#SkinSchool: The Truth About Shrinking Pores


If you’ve ever found yourself peering nervously into a magnifier mirror, wondering how to shrink your pores, you’re not alone. It seems we’ve all had an obsession with our skin texture at some point, attempting to exfoliate large pores into extinction or smooth them into submission with endless layers of primer.

When it comes to getting rid of pores, the reality is that you can’t. As Dr. Dennis Gross explains, they’re on your face for a good reason. “Pores are tiny hair follicles which contain an oil-secreting sebaceous gland. You have them all over your body, with the exception of your palms and bottom of your feet. The purpose of a pore is to allow the oil generated by the sebaceous glands to travel up the hair follicle and reach the surface of the skin, lubricating it. This natural oil is called sebum and keeps the skin moisturised and healthy.”

While it’s true that some days your pores may appear larger than others, the idea that you can ‘open’ and ‘close’ them is false. “Your pores have no muscles attached to them, so they are unable to move or shift shape” confirms Andrea Pfeffer, founder of facial clinic Pfeffer Sal. “However, their appearance and size is affected by many factors including skin condition, genetics and lifestyle. Pores can appear to grow in size as we age, due to depletion of collagen and elastin in the skin making it a little less tight.”

So while you can’t change the natural size of your pores, you can do a lot to prevent them from enlarging further. Scroll down to discover how to really minimise pores – no miracles required…

Consider your cleanser

Cleansing thoroughly is an essential first step in keeping pores at their natural size. Make-up, daily grime and city pollution all sit on the skin throughout the day, and need to be completely swept away to prevent pores becoming clogged and therefore enlarged. A double cleanse is your secret weapon here: first, melt make-up with an oil or balm, then try a gel to really get rid of the grime.