Makeup, How To

How to Make Pores Appear Smaller

by Neutrogena

Learn how to prevent clogged pores and minimize the appearance of large pores.


Large Pores Explained

Pores appear as small openings on the surface of your skin and are usually most apparent in the T-zone - the forehead, nose and chin. Pore size is largely fixed and determined by your genes, and may become larger with age or repeated sun exposure. Pores can also appear larger and more noticeable when they become clogged with dirt, oil and dead skin cells making an effective cleansing and exfoliation regimen essential to keep pores clean and minimizing their appearance.


Learn How to Minimize Large Pores

While pore size is largely fixed, you can take steps to make them appear significantly smaller.

To keep your skin looking clear and minimize the appearance of large pores, look for product formulations with alpha or beta hydroxy acids that help loosen and remove dead surface skin and smooth over rough uneven patches, which can accentuate pore size making them appear larger. This can help prevent pores from clogging and leaves skin looking clearer and smoother. Also, products that contain retinol, a form of vitamin A, are also beneficial to smooth skin's overall appearance.1 However, some products with retinol may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Therefore, always use an oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.

Finally, if you use makeup, start with a light application of oil-free foundation in a matte finish. Shiny skin coupled with too much foundation may actually make your pores look more prominent. Control shine throughout the day with blotting sheets or freshen up your foundation with a dusting of translucent powder. The tiny, weightless particles prevent color pigments from building up around the edges of your pores to reduce their visibility.

We recommend that you consult your dermatologist or physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.

  1. Thiboutot D. New treatments and therapeutic strategies for acne. Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:179-187.
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