How the heck do you make my large pores smaller?!
It’s like they have a life of their own. No matter what you do, they keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s like they’re under a magnifying glass all day.
The most frustrating part? Pore size is genetically determined. If you were born with large pores, hard luck. You’re stuck with them.
But wait, that doesn’t mean there’s no hope. You see, sometimes pores grow too large because they’re clogged. The excess sebum + dead cells stuck inside them make them swell, so they look larger than they’re supposed to.
Now, that’s something you can treat. Here are the best treatments to reduce large pores and bring them back to their original size:You can't shrink your pores. Their size is genetically determined. But, you can make them look smaller.
1. Exfoliate To Unclog Large Pores
If pores swell up when they’re clogged, it follows that removing all that crap comfortably lodged inside them will bring them back to their original size.
This is a job for salicylic acid.
Don’t fall for the marketing hype. No other exfoliant – no glycolic acid, or the Clarisonic, or scrubs with charcoal – unclog pores. I can’t stress it enough – you need salicylic acid for this.
Bonus points: this helps you avoid breakouts and blackheads, too.
- Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboois Glycolic Night Serum: salicylic acid + glycolic acid. Available at Sephora.
- Paula’s Choice Resist BHA 9 For Stubborn Imperfections: salicylic acid + soothing agents. Available at Skinstore.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% Bha Liquid ($29.00): salicylic acid + green tea. Available at Nordstrom and Feel Unique.
- The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution ($5.30): salicylic acid. Available at Asos, Cult Beauty and Sephora.
2. Use Retinoids To Tighten Large Pores
IMO, you should use retinoids. Period. These babies are anti-aging superstars that slow down the aging process.
If you’ve got large pores, they go the extra mile. Here are their skincare superpowers:
- Retinoids accelerate cellular turnover (the skin’s natural exfoliating process), making skin look younger and smoother.
- Retinoids reduce pore size, together with wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and roughness.
- Retinoids 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.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum With Retinol ($34.00): 0.03% retinol. Available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice.
- La Roche Posay Redermic Anti-Aging Dermatological Treatment ($56.99): 0.1% retinol. Available at Dermstore, Feel Unique and Ulta.
- The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion (£8.00): 1% microencapsulated retinol. Available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty and Sephora.
Shop Retinol Products
3. Try IPL To Reduce Large Pores
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.
The catch? 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 after a month, do you?
The Bottom Line
You can’t modify pore size. But if your large pores are clogged, you CAN bring them back to their original, smaller size.
How do you make your large pores look smaller? Share your tips in the comments below.
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