How To Shrink Large Pores

Treatments to Help Your Large Pores Look Smaller

So we've got some good news and bad news.  Let's start with the bad news—there is no product that will permanently shrink enlarged pores.  Pore size is largely genetic, so if everyone in your family has large pores, you probably will too.

But I promised you some good news too!  There are treatments that can help improve the look and texture of the skin, and make those enlarged pores look smaller.

Over-the-Counter Exfoliants

If you haven't tried them already, OTC products are the first step.  But not just any product will do.  Look for skin care containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid and other alpha hydroxy acids, or retinol.

These exfoliating ingredients keep your pores from becoming clogged and speed up cell turnover rates, which in turn make pores look smaller.  Another benefit is that they can make your skin look softer and smoother, too.

Remember, though, OTC products aren't miracle creams.  They do take several weeks to work, and they won't make your pores "disappear."  But for what it's worth, you can get some fairly good improvement.

Prescription Medications

If you're not blown away by results of your OTC products, your next step should be a prescription medication.  Yes, there are prescription creams that can help minimize pores. 

Topical retinoids are very effective at smoothing the skin and making pores look smaller. They’re also used to slow premature aging, prevent sun damage, and improve acne.  So, if any of those are also issues for you, consider it a win-win.

Professional Treatments

Another option you have are in-office or salon treatments. Microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing are especially helpful in minimizing the appearance of large pores. These procedures can be done at your dermatologist’s office, day spa or skin spa. Usually, a series of treatments is needed to see improvement.

Pore Minimizing Lotions

Although these don't really change the skin at all, they can temporarily make enlarged pores look smaller. They also help keep makeup from settling around large pores, which can make them look more obvious. It isn't a permanent solution, but the immediate results are gratifying. Shop around until you find a brand you're happy with.

If you need help treating your large pores, talk to you esthetician or dermatologist.  And remember that your enlarged pores are much more noticeable to you than they are to anyone else.

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Article Sources

  • "Chemical Peeling." American Academy of Dermatology. 29 Sep 2006. American Academy of Dermatology, Web. Accessed 7 Nov 07.
  • "Tretinoin." MedlinePlus. 03 April 2000. U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health. Accessed 9 Sep 2007.
  • Freedman, Bruce, Eugenia Rueda-Pedraza, MD, and Sharon Waddell. "The Epidermal and Dermal Changes Associated with Microdermabrasion." Dermatologic Surgery 27 (2001):1031-1034.
  • Gerson, Joel. Standard Textbook for Professional Estheticians. Ed. Albany, NY: Milady Publishing, 1999. Print.