What Causes Large Pores? Pore Facts, Myths & More!

by Emily Linehan on February 25, 2020

“Ugh…I have really large pores!”

I hear this disparaging statement often. So, let’s get really honest about our pores!

Pore Facts You May Not Know 

  • For the most part, the size of our pores is determined by our genetics and cannot be changed. (Yes, I know it’s a bummer! Keep reading for your options.)
  • People who tend to have oilier skin will generally have a larger pore size.
  • As we age, our pore size can begin to appear even larger due to the laxity & gravity pulling down on the skin.
  • If a pore is congested (aka a clogged pore), debris will dilate the pore to be larger than its normal size.

My Top Pore Myths

  • Cold water closes your pores: False! Unlike the erector pili muscle (which is what creates a “goose bump”) our pores do not have a sphincter muscle. Thus, they do not react to temperature by opening or closing. 
  • Steam opens your pores: False! Again, our pores do not have sphincter muscles. Steam, however, can potentially soften pores. This is why it is frequently used in facials, prior to extractions. I do not use steam (especially with acne-prone skin) because bacteria grow rapidly in a warm moist environment.
  • “I have blackheads on my nose”: False! You might, but the majority of the population refers to their sebaceous filaments as “blackheads”. A sebaceous filament is not a blackhead but instead a recurring, darker pore on the nose or chin that fills with oil. They are distinguishable from blackheads because they are always the same size as other pores (a blackhead is larger). Sebaceous filaments are a fact of life. We all have them to some extent. If removed, they will come back within a week.

What’s the biggest pore myth out there? 

We’ve all seen the perfectly poreless models in the magazines, usually selling a skincare or makeup product. 

We use these pictures as our skin inspiration, but should we? 

The truth is these poreless images are a straight-up lie! The beauty industry would collapse if a pore was visible within an ad (a little over-dramatic, but you know what I mean.) 

These images are NOT realistic at all. Not only do these models have pores, but from my experience working with models, they tend to have larger pores due to the amount of pore-clogging makeup they wear for their shoots. 

How can I treat large, clogged pores?

If your pores are enlarged due to clogging, we can use products and facial treatments to return them to their original size. 

One of the best products I can recommend for dissolving the debris in pores is my Clarifying Serum

In addition to this product, our Skin Smoothing Polish helps remove the top layer of dead skin cells that causes the pores to trap more debris. Using it daily can help prevent debris buildup in the pores, keeping them from enlarging. 

For deep pore cleansing, I recommend using my Sulfur Refining Mask to draw out impurities that build up over time. Using this mask once a week will result in more refined and radiant skin. 

Here is the best treatment to schedule for cleaning out your pores: Clarifying Facial Treatment (New clients should always start with an Acne Consultation!)

How can I treat large genetic pores?  

If your pores are not clogged but still larger than you’d like, there are products and facial treatments to improve their appearance. 

For pores that are larger but not clogged, I recommend my Micro Retinol .5%. This product helps accelerate cell turnover rate and refines the skin’s texture. 

Additionally, my Skin Smoothing Polish buffs away the top dead layers that can give the skin a more textured appearance. Using it daily reveals smoother, softer and more even-toned skin.

The best treatment to schedule for improving the appearance of larger pores: Graceful Aging Treatment 


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