Ugh...pores. Those little openings on your skin may serve a purpose, but one of them is not making you happy.
Commonly referred to as 'facial pores,' pores are generally enlarged openings of the pilosebaceous follicles, which consist of many structures, including the hair follicles and oil glands. How large pores appear depends mostly on genetics. However, external factors also play a role.
Admit it. You've tried a zillion different ways to shrink your pore size with zero success. Is it actually possible to minimize the appearance of pores or is it merely a distant dream with no end in sight? Let's find out!
Dermatologists say increased sebum production is a major culprit in large pores, as is reduced skin elasticity. They say it's most often hereditary or simply caused by clogged pores.
You've probably noticed that your pores look most visible in the nose area. That's because the pores are larger on the nose, as this is the area of the face that produces the most oil due to its large sebaceous glands.
Perhaps you've also noticed your pores growing bigger over the years, too? It's not just in your head. Studies show that sun damage and the loss of collagen and elasticity that accompanies it can increase the size of your pores.
While it might not be possible to physically shrink pores, evidence suggests you can make them appear smaller with the right skincare products and consistency. We're going to show you how in just a minute!
We're not going to lie, genetic disposition will primarily determine your pore size. So if your family members have large pores, you probably will do too. Still, other factors play just as much of a role, like how much sebum your oil glands produce, your skin elasticity, and the size of your hair follicles.
Studies show there's definitely a link between sebum production and pore size. To put it simply, the more sebum your skin produces, the larger your pores will appear.
Interestingly, the severity of acne-prone skin made zero difference to the size of facial pores. While they're both caused by excess gunk clogging the pores, having blackheads or whiteheads doesn't necessarily mean you're going to have a larger pore size.
With regards to external factors, overexposure to UV radiation plays a significant role in making your pores expand. That's because UV rays break down collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to an overgrowth of sebaceous glands and a temporary increase in excess oil production.
Pore size is also affected by cosmetics like non-comedogenic foundations and moisturizers. Using such products causes a build-up of oil and dead skin cells in the pore which can stretch it out, making it appear more visible.
While pore size may be out of our control if it's a genetic thing, it doesn't mean you can't shrink them - even a little bit. The solution lies in targeting what causes large pores – and that's increased oil production and reduced skin elasticity. It's also more common in those with oily skin, so that's another issue to address.
Here’s how to shrink pores with the proper products and skincare routine…
Besides preventing sun damage, wearing a high SPF daily can drastically decrease your pore size.
"The sun compromises your skin’s collagen, which keeps skin firm and tight," says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.
In other words, when your collagen levels deplete, your skin begins to sag, forcing your pores to expand. What's more, sweating from the sun sends your sweat glands into overdrive, creating more oil which clogs the pores and leads to breakouts, blemishes, and visible pores.
Opt for SPF 50 for maximum protection.
"Use a chemical exfoliating agent, especially glycolic or salicylic acid," says Loretta Ciraldo, MD, FAAD, a Miami-based dermatologist. "Both of these work by ‘ungluing’ the dead cells from each other in our pores so that the dead cells get shed and the pores, being less full, appear to be smaller in size." She also recommends retinoids for making pores look smaller.
Other great ingredients for exfoliating away grime and oils that clog pores include vitamin C, niacinamide, green tea, and other alpha hydroxy acids.
...and we've got the best one for you: Truly's Pore Shrinking Kit.
This tailor-made lineup consists of our best oil-fighting, pore-minimizing, and brightening products to fight pimples, resurface the skin, and drive out dirt. Best of all, it's suitable for all skin types.
Starting with Truly's Toning Solution, this aloe and glycolic acid formulated cleanser slash toner exfoliates the skin, clearing out pores and preventing grime buildup for decongested pores.
Exfoliators work by removing dead skin cells on the surface of the skin for a brighter, clarified complexion. Truly's Matcha Scrub is no different - it's just way gentler than most sugar scrubs.
Now's your chance to attack those clogged pores with resurfacing acids like retinol (vitamin a) and salicylic acid. Truly's Purple Rain Serum and CBD Facial Serum both actively treat oversized pores by dissolving dead skin cells and treating breakouts.
If you've got an active breakout, avoid squeezing, prodding, or picking it with your fingers. The more contact your fingers have with your face the more gunk that sinks into your pores. Prevent that from happening by sticking an acne patch over a pimple as soon as it pops up. It'll drain the zit, while keeping your hands off.
Truly's Super Star Pimple Patches are a fun and effective choice for warding off future breakouts and minimizing pore size.
In addition to a good skincare routine, try going for regular in-office chemical peels, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, and microneedling sessions which can drastically improve the appearance of pore size.