If you’re wondering how to shrink large pores, the reality is that while you cannot alter the size of your pores, there are effective medspa treatments that can make your pores appear smaller. Whether your enlarged pores are genetic or caused by treatable factors, such as excess sebum (oil) production, acne, sun damage or noncomedogenic makeup, a trained medical provider can customize a treatment plan, inclusive of an at-home skincare routine, to make your pores less noticeable and your skin more even.
What Causes Large Pores on the Face?
Pores are microscopic openings in the surface of your skin that are located around sweat glands and hair follicles. Each hair follicle has its own sebaceous gland, which creates sebum, a type of natural oil. The purpose of pores is to release the sweat and sebum your skin continuously produces.
Enlarged pores refer to deeper depressions in the skin’s surface that contain one or more openings to your sweat or sebaceous glands and appear bigger to the naked eye. Multiple factors contribute to large pores; however, genetics mostly determines pore size. If your parents have larger pores, you will likely have larger pores — you may also have oiler skin, too.
That’s because excess sebum is a significant contributor to larger pore size. The oilier the skin, the more likely it is to actively release oil through wider openings in the skin’s surface. Other potential factors that lead to enlarged pores on the face include clogged pores, which make pores expand and look more noticeable, as well as decreased elasticity around pores, which occurs with aging.
Common Skincare Mistakes that Enhance Large Pore Appearance
Dr. Michele Anzilotti, Co-Medical Director at Tribeca MedSpa explains, “You can’t eliminate a pore. Pore size is predetermined by genetics and skin type, and while they can’t be eliminated they can be minimized. It’s important to keep pores open, clean, and free of sebum and keratin. A blocked pore expands, making it look even larger. A combination of topical products and medical treatments can help to mildly constrict the pores.”
When treating pore size, we often see patients making common skincare mistakes that can actually clog your pores and cause more harm than good:
- Using an extractor tool or squeezing pores. While this may seem like a simple solution, you’re more likely to damage and even scar the skin. (In general, any type of extraction to the skin should be left to a professional.)
- Using steam heat to ‘close’ the pores. A heavy dose of heat is more likely to dry out the skin, which will leave the pores looking even bigger. Since the skin’s sebaceous glands create sebum to compensate for any moisture loss, anything that dries out the skin (including makeup and beauty products) will emphasize pores.
- Avoiding sunscreen. Sun exposure can dry the skin, making pores appear larger. Additionally, without a layer of medical-grade sunscreen, unstable molecules (known as free radicals) enter your skin cells and damage their ability to repair themselves. Why medical grade sunscreen vs. off the shelf options? Dr. Ginsberg, Co-Medical Director at Tribeca Medspa, explains, “Sunscreens are actually a tricky commodity to manufacture. They have several ingredients which must work together while not diminishing the sun-blocking effect and not creating new molecules that prove to be toxic or allergenic. To ensure purity of product, safety, and effectiveness I insist on medical-grade sunscreens. They just can’t be made cheaply or carelessly.”
- Skipping a face wash. Regardless of your daytime routine, pore-clogging particles collect on your skin. Cleansing your face twice a day helps shrink the look of pores by breaking up any blockage and allowing your pores to return to their natural shape. We recommend washing your face up to twice a day or more after heavy sweating or doing sports using a gentle, medical-grade cleanser.
Skin Treatments to Minimize the Appearance of Pores
Where skincare mistakes fail to improve pore size and appearance, medspa treatments excel. These medspa treatments cleanse the pores of any excess dirt and debris, curb excess sebum production, and improve skin elasticity to drastically reduce the appearance of large pores.
1. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels address enlarged pores by deeply cleansing the skin and encouraging turnover at the cellular level. During a chemical peel, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) is applied to raise the skin’s acidity level, which loosens dead cells, removes superficial skin layers, and promotes the regeneration of new skin cells. Chemical peels can be customized for oily and congested skin, to help eliminate the extra sebum that clogs and widens pore size.
2. Laser Genesis Treatment
Laser Genesis is a popular treatment among men and women because it has long-lasting anti-aging and rejuvenating effects without any downtime. Laser Genesis reduces fine lines, wrinkles and redness, shrinks large pores, evens out skin tone and texture, reduces acne breakouts and minimizes scarring. It even works on rosacea and other complexion issues.
3. Medical Facials
Medical facials incorporate medical-grade skincare products to penetrate deep beneath the skin’s surface and address concerns on a more targeted level. Any type of medical facial can help reduce the appearance of large pores and make your skin glow for days, namely because they help to exfoliate the skin’s surface and unclog pores. In particular, a HydraFacial provides a dose of deep exfoliation and rich moisture to help skin release less oil for smaller-looking pores. During a complimentary consultation, your provider will recommend the right medical facial that holistically addresses your concerns.
How to Shrink Large Pores with At-Home Products
It’s important to complement the skin improvements achieved during your treatment session with an effective at-home skincare routine. Merve Aykanat, Senior Medical Aesthetician, shares “With skincare, being consistent is the key. No treatment can give permanent results. As with most things in life, everything requires maintenance. It’s important our clients keep up with a good skincare routine at home, with quality, medical-grade products curated for their specific conditions. We see our clients once in the clinic, but they see themselves twice a day in the mirror, so the patient can best monitor and take care of their skin.”
We recommend the following general guidelines to reduce the appearance of large pores:
- Use non-comedogenic skin care products only, as these won’t clog your pores.
- Cleanse your face twice per day to unclog pores and reduce oily skin. We recommend a gel-based cleanser that does not strip your skin of natural oils, such as SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser Gel.
- Exfoliate once or twice per week with AHA or BHA products to encourage cell turnover. Take extra time to gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells that inhibit proper product absorption, and use a product such as SkinCeuticals Retexturing Activator to achieve powerful resurfacing results without added irritation or drying out your skin.
- Wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin from hyperpigmentation that can worsen the look of pores. Additionally, daily antioxidants protect your skin and we recommend using SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic under your daily SPF application.
Why Tribeca MedSpa?
If you’ve been searching for how to shrink the appearance of large pores on the face and nose, our team of award-havening Medical Providers and Medical Aestheticians led by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gerald D. Ginsberg and Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Michele Anzilotti, has been at the forefront of medical aesthetics for over 14 years. As New York City’s local skincare authority, we continue to invest in aesthetic advancements that will help you love your reflection.