All About Large Pores: Causes, Myths & Tips
By Jared Bailey, Benefit Global Brow and Beauty Authority and Licensed Esthetician
Feb 1, 2023
Just like skin types aren’t a one-size-fits-all thing, your pores are as unique as you are! They come in all different types and sizes, large, small, clogged, clear—the list goes on and on. And no matter what type of pore you have, you’re probably seeing a LOT of info out there (more myth than fact) about how to “get rid of your pores.”
In reality, you can’t get rid of your pores and honestly, you don’t want to—they’re there for a reason. But you CAN make them LOOK smaller. So, if you’re feeling like large pores are a large problem, trust us on this: they’re not!
What Causes Large Pores?
There are a handful of reasons why you might be experiencing enlarged pores. Aside from genetics, pores can become more visible when our skin experiences:
- Aging: We really can’t help this one, BUT using the right products to keep your pores clean and free of dirt or bacteria helps your skin look clear and smooth (whether you’re 18 or 80).
- Sun damage: Overexposure to the sun’s rays can lead to larger-looking pores.
- Comedogenic makeup & skincare: Pores that are blocked with dirt, oil, and dead skin cells can lead to (you guessed it) larger-looking pores. If a makeup or skincare product is non-comedogenic, it won’t clog your pores.
Are You Noticing Large Pores on Your Nose?
It’s SUPER common to notice larger pores on your nose because the T-Zone (aka forehead, nose, and chin) typically produces more oil. Makeup, sweat, and dirt are the biggest culprits when it comes to clogged pores which can result in the appearance of large pores. Because we may have larger pores on our noses than any other part of our face it’s wildly important to wash our faces completely before we go to bed to make sure our pores are clean.
Pore Size Is in the Eye of the Beholder
“Large” pores can look different for everyone. Everyone has pores and everyone’s skin is unique—that’s the beauty of it all, right? What looks like a large pore to one person may not look like one to another. But pores of all sizes need to be treated right to look their best.
Common Myths About Enlarged Pores…Debunked!
The Internet does a lot of amazing things, but if we’re not careful, it can throw content our way that’s not necessarily true. I’m here to walk you through some of the most common myths I’ve seen floating around out there (and try to hit you with some actual truths to set the record straight).
Myth #1: You Can Open and Close Your Pores
The truth? Well, not EXACTLY. Pores do dilate and stretch, but that doesn’t really translate to “opening and closing” like a window. You’ve probably heard that treatments like steaming and high temperatures open up your pores or “unclog” them, but that’s not really the case. What those treatments CAN do is soften the skin and make it easier to remove the buildup in your skin and let the gunk in your pores slide out.
Myth #2: You Can Actually Shrink Your Pores
False! You can’t make your pores smaller, no matter what you’ve heard (or how hard you try to manifest it). When it comes to minimizing large pores, let’s focus on making pores LOOK smaller with a consistent pore-cleaning routine (and of course, using a primer that visibly minimizes pores works too).
MYTH #3: You Can Get Rid of Pores Completely
Respectfully? Nah. You can’t get rid of your pores and honestly, you don’t want to! Pores help us sweat, cool us off, and keep our skin looking healthy. They produce a moisturizing oil called sebum that keeps our skin soft and supple. They’re critical to helping our bodies function! Pores aren’t going anywhere—and that’s a good thing.
How to Visibly Minimize Large Pores
Looking for the ultimate solution for large pores? Ta-da! You have arrived. Now that we’ve set the record straight when it comes to your pores, let’s get into what we CAN do to minimize the appearance of larger pores with some tips and techniques from our experts.
Use a Gentle Pore Cleanser & A Kick-A** Toner
It’s hard to stick to a routine, I totally get it. But the biggest reason most of us can’t stick to one is simple—we’re trying to do too much all at once. Get real with yourself and think about the number of steps you know you can do once or twice a day. Creating a solid foundation for your pore care routine should include:
- A cleanser (to remove oil, dirt, makeup, and other impurities)
- A toner (something that helps tighten up pore appearance)
- A moisturizer (to help smooth and hydrate skin after you cleanse it)
A simple 3-step routine like this will help clean pores, make pores look smaller, visibly improve skin texture, and can be done in just a few minutes (you’ve got this).
Find a Non-Comedogenic Pore Primer
So, if you didn’t know already, we owe our pore obsession to our OG pore primer, The POREfessional. She got us thinking about how we could do even more for our pores, so we developed an entire primer line to fit the needs of all their different skin types. And our primers are all non-comedogenic, which means they shouldn’t clog pores. Plus, our primers help makeup stay put, apply evenly to your face, make skin look smoother-than-smooth, AND visibly minimize pores.
Pore Your Heart Out
The moral of the story? There’s nothing wrong with enlarged pores, but there are steps you can take to make your pores look smaller and your skin look smoother. As always, when you do more for your pores, you see more from your skin. Get to know your pores by taking our quiz.
- Whelan, Corey. “The Misnomer of Open Pores and How to Treat Them When They’re Clogged.” Healthline. 7, Mar, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/open-pores#causes
- “7 Ways to Minimize Pores.” Cleveland Clinic. 7, June, 2022, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-shrink-pores/
- Ju Lee, Sang et al. “Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, Treatment.” National Library of Medicine, Dermatol Surg. 42(3): 277-85. Mar 2016, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26918966/#
- Walters, Meg. “Try This Finishing Technique for Soft, Smooth, Touchable Skin.” Healthline. 27, Sept, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/try-this-finishing-technique-for-creamy-smooth-skin#makeup-tips
- Cherney, Kristeen. “Top 8 Ways to Get Rid of Large Pores”. Healthline. 6, Apr, 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-get-rid-of-large-pores#
- Watson, Kathryn. “How to Close Your Pores”. Healthline. 23, Dec, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-close-pores
- Cherney, Kristeen. “What Causes Large Nose Pores and What Can You Do?” Healthline. 7, Mar, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/nose-pores