How to Fight the Appearance of Large Pores, According to an Expert

If you have large pores and are looking for a solution to get rid of them once and for all, you've come to the right place!

Pores are something that we all deal with, but shrinking them takes work. We went to Dr. Rebecca Marcus, board-certified dermatologist, and asked her all of our most burning questions. Look below for our full interview with her, where she discusses how to fight off pores and the products she recommends.

Sweety High: What exactly are pores?

Dr. Rebecca Marcus: Pores are tiny openings at the surface of the skin through which gases (such as oxygen and carbon dioxide), liquids (such as sweat), and microscopic particles (such as sebum) can pass.


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SH: What are common areas people have enlarged pores?

DRM: Enlarged pores are most noticeable in areas that produce a higher amount of sebum, such as the nose, medial cheeks and chin. While pores exist throughout the body, in areas of greater sebaceous gland density, pores may become filled with sebum. Sebum can oxidize and/or appear darker in color due to the Tyndall effect, making pores more visible.


SH: How do you decrease the appearance of pores on your nose?

DRM: The best way to decrease the appearance of pores on the nose is by keeping them clean and "empty." When pores are filled with sebum, they are more noticeable. Products such as salicylic acid, which breaks up sebum, and retinoids, which normalize sebum production, are useful in keeping pores clear. Treatments that stimulate collagen production are helpful as well, as collagen helps to prevent excess laxity around pores and therefore keeps them looking smaller. Retinoids, vitamin C and peptides are tried and true topicals that are known to encourage collagen production, while procedures such as microneedling, radiofrequency treatments and lasers also help in this department.


SH: What about other areas of the face?

DRM: All pores on the face will respond equally to the treatments mentioned above. I believe that a consistent topical regimen combined with periodic in-office procedures is the best way to address pores and overall skin texture.


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SH: Do you have any favorite products for fixing pores?

DRM: I love prescription-strength retinoids for those who can tolerate them and over-the-counter retinol such as Retinol Fusion Night Serum by Peter Thomas Roth for those who prefer something milder. A 2% salicylic acid cleanser such as Effaclar by La Roche Posay will help to break up sebum and clear out pores.


SH: What everyday products should we be using to protect our pores?

DRM: Sun protection is essential for many reasons, including pore size! Since sun damage and oxidation causes collagen to break down, protecting our skin from UV radiation and environmental toxins is essential to keep your skin healthy and looking and feeling its best. I recommend a daily antioxidant serum plus sunscreen, nightly application of a retinoid or retinol. For pore-specific concerns, products containing niacinamide can be helpful, and a salicylic acid-containing cleanser will help to keep pores clear of oil and debris.


SH: Is there anything else we should know?

DRM: Treat your skin gently, and be careful not to overdo it. Skin that is overly dried out or exfoliated too aggressively will produce more oil to compensate, which in turn will cause pores to fill up and enlarge. For this reason, hydration and moisturization are essential as well.


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