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How to Minimize Pores: Tips & Tricks that Work

Young woman with hair wrap applying product to her face in a large bathroom mirror

Pores are a longtime hot topic in the skincare space! There are so many questions around how to shrink pores, how to open them, how to close them, how to keep them clear and more. In this post, we’ll talk about exactly what pores are, how they function, what affects pore size and more.  

What are pores?  

Simply put, pores are small openings in your skin. They are the opening of your hair follicles, and these hair follicles extend down through several layers of your skin. Each follicle, or pore, contains one shaft of hair, which may or may not be visible. Each of us has about 5 million hair follicles, so the amount of pores we fixate on is relatively tiny in proportion to the rest of our pores.  

Each pore contains its own sebaceous gland, which produces sebum (oil). So it makes sense that pores get clogged as this oil often mixes with dead skin cells and other surface debris. People love pore minimizing skincare because it helps pores shrink into a smoother, supple surface which can even have an anti-aging effect. 

What affects pore size and why are my pores so big?

It’s good to know what’s potentially causing the appearance of enlarged pores and how to minimize your pores so they are easier to keep clean and unclogged.  

Genetics affects pore size

You may have your parents and ancestors to blame or thank for the size of your pores. People who have naturally very oily skin are likely to have larger pores because they are more actively releasing oil through wider openings. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Large pores, and oily skin in general, can counteract the visible signs of aging and wrinkling.  

Sun and age can have an effect on your pores

As we age, our skin cells produce less collagen and other structural proteins, causing skin to become thinner and lose it’s elasticity.  This leads to the onset of wrinkles and a loss of youthful looking skin but also means our pores may become more visible and can become stretched into a kind of tear shape.  


Photodamage may also, with time, expand your pores. Sun exposure can cause inflammation and skin damage and this can lead to changes in your skin, making it drier and rougher. This roughness around your pores’ edges, can make them appear larger. 

Can you reduce pore size?

How to make pores smaller is a common skincare question. The fact is, you can’t actually make pores smaller in size or reduce the number of your pores, because your oil glands will remain where they are from a genetic standpoint. However, there’s a lot you can do to make them appear smaller and prevent them from expanding.

Tips for How to Minimize Pores 

Here’s some of our best tips and suggestions on how to minimize pores on your face.

Pore minimizing products 

When it comes to skincare for pores, some of the best pore minimizer products to add into your daily skincare routine are a pore minimizing toner, or products with charcoal and clay that draw out impurities. Look for other pore minimizing products such as serums and face masks that shrink the look of your pores.

Pore minimizing and clearing tools 

Tools may be used by your dermatologist or skincare professional to help clear pores and decongest the skin. Some tools are suitable and available for personal use. A great pore cleaner tool provides a pro-level cleanse at home by minimizing pores, removing blackheads, and breaking down dirt and oil.   

Be mindful of climate  

If you live in a warm climate, it can feel as if your pores are holding onto excess sebum! When you’re in the sun, humidity, pollution, or even on an airplane with dry air, there are different environmental factors to consider when it comes to protecting, then clearing, your pores. 

Don’t smoke   

You already know that smoking is terrible for your skin by depriving it of important nutrients and speeding up the aging process. Other bad health habits that can lead to larger pores include having a bad diet, a lack of proper hydration, propensity for tanning beds, and face-washing neglect. 

Eat well  

…and take your vitamins! Nutritious food and a balanced diet supports the skin and can prevent clogged pores due to food sensitivities. Food such as dairy or ingredients like spirulina can cause clogged pores for some individuals.  

Wear sunscreen 

Wear it every day, even if it’s overcast. As Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields say, every day is Sun Day Make sure it’s at least SPF 30.

Exfoliate regularly 

Using an exfoliating toner every morning and night will help keep your skin clear and help keep pores looking as small as possible.  

Get enough sleep 

You want to aim for 7-8 hours per night so that your skin has proper time to naturally recharge, recover and regenerate.  

Drink enough water 

At least 8 glasses of water makes a difference when it comes to your skin. Hydrated naturally skin acts younger, promoting improved elasticity and clearer, brighter pores. 

Stay ahead of oil 

Use oil blotting papers on extra oily areas of your skin, or wash once more a day to keep excess oil at bay. In the morning and evening, wash your face with warm water, and then finish off with a splash of cold water to refresh your pores. 

Follow your AM + PM skincare routine  

While it’s impossible to reduce the size of your pores with cosmetic products,  there’s a lot you can do to make them appear smaller and prevent their expansion. In the morning and evening, wash your face with warm water, and then finish off with a splash of cold water to refresh your  pores. Moisturizers and SPF should also always be in the picture, so consider your preferences of a lotion vs. cream for optimal comfort.


As stated earlier, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have large pores, especially since oil secretion can be great for skin in an anti-aging sense. The natural oils in your skin also provide a natural layer of protection and moisture. However, we all look a little fresher and more youthful with minimized pores. Minimizing and caring for your pores is just another part of taking care of your skin!

May good pores be with you!  

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