Having large pores can be a nightmare, and if you suffer from it we’ve got some good and bad news for you. Bad news is that no matter what you’ve heard, pore size cannot be changed, but the good news is you can diminish their appearance as there are treatments for open pores.
The skin consists of tiny pores containing sebaceous glands and hair follicles. These pores are essential for healthy skin as they’re required for the skin to breathe properly and regulate temperature. Since pores contain sebaceous glands, pores are basically how the skin produces sebum, which is essential for the natural moisturisation of the skin. Pores can never be technically ‘open’ or ‘closed’ and everyone’s skin has pores that are open. Open pores on the other hand, is a condition where various reasons may cause a pore to seem larger than usual giving the appearance of the pore to be ‘open’.
The skin consists of three types of pores-
- O-shaped- These are common if you have oil or acne prone skin and are round pores that typically appear around the T-zone.
- U-shaped- These pores are commonly associated with dry or dehydrated skin.
- Y-shaped- These are the kind of pores which appear due to a decrease in the levels of collagen production as a result of aging.
Open pores can be diagnosed on the basis of symptoms such as-
- Blackheads or whiteheads
- Larger looking pores
- Tired or dull skin
- Clogged pores
Again, let’s go over the fact every person’s skin has pores and they are essential for healthy skin. While having pores is completely normal and essential, certain factors may cause the pores to become more visible or appear larger in size. These factors may be-
- Sebum- Excessive sebum on the skin can cause the pores to get clogged causing them to appear enlarged or more visible.
- Genetics- If your parents have large pores, bad news, you’re likely to have them too. Genetics seems to have an impact on pores and you’re more susceptible to have larger pores if it’s something that runs in your family.
- Age- As you age, collagen production is reduced leading to a decrease in skin’s elasticity. This can cause the pores to appear larger.
- Sun damage- Sun damage affects the collagen production and reduces skin’s elasticity and affects the skin in a similar way as aging.
- Thick hair follicles- Thicker hair follicles may cause the pores to be more visible.
Hormonal imbalance- A change in hormonal levels can lead to excessive sebum production which may cause clogged pores
- At-home treatments- Certain at-home treatments like steaming and exfoliation may be effective in minimising the appearance of pores. At-home treatments are an easy way to tackle factors which may cause open pores on the face.
- Laser- Laser removes excess oil and helps boost the collagen production in the skin which can increase the skin’s elasticity and helps decrease the size and appearance of open pores.
- Medication- Certain birth control pills and acne medication can be helpful in reducing pore size. Most of these medications work by either regulating the hormones, reducing acne-causing bacteria or shrinking oil glands which can prevent acne and clogged pores.
- Extraction- Extraction is a cosmetic procedure which involves the manual removal of plugs clogging the pores using a tool.
- Fractional Micro-needling- Micro-needling helps promote collagen production which can cause the skin to become tighter and reduce the appearance of pores.
- Steam- Steam can help loosen the plugs clogging the pores. Steaming the face allows easy removal of any dirt, sebum or bacteria which may be blocking the pores. Steaming your face for even 5-10 minutes is enough for clearing your skin deeply.
- Exfoliation- Exfoliation causes removal of dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin, this prevents clogging of the pores which can cause the pores to become more visible. You can use physical or chemical exfoliation in your routine and exfoliate weekly.
- Face Masks- Face masks absorb excess oil on the skin and help clear out the pores. Face masks are formulated with potent ingredients as they are meant to work in a short period of time. Face masks are generally meant to be applied on clean skin and left undisturbed for about 30 minutes. Ingredients like charcoal, clay, niacinamide and salicylic acid can be effective in treating open pores.
While skincare cannot really ‘close’ open pores, it may help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Here’s some things you could do to prevent having large pores on the skin-
- Always look for non-comedogenic skincare and makeup. As skincare and makeup tends to be in contact with our skin for a considerable amount of time, it’s important to ensure that these products do not contain any ingredient which may clog the pores.
- Keep your skin clean to avoid the build-up of dirt and sebum which could also potentially lead to clogged pores.
- Regularly exfoliate the skin to get rid of dead skin cells and allow new cells to resurface efficiently.
- Keep your skin hydrated by using a good non-comedogenic moisturiser to prevent your skin increasing oil production to over compensate for the lack of moisture. Excessive sebum may clog the pores leading to the appearance of large pores, blackheads or acne.
- Use moisturising and repairing ingredients to avoid tightness and loss of elasticity in the skin.
- Always use a sunscreen to prevent sun damage which may be a cause for open pores.
- Clay- Clay helps remove excess sebum and clear out the pores, causing them to appear smaller.
- Niacinamide- Niacinamide helps minimise the appearance of pores by controlling sebum production and providing an overall smoother appearance.
- AHAs and BHAs- AHAs and BHAs exfoliate the skin and help remove dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria from the skin.
- Vitamin C- Vitamin C helps minimise the appearance of pores by increasing collagen production and reducing skin tightness.
- Retinol- Retinol helps exfoliate the skin and remove dead skin, sebum and dirt which could clog the pores making the pores more visible.
- Tea tree oil- Tea tree oil is a natural alternative for getting rid of open pores. Tea tree oil works by getting rid of acne-causing bacteria and has anti-inflammatory properties which can prevent acne and clogged pores.
Aside from open pores that we spoke of, pores are generally of two types-
- Oil pores- These are the pores responsible for the production of sebum. Oil pores contain sebaceous glands which produce sebum that’s essential for moisturisation of the skin.
- Sweat pores- As the name suggests, sweat pores contain sweat glands and their function is to release sweat. Sweat is essential for flushing out toxins from the skin and regulating the body temperature.
- You can open or close pores- Pores are always open regardless of what you do, so you cannot ‘open’ or ‘close’ pores. Their appearance can be minimised by clearing out any dirt, sebum or dead skin cells clogging them.
- You can change your pore size- Regardless of what you’ve heard, the size of the pores cannot be reduced. Your pore size has a lot to do with genetics, so that’s what’ll determine the size of your pores.
- Blackheads are dirt clogging the pores- Blackheads are a form of non-inflammatory acne caused by sebum, dead skin or bacteria clogging the pores. These create a plug, which when exposed to air turns dark in colour, giving it a black appearance and hence the name. So no, blackheads are not ‘dirt’ stuck in your pores.
- Cold water closes open pores- As mentioned before, pore size is not something that can be changed. Pores are not surrounded by muscles which can contract and expand causing a change in size. Cold water may cause reduction in inflammation and a calmer appearance of the skin.
- Deconstruct Pore Control Serum with 2% Salicylic Acid + 3% Niacinamide
With 2% Salicylic Acid and 3% Niacinamide, this serum moisturises the skin as it exfoliates. Gentle yet effective, if you’re a beginner this serum is the perfect choice for you.
- Deconstruct Exfoliating Serum with 18% AHA + 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid)
This unique serum with a combination of AHA and BHA is the one stop solution for exfoliation. The AHA and BHA work together to effectively get rid of blackheads.
- Deconstruct Beginner’s exfoliating serum with 5% Lactic Acid + 0.5% Probiotics
This product could be effective as an AHA serum for blackhead removal. The lactic acid is an excellent option for those with dry and sensitive skin looking to treat blackheads.
- Deconstruct Retinol and Peptide serum with 0.2% Retinol + 1% Peptide
This retinol serum gently exfoliates the skin, getting rid of blackheads and preventing any future ones from popping up. This serum also increases the rate of cell turnover and collagen production.
- Deconstruct Brightening Serum with 10% Niacinamide + 0.3% Alpha Arbutin
With 10% Niacinamide and 0.3% Alpha Arbutin, this serum treats uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. It’s effective in making the skin appear brighter and get rid of dullness. The serum is suitable for all skin types.
- Deconstruct Vitamin C serum with 10% Vitamin C + 0.5% Ferulic Acid
Consisting of 10% Vitamin C, this serum is a perfect addition for your everyday skincare routine regardless of your skin type and age. It provides protection against sun damage and brightens the skin with consistent usage. It can also help boost collagen production.
Visible pores are generally not a cause for worry but they affect the overall appearance of the skin. While pore size cannot be controlled, you can get rid of visible pores through a wide range of treatments.
- How to close open pores on face permanently?
Unfortunately, pores cannot be closed permanently. Pores are required for healthy skin and their size cannot be changed. You can try remedies to keep your pores clean to minimise their appearance but pores will always remain technically ‘open’.
- What causes large open pores on face?
Large pores can be a result of excessive sebum, build-up of dead skin cells which could cause clogged pores. Other causes such as age, genetics and hormonal imbalance could also factor in on the size of the pores.
- Are open pore removal creams effective?
Pore removal creams which work by removing dead skin cells, sebum and bacteria are effective as they prevent clogging of the pores. They may also work by exfoliating the skin and increasing cell turnover rate.