Today’s post will focus on one thing that I really struggle with – my large pores. I have curated an updated end-of-2022 list of the best products I’ve found!
I’ll explain why you get large pores and what you can do about it. I’ll also showcase my personal top 5 products to help you minimize their appearance. Most links I have added here are directed to Lookfantastic, where you can use code LFTFNASG for 20% off.
What are pores, and why are some larger?
Pores are small openings in the skin that release oils and sweat. They’re also connected to your hair follicles. Pores are essential for skin health, allowing sweat and oil to reach the skin’s surface. However, some of us experience enlarged pores, especially around the nose and cheeks.
If your pores appear larger, it may be because of the following:
- increased sebum production, which causes oily skin:
Pores appear more prominent in the centre of your face. That’s because more oil-releasing sebaceous glands are located there.
- sun damage:
Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays breaks down collagen and elastin, the building blocks of skin. This reduces skin firmness, allowing your pores to grow larger.
- comedogenic makeup
- Hormonal changes:
Pores become more visible in puberty when hormonal shifts cause sebaceous glands to produce more oil. People assigned as female at birth may notice that their pore size also changes during their menstrual cycle, a time when they often get acne breakouts.
Although you can’t change the size of your pores, home techniques can help minimize their appearance.
Can large pores be reduced?
YES, THEY CAN! Here is how:
- Assess your skincare products
- Cleanse your face
- Exfoliate with AHAs or BHAs
- Moisturize for balanced hydration
- Use a clay mask
- Wear sunscreen every day (Check my updated faves for 2021)
- Don’t sleep with makeup on
- Stay hydrated
Below we’re going to cover all points.
All recommended products in this post:
1. Assessing your skincare products.
It’s an absolute must to change your skincare routine if you are experiencing large pores. Make sure it’s with the right products. A combination of AHA and other acids will improve the appearance of the skin.
2. Cleansing your face.
Deep-cleansing facial products will help to go deeper into the pores and removes all dirt and debris.
I would recommend cleansing twice every time you are wearing makeup. First, to remove any makeup residue and a second time for the dirt and debris.
These are some great options:
- The Inkey List Fulvic Acid Cleanser (£10.99)
- Medik8 Pore Cleansing Gel Intense (£22)
- Caudalie Vinopure Cleanser (£16)
3. Exfoliate with AHAs or BHAs
I do these two to three times a week because my skin is kind of thicker, and I have quite large pores. You must always be careful when dealing with any acids. Avoid the eye area and your lip lines.
At night I’d recommend using the Medik8 Sleep Glycolic (£39) for extra skin-refining benefits.
4. Moisturize for balanced hydration
Over-moisturizing, when you have a combination or oily skin, can be a big trigger for large pores. However, moisturizing is still important. I’m gonna let you on a little secret that has saved me throughout the years.
I always check my moisturizers for the following ingredients:
- Mineral oil
- Parafinnum liquidum
- Petroleum jelly/Petrolatum
- Alcohol (it’s fine in the last few ingredients)
Make sure you are avoiding these, as they will clog your pores and make them appear larger. Additionally, they can cause blemishes and acne.
My favourite for this is the Caudalie Vinopure Moisturizing fluid (£24).
5. Use a clay mask.
You should use a clay mask at least once a week to draw all impurities out and make your skin look matte and fresher.
Cleansing and detoxifying, Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Mask (£65) refines large pores and brightens the complexion. It’s made with Kaolin and Bentonite Earth Clays.
6. Wear sunscreen daily.
This is obviously for when we can leave our houses after the lockdown. You shouldn’t let your skin get any sun exposure without sunscreen on, as this could cause make your pores appear massive.
You should always put moisturizer under your SPF and an SPF 30 minimum. SPF50 will give you the best protection. My favourites are below, and I use them on different occasions.
The £6 Garnier one is super light on the skin, so it feels amazing. None of them will leave you with a white cast which is great.
A few sunscreens I love are:
- Garnier Ambre Solaire Ultra-Light Sensitive Sun Protection Face Fluid Spf50+ (£6)
- Ren Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral Spf30 (£26)
- Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen Spf 50 (£31)
7. Don’t sleep with makeup on.
During the night, you push your makeup deeper into your pores which makes them appear larger. Make sure you always go to bed with the appropriate night serum and cream.
8. Stay hydrated
That goes without saying – at least 8 cups of water a day!
9. Use retinol
Retinol is a do-it-all skincare ingredient famous for fighting acne and wrinkles. Retinols are derivatives of vitamin A, with over-the-counter and prescription-strength options. Like hydroxy acids, it helps clear out dead skin cells, unclog pores and reveal fresh skin.
Retinol also increases the production of collagen, which keeps skin supple.
It’s best to apply a retinol serum or moisturizer at night, as it can increase your skin’s sun sensitivity.
Start slowly by applying a thin layer twice a week, building up to daily use since retinol can also cause some initial skin irritation.
I left Retinol for last because although it can benefit everyone, it could cause sensitivity if not used correctly. I believe that all previous steps are enough to have poreless skin.
My favourite retinol products are from Drunk Elephant, Dermatic, Medik8 and The INKEY list.
MY TOP 5 PRODUCTS
This is a product I swear by. It’s amazing and works wonders! I have been using it since 2014, and I have loved it ever since. I believe everyone needs this on their shelf!
Only used at night will help you get an extra boost of exfoliation and some hyaluronic acid to hydrate your skin.
I only use it nightly as my toner after I cleanse. It really helps to help me achieve that mattifying look when I wake up.
Do not use it during the day or before sun exposure.
It’s ideally suited to those living in urban areas as it clarifies and protects from the ravages of free radicals, which can cause the deterioration of skin cells and gradual loss of elasticity.
A dream come true for oily skin, this potent serum targets breakouts, minimize pores and decongest confused complexions by regulating sebum production. Featuring high concentrations of two of the most efficacious blemish-battling ingredients out there (niacinamide and zinc), this swiftly soothes skin and improves its overall health.
These are my favourite products, and can guarantee they will work on anyone. My ten years as a beauty therapist can vouch for that.