Having enlarged pores is one skincare problem that many struggles with. And there is a huge misconception that there are ways to make your pores disappear. But before we go into all that, for the sake of those who don’t know what enlarged pores are or what causes them, here’s a simple explanation of what it is. Pores are small openings on the skin through which sweat and sebum pass to reach the skin’s surface. Enlarged pores are those that appear enlarged and can be seen with the naked eye. Skin ageing and low skin elasticity may also make pores appear enlarged.

The function of pores

It is important to understand the function of pores because it will provide clarity when the misconception is explained. The opening of a hair follicle is referred to as a pore. Through the pores, the sebaceous gland within each hair follicle secretes sebum, a lubricating oil. Because sebum protects and moisturises the skin, it is essential for skin health.


The number one common misconception about pores is that your pores can disappear. Another popular misconception is that pores open and close. According to dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie, MD, “pores cannot physically dilate or open on their own.” They may grow larger, however, due to a buildup of skin debris, particularly when combined with sebum. Although it is unknown whether pore size can be reduced, they can be made to appear smaller.

A third common misconception is that sweat directly affects or causes enlarged pores on the face. Facial sweat glands have different openings on the skin. Sweating on the face is therefore unrelated to their enlarged size.

Ingredients that help reduce the appearance of pores on the skin

Now that we’ve cleared up the misconceptions above, we can move on to some remedies for enlarged pores. Skincare and wellness content creator Ugo, who constantly uses her Instagram page @myskin_doctrine to share skincare tips, and information on acne and combination skin, shared some ingredients that can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores for the benefit of those who struggle with them. 

These ingredients are: 

  • Clay mask: This helps to unclog your pores by drawing out impurities and excess oil, reducing the likelihood of a breakout.
  • Niacinamide: This helps in reducing excess oil as well as improving barrier function, so incorporating this helps as well. 
  • AHAs and BHAs: Exfoliating with AHAs and BHAs, especially BHAs, works to exfoliate the skin and, of course, reduce excess oil in the pores. Products that combine aha and BHA are the best. A mask that contains BHA and niacinamide can be amazing!

Other products that help reduce the visibility of pores are:

  • Micellar Water and Cleansing Oils/Balms: Not taking off makeup using micellar waters, oil cleansers, or balms would contribute to clogging your pores with makeup leftovers. 
  • Sunscreen: Do not underestimate the job sunscreen can do if you’re trying to fix any skin concern. Prolonged sun exposure can weaken the collagen in your skin, and, of course, several things can happen as a result. Skin can look worn out over time, weak, the skin can sag over time and much more.

Side tip: It is recommended that people with combination to oily skin use light-weight products to reduce the chances of their pores becoming clogged.

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