I sometimes wonder when I look at my pores, how can something so small look so big? Why do I notice them so much? Instead of doing nothing, you can take action to minimize extremely large pores.
Extremely large pores are caused by having more oily skin or thinner skin. Pores play an important role in protecting our skin by producing sebum. To reduce or minimize pores, face steam them, extract them, use a good serum, and reduce sugar.
We’re going to talk about the important role pores actually play on our skin and our personal methods on how to treat them.
We’ll also look at what ingredients to look for in skincare products to reduce pore size and also debunk myths and misunderstandings about pores.
Pores are mostly due to genetics and hormones. There are still things that we can do to help them look as teeny tiny and invisible to the eye as possible.
Also, for an excellent product to minimize your pores, take a look at our top pick, the PHACE BIOACTIVE Clarifying Serum:
What Is the Role of Pores?
Pores are very important for the healthy functioning of our skin because they produce sebum to protect your skin from dirt and bacteria in the environment.
There are actually tiny hair follicles with baby hair inside the pore which you can’t really see. For the most part, sebum is released to the surface of the skin through the pores and sebaceous glands.
These sebum pores are different from sweat pores. Sweat pores only produce sweat from the glands only.
When the pore (hair follicle) is clogged with dead skin, comedones like whiteheads and blackheads will form inside. The pore becomes like a volcano with sebum erupting to the surface.
Pores Are Larger on Oily Skin and Smaller on Dry Skin
You are probably wondering why your facial pores (hair follicles) look so big and other people’s pores are so small. Generally speaking, it comes down to skin type.
People with a more oily skin type like myself will generate more sebum in the pore, so when the pore is filled with sebum pores look larger or appear larger.
It’s like how a shoe gets stretched over time from wearing it. If you fill up something that wasn’t there before, it will expand and stay that way. If you don’t do things like clean your face properly, then this is only going to be a bigger issue.
For people with a dry skin type, they already don’t produce as much sebum to begin with, which is why that hair follicle or that pore size will appear smaller. Dry skin folks do however have to work harder in restoring all the oil to their face otherwise it’ll be dry as a desert.
That’s the general explanation why some are bigger and some appear smaller and if you have combination skin you will find that for the most part, just the large pores and sebaceous glands around your t-zone will be big compared to the rest of your face, like me.
So whether you have oily skin, dry skin, or combination skin, you can make pores look large if you don’t take proper care of your skin. Generally, however, facial pores look larger on those with an oily skin type.
Pores Are Larger on Thin Skin and Smaller on Thick Skin
Pore size (hair follicle size) can also vary between people depending on how thick or thin their skin is. They look bigger if you have thinner skin, especially if you also have oily skin. The thinner your skin is, the more apparent your large pores can be because of the sagging effect.
If your skin is thin, it sags a little which is why sometimes with aging skin, facial pores can look bigger than normal.
If you have very thick, plump skin, everything is more condensed and dense, so then your large pores won’t look as big. This is why products like retinol help with pore size because they help boost the thickness of the skin and reduce the size of your pores.
Even if the large pores themselves are big, their appearance can definitely be minimized with various tips and tricks and good skin care habits. This takes us into some skin care steps for taking good care of our enlarged pores.
Face Steam Extremely Large Pores to Help Minimize Them
You can’t actually open or close a pore because in order to do that you need a muscle and there is no muscle surrounding your teeny tiny little pore. It’s basically got to do with temperature.
When it’s hot, your skin as an organ expands and it will magnify that hole which is the pore (hair follicle). When it’s cold, your skin will contract and make the pore size appear smaller.
What face steaming does is it’s using hot steam to open your enlarged pores (hair follicles). This lets it loosen the debris, dirt, and oil that’s filling the pore inside.
This makes it easier to do things like extraction and it helps products absorb better. Serums, toners, moisturizers, and other products all absorb more effectively when we make facial pores nice and clean.
How to Face Steam Your Large Pores
To steam your face, first, fill your sink or a bowl with hot water. You can boil some water, but hot water from the tap works perfectly fine.
Cover your head with a towel for 3 to 5 minutes, however long is comfortable for you. If you find that it’s a little too hot to breathe just open the towel up a little and let that air through. Don’t open it too much.
You can also take breaks too if you want. This should be a relaxing, treating-yourself kind of thing, not a chore.
Your face will quickly feel hot, you’ll start sweating, and this is actually really great because sweat expels a lot of toxins from the face as well. So not only are you opening the enlarged pores but you’re also getting rid of all the grime.
For the most convenient and effective face steaming, use a facial steamer like the Panasonic Spa-Quality Facial Steamer. It has a compact design, emits very fine particle steam to effectively clean and minimize large pores.
Steam with a Hot Washcloth
Face streaming is pretty much the same as having a bath or a shower so you don’t have to do this if you just came out of the bath or the shower. Face steaming over the sink is just a bit more targeted and a bonus is that you will be able to clear your sinuses.
If you just can’t be bothered with filling your sink, draping a towel over your head, and putting your face over the sink, you could use a simpler method. Get a face towel, wet it with hot water, and then just put it over wherever you want to extract.
If it’s the nose, you just fold the towel and put it over the nose. You only need to keep it there for about 30 seconds. The key is to loosen everything inside your enlarged pores so that it is easier to extract them.
Extract Your Pores To Help Minimize Them
To extract your facial pores, you need an extraction tool. This is a metal rod with a loop on one end. On the other end is a more rounded spoon extractor that has a tiny hole in the middle. This tool is used to extract the comedo which is just a fancy medical term for clogged pore. These include blackheads and whiteheads.
When your clogged pores or enlarged pores (hair follicles) are clogged by dead skin, things like oil and bacteria start to build up inside which forms pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. This is when you use a tool to help extract the sebum from each sebaceous gland and pore. Excess oil and sebum will clog pores and an extraction tool will help unclog pores.
The pore extraction tool I use is the Suvorna Skinpal s35 Lancet. It is easy to use with a good grip and is easy to use for extraction.
In case you aren’t aware, here is the difference between a whitehead, a blackhead, and a pimple. A pimple is a whitehead that is not exposed to air so it’s still under the skin. It’s just slowly building up.
A blackhead isn’t black because it’s dirty, it’s because it’s actually been exposed to air and air oxidizes whatever it touches. Think of an avocado. If you cut an avocado, it goes brown soon after.
How to Use the Pore Extracting Tool
Using an extracting tool is a lot better than using our fingers or nails because there is bacteria on our fingers and under our nails. So using fingers makes it easy for the bacteria to spread.
First, make sure your tool is nice and sanitized. You can use alcohol before beginning. Just let it sit in the alcohol for about twenty to thirty seconds.
Gently press the tool over the opening of the sebaceous gland, blackhead or pore (hair follicle). Wiggle it around or gently roll across the affected area. If nothing comes out, you can slightly adjust the angle that you’re pressing down.
If it still doesn’t come out easily, after trying different angles, just leave it alone. If you press too hard, which is something that I tend to do, it’s just going to indent your skin or cause peeling the next day because you broke the skin.
Another reason why you should not keep pressing if nothing is coming out is that the blackhead, whitehead, or pimple might be very far down in the layers of just skin. It may not be ready to be extracted. So don’t force it as you’ll just be aggravating it and spreading it inside.
If you hit the jackpot and something does come out, you’re not done yet. Make sure you sterilize and cleanse your face to make sure the wound is clean.
You can use a toner or antiseptic cream or natural antibacterial such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. Cleaning and sealing are important because if you don’t, the bacteria will get in the pore again, right where you don’t want it.
Skin Care for Extremely Large Pores
Now that you’ve extracted your clogged pores, it’s time to move on to skin care. We’re going to focus on serums. Serums are these jam-packed concentrated little bottles of magic that are filled with active ingredients to help you target specific skin care concerns.
And there’s a lot of products for pore care to choose from to reduce the size of your pores. You want to find something that is very hydrating as well as helps with the blurring of the large pores.
Use a Pore Serum to Reduce Your Pores
One of my favorite pore serums is the PHACE BIOACTIVE Clarifying Serum which has Salicylic Acid plus LHA to treat acne, exfoliate and decongest clogged pores or enlarged pores and sebaceous glands. It is specifically formulated to make clogged pores smaller or minimize pores.
This serum was actually really interesting because normally the ones I use are very runny. This one is a bit thicker, with a shiny, silky texture. It spreads very easily, feels as light as air, and is very smooth and hydrating.
I dab it on my fingers and then apply it on to the places where my pores are extremely large. This includes the cheek and the forehead, so basically the t-zone.
You work it in, in small circular motions and then the crazy thing happens where it almost becomes this matte, velvety texture. Then it creates that blur effect that minimizes the pores and each sebaceous gland. It is like the texture of a makeup primer or foundation primer.
So it’s hydrating and light at the beginning, then when it starts settling in the skin, it does this transformation to a matte, velvety texture that will make pores look smaller. It’s like the blur effect in a photo editing app, just in real life. It also manipulates the lighting when it shines on your face.
This PHACE Bioactive serum also has Salicylic Acid and Lipohydroxy Acid (LHA) which are chemical exfoliants that help to unclog the clogged pores. It also reduces age-related spots and blemishes and keeps the skin clear.
You can use this by itself and then follow with a good moisturizer. This serum is all-around a great product to help with controlling large pores for many different skin types.
Scrub brushes or sonic waves stimulate oil glands and amplify the drying effect of your acne products, creating too much irritation and inflammation. Use a gentle scrub that does not contain other drying agents such as emulsifying ingredients or is high lathering (creates bubbles).
See Natura Bisse C+C Vitamin Scrub which has a microgranulated texture, citrus extracts, and gently exfoliates, cleans, and minimizes large pores.
For dry skin and extremely large pores, you can try skipping cleansing in the morning and instead use something like Beauty Water or Micellar Water to just wash off anything that got there overnight. Then after just follow with your regular skincare routine.
For dry skin, serums are a must for anyone wanting to treat acne and minimize pores. Serums help you nourish and hydrate your skin before you lock everything in with the moisturizer.
Importance of Keeping Pores Hydrated
If you don’t have the under layers, your moisturizer could potentially not be enough for dry skin but for oily skin, it’s almost exactly the same. You want to keep it hydrated because the hydration and the moisture will then tell your pores to not make as much oil.
This means your pores will then be smaller and not filled with a lot of excess oil, sebum or dead skin cells. So whether you have dry skin or oily skin, just hydrate with serums as this will help get rid of sebum and reduce pore size (hair follicle size).
Ingredients to Minimize Large Pores
Ingredients to look out for that help with pores include:
- Glycolic acid which provides mild chemical exfoliation
- Hyaluronic acid to hydrate without the greasiness
- Salicylic acid to prevent pimples from forming in the pores
Salicylic acid helps get rid of dead skin cells within pores and each sebaceous gland. It is a winner for both drier and oily skin types because it helps to get deep into pores and break down dead skin cells and excess sebum. Excess oil and sebum will clog pores and salicylic acid will help unclog pores.
Sugar, Hormones and Extremely Large Pores
Large pores have a lot to do with genetics but hormones as well. So how do these into play together? First I want to mention a little bit about sugar. Though it’s not that sugar itself causes large pores, acne, and other skin issues, it’s how our body reacts to it that actually causes the issues.
If you’re overindulging in sweets, does it really matter what you follow up with skincare? If your body isn’t happy with what you’re consuming, which is a lot of refined sugar, then skin care products will not be enough to get your best skin.
Sugar has a high glycemic index and glycemic index is basically the ranking for foods based on their sugar level. Sugar level affects our hormones so cutting it out of your diet is the best way to start minimizing pores.
How Exactly Does Sugar Affect Our Hormones?
When you eat certain foods that are high in sugar, a particularly refined sugar, your body quickly converts this into glucose which then goes into your bloodstream. This makes insulin levels in your body increase and insulin is a hormonal response to sugar in the bloodstream.
When your insulin spikes, this is directly linked to the receptors that are connected to the facial pores and it will signal the large pores to produce more oils.
So the oils in the pores increase and this will make pores appear larger. When pores are larger, you’re also increasing the risk that they get filled with dead skin, debris and dirt, which then makes you break out more.
It’s not just the pores (hair follicles) that get affected when your insulin goes up, your body goes into fat-storing mode which is why high sugar diets cause very rapid weight gain and why you can’t lose weight without reducing the amount of sugar you’re consuming (source).
Many other issues arise from higher insulin such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and many other issues. If you want to have clear skin and make pores smaller, you’ve got to minimize or cut out the sugar.
Tips to Cut Out Sugar
Here are some of the tips that I personally have tried to reduce sugar in my life and therefore help maintain better-looking skin with minimal pores.
Cut Out the Soda
The first thing I recommend to reduce the size of your pores is to cut out soda because it’s loaded with so much sugar and there are always healthier options like water. Water might be a little boring but you can throw some frozen fruit in there. Just some fruits in there will make it have some sort of a flavor.
There are also teas which are a great alternative. For me, soda is non-negotiable. I tried very hard to not drink it and haven’t had it in a long time. It’s one of those things if you don’t have it for a long time, you don’t really crave it. Ditch the soda to minimize sugar in your body which can lead to larger pores, or make your enlarged pores appear larger.
Eat Whole Fruit Instead of Juice
One thing that’s kind of in the gray zone for me is 100% fruit juice. My body works in a way where it can process the sugar from fruits really well but I know for other people drinking juice, even if it’s 100% juice, will affect them the same as drinking soda.
So it really depends on the person. Juice is almost as bad as soda sometimes because it’s got just as much sugar in it. Sugar can certainly make your enlarged pores appear larger so to reduce the size of your pores, remove sugar from your diet.
Conclusion – How to Reduce Extremely Large Pores
So to reduce extremely large pores, face steam them, extract them, use a good serum, and reduce sugar.
Pores are important for the functioning of our skin because they produce sebum which protects your skin. Extremely large pores are caused by having more oily skin or thinner skin.
Follow the tips in our guide and use a pore-minimizing product to minimize your large pores and have smoother, more youthful-looking skin.