How to Shrink and Minimize Pores

Browse By

You may be able to reduce pores size and appearance by adjusting your skin care routine, including cleansing daily, applying moisturizer, and not over-exfoliating.

How to Shrink and Minimize Pores

Though pore size cannot be completely altered, there are some steps you can implement into your routine to at least reduce the appearance of them. 

1. Keep Your Face Clean

When dirt, oil, sweat and other impurities clog pores, they can expand and look larger. Kick unwanted grime and grease to the curb by cleansing daily with a gentle cleanser, up to twice per day. Once your face is clean, try not to touch it too much throughout the day. Your hands can carry bacteria and germs which can transfer onto your complexion and wreak havoc.

2. Follow Up With Toner

It’s important to make sure every last bit of pore-clogging residue has been scrubbed from your face, which is why following up your cleansing routine with toner can be beneficial. Try Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Toner. It’s formulated to visibly reduce excess oil while leaving skin instantly fresher and healthy looking.

3. Exfoliate Regularly

It’s no secret that exfoliation can help keep dead cells on the surface of skin from clogging pores. Regular exfoliation is Dr. Goldfaden’s top tip for shrinking the appearance of your pores. “First and foremost, exfoliate,” he says. “Exfoliation not only keeps bacteria, dirt and excess oil out of the pore, but also wards off acne.” 

4. Apply a Clay Mask

Clay is one of our favorite ingredients to help absorb excess oil and draw out impurities that can clog pores and make them appear larger. Sub in a mask formulated with clay, like Vichy Mineral Pore Purifying Clay Mask, once or twice per week. Immediately after application, skin feels purified and soft to the touch. In one month, pores look less visible and skin is more balanced.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Retinol

As our skin ages, the production of collagen and elastin — two necessary components of youthful-looking skin — can slow down. As a result, our pores can begin to appear larger. To help minimize these effects, consider using products formulated with anti-aging ingredients like retinol, in your daily skin routine. Just keep in mind that retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher in the AM daily.

6. Get an Instant (Temporary) Fix With Makeup

When in doubt, fake it ‘til you make it. Temporarily camouflaging your pores can be done in a pinch thanks to the endless amount of primers, BB creams and blurring products out there. Many of these formulas boast optical reflectors that help mattify skin so pores look smaller and smoother. 

7. Wear Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen day in and day out may not have an immediate impact on the appearance of your pores, but it can certainly provide long-term benefits. Wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher daily can protect your skin from signs of premature aging and even some skin cancers. Reach for a mattifying sunscreen — like SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 — since one that leaves behind a shiny finish can attract unwanted attention to your pores.