Can I Close My Large Pores?

Is It Possible To Shrink Large Pores?

Young lady with pore strip on her nose.
Photo: SW Productsions / Getty Images

Enlarged pores are a super common skin care complaint, ranking right up there with acne and aging skin. 

If you have oily skin, you're much more likely to notice your pores.  Which means people with oily skin are much more likely to want to shrink them.

Can you really close your large pores?

Technically, no.  You can't close large pores.

Pores, unfortunately, aren’t like doors.  They don’t open and close.

But wait! What about “hot water to open the pores, cold water to close them” advice. Sorry, that’s actually myth. All the water in the world isn’t going to make small pores large, or large pores small.

Pore size is largely determined by genetics.  Just like some people have blue eyes and others have brown, some people have small pores while others' pores are large.  

Although they seem to only be there to drive you crazy, pores actually play an important role in the health of your skin.  They allow sebum, which is the oil that keeps your skin lubricated, to travel from the gland in which it is created to the surface of your skin.

So, you really wouldn't want your pores to completely close anyway!  But maybe just making them look a little smaller would be nice. 

You can't shrink large pores, but you can make them appear smaller. 

Despite all of their claims and wonderful promises, toners, cleansers, or other skin care products can’t close your pores either.

Many beauty books, magazine articles and the like perpetuate this myth. 

But the fact is, these products aren't "closing" or shrinking your pores at all.  There aren't any skin care products in the universe that can change the actual structure of your skin's pores. 

This isn’t to say these products are useless, though.

  While pore-minimizing products don’t physically change the size of your pores, they can make the pores appear smaller.  How do they do this?  By cleaning out dead skin cells and oil.  

So while it’s a temporary fix, they can still give you the result you’re looking for.

On the flip side, hot towels, warm water, steaming won’t "open" your pores.  What they can do is soften the plugs of oil trapped within.

This is why your esthetician will steam your face before extracting blackheads. Steaming makes the gunk easier to push from the pore. Pores that are cleared of blackheads and blockages will look less obvious.

Want on OTC fix? Pore strips may just do the trick for you. 

Next Steps:

Everything You Need to Know About Your Pores

What Causes Enlarged Pores?

How You Can Treat Large Pores

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