If you look in the mirror and imagine people playing miniature golf in the craters on your face, you probably have enlarged pores, which are usually genetic.  Pores (the skin surface openings for your hair follicles) can become enlarged due to excessive sebum production, clogged pores, decreased skin elasticity, sun exposure or aging. When pores are clogged due to a mixture of oil and dirt or makeup, they become blocked, stretched, and appear larger. The more oil your skin produces, the larger the pores. The main sin people commit is squeezing, which is ineffective and will just leave residual scars. Using astringents, alcohol, pore strips, mud, and clay masks may clean the pores and temporarily reduce their appearance, but these won’t permanently reduce their size. 


Keeping pores scrupulously clean is important. Washing off your makeup daily before bedtime is a must. It’s best to use a gel-based cleanser as opposed to an oil- based one which may leave a residual film. Incorporating an exfoliant to remove your dry and dead skin cells will help prevent pores from clogging.  Also, using the right moisturizing lotion will help soften and hydrate the skin, penetrating deeper cellular levels, rather than sitting inside the pores on the skin’s surface. Using the same fixes that work for acne, e.g. salicylic and alpha hydroxy acids, lotions, and creams seem to work well. Wearing a light, non-oil-based sunscreen is also important, because damage from the sun actually enlarges pores. Other options are camouflaging large pores with a foundation that has light-diffusing properties and applying the right face primer beforehand, which will act as a filter to skim the pores. Try working with loose powder, which slides over the skin, instead of pressed powder, which can settle into the pores

There are also more aggressive solutions aside from the topical applications. They include lasers and micro needling, which are expensive and should be performed by a dermatologist.  Laser pore treatment creates micro channels of damage to the skin, which in turn stimulates healing and produces more collagen, the protein that gives skin its structure. Micro needling can also rejuvenate the skin. This procedure uses a pen-like device with 25-30 tiny needles on its head.  Each needle is extremely fine and creates micro punctures that trigger skin’s wound-healing response, thus stimulating collagen production. After six weeks, skin should appear smoother and more radiant.   

If you’ve been using the same products on your face daily and they’re not working, it’s time to recalculate and change your regimen. By choosing the right skincare, you can help keep your pores unclogged, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, and prevent them from spiraling out of control.

Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.