. Skin type
We have already discussed that enlarged pores are associated with oily or combination skin. In other words, people with oily skin are more prone to developing enlarged pores. The explanation is simple – large pores occur as a result of the overproduction of the oil glands of the skin.
People with combination skin can develop enlarged pores in the T-zone area.
4. Too much makeup
Nowadays, we are trying to achieve a natural look using a ton of makeup products – primer, concealer, foundation, highlighter, bronzer, powder, and a few others. But using too much makeup (especially products with comedogenic ingredients) can result in clogged pores.
This is the reason why it is recommended to use a light daily makeup that is good for your skin.
5. Exposure to high temperatures
If you use the sauna often, you might notice that your pores are getting larger with time. At the same time, spending too much time outside in the heat of the summer can have the same negative effects.
6. Excessive sun exposure
You already know that excessive sun exposure is bad for your skin. But did you know that it could also cause your pores to become larger? This is the reason why you should avoid it as much as possible, especially during the hotter months of the year. More than this, always wear an SPF cream when you go outside.
Now that we had a look at what could cause enlarged pores, it’s about time we discuss what can be done to prevent them.
How to prevent enlarged pores?
The pores can contract and dilate under the influence of certain stimuli. To prevent enlarged pores at the level of the face, you need to use methods and skincare products that are non-comedogenic and won’t trigger an overproduction of oil. Let’s see what you could do in detail:
1. Hydrate the skin
This is like the first line of the Skin Care Bible, we know! However, when it comes to healthy skin, hydration is essential. To ensure that your skin gets the proper level of hydration, you should make sure you drink plenty of water every day (especially when it’s hot outside).
At the same time, using skincare products with deeply hydrating properties is crucial to prevent a large size of your pores. You can try skincare products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to refine pore size.
2. Commit to a twice-a-day beauty routine
To get rid of the excess of oil and to reduce pore size, you have to eliminate the dead skin cells from your face, as well as other impurities regularly. This means that you need to commit to a daily routine of cleansing the face twice a day – in the mornings and in the evenings.
You can try a cleanser with salicylic acid or toner with glycolic acid. Salicylic acid is one of the most popular ingredients used in acne-prone skin care. More than this, salicylic acid has a gentle exfoliating action on the face, just like glycolic acid. As a result, the pores look better, and you can get rid of other skin imperfections too!
Aside from a gentle cleanser, your oily skin will also need moisturizing. On dehydrated skin, pores appear even larger, if you thought this is even possible. So, make sure you moisturize twice a day using a non-oily moisturizer to make pores look less visible.
Active ingredients such as retinol and its derivates, as well as niacinamide can make all the difference when it comes to skin prone to excess oil and enlarged pores.
Also, make sure to rinse your face with plenty of warm water in the morning, before starting with your skin care routine. It will make you feel refreshed and naturally eliminate some of the excess oil from the level of the skin.
3. Exfoliate the skin regularly
We have already discussed the negative effects of harsh exfoliation and how it could actually damage the skin. But does this mean that you should never exfoliate or get a scrub again? Actually, no, quite the opposite.
If your pores appear larger than life, then you definitely need to introduce exfoliation to your weekly routine. The important thing here is to do this wisely. This means that you need to find a gentle scrub that is suitable for your skin with large pores and an excess of oil.
You can try mechanic or chemical exfoliation, depending on your preferences and how delicate the skin is in the area. Mechanic exfoliation needs to be performed with very small particles to avoid skin damage. Also, make sure to use sunscreen protection after getting a chemical exfoliation.
You can use the scrub once or twice a week, as a part of your skin care routine. Apply a deeply nourishing moisturizer after you are done with the exfoliation process.
4. Try innovative treatments to minimize pores appearance
The development of modern skincare products is impressive, to say in the least. Nowadays, you can find even drug store products that were designed to minimize the appearance of large pores. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all products targeting enlarged pores really work; however, you can try some innovative treatments to see what results you can get.
These treatments are usually performed in clinics and use professional skin care products. LED light therapy can help with this skin condition if acne-prone skin is what caused your pores to get enlarged. A session lasts no longer than a few minutes, and the results are visible after a few sessions.
Microdermabrasion is another cosmetic procedure that can deliver good results in terms of minimizing pore aspect. However, in this case, you need to discuss with the technician what is the recommended type of microdermabrasion for your needs. After the procedure, the skin feels refreshed and rejuvenated with no excess oil.
You already know that chemical exfoliation could be a good idea to refine the size of your pores. However, the type of exfoliation that you can get in a clinic is very different than what you can achieve at home. The exfoliation with alpha and beta-hydroxy acids is recommended and performed in skincare clinics to reduce enlarged pores.
An alternative to these sessions at the clinic would be to use an AHA or BHA facial mask at home a few times per week. However, the results might not be comparable.
Large pores can indeed be a real aesthetic issue. However, with the right type of skin care and with a little bit of patience, you can definitely achieve positive results and reduce the aspect of overly large pores.
It is important to mention that the diet and lifestyle choices you make can also influence the aspect of your skin, just like all the other aspects of your life. For example, smoking can be a negative factor that can make your pores larger and your acne worse.
What you eat every day also has an impact on the production of sebum and the texture and tone of your skin. This is the reason why you should choose a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables, if you want to prevent enlarged pores. Avoid overly processed foods, dairy foods, and fast food to have clear, healthy skin.
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. What can treat large facial pores. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/face/treat-large-pores
- Palmer, A. (2020). Is it possible to shrink large pores. Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/can-i-close-my-large-pores-15486
- Burgess, L. (2020). What are the best ways to get rid of large pores. Healthline Media. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320775
- Cherney, K. (2020). Top 8 ways to get rid of large pores. Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-get-rid-of-large-pores
- Cherney, K. (2020). What causes large nose pores and what can you do. Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/nose-pores