Although there are numerous skin care products that make promises about how they are able to shrink pores, most of them only offer very temporary solutions. In fact, many of these so-called miracle products use ingredients like silicone to fill in pores that only give off the illusion of flawless skin until it’s washed off. Those searching for more long-term solutions are often left disappointed. Well, there is no reason to fret as we’re going to take you through some of the best pore minimizing solutions that are currently available.
WHAT CAUSES LARGE PORES?
There are several factors that could be the reason why you have large pores:
As we age our elasticity weakens and our body stops being able to produce collagen at the rate it was previously able to not only resulting in skin that appears to be more lax but also pores that seem larger.
When pores are clogged with dirt, dead skin or oil they tend to look bigger than they really are. if this situation isn’t taken care of it leads to things like blackheads, whiteheads, breakouts as well as irritated skin in general.
One of the key determinants when it comes to how large your pores are is actually dependent on who your parents are. If large pores seem to run in your family this might be the reason you have them
As research indicates environmental factors like pollution and UV rays result in damaged skin that over the years result in visibly larger pores.
BEST PORE MINIMIZING SKINCARE
Although some factors that cause enlarged pores may be out of your control, there are still some at-home solutions out there that can help improve the situation:
WASH UP WITH A GOOD CLEANSER
A good facial cleanser is probably the simplest option for targeting enlarged pores. By removing dirt, oil and other remnants of the day cleansers minimize the chance of congestion. Best practice when you have enlarged pores include washing your face twice a day and making sure to invest in a non-irritating cleanser without the likes of fragrances and bad alcohols.
Make sure to check out our guide if you’re interested in learning more about how to pick a good cleanser inclusive of the ingredients to look out for as well as the ones to avoid.
First Aid Beauty Facial Cleanser ($20)
This antioxidant-rich cleanser helps removes makeup and oil easily and leaves skin clean without overdrying. The formula is also made without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates minimizing the chance of irritation.
DEEP CLEAN WITH A CLEANSING BRUSH
If your normal cleansing routine just isn’t cutting in terms of exfoliating or removing the remnants of the day think about investing in a cleansing brush that is supposed to be more effective then just normal hand washing.
Check out our in-depth article which talks more about the benefits and the best ways to use a cleansing brush.
Foreo LUNA 2 ($199)
Forea’s highly customizable LUNA 2 has 12 settings, is waterproof and is made from silicone to minimize the chance of bacteria building up. The device also comes in different versions for multiple skin types, inclusive of sensitive and oily and unlike many other cleansing brushes on the market the head doesn’t need replacement.
FAKE IT WITH A PORE FILLER OR PRIMER
Although pore fillers or primers won’t permanently reduce pores, the good ones will still offer a targeted fix. By including the likes of silicones and ingredients that reflect light these kinds of cosmetic products are formulated to mask pores offering up the illusion of flawless skin.
Nars Instant Line & Pore Perfector ($26.99)
Nars’ formula is not only easily blends in under makeup but also doubles up to temporarily hide fine lines and wrinkles. The pore filler also includes skin-beneficial ingredients like the antioxidants to help fight the signs of aging.
Smashbox Photo Finish More Than A Primer Blemish Control $42
Smashbox’s formula harnesses the power of 2% Salicylic acid (at the right pH) as a preventative measure against breakouts and also helps keep visibly enlarged pores at bay. The primer dries in a soft matte finish and has Aloe Vera as well as Vitamin E to nourish.
CONSIDER IN A CHEMICAL EXFOLIANT
Chemical exfoliants work by removing the top layers of skin damaged by environmental factors like UV rays from the sun. These layers are usually made up of dead skin cells that line pores and make them look larger than they really are. In terms of picking an effective chemical exfoliant for large pores look for ones that for ones that contain AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) such as Glycolic and Lactic Acids known for their rejuvenating benefits or BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids) like Salicylic Acid, which is good for oily or acne-prone skin. For proper exfoliation, the formula should have a pH of below 4 and also be 1% or higher in acid content.
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant $28
Paula’s choice 2% Salicylic acid formula is gentle enough for daily use and is free of fragrance. The exfoliant also comes packed with advanced ingredients including NDGA (a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory effects), Matrixyl 3000 (a peptide that plays a role in rebuilding thinned skin), as well as a number of anti-irritants to calm skin.
INVEST IN THE RIGHT KIND OF MOISTURIZER
Although it may not seem irrational to use a moisturizer to deal with pores especially if you already have oily skin just bare with us for a moment. As one of the factors of large pores is an overproduction of oil which is often the body’s response to dry skin the right kind of moisturizer may make sense. If you have skin that falls on the oilier side try a water-based gel that will hydrate without leaving the skin greasy.
Find out about what goes into a good moisturizer and why packaging is important in our in-depth article that covers
Peter Thomas Roth 10 % Glycolic Acid Hydrating Gel $45
A cult favorite, this10% Glycolic Acid moisturizer is lightweight but still manages to work well for skin types inclusive of oily, combination & dry. At a pH of 3.6, the gel formula is effective to target aging concerns like wrinkles, uneven skin tone as well as smooth out rough patches that may emphasize large pores. Key ingredients include Arginine to help diminish irritation and the antioxidant power of Vitamin A, C, and E to fight free radical damage.
PREVENT FUTURE DAMAGE WITH A SUNSCREEN
A good sunscreen is formulated to protect skin against UV damage. As we discussed earlier the sun’s rays weaken the structure and as a by-product make pores seem visibly larger. When choosing a sunscreen make sure it is labeled as broadspectrum as that indicates that it will prevent against the full range of UV rays. Consider going with a sunscreen that contains physical sun protection agents like Titanium Oxide or Zinc Dioxide over chemical ones as they work by sitting on top of the skin and reflecting UV rays rather than absorbing them.
If you’re in the market for a good broad-spectrum sunscreen and trying to figure out how to go forth with picking one make sure to explore our guide that covers ingredients, best practices and more.
Skinceuticals Physical Fusion Defense ($26.54)
Skinceutical’s popular SPF 50 sunscreen is not only lightweight, works well under makeup but also is broad spectrum. Key ingredients to look out for include the combination of 5% Zinc Oxide and 6% Titanium dioxide to protect against UV Damage. The fragrance-free formula also dries with a semi-matte finish and has a sheer tint as a preventative measure against the white cast physical sunscreens often leave.
SLEEP WITH A RETINOL PRODUCT
Using retinoids like Retin-A, only available by prescription or Retinol, the over the counter form that many skin care formulations inclusive of creams and serums have is another way to help minimize the appearance of pores. Not only do these derivatives of Vitamin A help rid the skin of dirt and other impurities, reduce the layer of dead skin that builds up as we grow older like chemical exfoliants but they also help balance oil production. In fact, the benefits even extend to rejuvenation as retinoids help with the signs of aging by increasing cell regeneration and boosting collagen production.
Check out our guide to learn more about the benefits of Retin-A and why it’s one of the most effective anti-aging ingredients on the market. Although if you’re looking for something a little more accessible consider exploring how Retinol works in our overview.
Jan Marini Skin Research Age Intervention Retinol Plus ($79)
Jan Marini’s formula helps improve skin texture, enlarged pores and even combats the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Key skin-beneficial ingredients in the cream including Retinol, Peptides, as well as antioxidants like Green Tea Extract extract.
PORE REDUCING SKIN TREATMENTS
If you’ve already tried every skin care product and none of them seem to be working check out some of the of pore-reducing skin care treatments below:
FREEZE YOUR PORES
We’re kidding… kind of. Micro Botox (also known as Meso and Intradermal Botox) may be the closest thing to a simple pore shrinking solution that has more long-term results. Unlike traditional Botox that targets muscles, Botox for pores may also help skin that has been damaged by acne. Micro Botox works by temporarily shrinking the sweat and sebaceous glands, resulting in the appearance of visibly smaller pores,
Treatment includes micro-droplets of Botox being interjected into the Epidermis, the top layers of the skin. It’s advised that when using Botox for the treatment of large pores, the percentage of the ingredient is highly diluted, especially around the forehead area since it tends to spread in a bid to avoid any unnecessary freezing effects. Botox for pores usually focuses in on areas of the face like the nose and cheeks, resulting in skin that appears to be smoother as well as more refined in general.
Results have been shown to last between 4-6 months.
Discover more about what botox does as well as the different types through our in-depth rundown.
GET A CHEMICAL PEEL
A stronger form of the chemical exfoliants, we discussed above, peels not only remove layers of skin faster but also go deeper than their gentler counterparts and by doing so produce more advanced results.
Learn more in our guide to how chemical peels work inclusive of what happens during the treatment as well as some best practices.
Skin Beauty Solutions 30% Salicylic Acid peel ($19.99)
Skin Beauty Solutions’ 30% Salicylic Acid peel, is cosmetic grade and made without filler, fragrances as well as preservatives. If you’re just starting out with skin peels consider the 20% solution ($18) to begin with.
REJUVENATE WITH LED LIGHT THERAPY
LED Light Treatment, also known as phototherapy, is a rejuvenating treatment that requires little to no effort. It works by sending light deep into the layers of the skin to stimulate cell regeneration and boost collagen levels. Red LED light treatment is one of the most beneficial types for anti-aging and also has been known to balance out skin that produces too much oil. It does this by aiding the release of cytokines, which are tiny proteins that combat overactive sebaceous glands, the place where pore-clogging sebum is produced.
Discover more about what LED Light treatment does and how it benefits the skin through our in-depth rundown.
ZAP PORES WITH LASERS
Although lasers are among the more aggressive treatments we have mentioned, in certain cases, they can be effective for treating enlarged pores. Most experts agree that a non-ablative laser, one that doesn’t necessarily remove the skin’s surface is a good way forward as it will stimulate collagen production as well as the healing process eventually improving the skin’s structure around the pores.
Check out our guide to explore the different types of lasers, guidelines of what to expect during treatment and more.
OTHER ADVANCED PORE SOLUTIONS
There are several skin treatments that are considered more experimental than traditional treatments such as pore excision & TCA Cross Peel that are usually reserved for severe situations like larger pores. Pore excision often involves a tool that literally cuts out a small section of skin around the enlarged pore much like a hole puncher in the hopes that when it heals will leave a scar much less noticeable then what was originally there. On the other hand, a Cross Peel method uses a micro-amount of a high percentage (70-100%) of a TCA chemical peel solution that is applied directly to the center of the pore in question. These types of treatments are often combined with more traditional methods for combatting enlarged pores in order to achieve the best results.
Although there may be no permanent solution to enlarged pores the combination of effective anti-aging treatments and skincare products should help improve the situation. Also, keep in mind that we all have imperfections and this is part of what makes us human.