Large pores on the face and nose can take away from attractiveness, especially when they are clogged with too much oil, dirt, bacteria, and other unwanted substances. Various procedures and natural remedies can help to improve the appearance of large pores, which increases life enjoyment as well as skin health.
Published: January 27, 2021
Last updated: January 27, 2021
Having large pores on your face and nose can make you look unhealthy and older than you are. They also increase the likelihood of other dermatological challenges like blackheads and acne, especially for those with oily skin. While it is not possible to permanently alter the size of your pores, you can enhance their appearances by keeping them unclogged and healthy.
This article looks at the treatment options that are available to make large pores look smaller and thereby improve the skin’s appearance. Some DIY remedies, products, and techniques for dealing with large pore sizes at home are also explained.
Overview of Large Pores
To understand how to best treat large pores, it is necessary to understand what they are, what causes them, and their different types.
Except for the bottoms of the hands and feet, the entire body is covered with hairs, some so small they are very difficult to see. Every hair has a follicle, and every hair follicle is positioned under a pore.
There exists two types of pores, the first type secretes oil that the body produces called sebum. It is used to protect and lubricate the skin and hair shafts around the follicles. The other type of pores releases sweat.
Pores that release sebum from the sebaceous glands that surround the hair follicles are the ones that can get clogged with oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt. Pores that release perspiration are not typically the ones that get clogged.
Large Pores + Acne
If you have acne often, it is likely that you have large pores. Large skin pores are markers of increased sebaceous gland size and the associated increase in sebum production. People who produce more follicle oil tend to experience acne breakouts more often.
Large pores and acne are inherited in many people. If these traits run in your family, then you may be more likely to have more severe breakouts than others. Having large facial pores doesn’t mean that you are bound to get acne; it just makes it more likely that you will.
Since large pores and acne are commonly seen together, treating one condition successfully may also benefit the other.
Large Pores + Dry and Oily Skin
Some people with large pores are not troubled by acne, but rather, by combination skin that is dry and flaky in some spots and oily and glossy in others.
It is important to differentiate between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin can be oily, dry, or a combination of both. Being dehydrated simply means that the skin tissue lacks adequate water, not that it is dry in a sense of not producing sebum oil.
It is more likely that dehydrated skin will begin to produce extra sebum to make up for the lack of water moisture it contains. This can cause the dehydrated skin to appear oily in spots, which is why dehydrated and oily skin are often confused.
When dehydrated areas of the face begin producing extra sebum in attempts to lubricate and moisturize the skin, it increases the chances of developing clogged pores. This can make already large pores appear even larger as they expand with oil and other debris.
Large Pores and Blackheads
When a pore gets clogged, sebum has a difficult time traveling to the surface of the skin as it is meant to. If the oil remains trapped beneath the skin by dead skin cells and other waste, it will begin to accumulate beneath the opening of the pore. This happens a lot on and around the nose.
When the debris that is clogging a pore is exposed to gases in the atmosphere, they begin to oxidize, which changes their physical characteristics. This process is what causes blackheads to form. So, it is not necessarily having large pores that cause blackheads, but rather, having clogged pores that are unable to effectively transport sebum oil to the surface of the skin.
Causes of Large Pores
In some cases, large pores are the result of genetics. However, there are other causes too. Other leading causes include:
- Sun damage to skin collagen
- Excessive production of sebum oil
- The aging process as most people lose skin elasticity with age
Treating Large Pores on the Face, Nose, Cheeks, and Forehead
There are various effective treatments and procedures that skin care specialists use to make larger pores less noticeable. Some of the safest and most effective are:
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Resurfacing
IPL (intense pulsed light) An IPL Photofacial treats multiple layers of the skin with high-intensity, broad-spectrum light rays. It mainly targets the dermis (lower layers of the skin) and not the epidermis (top layers of the skin). This popular medspa treatment tightens visible pores and gives them a fresh, firm, and glowing appearance. Some patients see significant results after a single 5-minute outpatient treatment although a series of treatments are typically needed. Most patients find IPL to be painless. The average cost for a single session is about $500.
Facials Getting a facial is a pleasant and rewarding experience that can effectively reduce the appearance of large pores. It can also improve the look of acne scars, damage from sunlight, and fine lines and wrinkles. Some other benefits of this skin rejuvenation technique are:
- Nourishes the skin
- Removes dead skin cells
- Typically cost less than $100
- Creates a more youthful appearance'
Microneedling This procedure is noninvasive, using microneedles to improve skin concerns like large pores, fine lines, fine wrinkles, skin laxity, acne scars, and skin tone discoloration. It is sometimes called “percutaneous collagen induction” because it helps to stimulate collagen production.
Chemical Peels This is a skin resurfacing technique that involves applying a chemical solution that exfoliates the skin. Chemical peels range from light to deep and can be quite effective for improving the appearance of large facial and nose pores. The most common chemicals used for this are:
- BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic acid)
- AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids)
- TCA trichloroacetic acid)
Laser Resurfacing Although laser skin resurfacing is more commonly recommended for reducing acne scars, wrinkles, and facial blemishes, it can also be very helpful for tightening pores and enhancing the appearance of the skin. Laser treatments are precise, safe options for removing the top layers of the skin to expose new, healthy skin beneath.
Home Remedies and Skincare Products
There are numerous skin care products available that can help to reduce the appearance of large skin pores. Some of these products can be expensive, which can make at-home remedies seem more appealing. Consider the following:
Cleanse and exfoliate your face and nose regularly. This will keep oil, bacteria, dirt, sweat, and other pore-clogging substances from accumulating. Some natural recipes that are purported to unclog the pores and reduce their appearance are:
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and warm water wash
- Lemon juice, rose water, and cucumber juice wash
- Apple cider vinegar (ACV) and warm water wash
- Unsweetened, unflavored yogurt mask
- Tomato juice and lemon juice wash
- Raw sugar and lemon juice scrub
- Lemon juice and egg white mask
- Orange peel and almonds mask
- Honey and lemon juice mask
- Fullers clay mask
Natural substances like those listed above haven’t been scientifically proven to constrict the size of the pores, but they have a long history of use for doing so. They’re safe and affordable, making them feasible to experiment with at home.
Preventing Large Pores
Some people are born with large pores. While there’s nothing you can do change your genetic code, there are various ways to avoid clogging the pores and making them appear even larger. Consider the following tips from the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Choose non-comedogenic (non-clogging) skin care and cosmetic products
- Avoid harsh astringents as they can cause increased sebum production
- Gently cleanse your face twice daily with warm (not hot) water
- Avoid thick, greasy moisturizers that can clog the pores
- Drink plenty of pure water every day
- Remove makeup at night
- Avoid bar soaps
Some people inherit large pores that can cause the skin on the face and nose to look aged prematurely. When large pores become clogged with oil, bacteria, dirt, and other substances, they can stand out even more on the face. This can detract from both physical attractiveness and skin health.
Left unaddressed, clogged pores increase the chances for acne, blackheads, and other skin blemishes. It is important to maintain an effective skin care routine to keep the pores clear and functioning properly. This, in turn, helps to keep your skin more youthful, firm, and healthy looking.
Various techniques and products are available that can reduce the appearance of large pores and enhance overall dermatological health. There are also various at-home remedies that are claimed to be very effective. Discuss the best treatment options for your large pores with a skin care professional or dermatologist.
AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- A Bayat Skin Scarring pubmed.gov; 2003-01-11
- The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Skin Tightening americanboardofcosmeticsurgery.org
- Yanhan Wang, Tissa R. Hata Yun, Larry Tong, Christos C. Zouboulis, Richard L. Gallo, Chun-Ming Huang The Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Propionibacterium acnes CAMP Factor-Targeted Acne Vaccines ; 2018-11-11
- American Academy of Dermatology Association Rosacea aad.org