Tips for Shrinking the Appearance of Large Pores


Most women are in agreement—we hate large pores.

“I hate my large pores,” writes one online community member. “They make me so self conscious. I don’t have acne, it’s just the enlarged pores on my nose. Any suggestions?”

“There are areas on my face where I never even realized pores existed for all 30 years of my life until now,” writes one member on skin “They’re everywhere and I hate them, hate them, hate them.”

They can attack at any age, and can be surprisingly persistent. Is it possible to make them appear smaller without going under the knife? Here are some tips to try.

Why Do Pores Become So Noticeable?

If you look at a baby’s skin, you can see that it’s smooth and flawless, and you’d be hard pressed to find where the pores are. What happens, then, as we age that makes pores so visible?

Pores are openings in the skin from which the hair grows. They’re also where the skin’s natural oils are released onto the surface. There are several reasons pores may become much more visible:

    • Genetics: If you have members of the family with large, visible pores, you’re more likely to have them yourself.
    • Sun damage: Years of sun exposure weakens skin structure, causing the walls of pores to sag and look more visible.
    • Aging: As we age, our collagen and elastin start to break down. Since these are the elements that hold skin together and make it appear taut and youthful, breakdown can shatter that support structure, dragging down the edges of the pores and making them appear larger.
  • Excess oil production: Those who have oily skin types will likely have pores that look larger, as the oil collects around the pores.
  • Improper skin care: Sleeping in your makeup or missing your regular exfoliation treatments can lead to clogged pores, which are easier to see.

Other skin conditions can also cause enlarged pores, but for most people, the issue is related to how we care for our skin, our age, our genetics, and the type of skin we have.

Tips to Reduce the Appearance of Large Pores

Those who have large pores have often tried many things to get rid of them, to no avail. Fortunately, if you’re willing to look at your skin care regimen as a whole, you can have better luck without resorting to harsh, laser or chemical treatments.

  • Exfoliate: Regularly exfoliation keeps clogged pores at bay. Use a gentle exfoliator 2-3 times a week—be sure not to scrub too hard or use harsh chemical products as they can actually damage the outer layer and make pores look worse. Try my Dead Sea Facial Scrub, which is a natural exfoliator, or my Ayurvedic Facial Scrub.
  • Deep Clean: If you’re struggling with large pores, get used to deep cleansing. Use a daily cleanser like my Citrus Mint Facial Cleanser, which gives you deep cleaning without the chemicals. Try my Purifying Mud Mask a couple times a week for deep purification and to help balance natural oils. Always remove your makeup at night!
  • Protect: Protect yourself from the sun by wearing hats and sunglasses, avoiding the sun during peak hours of the day. Use natural sun protection that contains zinc oxide when you’re going to be outdoors, even during the winter.
  • Firm and tighten: Alpha-hydroxy acids will help, but I think synthetic versions are too harsh. I suggest hibiscus, which has a natural ability to firm and lift. (You’ll find it in both of my herbal facial oils.) Grapeseed oil has linoleic acid and ginseng both can help.
  • Use a natural cleanser: Cleansers in your skin care help minimize the appearance of your pores and make them appear smaller. Standard products use chemical ingredients to achieve this, but you can enjoy the same benefits with natural alternatives like witch hazel and rose.
  • Use natural oily skin ingredients: There are many plant ingredients that I use in my products that naturally help with clogged pores and oily skin—and therefore help minimize the look of your pore size. These include ashwagandha, lavender, and tea tree.
  • Drink more water. It helps cleanse the body so they’re less likely to clog up your skin.
  • Moisturize: Moisturization is tricky for oily and combination skin types (that are more likely to have large pores), as moisturizers that are too heavy can be clogging. That’s why I recommend natural plant sources of moisturization, as they are more likely to be balancing and hydrating without clogging or drying. Try my Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin for light moisture with a light cleansing action.

I know I’m prejudiced toward my own line of skin care products, but it’s developed specifically for people who have struggled with skin problems for years and have had no luck in finding lasting solutions. After much experience and research, I know that using natural plant ingredients is so much better for the skin, because they act on it in several ways at once.

Unlike chemical ingredients that typically provide one benefit, a single plant ingredient can balance skin oils, minimize the appearance of your pores, provide antioxidant protection, and lightly hydrate. When you combine plant ingredients in smart ways, you get not only smaller pores, but more vibrant, youthful, glowing skin.

If you have large pores, I invite you to try the following and let me know if it works for you!

How do you reduce the appearance of pores? Please share your tips.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Julie Murchie says

    I’m a 62 year old woman. As I went through menopause, the pores & oil on my nose increased. I have discovered that saline solution (salt mixed with water), is the best thing for oily skin & large pores.

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