How To Minimize Pore Size

Oct. 17, 2020
Your pores are essentially small openings in the skin that excrete oil and sweat, and if these get clogged or the surrounding skin gets damaged, they may appear more prominent. Contrary to popular belief, pores don’t open or close. Nothing will make them physically shrink or grow. But, there are some methods that can reduce the appearance of enlarged pores! 
Here are some typical causes of enlarged pores:
  • Excessive sebum
  • Increased hair follicle volume
  • A decrease in skin elasticity
  • Acne
  • Hormone fluctuations
  • Genetics
  • Chronic sun damage
  • Compromised skin (over-exfoliation, intense dryness, irritation, eczema, etc)
Try the Skin Gritting Method
A user called Fiftyshadesofsnail introduced to the world a unique method of reducing pore size. Here are the basics:
  • Apply a BHA and leave on for 20-25 minutes
  • Without rinsing off the BHA, apply a clay mask, and leave it on for the directed amount of time.
  • Rinse the clay mask off with tepid water
  • Apply a cleansing oil or carrier oil (Jojoba oil is what I use!) and leave on for 15 minutes.
  • Massage the oil into your skin for about 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the oil off and follow up with the rest of your routine
This can be done 1-2x per week. By removing the “grits” (the small textures that may come out during the massage), your pores will appear smaller because you’re freeing them of excess oil and buildup! I highly recommend reading the detailed post on her website here:
Chemical Peels
The higher concentrations of active ingredients found in chemical peels can propel your results. Whether you visit a professional for a peel or opt for an at-home peeling solution, you can expect more dramatic results in pore size reduction. A professional will be able to recommend the correct frequency for your skin. At home, you must listen to your skin and take care not to over-use. Having healthy skin is the best way to keep pore size at bay, so you don’t want to damage or over-exfoliate your skin and cause more issues. 
Laser Resurfacing
Only a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist should perform laser resurfacing on you. Laser resurfacing is another treatment aiming to increase collagen in the skin. It can benefit discoloration, aging, and of course, pore size! This treatment can take up to 2 hours and will require diligent aftercare practices. Visit a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to discuss if you’re a good candidate for laser resurfacing to treat pore size.
Microneedling is typical done to promote collagen production, reduce fine lines, and improve discoloration, but it can also be very beneficial for minimizing the appearance of pore size! By upping the collagen your skin is producing, your skin will become firmer and your pores will be in healthier shape, allowing them to function properly and remain at a normal size. You can read all about microneedling here:
Vitamin A (retinoids)
Retin-A has been the one product that REALLY reduced the appearance of my pores. I've dealt with acne and oily skin, and Retin-A has helped reduce both dramatically. It’s proven to increase collagen and elastin in the skin, giving you a firmer, more youthful appearance. Doctor prescribed tretinoin is the best option, but a great first step is over-the-counter Differin. Not only will it reduce your pore size, but it will also help with acne, hyperpigmentation & other discolorations, fine lines and wrinkles, and excess oil. EVERYONE could use a healthy dose of vitamin A!
This water-soluble vitamin can strengthen your skin’s barrier, brighten skin tone, tighten skin, and minimize the appearance of large pores. Incorporating a niacinamide-heavy product into your routine may be all you need to tighten your skin and reduce prominent pores. This one from Paula's choice has a great ingredient list and includes a whopping 20% of niacinamide!
BHA’s & AHA’s
Salicylic acid or other beta hydroxy acids are very effective at diving deep within your skin and clearing out any clogs. If your pores are appearing larger because of excess oil, dead skin build-up, or dirt and debris, an AHA/BHA will be very beneficial for you. Salicylic acid in particular is phenomenal at penetrating through oil within the pore, making it a perfect option for reducing the overproduction of oil and, in turn, reducing pore size.
Deep Clean Your Skin
As I mentioned before, clogged pores will appear larger than unclogged pores. Once or twice a week, opt for your deeper exfoliating treatments. Preventing dead skin buildup will prevent your pores from having a chance to clog. Be consistent in your exfoliating routine, because skipping a week of exfoliation can show up in your skin very fast!
Stick to a non-comedogenic routine and be gentle on your skin. Don’t pick or pop, as engaging in these behaviors will likely damage the skin underneath the pimple AND the surrounding skin. This alone can make your pores appear much more prominent. Trust in your acne treatments and stop yourself from popping pimples at home!
If you're dealing with noticeable pores, something you're using may be too heavy for your skin. Try switching to lighter formulations, like gels or lotions instead of creams.
Prevent sun damage
A broad-spectrum SPF is vital in maintaining your natural collagen and elastin. While we naturally lose these things as we age, sunscreen will prevent rapid aging. Keeping your collagen and elastin levels high will prevent your pores from enlarging unnaturally. This is a given, and all of us should be using an SPF daily, regardless of our skin concerns.
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