Pores are an essential component of skin health. Hair follicles are pores that allow the skin’s natural oils (sebum) to reach the surface and provide a protective lubricated layer. Since pores are openings in the skin, they can become clogged with excess sebum, dead skin cells (keratin), and pollutants. While you cannot erase pores, there are effective treatments available to reduce the appearance of large pores and improve uneven skin texture.
Reasons for Large Pores and Uneven Skin Texture
Large pores can make the skin appear rougher and oilier. Shrinking pore size can improve the skin’s overall texture. Finding a solution to this skin issue starts with identifying the root of the problem. Pores can appear larger for many reasons including:
Hormones play an important role in the secretion of sebum as they stimulate the glands that produce it. When hormones fluctuate, so does the amount of sebum the skin produces. Excess sebum can lead to clogged pores and make them appear larger.
Rosacea often affects the skin beyond redness. It can cause bumps and thicker skin- both of which can increase pore size and uneven skin texture.
Acne is a multifactorial disease, meaning it typically does not have a singular cause. Fundamentally speaking, acne including whiteheads and blackheads are a result of clogged hair follicles under the skin.
- Whiteheads: Congested pores that are close to the surface of the skin.
- Blackheads: Clogged pores or keratin plugs. Blackheads form as a result of keratin, sebum, and dirt. The blackhead is an open hair follicle or pore in which the contents of the pore are oxidized causing the dark head to appear.
Some people are more prone to larger pores than others. Treatment is still possible for those prone to pore congestion.
Lifestyle Habits to Reduce Large Pores and Uneven Skin Texture
In addition to skin conditions, lifestyle choices can increase the appearance of pores and an uneven complexion. Dr. Zenovia recommends avoiding the following practices to improve the skin’s health and appearance:
- Stay away from mineral oils as they are pore-clogging. This is especially important for those who have acne-prone skin.
- Avoid fragrance as it can easily cause skin irritation, leading to uneven texture and inflamed skin.
- Discontinue the use of products with silicones as their occlusive nature (pore blocking) can cause acne to flare.
- Don’t over-cleanse since this can strip the skin of the natural oils it needs to stay healthy, triggering the body to overproduce oils. This can potentially lead to clogged pores.
- Avoid using comedogenic products or products that can block pores. Check labels on makeup, lotions, oils, and sunscreen to ensure they are non-comedogenic
At-Home Treatments to Reduce Large Pores and Uneven Skin Texture
Large pores and uneven texture are often easily treated with at-home topicals.
- Retinols are the best pore-reducers because they build collagen and balance oil. Using a retinol daily is very effective in cell turnover to prevent clogged pores in general - both blackheads and whiteheads. Try Dr. Zenovia’s Advanced Retinol Night Repair Treatment in the evenings, which can help improve the skin’s texture and reduce pore size.
AHAs can help fight comedonal acne like blackheads and clogged pores by reducing follicular plugging. Dr. Zenovia’s 10% Glycolic Acne Control Peel Pads are a convenient way to incorporate AHAs into your routine. Glycolic Acid is the most common type of AHA which works to target acne.
- BHAs are oil-soluble acids that can penetrate deep into the pores and help remove dead skin cells, fight bacteria, and control excess sebum.
- Moisturizers are important to maintain the skin’s hydration levels and protect your skin’s barrier. Without this moisturizing layer, the hydration levels in your skin can evaporate leaving it more prone to dryness and uneven texture. Dr. Zenovia’s Aloe Vera Blemish-Soothing Moisturizer is gentle, yet effective at reducing the appearance of redness and promoting even texture and tone for a supple, blemish-free complexion.
In-Office Professional Treatments to Reduce Large Pores and Uneven Skin Texture
If at-home products don’t seem to be helping, please seek professional guidance from a board-certified dermatologist. Common treatments for large pores and uneven texture include resurfacing procedures (Peels and microdermabrasion), laser procedures, and extractions.