How To Shrink Enlarged Pores (5 Methods You Can Try)

Enlarged pores are probably the most common skin concern, right after acne.

The difference between these two concerns is that acne usually comes and goes depending on several factors. A full-blown acne breakout usually occurs during our teenage years, and it normally disappears when we reach a certain age.

But pores… oh pores. They are definitely here to stay for good.

Let’s talk some more about why we actually need pores and how to shrink your enlarged pores.

how to shrink enlarged pores

NB: What if I told you I can show you how to never have acne again? If you have acne and want it gone, read this message.

Why Do We Have Pores?

Pores play a vital role in aiding the body to eliminate oils and toxins through the surface of our skin. They are the passageway between the inside of the body and the outside.

Pores appear as small openings that allow sweat to travel from the dermis all the way up to the surface of the skin, where it evaporates.

This protects our skin from overheating.

Why Do Pores Enlarge?

When pores become clogged with excess sebum and bacteria, this will cause them to enlarge and potentially bring on further complications such as acne, whiteheads, and blackheads.

Therefore, enlarged pores are often associated with a poor skin routine.

But this may not always be the only reason for our pores to appear enlarged.

In fact, there are several other known determining factors that affect our pore size.

– Genetics

The same as your skin type, the size of your pores depends primarily on your genes, and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to change this.

If a close family member has large pores, they will most probably be passed down to you through the genetic line.

– Oily skin

All of us with naturally oily skins know the daily struggle with the appearance of enlarged pores.

Oily skin is a skin type that cannot be changed, and while there are things that you can do to control the overproduction of oil, you cannot completely stop it or get rid of it.

The sebaceous glands are stimulated by numerous factors, including your diet and how good your water intake is, and the more stimulated they are, the more sebum they will produce in return.

The pores then naturally enlarge to expel the sebum produced.

– Aging and sun damage.

As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity. A similar thing happens with prolonged and unprotected sun exposure.

The sun compromises the collagen production in our skin, which results in premature skin aging.

With less collagen and elastin to keep the skin firm and supple, it slowly begins to sag, tugging on the pores and therefore forcing them to expand.

Good anti-aging skincare regimes and wearing a daily SPF of not less than 30 will protect your skin from premature aging and enlarged pores.

5 Ways You Can Shrink Enlarged Pores

how to minimize enlarged pores

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores and maybe even prevent them from further enlarging.

You have to keep in mind that enlarged pores are here to stay, so treating pore size is definitely a lifelong process; therefore, results will only follow if you are consistent with the following tips.

1. Reach out for a BHA cleanser.

Beta Hydroxy Acids or BHAs are oil-soluble substances that get deeper into the skin and unclog pores, regulate sebum production and give deeper exfoliation from the inside.

You might find BHAs to be quite strong especially if you have never used anything that contains this type of acid before.

Incorporating a mild BHA cleanser once daily, ideally in the evening, will give you great results with overall refined skin texture.

2. Exfoliate 

Incorporating a mild exfoliant in your skincare regime will remove dead skin cells, dirt, and debris that clogs your pores and causes breakouts.

If your skin is on the oilier side, you can use an exfoliant up to twice a week, while once a week is good enough for drier or sensitive skin types.

Don’t scrub your face too vigorously or exfoliate blemished and broken out skin, as this may cause further irritation.

3. Retinol.

One of the many benefits of incorporating retinoids in your skincare regimen is increased cell turnover.

This will unclog pores and make them appear smaller.

4. Hydrate. 

Low water intake will trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more and more sebum to compensate for the hydration that our skin is missing.

This will inevitably enlarge our pores as the only way to expel the excess oil is by pushing it onto the surface of our skin.

5. Avoid astringents. 

This might come off as odd to many readers because astringents are what is recommended for controlling excess oil on the skin and the only “remedy” for shrinking the appearance of enlarged pores.


Astringents are classified as the strongest acting of the toners, and their strength is due to the alcohol content.

Its purpose is to irritate the skin, causing mild swelling around the pores so that they look temporarily less obvious.

Astringents are normally recommended for oilier skin types, and some of them contain antiseptic substances, which kill surface bacteria and can come off as useful in treating blemished skin as they help to dry pustules.

If using astringent works for you, that’s great. The only small tip I would like to give you is not to neglect to moisturize your skin after toning with this drying agent.

Can You Shrink Your Pores Permanently?

There are no muscles within your pores, so contrary to popular belief, washing your face with cold water or rubbing ice cubes won’t permanently shrink your pores.

I have to admit I giggle every time I read such a thing online.

I even giggled while typing it out myself. *smirks*

Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to reduce the size of your pores – permanently.

Yes, you can visually reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. You can do this with regular cleansing as this will prevent them from becoming clogged with natural oils and bacteria and make them appear stretched out as a result.

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