The large pores you have on your face actually serve a purpose. A pore is where hair grows out of the skin, says William M. Jaremko, M.D., a dermatologist practicing in Olean, N.Y. Pores also provide oil for the skin to keep it moisturized. Genetics, sun damage, poor skin care and blackheads may enlarge pores. Jaremko states that you cannot reduce the size of a pore, but you can reduce how big the pore appears.
Cleanse the skin twice a day with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water, recommends Jaremko. This practice will remove dirt, bacteria and excess oil from your pores. Eliminating this debris may significantly reduce the size your pores appear to be. Facial cleansers containing Vitamin C may give you the most benefits. Vitamin C encourages cell turnover, which makes it less likely for a pore to clog with oil and prevents excessive drying of the skin, according to Jaremko.
Applying products containing retinol, a derivative of Vitamin A, may also help reduce the size of pores, according to the Neutrogena website. Various over-the-counter (OTC) creams and lotions for redefining the skin contain retinol, states Richard Glogau, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco. These creams and lotions help strengthen the skin by increasing the growth of collagen. Collagen helps strengthen pores, as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles. You should be careful when using products with retinol, because it may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Protect your skin by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that has at least an SPF of 15.
Exfoliating the skin once or twice a week will help remove excess dead skin from the face, states Jaremko. This can make pores appear smaller. He advises the use of an exfoliating scrub, although microdermabrasion, a cosmetic procedure, may also be used. When using an OTC exfoliating scrub, gently apply the scrub with the fingertips, using a circular motion. When you rinse the scrub off, you should see healthier-looking skin with reduced pores. People prone to acne should use caution when considering exfoliation, because it may irritate the skin, making acne worse.
Wearing make-up can cause excess oil on the face to build up in the pores. People who wear make-up should make it a habit to wash the make-up off before going to bed each evening, advises Jaremko. He reminds people who wear make-up to be sure to get the sides of the face and along the hairline.
For those who do wear make-up, apply a light layer of oil-free foundation and a matte finish before any other make-up, advises the Neutrogena website. When you apply too much foundation or have shiny skin, your pores will be more noticeable. Throughout the day, you may want to control the shine on your face with a translucent powder.