Many factors outside your control can contribute to enlarged pores, but that doesn't mean you have to go down without a fight.
The sources of enlarged pores
Where do enlarged pores come from? There's no single answer to why some women have nearly invisible pores and others have a T-zone that looks like it went through a hailstorm. The factors that can contribute to enlarged pores include:
- Oily skin and acne. Pores are more visible when they're blocked by oil and debris, which can contribute to blackheads and acne. Furthermore, a past history of acne can make pores appear larger because of the damage done to pore tissue by prior inflammation.
- Skin damage. People do all kinds of horrifying things to their skin, and any type of skin damage can result in dilated pores. Most often, people damage their skin by baking it in the sun or by picking at acne and blackheads. You should stop doing both, immediately.
- Genetics. Unfortunately, there is a genetic component to pore size. If your mom has large pores, then you're likely to suffer the same condition.
- Aging. Skin loses elasticity and thins as part of the aging process, which means that pores tend to grow with age.
- Poor skin care habits. If you go to bed with your makeup on, or exercise without washing your skin afterwards, or use a cleanser that isn't effectively removing dirt and oil, then you're probably contributing to the appearance of enlarged pores. The good news is that you can change your poor skin care habits to reduce the appearance of your pores. Make sure you use a high-quality cleanser every night and exfoliate your skin at least once a week to slough off the grime that can lead to enlarged pores.
Top products for minimizing pores
Not all cleansers and skin care lines are created equally, especially when it comes to minimizing the appearance of pores. If you're looking for a skin care routine that works for you, check out one of the following products:
- Boots No. 7 Pore Refining Serum. This serum contains willow bark to unblock pores and reduce inflammation, which helps prevent future blemishes. (Boots, $17)
- Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. The Tata Harper skin care line boasts 100 percent natural and non-toxic ingredients, and their resurfacing mask does a superb job of exfoliating and refreshing the skin for a smooth finish. (Tata Harper, $55)
- Olay Regenerist Detoxifying Pore Scrub. We like that Olay's low-cost pore scrub both cleanses and exfoliates for a fresh glow after just a few uses. It's gentle enough to use as your daily nighttime cleanser. (Olay, $9)
- Sonya Dakar Pore Minimizer. Perfect for an oily complexion, Sonya Dakar's pore minimizer helps reduce oil production and inflammation that so often lead to dilated pores. (Sonya Dakar, $48)
- Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector. If you're still not happy with the appearance of your pores after switching skin care products, consider trying Clinique's Perfector. This product won't minimize your pores, but it will fill in your pores and fine lines so no one will be the wiser. (Sephora, $21)
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