Can We Reduce Our Pore Size?

I want to let you in on a little secret and it’s one you may know already but I am certain most people don’t. Pore size is genetic. There, I said it. This means you can’t do diddly squat about the size of your pores no matter what you throw on your face.

However, before you panic, there is a way round it. You can make your pores appear smaller – ‘appear’ being the operative word. Something is better than nothing, right?

Okay, so what is a pore?

Pores are the openings of hair follicles at the surface of your skin. Their main purpose is to produce sebum (oil) to keep our skin moisturised. We have millions of pores all over our body except the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet. There is a pore for every hair on our body.

You learn something new every day.

People with dry or pale skin have smaller, less noticeable pores, whereas if you have darker or oilier skin, the pores will be more obvious.


The ‘solution’ to reducing the appearance of large pores begins with a good skin care routine. When pores get clogged with dirt and oil, they become even more noticeable. I know I go on about it but ensuring your makeup is removed at the end of the day is a must. Keep your skin clean day and night even if you don’t wear makeup.

Exfoliate once a week for dry skin and two or three times a week for oilier skin. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells that can block your pores.

I’ve talked about it before but Salicylic Acid is an ingredient you need to look out for when buying an exfoliating product. It helps reduce oil production and also dissolves the gunk stuck in the pores making it easier to unclog.

Choose your products wisely – buy makeup or skincare products that are non-comedogenic, which just means they won’t clog your pores.

Wear sun screen and protect yourself from the sun. Sun damage can decrease elasticity in our skin making pores appear larger than before.

Applying a primer under your makeup can help to ‘fill in the holes’ and give you a pore-less look. The Benefit Porefessional is a popular primer and has great reviews.

If you feel your pores are more stubborn and need something extra, speak to a dermatologist about your skin and they may talk to you about chemical peels or laser treatment.

Unfortunately, pores can increase in size. It depends on a number of things – how much time you spend in the sun, whether you smoke lots or just the fact that as we age, we lose that lovely elasticity in our skin. Decreased elasticity causes our pores to stretch and appear bigger. Sigh.

In some more unfortunate cases, pores are naturally large and cannot be reduced.

My advice is to start by maintaining a good skin care routine. This is vital. It takes time to notice a difference so don’t give up.

Have you had problems with large pores? Have you tried anything that works?