How to Shrink Pores for Flawless Skin

How to Shrink Pores for Flawless Skin

Achieving seemingly flawless, beautiful skin requires some serious dedication.

Knowing the factors that impact your skin, both positively and negatively, is vital for putting together a skin care routine that supports, embraces and improves your appearance. 

Pore size is one component that can influence how even and smooth your skin appears. Enlarged pores can make your skin look dull and uneven and leave you more prone to blemishes.

What are pores?

Although there are pores all over the body, the pores on your face garner the most attention. After all, your face is the first thing most people see when they look at you. 

Pores are tiny openings at the top of hair follicles and sweat glands. Their main job is to channel oil and sweat to the skin’s surface. While that may not sound like a good thing, this is an important part of both your skin’s natural temperature regulation and hydration mechanisms. 

What causes enlarged pores?

Pore size varies from person-to-person, and skin color can also play a role in how large pores may appear. Unfortunately, there are also some outside factors that can exacerbate the appearance of pores. 

Here are three primary causes of enlarged pores:

  • High sebum production. The more natural oil (or sebum) your skin produces, the bigger your pores need to be to allow it to pass through the skin.
  • Decreased skin elasticity. If the skin around your pores is lax, they can appear more open and more prominent in size. 
  • Increased hair follicle volume. If your hair follicles themselves are large, the pores must be equally large.

Enlarged pores can also increase the risk of developing blemishes. The larger your pores, the more dead skin cells and sebum can build up inside them. Clogged pores are one of the most likely culprits for breakouts, especially in people with more acne-prone skin. Plus, certain types of blemishes, like blackheads, can make pores appear larger than they actually are.

While you can’t always directly impact the causes of enlarged pores, you can work with them to promote healthy skin. 

So can you shrink your pores?

Unfortunately, your pore size depends largely on your genetics. There’s not much you can do to change the actual size of your pores. However, there are a few things you can do to minimize their appearance and keep them clean.

Cleanse your skin twice a day.

One of the most common mistakes people tend to make with their facial routine is not taking the time to thoroughly cleanse their skin twice a day. While you should always consider your skin’s unique needs, your skin care routine should generally start with a cleanser.

Why is it so important to wash your face? Cleansing your skin using warm water and a gentle cleanser is important for a few reasons.

Cleansing can help: 

  • Remove the buildup of dead skin cells
  • Remove makeup to create a clean slate for skin care products
  • Keep pores clear of sebum

Putting skin care products on top of skin that hasn’t been cleansed may work, but it won’t be as efficient as putting them on fresh, clean skin. If you use a toner, you’ll want to apply that after cleansing and before any serums.

Exfoliate regularly.

Exfoliating is another crucial step in learning how to shrink the appearance of your pores. Even the most thorough skin cleansing can still leave debris behind, especially deep inside the pores. You can use an over-the-counter exfoliant at home or book an in-office skin care treatment with one of our advanced practice providers. (Chemical peels are an excellent example!) 

Exfoliants help to break down the bonds between dead skin cells so that they can be more easily removed from the skin’s surface and can also help unclog pores. There are a few different types of exfoliating ingredients you can include in your skin care routine. 

These include:

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (such as lactic acid or glycolic acid)
  • Beta hydroxy acids(such as salicylic acid)
  • Retinoids (such as retinol)

You can find these exfoliating ingredients in Skin Pharm’s Clay Time polishing charcoal mask, Crystal Clear clarifying pads and Night Watch gentle retinol drops, too.

Another upside to using these exfoliating ingredients is that they can also encourage blood flow, which can then go on to help deliver oxygen and other nutrients to the skin.

You can always try Botox!

Many people aren’t aware that Botox can also help shrink pores. Micro-Botox, or “baby Botox,” involves using a smaller or more diluted amount of onabotulinumtoxin A to help improve the skin’s texture and decrease the appearance of pores.

Botox can also help to regulate the production of sebum, which may help shrink the appearance of pores while also decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Plus, by using a lower amount of Botox, you can still retain motion in your facial muscles and keep a more natural look. 

If you’ve been interested in pursuing Botox but have been worried about the results, baby Botox allows you to dip your toes in with less commitment. If you don’t like it, the effects typically wear off on their own in just a few months. 

Keep your skin moisturized and safe from sun damage.

Many people wrongly assume that oily skin with larger pores doesn’t need moisturizer. However, skipping this crucial skin care step can worsen the appearance of pores and trigger the skin to produce excess oil as it attempts to keep itself hydrated. 

Dried-out skin tends to be more sensitive and can also be more prone to developing visible signs of aging. Hydrating your skin appropriately by taking your skin type into account can help avoid potential issues and helps keep your moisture barrier intact. If you have oily skin, try looking for an oil-free moisturizing gel or lotion.

In addition to moisturizer, you’ll also want to make sure to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or above every morning. Over time, sun damage can lead to the appearance of dark spots, make your skin appear duller and even interfere with your skin’s natural collagen production.

The bottom line...

Putting together an effective skin care routine is a first step for anyone interested in minimizing the appearance of large pores and maintaining healthy, glowing skin. Although many factors that contribute to large pores are set in stone, a simple skin care routine that includes regular cleansing and exfoliating can help improve their appearance.

Complementing that routine with other skin care treatments, like Botox, creates a well-rounded approach that can help keep your skin looking, feeling and acting its best for years to come.


Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options | PMC

Microbotox for the treatment of wide facial pores: A promising therapeutic approach | PMC

Sunscreen FAQs | AAD


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