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Smooth Things Over: How to Make Pores Look Smaller

Get up close to a magnifying mirror and there they are: your pores. Your body has millions of them, though they are more noticeable on areas where your skin is oilier, including your forehead, nose and chin. Ideally, pores should be invisible to the naked eye, but that’s not always the case, is it?

What Are Pores and What Causes Them to be Large?

Pores – those small dots on your skin – are the openings to your hair follicles, and each one contains a sebaceous gland that produces oil. The size of your pores is primarily a result of your genes. If your parents had large pores, you are more likely to have them too. Larger pores are more common in people with medium or darker skin tones. Those with oily or acne-prone skin may have pores that also appear larger since trapped sebum and dead skin cells clog pores and stretch them out.

The loss or deterioration of collagen, the support structure of the skin, can also cause pores to get bigger over time. The aging process, combined with sun damage, can weaken skin’s natural collagen. As collagen deteriorates, your pores may begin to look bigger.

How to Make Your Pores Look Smaller

Unfortunately you can’t change your pore size, but you can minimize their appearance.

• Cleanse. Using a cleansing brush can help remove makeup, grime and excess oil from your skin.

• Exfoliate. Regular exfoliating with a scrub or cleanser containing salicylic acid will also help slough away dead skin cells, preventing them from settling into pores.

• Protect. In the morning, use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 to help prevent sun damage. It should also have high concentrations of niacinamide, known to effectively reduce the appearance of pore size.

• Moisturize. At night, apply a lightweight moisturizer after cleansing to maintain healthy, hydrated skin. If your skin tends to be on the oily side, use an oil-free, noncomedogenic (meaning it won’t clog pores) formula.

Unfortunately there is no quick fix to make your pores completely disappear. But with the right skincare regimen, you can easily reduce the appearance of pores on your face.