Newsflash: You can't actually shrink your pores

Author Team Essentialist

Most of us have been led to believe we can shrink our pores. Language here is everything, and wording makes things convoluted. While we can keep our pores clean, unclogged, and prevent them from getting bigger we can't actually make them smaller. Be it good or bad, the pores you were born with are the ones you’re stuck with- thank your genes. This one is a lesson in managing expectations. Instead of lamenting what we can't fix, here's a quick guide for what you can do to keep those pores looking as small as possible.

The only to way to visibly reduce the appearance of pores is to make sure the don’t get clogged. Clogged pores look bigger, so do pores on sun-damaged skin, and ones that have been stretched by poor extraction techniques. So yes, you can make your pores bigger- GASP. Keeping them clean and healthy is relatively simple and can be achieved during regular routine maintenance. 


The Do List

- Cleanse twice daily

- Exfoliate regularly 

- Use retinol to speed skin cell turnover 

- Use AHA’s to help remove buildup and congestion

- Use BHA’s for deep pore cleansing

- Keep skin well hydrated to plump skin surrounding pores

- Boost Collagen intake or collagen production stimulating ingredients 

- Use SPF daily to prevent sun damage (which makes them larger)

- See an esthetician regularly for extractions and deep cleansing facials

- Schedule routine professional maintenance with Fractional Laser treatments, Oxygen and Chemical Peels, Micro-Needling and/ or Microderm Abrasion

- Reduce or eliminate pore clogging make-up and skincare ingredients (read our comedogenic guide here)

The Don't List

- Pop or pick at pimples, spots, or acne

- Use your fingers to force extractions

- Use pore "tear" strips on your nose

- Skip cleansing or go to sleep with make-up on