6 Ways To Reduce The Size Of Your Pores

If you suffer from oily skin, you may have enlarged pores due to the increased sebum activity. While this is one of the most common causes of large pores, there are many others which can take a significant toll on your complexion. We’ve investigated all the possible treatments for large pores and found the 6 that are most effective in reducing the size of your pores.

What are pores?

Pores are an essential part of your skin. They’re tiny openings which contain sebaceous glands; these glands release sebum, a waxy secretion which helps to protect and moisturise the skin.

Why are my pores enlarged?

Often your pore size is determined genetically, however your pores can also become enlarged as a result of certain lifestyle choices or through the natural aging process.


Acne sufferers often have problems with excessive oil production, it’s these oils that can clog and enlarge the pores. This can also lead to blackheads, a form of mild non-inflammatory acne.

Sun Damage

Exposure to sunlight can cause collagen to prematurely break down. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and is responsible for the skin’s elasticity and strength amongst other things. When the collagen in the skin breaks down due to photoaging (UV-induced aging effects), it can start to droop and sag; this can make your pores larger.


As we age, the proteins collagen and elastin present in your skin decrease; these are responsible for keeping the skin elastic and ‘tight’. As the amount of this protein slowly decreases, common signs of aging begin to appear including skin sagging and wrinkling. This is what makes your pores appear larger.

Excessive Sebum Production

Excess sebum production can lead to enlarged pores and blackheads.

How can I reduce the size of my pores?

First things first, you cannot permanently shrink the size of your pores. You can however minimise their appearance. Below are the best treatments we’ve found that cleanse and visibly reduce the appearance of your pores:

1. Cleansing

It might seem obvious but ensuring you cleanse thoroughly is the first step in reducing the appearance of your pores. If your pores are free from dirt and debris, they will immediately look cleaner. We recommend using a cleanser that is non-comedogenic, meaning that it doesn’t block your pores. Cleanse twice a day, and ensure you’re thorough around your problem areas.

Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser to reduce pore size

We recommend Cetaphil’s facial cleansers for this purpose. Read our review here.

2. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid which exfoliates the inner walls of your pores. This promotes the epidermis cells to shed more easily, therefore preventing pores from clogging and improving cellular regeneration. Salicylic acid also helps to regulate oil production, reducing the chance of breakouts and minimising the size of your pores.

3. Niacinamide

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3 is a fantastic ingredient for your skin. Niacinamide reduces sebum production, and can therefore minimise breakouts, skin oiliness, and also decrease the size of your pores. Studies have found that using Niacinamide in conjunction with Salicylic Acid serums lead to a visible decrease in pore size over time.

The Ordinary - Niacinamide Formulation

We recommend The Ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% solution.

4. Drink More Water

Ensuring you stay hydrated will do wonders for both your skin and overall health. Drinking enough water will ensure that your body can flush all those toxins out, keeping your skin and pores looking healthy.

5. Retinoids

Try using a Retinol solution on your skin, a chemical compound of Vitamin A. Retinol helps boost production of skin collagen, which in turn leads to tighter pores.

6. Use Sunscreen

As mentioned earlier, UV rays can directly damage the skins collagen which can cause cancer and premature ageing. This destruction of collagen can cause the skin to sag, therefore increasing the size of your pores. SPF is absolutely essential not only to keep your pores at a minimum, but to keep your skin healthy in general.

Paula's Choice Clear Moisturiser SPF 30

Try Paula’s Choice – Ultra-Light Daily Hydrating Fluid with SPF 30.

This is an excellent moisturiser which minimises the appearance of your pores while also providing sun protection.

7 responses to “6 Ways To Reduce The Size Of Your Pores”

  1. […] Unlike hot showers, cold showers do not wash away the essential oils your skin needs to maintain healthy barrier function. It’s a myth that cold showers hydrate the skin, water in itself cannot hydrate the skin. Cold water does however help to close off the pores and constrict blood vessels, this has a skin tightening effect and it can temporarily minimise the size of your pores. […]

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