young woman applying face creamYour pores can appear larger or more textured with age. This change can stem from hormones – for example, puberty, pregnancy and menopause – or be the result of an existing skin concern like sun exposure. While you can’t permanently shrink the size of your pores, you can take steps to reduce texture and smooth their appearance.

Why Pores Appear Larger or More Visible

As a function of your body, pores allow sweat to escape, help cool your skin and manage oil production. Oftentimes, genetics determine pore texture and size. Other factors include:

  • How much oil your skin produces
  • Gender, with males more likely to have larger pores
  • Declining collagen and elastin production
  • UV exposure
  • Hormonal changes
  • Acne
  • Oil, dirt and bacteria clogging the pores

Reducing pore size comes down to limiting sun exposure and using products to manage oil production and acne.

Tips to Reduce the Size of Your Pores

Incorporate the following steps into your skincare regimen.

Avoid Comedogenic Products

Non-comedogenic products are oil free and won’t clog your pores. Using these products causes oil to build up inside your pores and can contribute to a rougher appearance or acne.

Cleanse Your Face Twice a Day

Cleansing your face twice each day has a two-fold benefit: removing oil from your pores and decreasing the larger, textured appearance. To achieve more optimal results:

  • Use cooler water, as hot temperatures open your pores
  • Avoid scrubbing your skin, which can contribute to inflammation
  • Use a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser that removes oil and makeup
  • Add a cleansing oil before washing to remove makeup

Use a Retinol

Ideally applied at night, a product including retinol or retinyl palmitate can help increase collagen production, improving skin softness and firmness while reducing pore size and fine lines. This ingredient derived from vitamin A has an additional benefit, helping to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclogging pores in the process.

As retinol increases sun sensitivity, put on a hat and sunscreen before heading outside. Due to the strength of prescription retinoid products, first try an over-the-counter version to help your skin build up a tolerance.

Treat Acne

Uncover the root cause of your persistent acne and develop a skincare regimen to get it under control. In addition to over-the-counter products that help control oil production, you may need to work with a dermatologist to explore topical and oral prescription solutions.

Wear Sunscreen

Reducing UV exposure can preserve your skin’s integrity. Repeat, long-term sun exposure contributes to collagen breakdown, a bumpy texture, sagging skin and larger pores.

Start with an oil-free, broad-spectrum, water-resistant solution labeled SPF 30 or higher and apply it twice a day, regardless of the weather.


Chemical exfoliation can help remove dead skin cells and boost collagen production, without contributing to micro-scarring, inflammation or irritation.

In these cases, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are applied to the surface of the skin and get washed off after a period of time. During application, they loosen dead skin cells and may unclog existing pores, helping reduce a more textured appearance.

As your pores fill back up with time and your skin starts to accumulate dead cells on the surface, exfoliate with a glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid-based product at least once a week.

Get a Chemical Peel

Whether done with an over-the-counter product or at the dermatologist, chemical peels deliver a deeper level of exfoliation that unclogs pores and increases collagen production.

If you decide to use an at-home product, apply it every two weeks to maintain results. In-office treatments can be more intensive, may require downtime and staying out of the sun.

Book a Facial

Facials help clean your pores, while exfoliating and hydrating the skin on a deeper level. This combination helps reduce pore size, fine lines, dryness, hyperpigmentation and removes dirt and debris clogging pores.
To improve the appearance of your skin, schedule a facial at Catherine & Company today.