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How To Minimize Large Pores Without Makeup

If the pores of your nose, cheeks or chin appear more visible than when you were 30, here’s the reason—and some solutions.

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illustration of woman holding a mirror seeing her pores, shrink pores, skin care
Tasia Graham
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What skincare product, treatment or ritual seems to most benefit your skin? Tell us in the comments below.

There are many myths about pores — one of the biggest is that they open and close like windows. While pore size does vary depending on your genes, no amount of astringent or toner can shrink them. But those products and others do work to get rid of impurities, which make your pores appear smaller. So, if you can see your pores when you look in the mirror, they’re likely clogged and you’re probably staring at a bunch of gunk. Yuck!

Mature skin loses elasticity, and its ability to produce collagen slows down. This causes our pores to stretch. Dirt, oil and dead skin cells, along with certain makeup and skin care products (look for non-comedogenic formulas), only worsen the issue as they clog pores.

If you’re noticing enlarged pores and want to minimize the look of them, stick to a solid skin care regimen. You don’t need a kajillion steps, but thoroughly cleansing and moisturizing your face (dehydrated skin produces more oil) are non-negotiable. Toss in toner if you feel you need it since it’s designed to remove excess dirt and oil. Astringents do the same thing, but they tend to be stripping since they contain higher amounts of alcohol.

Another way to clean out your pores is by treating yourself a steamy facial on your next day off. Combined with exfoliation, the steam loosens up the debris in your pores, allowing your cleanser to work harder and the products you layer on afterward to penetrate deeper into the skin.

Exfoliating treatments like AHAs or microdermabrasion can also help. Not only do they banish dark spots over time, they unclog pores by increasing your skin cell turnover rate. Remember that collagen loss we mentioned earlier? Too much sun exposure can actually break down collagen, so wear sunscreen year-round if you don’t already, sis!

What skincare product, treatment or ritual seems to most benefit your skin? Tell us in the comments below.

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