Tips for Shrinking the Appearance of Large Pores


Most women are in agreement—we don't love 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?”

They can attack at any age, and can be surprisingly persistent. We know it isn't possible to actually shrink pores, but is it possible to make them appear smaller? We think so, let's start by talking about what we're actually working with.

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

It's pretty common for us to hear from our community about their struggles with reducing the appearance of their large pores. 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.

1—Exfoliate. Regular 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. Using something like our Ayurvedic Facial Scrub with your cleanser is a great to keep your pores clean.

2—Deep Clean. If you’re struggling with large pores, get used to deep cleansing. Use a daily cleanser like Citrus Mint Facial Cleanser, which gives you deep cleaning without the chemicals and try the Purifying Mud Mask a weekly for deep purification and to help balance natural oils. Always remove your makeup at night!

3—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.

4—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 herbal facial oils.) Grapeseed oil has linoleic acid and ginseng both can help.

5—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.

6—Use natural oily skin ingredients. There are a lot plant ingredients in our products that naturally help with clogged pores and oily skin—and those also naturally minimize the look of your pore size. These include ashwagandha, lavender, and tea tree.

7—Drink more water. It helps cleanse the body so they’re less likely to clog up your skin. Plus the wonderful effect of water is to fill out our cells (which are up to about 80% water) and when our cells are all nice and hydrated there's less space between our pores.

8—Moisturize. Moisturization is tricky for oily and combination skin types (that are more likely to have large pores), because a lot of moisturizers are too heavy and can be clogging. That’s why we recommend natural plant sources of moisturization—they are more likely to be balancing and better at holding in hydration without clogging. Try our Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin for light moisture with ingredients that are dedicated to keeping your pores clear.

We're bias toward our natural products because we know exactly what is in them (and we can promise that we're not keeping things off the label) but we definitely want you to work with the natural ingredients that work best for your skin.

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 the appearance of smaller pores, but more vibrant, youthful, glowing skin.

Do you have tips for reducing the appearance of your pores? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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