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The pores are tiny openings on the skin, they’re skin’s excretory glands, that help absorb topically applied products and excrete sweat and oil (sebum) as well. As much as the pores play these important roles for the skin, they can actually appear bigger than they are, leading to large pores which in turn makes the skin appear unsmooth and tired. And if that’s the problem you’re facing, do know you’ve come to the right place.
In this content, we shall disclose to you how to get rid of large pores to maintain a smoother, healthier and firm skin. But before we hit the accelerator pump, it’s interesting to know what really causes large pores.
What Causes Large Pores?
The skin pores at its natural state, appears normal. But when it appears large or very much visible to the eyes, then it simply means that dirt, oil and other impurities are caught up in between the pores which makes the pores look stretched and larger than their usual size.
The main culprit behind this is overproduction of sebum (oil). That’s why people with oily skin tend to experience large pores more, because when the skin overproduces sebum, it makes the pores appear larger due to the presence of oil, in accomplice with dirt and toxins trapped in-between the pores.
On the other hand, skin aging can also instigate large pores. As we age the skin becomes less elastic, making them appear larger.
The sun is another culprit that can trigger large pores. Prolonged sun exposure can deplete collagen, elastin and water from your skin, which causes the tissue beneath your skin to shrink, thereby making the skin sag which in turn causes the pores to appear conspicuous. “The sun is the devil“, we aren’t kidding anytime we mention that. Sunscreen plays a vital role in every skincare routine to protect skin from UV rays of the sun, so as to prevent skin premature aging.
Another factor that can induce enlarged pores is inadequacy in taking proper care for the skin. Especially those who don’t have a solid skincare routine. Factors like Inadequate cleansing and use of pore clogging (comedogenic) skin care products.
As much as it’s possible to reduce large pores, you can’t actually get rid of them for good. For pet’s sake, your pores are your skin’s absorbing and excretory glands, therefore, they’re there to stay, we’re stuck with them forever, we can only minimize the looks of enlarged pores to normalize their appearance for a smoother skin, but can never shrink them to the point of invisibility. Disregard any information telling you otherwise, it’s misleading.
Having said that, if you’re seeking to reduce large pores, for a smoother skin appearance, then we got you covered. Kindly go through the guide below to arm yourself with the right information on how to minimize large pores.
1. Cleanse Your Face Twice Daily.
In accordance with a standard skincare routine, the skin deserves to be cleansed twice daily. Once in the morning and again at night time before retiring to bed. Remember, clogged pores and oiliness makes the pores look enlarged, therefore cleansing twice daily helps unclog the pores by dislodging dirt, dead skin cells and oil stuck in the pores. Thereby setting the pores free to breath a relief which in turn makes them appear less visible.
Find a good non-comedogenic facial cleanser with pores exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid which cuts through oil and penetrate deep into the pores to decongest it of dirt, dead skin cells, oils and other pore-clogging impurities. Recommended, ZapZyt Acne Wash Cleanser. Contains 2% salicylic acid to exfoliate and decongest pores and tackle acne. Also contains aloe vera and chamomile to help soothe the skin and reduce redness to avoid dryness and irritation.
2. Use Retinoids.
Retinol can be found over-the-counter while tretinoin on the other hand is a more powerful version of retinoids and can only be issued on prescription by a dermatologist. Retinoids (retinol or tretinoin) helps stimulate collagen production (the skin component that keeps our skin from sagging), which in turn makes the skin appear fuller, firm and plump, which drastically reduces large pores and other skin aging signs like wrinkles and fine lines. See our list of best retinol serums.
Retinoids (tretinoin more especially) also helps treat acne, which is another skin ailment that makes pores appear larger and make skin appear unpolished. You can also read our best tretinoin skincare routine.
3. Use Niacinamide.
Niacinamide is a type of vitamin B3 and a water-soluble vitamin. It is a multifunctional skincare ingredient. Why do we say so? It’s simply because it doesn’t just offer a single benefit to the skin, but multiple, ranging from reducing redness, controlling excessive oil production, minimizing large pores, help treat acne, improving skin barrier function and overall skin tone which is very beneficial for all skin types but mostly for individuals with oily skin.
Remember, large pores are mostly caused by excess oil production, and incorporating niacinamide into your skincare routine will help regulate skin sebum or oil production, which in turn relieves the pores of overwhelming excessive oil production which makes them look smaller, therefore making skin appearance appear smoother. You can read our best niacinamide serums.
The term “exfoliate“, means the removal of dead skin cells sitting on the top layer of the skin for healthier and brighter skin underneath to surface.
When you properly exfoliate your skin, you tend to slough off dead skin cells, sitting on the skin, and trapped in the pores, which in turn relieves the pores of pore-clogging impurities, making the skin pores less noticeable, hence skin looking more smoother and healthier.
Ensure to opt for safe and non-harsh exfoliating technique as harsh exfoliation or over-exfoliation can trigger inflammatory-irritation, thereby worsening the looks of your pores. We best recommend using alpha hydroxy acids as a means of exfoliation. These chemicals exfoliate gently, by sloughing off dead skin cells, leaving the skin appearing smoother and brighter.
If you have sensitive skin, we recommend mild alpha hydroxy acids for sensitive skin like lactic acid (read best lactic acid serums) and mandelic acid (read my review on The Ordinary Mandelic Acid Serum). If you have oily skin, we recommend salicylic acid cleanser at a minimum of 1 to 2%, ZapZyt Acne Wash Facial Cleanser is recommended. If you prefer a salicylic acid liquid solution instead of a cleanser, you can use Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant — a liquid solution often used as a toner, contains 2% salicylic acid to decongest skin pores of congestion. Also loaded with skin hydrating humectants (methylpropanediol and butylene glycol) and skin soothing ingredient (green tea leaf extract) to prevent dryness and soothe skin to avoid inflammatory-irritation, while salicylic acid does it’s magic. .
If you have normal, dry or combination skin which aren’t on the sensitive skin side, we recommend glycolic acid. Read the best glycolic acid cleansers. If you prefer serums instead, then these are the best glycolic acid serums you can choose from.
You can as well try chemical exfoliating peels.
Chemical peels are yet another best approach to take if you’re looking to exfoliate your skin and minimize the looks of large pores. These peels are infused with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to hit the skin directly, but gently not only to exfoliate the skin (by removing the dead skin cells sitting on skin surface) and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores (by decongesting the pores of pore-clogging impurities), but also address issues of wrinkles and fine lines and improve overall skin texture and complexion.
By chemical peels, we don’t just mean any chemical peels, but strictly referring to at-home chemical peels which can be used at home and are mild on the skin. See the best at-home chemical peels to choose from.
Therefore, to avoid this incident from occurring, dermatologists best recommend pregnant women to opt for physical sunscreen which sits on the skin surface when applied to deflect sun rays. See the best physical sunscreen on the market.
Regardless, chemical sunscreens are 100% safe if you’re not pregnant, but when pregnant, dermatologists advise to opt for physical sunscreens for the health-sake of the mother and the baby. For more information on this, read our best pregnancy-safe skincare routine.
5. Treat Skin Aging.
Therefore to curtail the possible occurrence of skin aging signs such as enlarged pores, saggy skin, wrinkles and fine lines, we need to incorporate these anti-aging ingredients and creating a basic skincare routine is all you need.
Vitamin C serum in the morning, which stimulates collagen production, offers antioxidant benefits and brightens the skin. Retinoids (either retinol or tretinoin) at night, which also helps stimulate collagen production, increasing cell turnover and regeneration which goes a long way to curb enlarged pores, saggy skin, wrinkles and fine lines for a more youthful skin. You can read the best anti-aging skincare routine using The Ordinary products.
6. Always Remove Makeup At Night.
So many individuals are guilty of this – sleeping with their makeup on. If you’re guilty of this, then your skin pores are crying for help and you’re to blame you for that.
Sleeping in makeup overnight can cause the pores to become blocked due to a buildup of makeup, oil, and bacteria, which can instigate large pores and possibly acne breakouts.
When you get home from work, and you wore makeup, first thing first, take off your makeup using a makeup remover or makeup remover wipes. If you wore waterproof makeup, then take it off using a waterproof makeup remover. Taking off your makeup relieves your pores of clogs, dirt and oil (attached to the makeup) alongside removal of your sunscreen residue too.
7. Last But Not Least – Use Only Non-Comedogenic Skin Care Products And Makeup.
Comedogenic (pore-clogging) skincare products and makeup not only make the pores appear larger, but also triggers acne breakouts due to clogged pores. And how’s that?. When you apply potential pore-clogging skincare topicals or makeup to your skin, the comedogenic ingredients in these products get trapped in between the pores, thereby overstretching the pores, making them look bigger than usual, which gives the impression of enlarged pores. Also when the pores are clogged, it can result in blackheads, whiteheads, and acne breakouts. This is as a result of the skin reacting to foreign bodies stuck in the pores. You wouldn’t want that right?
Therefore you need to avoid getting your pores clogged. And to do that, look for one of the following terms on everything you apply to your face:
- Oil free.
- Won’t clog pores.
If you don’t see one of these terms, don’t use the product. You can read how to get rid of clogged pores.
Large pores can make your skin appear unsmooth, tired and aged, therefore incorporating pores minimizing skincare products into your skincare routine is the way to go to reduce the looks of large pores, thereby enhancing skin texture for a smoother and youthful skin.
Possible Questions & Answers.
Q: Do pores open and close as they say?
A: The skin pores are stagnant, they don’t have muscles of their own to enable them to open or contract, they only get enlarged when oil (sebum), dirt, and other pore-clogging impurities are trapped in between them, thereby making them appear larger than usual. Therefore disregard any information saying otherwise, it’s just a myth.
Q: Can I use niacinamide and retinol together to minimize the looks of large pores?
A: Niacinamide and retinol are regarded as “power couple“, they’re compatible together and twice more effective when combined together than used individually. Therefore can be used together to minimize large pores for a smoother skin.
Niacinamide regulates excess oil production which in turn makes the skin pores appear smaller and also enhances skin barrier function by stimulating the skin’s natural production of beneficial fatty acids and ceramides which makes the skin receptive to retinol. While retinol stimulates collagen production and instigate cell turnover and regeneration which in turn profusely minimize enlarged pores, and also skin aging signs.
Infact, I personally put niacinamide and retinol together to the test for three (3) weeks, and result was wonderful. Read my experimental review here.