Anyone suffering from large pores knows they can be truly bothersome. In addition to changing how the skin looks, they seem to attract more dirt and oil, making them even more noticeable. Black heads can be a problem for people with larger pores, making them even more prominent. While washing the face often can help to stop the amount of dirt that gets in the pores, it doesn’t prevent it completely. Since dirt sticks to the oil which is naturally found on the skin, anyone with oily skin is more apt to have dirt clog their pores.
Having a fresh, young looking face can seem impossible when you have large pores. There are more than a few ways to shrink large pores, but it’s also important to understand why you may have them to begin with. It isn’t something you caused, there are just factors related to large pores that give rise to a higher incidence of them on some people’s faces. Since everyone’s skin is different, finding the perfect solution for large pores can take a little trial and error when using different products.
Typically, people with oily skin have a more difficult time fighting large pores, but with the right product, they can be made smaller. When you understand the reasons behind having larger pores, it can be easier to find the perfect cure for fighting them for your particular skin type.
Causes of Large Pores
Large pores are typically due to one of four things: skin type, sex, age, and genetics. Sebum is an oily substance which is produced by our bodies and helps to waterproof the skin and help to keep it moist.
Skin Type – People who have oily skin typically have larger pores overall. Since the skin has a higher concentration of oil, it tends to collect dirt easier, resulting in swelling of the skin due to the foreign substances, so the pores appear larger than they really are. Although some people believe that large pores are related to acne, the two are really separate issues, and don’t have anything to do with one another. Swelling in any area makes skin more noticeable, and pores are no different. Finding the right product to make pores smaller, for many, includes finding one that helps to fight oily skin.
Sex – Since the sebum glands of men are more active than that of women’s, they do tend to be larger. This isn’t always the case, but overall men exhibit larger pores than most women do. Some women find that during pregnancy or while taking hormone changing medications (such as birth control pills), they experience larger pores during this time. For most women, the pores will reduce in size after the pregnancy or when they stop taking the medication causing it, but not always. Some women find that once their pores have gotten larger they stay that way.
Age – As people age, their skin starts to lose elasticity. When this happens, the skin begins to droop or stretch, causing the pores to be more visible. In some cases, skin can thicken in certain areas, which causes smaller skin cells to show up around the pores, drawing attention to the area which makes the pores look larger. Sun damage over the years can also lead to pores getting larger, so it is very important for everyone to use sunscreen throughout their lives.
Genetics – One of the most determining factors regarding pore size is genetics. Both large pores and oily skin can be inherited, and there isn’t anything people can do to change this. If one or both parents have large pores, there is a high chance the children will. The same is true with oily skin. These traits are passed down from generation to generation and although there are ways to make the pores smaller, they will always be prominent in some families.
How to Minimize Pores
If you want to know how to minimize pores on your face, there are several things you need to know about. There are many over the counter products that can help and should be tried first. If you try a variety of products and find they don’t help to minimize pores, you can consider more costly, cosmetic procedures. Many people do find over the counter remedies work, although there is no one best pore minimizer for everyone. Some products work better for some people while others have better luck with other brands. We’ve taken the time to research and compile a list of some of the more popular pore reducers, and have listed them below from least expensive to highest priced:
The Bioré company has a large line of facial cleansers aimed at fighting acne, black heads, and large pores. Their Deep Cleansing Pore Strips help to unclog pores and claim to instantly remove up to a weeks’ worth of dirt, oil, and grime. The also have products such as Bioré Pore Detoxifying Foam Cleanser and Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub. The foam cleanser works by cleaning, toning, and stimulating the skin. Toning will help to tighten up the pores and the skin in general, making the pores less noticeable and the skin tighter and more youthful looking.
The Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub works to smooth out the skin and unclog pores by targeting any dirt or oil on it. All of the Bioré products are reasonably priced and can be found in most discount stores, cosmetic shops, and online. The average price for Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips are around $14.00 and are available in many drug stores and online.
The Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser helps to refine the skin to make it clearer and smoother. The formula works by using small microbeads which help to exfoliate the skin, eliminating dead skin cells while penetrating deep down into the pores, reducing their appearance. Using this cleanser daily is recommended. A 6.7 oz. bottle runs about $10. This product is a good choice for those who also suffer from oily skin, as it tends to dry out the skin. It is gentle and leaves the skin feeling clean and grease free.
This company also offers other products geared at reducing the size of pores, such as the Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner, which runs about $8.50 per bottle.
The great thing about Clinique’s skin care products is that they are allergy tested and don’t contain fragrances, making them a great choice for many people. Their Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector gets very good reviews from almost everyone who has tried it. The company states that after using this product pores appear up to 50% smaller, although they don’t state how long the product must be used to see these results. The solution has the ability to resist both sweat and humidity and is offered in two different shades for skin tones and one in Invisible Bright which subtly brightens the skin.
Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector is easy to use. You simply put a small drop on your fingertip and blend it in the skin where you notice larger pores. You can use this product by itself or it can be applied under make up or other skin care products. It is made for all skin types and this product costs $21.00.
This brand is geared towards enlarged pores which have excess oil. They claim the product unclogs and refine pores, while controlling oil production and refining the skin. As with the Bioré line, there offer several products depending on just what you want. Some of the products are more geared towards oily skin while their cleanser helps to refine pores without stripping the skin of essential oils. All of the Dr. Brandt’s products are a bit more costly than Bioré, Neutrogena, and Clinique’s, but they tend to get better reviews. A 1 oz. tube of Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner will cost about $45.
The good news about Dr. Brandt formulas is they don’t use any parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. Although the formula works great for oily and combination skin types, it can be used with dry skin as well. Using it before putting on make up helps to eliminate any make up from getting into the pores, helping to keep them clean.
What if These Products Don’t Help?
While these are all great products and can help to make pores appear smaller, some people’s skin will just not respond. If you have tried all of these products without any success, you may need to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon. Typically, they will start by prescribing a product containing Retin-A, which some people see improvement with. It contains Vitamin A which is known to help skin renew and regenerate itself. Products containing Retin-A are also used to treat wrinkles, acne, and some types of skin discoloration. If the Retin-A doesn’t work, the next thing to try is a cosmetic procedure.
The next step to fighting large pores is by using a chemical peel, which can make pores smaller. Chemical peels work by removing the upper layer of damaged skin on the face. The solutions used makes the skin appear younger and fresher. There are different types of chemical peels, but a licensed dermatologist or other health care professional can determine which type of peel is best for each individual situation. Some chemical peels remove the upper layer of the epidermis, while other types of chemical peels penetrate much deeper, giving better results for hard to reduce pores.
Most chemical peels are a little painful, but pain medication can be taken before and after the procedure to make it more comfortable for the patient. In the short term, the skin looks red and irritated, but when that goes away it leaves fresh, new looking skin in its place. Since the upper layer of skin is no longer there, it is important to make sure to wear sunscreen to prevent burning. Even after the procedure when the skin is no longer irritated it is important to use sunscreen because it will help to prevent large pores from getting worse over the long term.
The efficacy of chemical peels varies between each person. Some people will notice long lasting results while others will need to have them done more often. The size of the pores greatly determines how often a person should get a chemical peel, although the health care providers doing the peels can give a good idea of how often after seeing the skin in person.
Cosmetic procedures for large pores also includes laser resurfacing, with lasers that use fractional carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide ablative. Fractional carbon dioxide is done lightly and can require more than a few sessions for optimal results as it targets different areas of the face each time, with the results being slow but more pronounced over time. Overall, laser resurfacing has greatly improved over the years, with almost no side effects and quicker recovery times.
Large Pores No More
Large pores are one of those cosmetic issues that many people get frustrated with. While cleaning the face often is a great first step, it rarely takes care of the problem. Finding a good skin care product which addresses the issue of large pores can help to not only keep the pores clean, but some can eliminate excess oils and help to reduce their size. Not all products have the same effect on people, so there does need to be some experimenting with which product works best on any given skin type.
If skin care products to help make pores smaller don’t work, a visit to a dermatologist or board certified plastic surgeon may be the next necessary step. With a little time and patience, finding the right cure for your large pores will happen. For some lucky individuals, the first product they try works great, while for other not so lucky people it will take trying several methods before the right answer shows itself.
We invite you to leave a comment and tell us what has worked for you to reduce the size of your pores.