What Causes Large Pores? How To Shrink Their Appearance

What Causes Large Pores? How To Shrink Their Appearance

Pores get a bad rap, and we understand why. We all want the look of unsullied, airbrushed skin, and a face full of large pores can sometimes feel discouraging. So, stick around! Below, we’ll reveal a number of super simple ways to even out your skin’s appearance so that you can be fresh on your way to the smooth, healthy skin you crave!


Main Takeaways: The size of your pores is genetic, and can’t actually be altered.

Good to Know: Keeping your skin clean, and using plumping products like a vitamin C serum are the best ways to minimize the look of your pores.

Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser, Rose and Shine Rose Water Toner and Prince Charcoal Detox Mask.


Looking for a pore purifying cleanser? We've got just the thing.

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What Are Pores?

Say what you will about them, but pores are kind of amazing and totally crucial for healthy skin. Pores are teeny crevices located all over the body and function as little vents for our skin. Glands below our skin’s surface secrete oils that travel up the pore shaft, purging them of dead cells, dirt, and other skin stressors. Without giving these things an exit point, our skin would be pretty gross, which is part of why pores are so important. But pores can also become clogged and stressed, causing them to appear enlarged. So, how do we best take care of our pores so they can best take care of us? What can we do to shrink our pores?

Pore Size

We hate to break it to you, but you can’t actually shrink your pores. While a number of factors contribute to their perceived appearance, no product or tweak to your skincare routine can physically alter their size. This, like eye color, is largely determined by genetics. People with oily skin tend to have bigger pores because they are more frequently releasing oils from larger glands through wider pathways. Those with thicker hair also tend to have larger pores, since follicle size affects pore size. Age is another contributing factor to the size of our pores. As we get older, our skin naturally loses its firmness, causing pores to stretch, ultimately making them more noticeable. We know; total bummer. So, if those of us with larger pores are basically stuck with them, will we ever be able to grant our skin that IG filter finish we all secretly covet?

Well, no - I mean, definitely no. And we shouldn’t want to! Overzealous beauty standards and social media may have you thinking that pores should be imperceptible to the human eye. But here at Fleur & Bee, that’s just not how we roll. Pores are natural, important, and beautiful in every size. But there are a number of things we can do to keep them clean and healthy, which can definitely contribute to their look and potentially minimize their appearance.

Minimizing the Look of Pores

Pore minimization is a side effect of paying proper attention to your skin. So, if you want a smoother complexion, focus first on taking care of your face and the rest will fall into place. Below are a number of things that can help treat your skin with the respect and love it deserves, each of them naturally resulting in the minimized appearance of your precious pores!

1. Wash Your Face Properly.

Keeping pores clean inherently minimizes their appearance by ridding them of dirt, oils, and other stuff that would otherwise make them much more pronounced. Always use a cleanser that is compatible with your skin (Obviously, we love our gentle facial cleanser, So Clean! It’s chock-full of gentle, natural ingredients and is formulated for all skin-types). Also, be sure to wash your face properly and at the right frequency for you.

2. Exfoliate.

There’s more to keeping your skin clean than just washing it regularly. Beyond just ridding it of dirt and oil, exfoliating helps slough off dead cells, which could otherwise get trapped in our pores, making them appear larger. Incorporate a gentle exfoliant into your routine 2-3 times a week for best results!

3. Avoid Pore Clogging Ingredients.

Steering clear of comedogenic ingredients (things that can clog your pores, thereby making them look bigger) seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many unsuspecting consumers fall victim to these nefarious villains. So, read your labels. Know what you’re putting on your face and what to avoid for clean, healthy, skin.

4. Seriously, STOP Touching Your Face!

During the day, our hands come in contact with tons of oils, bacteria, dirt, viruses, and allergens that can clog our pores and ultimately make them appear bigger. Further, rubbing and excessively handling our skin can create microscopic tears in the tissue, stretching our pores and creating larger openings on the surface. So, when it comes to your face, hold to a hard and fast, Hammer-style rule! Can’t touch this!

5. Mask Up!

Skin masks can be UH-MAZING for minimizing the look of pores and there are so many different kinds to try. We love our Prince Charcoal detoxifying mask, which works by drawing out stubborn impurities to radically cleanse our pores into submission! Incorporate it into your routine 2-3 times a week and maximize your pore-minimizing potential!

6. Limit Sun Exposure.

Repeat fun in the sun can have inflammatory effects on our cells, which can collect around the edges of our pores, making them appear larger. Further, excessive sun exposure can damage collagen and elastin, which are effectively our skin’s structural support. Without these, pores can stretch beyond repair. So, you’re probably gonna want to go ahead and change that legendary lyric to “here comes the sunhat.”

7. And Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!

This is a given, even on cloudy days, as UV rays can still shine on through and wreak havoc. When applying your daily dose of SPF, consider doing so with an enriched primer. Sunscreens often gloss your skin, which can make pores seem more pronounced. Primers, however, often have a matte finish and work to smooth out the skin’s appearance.

8. Seek Out Certain Ingredients.

While no one product can permanently reduce pore size, there are some that stand out in their ability to minimize pore perceptibility. Glycolic acid and lactic acid masterfully dissolve dead cells and absorb oil, making them exceedingly effective at diminishing the appearance of our pores. Also consider the use of retinols (or consult with your doctor about prescription retinoids), as these rev up cell turnover, purging pores and helping them appear smaller.

9. Chill Out.

Yes, stress can actually make your pores look bigger! Stress hormones in the body raise levels of other hormones that stimulate oil secretions, activating the pore shaft and potentially clogging them with excessive oil production. So, relax and find healthy ways to destress. Your skin will thank you.

10. But Really, CHILL Out!

Similar to how cold water can tighten the misshapen lid on that vintage jar, applying ice to your freshly cleansed skin can help temporarily tighten pores, making them appear smaller.

There’s a bunch of other things that can help prevent the look of large pores, like using blotting paper during the day to keep oil at bay, trying pore cleansing strips, avoiding cigarettes like the plague, and even drinking more water. But the simple truth is well-loved pores are minimized pores. So, take care of your skin and watch those babies “shrink” faster than Alice with a Wonderland snack cake!