I can hardly see my pores on my dry cheeks. But, on my oily t-zone? They’re huge. Huge, I tell you. It’s like they’re under a magnifying glass all day.
I desperately want to shrink them, but it ain’t that easy. Pore size is genetically determined, so if you are born with large pores, you’re stuck with them.
But, sometimes, pores aren’t meant to be large. They just become gigantic because they’re clogged up with excess oil, dead cells… you know, all that crappy stuff that causes breakouts.
And we can so do something about that. We can make pores go back to their original, normal size, which is much smaller. So, how do we do that and shrink those clogged, large pores?
You can't shrink your pores. Their size is genetically determined. But, you can make them look smaller. Click To Tweet
As I mentioned, pores swell up when they’re clogged up. So, to make them go back to their normal size, we need to remove all the crap that’s comfortably lodged inside them (preferably before it causes a breakout). Nothing does this better than exfoliation.
But, not all exfoliants will do. Nope. Salicylic acid is the one you want to do the job here. Salicylic acid works so well because, unlike all other exfoliating ingredients, it can actually get inside the pores, exfoliating them from within.
Once you see how it shrinks your pores back to their original size, and keeps your skin free from blemishes, you’ll never want to exfoliate with anything else again.
(By the way, moisturizers and toners with salicylic acid work just as well).
2. Use Retinoids
Frankly, you should use retinoids (all forms of vitamin A, like retinol), even if you don’t have large pores. They’re amazing. They do so much for the skin:
- They accelerate cellular turnover, helping skin renew itself, and replace old and damaged cells with new and healthy ones, so that it looks younger and smoother.
- They can reduce pore size, together with wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and roughness.
- They stimulate the production of collagen, which tightens skin. And when skin is tight, pores look smaller.
A word of warning. Retinoids can be irritating when you first start using them. They’re so powerful, skin needs time to get used to them. To avoid any problems, start with low concentrations two or three times a week, and increase both dose and frequency gradually.
If money isn’t a problem for you and you can happily splurge on more expensive treatments (three sessions cost a whooping $1800!), you can try Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments.
IPL works by emitting high intensity pulses of light, which is then converted into heat energy. It can treat sun-damaged skin, scars, age spots and melasma, refine the skin’s texture, kill P. Acnes (the bacteria that causes acne), shrink oil glands, and reduce the appearance of pores, too. Phew! Is there something it can’t do?
Need more proof? According to a 2001 study, over 90% of 49 subjects who underwent four or more IPL treatments at 3-week intervals experienced a visible improvement in wrinkling, skin coarseness, irregular pigmentation, and pore size. With minimal downtime. And, no scarring.
There’s a problem, though. We don’t know yet how long the effects last. So, talk to your dermatologist to see if this is a good option for you. You don’t want to spend that kind of money, and see your pores become huge again shortly afterwards, do you?
The Bottom Line
We may not be able to permanently shrink pores, but with the right products and treatments, we can make them look smaller. And the smaller they appear, the better skin looks!
How do you make your large pores look smaller?