How to Get Rid of Large Pores Forever: The Ultimate Guide to Tighten Pores

beautiful happy brunette woman in the park on a warm summer day

Wondering how to get rid of large pores? Well, you probably don’t want to get rid of them – as much as they can seem like enemies, they’re not. In fact, they do quite a lot to take up valuable real estate on your skin – they exist to promote the passage of oils that are meant to soften and nourish our skin to keep it healthy and supple.

But that’s when you have a good relationship with your pores. Most of us don’t – which is why we get stuck with things like overly oily skin as well as clogged and oversized pores.

So how do you transform your relationship with your pores so they become smaller and less intrusive while continuing to do the best job they can? Simple. Keep ’em clean, clear and happy so they can go about their important business of keeping your skin moisturized and supple without attracting unwanted attention.

Here are the best ways to do it!

Clear Up Your Pores

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One of the best things you can do to get rid of large pores is to regularly slop on a facial mask. But not any old mask, mind you – you want to go for ones that contain heavy hitting ingredients that do their part to soak up oil and impurities lurking in your pores.

After all, excess sebum and large pores go hand in hand. And when this extra sebum gets trapped in your pores, it causes inflammation which can physically expand the pore (the horror!). The easiest way to circumvent this is by using a facial mask that contains deeply absorbent ingredients like ​Activated charcoal and clays.

Both charcoal and clays are known for their extreme absorbency, which gives them the ability to draw out and soak up grime, dirt, excess sebum and all the other nasties stretching out your pores. Result? Cleaner, tighter pores.

For best results, use a facial steamer to open up your pores and soften the sebum before you do your weekly (or bi-weekly) mask!​

Reduce Excess Oil

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There’s definitely a link between super oily skin and large pores so if you can control the former, you can have a positive effect on the latter. So how do you reduce your oil production? Especially if your skin often seems like a grease-generating factory?

One of the easiest ways to begin is by sipping delicious spearmint tea. If your excess sebum production is a result of excess testosterone, spearmint tea can help nip that in the bud. Another simple way to control oil is to carry around a pack of oil absorbing sheets to keep greasiness under wraps.

It’s also a good idea to remember that over-drying and irritating your skin can cause your skin to react by producing even more oil to compensate for the dryness! So treat your skin gently and avoid harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide if you’re trying to keep the oiliness under wraps. ​

And of course, the super absorbent masks (above) and the smart exfoliants (below) will do their job to cut down excess oil production in the long run…​

Exfoliate Smart

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It’s time to toss that St. Ives Apricot Scrub or whatever grainy substance you’ve been scraping your skin with ’cause guess what? This sort of sandpapering exfoliation can actually cause inflammation, resulting in even larger pores.

Not to mention, rough, abrasive scrubs can have sharp edges that further damage enlarged pores, making them look even bigger than they already ​were.

So swap these gritty scrubs for a smarter form of exfoliation: chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid and salicylic acid.

Here’s a quick primer on what they do: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid are highly effective exfoliators that dissolve the glue-like fats holding skin cells together to promote skin cell turnover. That means they gently peel away dead, rough, uneven layers of old skin – you know, that gunk that gets trapped in your pores and clogs them.

We recommend using glycolic acid if you have less sensitive skin since it has the smallest particles and can penetrate most deeply into your skin to promote cell turnover. If you have excessively oily skin, however, salicylic acid may be better since it has the distinction of being oil soluble and can get into your pores to clear them out. ​

The best way to use these clever exfoliating ingredients? You can find them in face cleansers, toners, and even lotions. But one of our favorite ways to use them is with an at-home chemical peel. ​

Tighten Your Skin

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If it seems like your pores just keep getting larger and larger each year – it’s not your imagination. It’s actually…your age. This is one of the most unfortunate causes of large pores but it still must be said: as you get older, your skin loses collagen and elastin (you know, the stuff that keeps your skin tight and supple).

As we naturally lose the elasticity in the surrounding skin that supports our pores, our pores appear bigger simply because the skin that “holds them into place” is no longer taut and tight.

So what can you do about this? After all, age isn’t something you can do much about.

Actually, there are quite a lot of things you can do about it, starting with natural supplements to tighten your skin from the inside out. Externally, opt for creams and serums that contain retinols, which create new collagen in the support layer of the skin and increase cell turnover to help pores look smaller and stay unclogged.

If you can afford it, red light therapy – either at the dermatologist’s or No products found. – is a great way to increase cellular metabolism, resulting in an increased production of collagen and elastin.

Protect and Prevent

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If you already think your pores are big, you want to do whatever you can to keep them from getting any bigger, right?

Well, then no more going out without sunscreen!

UV rays weaken the collagen and elastic tissue that supports pores and keeps them tight. Without that support, the pore expands. So it just makes sense to wear a daily sunscreen – it won’t make your pores smaller but it certainly will protect them from getting any bigger.

Bring Out the Big Guns

There are some things you can do to drastically reduce the appearance of your pores but these do come with caveats. For example, prescription Accutane (you know, the acne medication) actually shrinks oil glands which dries the skin out but also visibly shrinks your pores.

The downside is that when you stop taking Accutane – which you should ’cause you know, side effects – your pores go back to the original size.

If you want to shrink your pores more permanently – without side effects like liver damage – you’ll have to see your dermatologist for laser treatments like Genesis and Fraxel, which boosts collagen to drastically reduce pores as well as scars. ​Instead of targeting individual pores, they change the structure of your skin from within so it becomes tighter and firmer. The result? Pores look much smaller since the skin underneath is tauter.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

BECCA – Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector, 40 ml / 1.35 oz
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While you’re waiting for your newfound skin care regimen to tighten up your pores, get an instant fix with a pore minimizing primer, aka blur creams. The best primers for large pores fill in pores, mattify and provide the illusion of a flawless visage.

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