How to reduce large facial pores

You may be self-conscious about how you look due to the appearance of large facial pores. But what if you could reduce those pores and regain your confidence?

A black woman with drawn eyebrows wearing an eye mask

Key takeaways

  • Large facial pores are not a medical concern and do not threaten your life, but they might impact your self-esteem.
  • Acne, clogged pores, thick facial hairs, UV radiation exposure, and other factors may contribute to large facial pores. To manage the size of your facial pores, you must first address the root of the problem.
  • The use of retinoids, exfoliants, and light and laser therapies may help reduce large face pores. 

Your facial pores can be advantageous since they allow for the removal of sweat and sebum, cooling and maintaining the health of your skin. But what happens when this helpful pore clogs up and becomes a concerning cosmetic issue rather than a skin savior?

When a face pore becomes clogged with dirt or oil or is affected by other factors—including UV light exposure, age, gene, gender, hormones, or acne—it expands in size because of the elastic and flexible structure.

Large facial pores are not a medical problem or life-threatening, but they can impact a person's confidence and self-esteem, particularly for people assigned female at birth (PAFB). 

How to minimize large facial pores

Having a big facial pore might not be easy to manage, but there are steps that you can take to lessen large facial pores, including the following:

1. Cleanse your face twice a day

Because of how fragile the skin on your face is, allowing it to become clogged with dirt or sebum can lead to pore expansion. Because of this, it is crucial to maintain clean skin by washing it twice a day with a gentle cleanser. If you have acne-prone skin, washing your face two times a day is an important skincare routine that can also assist with your breakouts since acne is one of the main reasons for a large facial pore.

To keep healthy skin, do the following:

  • Use warm water to wash your face.
  • Apply a gentle cleanser to the skin.
  • Scrub your face with your palm.
  • Use a fresh towel to dry.

2. Use only non-comedogenic skincare and cosmetic products

As previously said, one of the causes of an enlarged facial pore is the congestion of pores on your face. As a result, you should use non-comedogenic cosmetics. Non-comedogenic means products made with ingredients that won’t clog your skin pores.

If you are unsure about what to look for when purchasing a product, this information may be beneficial: do not use products that do not indicate the following on their labels:

  • non-comedogenic 
  • Oil-free
  • "Won't clog pores" 

3. Use Retinol

Every beauty enthusiast will tell you that retinol is a substance you should always incorporate into your routine because it has many benefits, ranging from skin cell turnover to reducing oil production, thickening the skin, and acne treatment.

Although retinol is helpful, it is vital to note that you should use it only at night because it is photosensitive; moreover, when using this ingredient, remember to apply sunscreen for additional sun protection. If you are pregnant, you should avoid using this product until you have spoken with your doctor.

4. Exfoliate your face

Because your skin is clogged and congested, your best routine will be to decongest it, which is where exfoliators come in. Exfoliators exfoliate dead skin and clear your pores of dirt and sebum while also reducing oil production. 

There are physical and chemical exfoliators, but because physical exfoliators can be harsh on the skin, skincare experts often recommend using chemical exfoliators. Lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid are helpful chemical exfoliators.

5. Treat Acne

Although some cases of acne can be non-inflammatory, acne can congest your skin, and a bacteria known as Acne vulgaris can cause such acne. This skin condition may cause large pores if you have oily or acne-prone skin. 

Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinol, azelaic acid, and niacinamide will assist in reducing swelling, clearing your pores, and lowering sebum production on your face.

6. Use sunscreen

Your skin's firmness may be affected by sunlight exposure, which could result in bigger pores. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 and above while stepping outside during the day for additional protection to avoid subjecting your skin to skin issues caused by too much sun exposure. Additionally, to get the most out of your sunscreen, it is important to reapply it every two hours.

7. Be gentle with your skin

Contrary to popular belief, forcefully exfoliating your skin won't make it cleaner. Instead, it will hurt you more and damage your skin. It is crucial to treat your skin gently, exfoliate correctly using the right products, and refrain from popping pimples or using your finger to remove blackheads because doing so will cause further facial holes.

8. Try light and laser treatment

You may want to incorporate laser and light treatments into your skincare routine. Light and laser therapy can treat acne and reduce facial oil production. However, if you want to employ this approach without further damaging your face, you will need a dermatologist's assistance.

Additionally, your sunscreen should be your closest buddy if you receive laser treatments to protect your skin from the sun.

9. Moisturize your skin

One of the errors people with acne-prone skin make is believing moisturizers are the enemy. Instead of seeing moisturizers that way, consider them barrier-fixing agents that aid in feeding your skin moisture while defending and repairing your facial barriers.

Your skin won't create excessive sebum that can clog pores if you use the correct moisturizer; instead, it will produce the usual amount of sebum required to maintain facial balance. To prevent acne, choose a non-comedogenic, oil-free moisturizer.

10. Consider removing facial hairs

If your facial hair is too thick or excessive, it can clog your pores and cause acne by trapping oil and dirt. It can also make your facial pores larger. According to research, shaving your face can reduce the size of your pores.

You can achieve this by using red and near-infrared light to destroy hair follicles photothermally (using light or heat). To determine if this procedure is necessary, consult a dermatologist. 

What causes facial pores?

Facial pores are natural, small openings on the skin where sweat and oil reach the surface of the skin from their glands in the deeper parts of the skin.

Sweat pores are typically not visible and are located on all parts of the body. Oil pores, on the other hand, are connected to oil glands and are typically not found on the soles of feet or palms of hands. It is the oil pores that are noticeable on the face because they are often large enough to be seen.

When people say "facial pores," they are often referring to the oil pores on the face, which do the work of sweeping out oil, dead skin cells, and other dirt that may end up there. Facial pore sizes are minimal in some people, but for others, things like decreased elasticity around the pores and high excretion of sebum can increase the size of the pores.

Why are your facial pores big?

You might be curious as to why your facial pores enlarge. Most things that affect the size of your facial pores can be avoided or treated. Possible causes of enlarged facial pores include:

  • Acne
  • Sun exposure
  • Gender 
  • Aging
  • Seborrhea (a common skin problem)
  • Chronic UV light exposure
  • Increased hair follicle volume, including thick hairs.
  • Excess sebum excretion
  • Decreased elasticity around pores

Some great skincare products for reducing pores

Some powerful products could help you shrink your skin pores and regain confidence. The reviews of a few of these items are below.

1. AlphaRet Clearing Serum

With all of the powerful ingredients in one miraculous bottle, this product speaks for itself. It contains AlphaRet (a retinoid and lactic acid combination), salicylic acid, niacinamide, zinc pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (renowned for its skin-tightening qualities), and other necessary ingredients. It claims to clear your face and decrease facial pores, giving you a more even and smooth complexion. 

If you have oily skin, this product is a must-have in your skincare stash.

2. CeraVe Renewing SA cleanser

Salicylic acid is one element that will aid you on this journey, and CeraVe has incorporated it as a gentle face cleanser. This non-comedogenic cleanser gently unclogs your pores, decreases sebum production, and lessens the appearance of acne. Your journey to tighter pores will be easier with CeraVe cleanser. 

3. Babor power serum ampoules retinol

The name hints that this product may be the solution you've been looking for. This product improves sagging skin, minimizes fine wrinkles, and enhances cell turnover. If you have aging or sagging skin or need to reduce sebum production on your face to aid your pores, you should consider including this product in your routine. 

4. Pixi Glow Tonic

The Pixi Glow tonic, containing glycolic acid, reduces pore size and improves skin cell turnover. This gentle tonic is perfect for your nighttime routine, as it soothes and nourishes your skin. It also contains moisturizing elements like urea and glycerin, which help to keep your skin moisturized. This product is appropriate for all skin types. 

5. Skinceuticals daily moisture

Skinceuticals says that this product reduces the appearance of face pores by utilizing its main ingredients, algae and plant extracts. This moisturizer won't clog your pores as it is non-comedogenic and oil-free. It also goes deep into the skin, moisturizing and softening it. It is appropriate for all skin types. 

Should you see a dermatologist for your facial pores?

You should see a dermatologist about your facial pores. Your dermatologist will examine your skin and identify the underlying problems while developing a suitable routine to decrease your pores. 


Experiencing an enlarged facial pore can be a source of concern, particularly for women, because it lowers confidence; nevertheless, the good news is that you can restore your confidence with the correct skincare regimen and the assistance of a knowledgeable dermatologist.

To keep your facial pores clean and healthy, avoid anything that can congest your skin and clog your pores.