The bad news is that you can’t really shrink your pores—while your pores can stretch and get bigger, they can’t get smaller, so if you’ve got big pores, you’re kind of stuck with them. Womp womp.
But you can minimize the appearance of pores temporarily—or keep them from enlarging in the first place—and there are a variety of ways to do it. Here are some tried-and-true methods:
Give your skin a deep clean morning and night and never ever sleep in your makeup. Blackheads stretch pores and as they always say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A clay cleanser can help draw out excess sebum.
Use face masks regularly. A DIY egg white mask is great for temporarily tightening up your pores, but clay masks are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to shrinking your pores. They’ll absorb gunk and impurities from your skin, leaving it clean and smooth.
Try a chemical exfoliant, especially one containing glycolic acid, which gently breaks down dead skin cells, sebum, and dirt—all of which cause pores to stretch.
Detox your pores with charcoal. Like clay, it’s fantastic for pulling excess oil and dirt out of clogged pores. Make your own activated charcoal masks and soaps or consult this list of some of our faves.
If all else fails, hide them. A good primer or BB cream can do wonders when it comes to hiding enlarged pores.
Our Favorite Pore-Shrinking Products
Now that you know the basics on shrinking pores, check out our picks for pore reducing skincare products.