Is it Possible to Reduce Open Pores?

Open pores give your skin an unhealthy appearance, even if they're not always related to an acne problem.
Is it Possible to Reduce Open Pores?

Written by Maite Córdova Vena, 09 June, 2021

Last update: 09 June, 2021

Either for reasons of beauty, health, or both, the truth is that many people aspire to show off a perfect complexion. This concept is especially associated with the idea of freshness and a minimal (or even non-existent) number of blemishes, such as open pores, blackheads, or blemishes.

However, a “perfect complexion” is actually skin that has a good balance in most of its characteristics, among which hydration and elasticity would stand out. And, to the surprise of many, the freshness of our skin isn’t determined by the absence of enlarged pores.

Open or enlarged pores aren’t exclusively characteristic of oily, combination, or acne-prone skin. Large or open pores can be part of healthy skin for both men and women, regardless of age and ethnicity. Let’s see more about this below.

What’s there to know about pores?

Open pores are not a disease
All people have pores on their faces, and when they’re very obvious they’re only an aesthetic problem.

Although they’re associated with poor cleaning, excessive sebum production, and even signs of aging, open pores are a benign sign that’s determined by genetics. For this reason, they don’t constitute a skin disorder, but merely an aesthetic problem.

They can be located anywhere on the face, although it seems that they tend to be more noticeable in the so-called T zone and the cheeks. In general, those who think that they have enlarged pores tend to think they’re much larger than they really are when examined under a magnifying glass, due to the concern they create in them.

Colloquially speaking, “pore” is the term we use to name the hole through which the pilosebaceous follicle empties to shed sebum and hydrate the surface of the skin.

According to experts in dermatology, in recent years, the main factors associated with the appearance of open pores are increased sebum production, inflammatory acne, the use of comedogenic products, aging, and sun damage.

On the other hand, they point out that, due to hormonal fluctuations that can occur throughout the menstrual cycle, women may notice that their pores increase in size during ovulation. However, the idea still persists that men tend to have enlarged pores more often than women.

According to a detailed study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, open or enlarged pores aren’t necessarily a consequence of an alteration in the production of sebum, as is often believed. According to what they could observe, these are nothing more than an aesthetic problem.

How to hide open pores?

Open pores can be improved
Constant care is essential for the skin to look attractive.

Not all skin types are the same. Depending on what your needs are, a skin may require more or less hydration to look healthy, for example.

By taking daily care of the skin type, according to its needs, you can not only mitigate open pores and achieve a more attractive appearance, but you can prevent many skin imperfections and health problems. Therefore, the better you know your skin type, the better you can take care of it at each stage of your life.

Practical recommendations

  • You don’t need to use hot water to wash your face and “clean” your pores. Hot water can over-dry your skin and make it more prone to producing more sebum. It can also make it red and make pores even more apparent.
  • The ideal temperature for washing your face is warm.
  • You don’t need to apply ice packs or wash in cold water to “close” your pores. The cold doesn’t make the pores close, it just temporarily makes them smaller.
  • Rather than fighting pore size, what’s recommended is that you learn how to take care of your skin to prevent open pores from turning into blemishes (blackheads, comedones, spots, or even pimples).
  • Regular exfoliation (as directed by your dermatologist) and the use of the right products can help promote a healthy complexion without clogged pores.
  • Protect yourself from the sun with the right products (both in everyday life and in outdoor spaces, such as the beach or the mountains).

As a final recommendation, if you consider that the appearance of your skin can be improved, but you don’t know how to achieve it, consult a dermatologist. The specialist will be able to tell you everything you need to know about what products to use, what to avoid from now on, and many more aspects that will help you to keep your skin healthy and beautiful.

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  • Chan, Lydia. 2017. “Enlarged Pores.” DermNet NZ. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/enlarged-pores/.
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