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7 Ways to Make Large Pores Look Less Obvious


7 Ways to Make Large Pores Look Less Obvious

Oily skin and large pores often go hand-in-hand. Here, learn how to visibly minimize pores and discover the best Kiehl’s products for the job.

If you look in the mirror and notice that your skin texture doesn’t look as smooth and even as you’d like, large pores may be the culprit. These openings in your skin connect to hair follicles and secrete sweat and sebum, your skin’s natural oil. Though everyone has pores, they’re not always visible to the naked eye. Those with oily skin or blemish-prone skin, however, tend to be more vulnerable to enlarged pores — a common skin concern that can give your complexion a rough, uneven appearance.

While you can’t actually shrink the size of your pores, you can make them appear smaller. Here, we’ll teach you how, plus share the top skincare products and treatments for managing large pores. Keep reading to learn how to minimize the appearance of large pores on the face for smoother-looking skin.

What Causes Large Pores?

There are a few things that can contribute to enlarged pores. The most well-known factor associated with large pores is your skin type — as noted above, those with oily skin typically have larger pores than their dry skin counterparts because sebum and dead skin cells get trapped in the pores. Excessive oiliness may also contribute to blemishes, which can stretch the pores and make them appear more prominent (picking at your face can also make your pores more noticeable, so hands off).

But your skin type isn’t the only factor that can influence how large your pores appear — your genetics also play a role, as does your age. As you get older, your skin loses its youthful elasticity and over time, this loss of elasticity can cause your skin to sag, making your pores appear larger.

7 Ways to Minimize Enlarged Pores

While you can’t change the actual size of your pores with skincare alone, a proper routine for your skin type can help keep your skin balanced, which in turn may make your pores less visible. Learn how to reduce the appearance of large pores with these top pore-minimizing tips.

Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

Tip 1. Keep Your Skin Clean

As we mentioned, congestion and oiliness can make your pores appear more prominent. To help keep clogged pores to a minimum, we recommend cleansing twice daily with a face wash suitable for oily skin, such as the Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser. This purifying face cleanser includes detoxifying Amazonian white clay and aloe vera, providing a deep clean while removing dirt and excess oils without stripping the skin.

With regular use, the gentle cleanser helps to visibly minimize pores for smoother, healthier-looking skin over time. Dispense a small amount of the creamy cleanser onto clean fingertips and massage the formula over your skin, avoiding your eye area. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel before continuing your skincare routine.

Another option that targets large pores is the Rare Earth Deep Pore Purifying Concentrated Facial Cleansing Bar. This cleansing bar also includes Amazonian white clay, plus bamboo powder to gently cleanse impurities, smooth rough skin texture, and draw out excess oils. Use warm water to wet the cleansing bar and lather it between your hands until it starts to foam. For a daily cleanse, massage the foam on damp skin with your fingers, using circular motions. For an exfoliating cleanse, take the wet bar and rub it directly on the skin, in circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel before proceeding to the next step in your routine.

Kiehl’s Tip: If desired, you can use a microfiber towel to help massage the cleanser onto your skin. The towel will act as a gentle mechanical exfoliant to help remove pore-clogging debris.

Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic

Tip 2. Use a Mattifying Toner

Toner isn’t just for prepping your skin for the rest of your skincare routine — the right formula can also help you address your skin concerns, including enlarged pores. If your pores are more noticeable than you’d like, we recommend reaching for Rare Earth Pore-Refining Tonic, which contains Amazonian white clay and allantoin to detoxify and soothe the skin. The mineral-rich toner for oily skin helps remove impurities left behind after cleansing while balancing the skin’s moisture levels. It also helps diminish shine and reduces the appearance of large pores, leaving your skin looking renewed and healthy. You can apply the lightweight toner with a cotton pad or splash a palmful directly onto your face after cleansing — just be sure to pat it in to get the most out of the pore-minimizing formula.

Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide

Tip 3. Reach For Retinol

There’s a good reason why retinol is considered a holy grail in the skincare world — this powerful ingredient can help with a wide range of skin concerns, including fine lines and wrinkles, unevenness and, yes, enlarged pores. If you’re looking to address large pores with retinol, reach for Micro-Dose Anti-Aging Retinol Serum with Ceramides and Peptide. The gentle formula delivers a daily dose of pure retinol and firms the skin with minimal irritation. In fact, the serum is suitable for all skin types and it’s safe for daily use — even if you’re a retinol newbie. Apply it to your face and neck once daily at nighttime to help reduce wrinkles, firm the skin, and visibly minimize pores with regular use.

Kiehl’s Tip: If you’re using any retinol products, SPF is a must. Look for a lightweight, non-comedogenic sunscreen, like the Super Fluid UV Defense Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ to protect the skin and reduce the risk of clogged pores and breakouts.

Ultra Pure High-Potency 5.0% Niacinamide Serum

Tip 4. Try a Niacinamide Serum

Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a soothing ingredient that can do wonders for oily skin, clogged pores, and congestion. We recommend the Ultra Pure High-Potency 5.0% Niacinamide Serum, which includes a formulation of only 10 ingredients and five percent niacinamide to minimize oils, visibly reduce shine, and smooth skin. Use a couple of drops morning or night on dry skin. Follow with a lightweight moisturizer or pair it with the Ultra Pure High-Potency 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum to rehydrate the skin while you test out the viral skin flooding trend.

Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer

Tip 5. Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Oftentimes, people with oily skin skip moisturizer out of fear that it’ll make their skin look (and feel) greasier. But this concern isn’t entirely rooted in fact. While it’s true that heavier, oil-based moisturizers may be too rich for those with oily skin, hydration is still necessary. When your skin is dehydrated, it may become even more oily to make up for the lack of natural moisture. This, in turn, can contribute to blemishes and make large pores even more obvious. The key is to find a moisturizer that provides lightweight hydration.

We recommend the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Moisturizer, a gel moisturizer formulated with glycerin to retain moisture and soften the skin. The weightless, non-comedogenic formula quickly absorbs and softens the skin while offering 24-hour hydration. It also visibly reduces shine and minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores over time, giving way to a fresher, less oily appearance.

Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask

Tip 6. Use a Pore-Cleansing Mask

To help visibly reduce large pores and simultaneously pamper your skin, consider deep-cleaning with a detoxifying face mask, like Rare Earth Deep Pore Minimizing Cleansing Clay Mask. The award-winning formula includes kaolin and bentonite clay which helps to draw out dirt, oil, and other pore-clogging impurities from within the skin. It’s clinically demonstrated to reduce surface oil by up to 46 percent in a single application (based on a two-hour instrumental test vs. untreated skin on 24 subjects), while regular use helps visibly minimize pores for a smoother, more refined appearance over time. Use the mask at least once a week, though you can use it more often if your skin is very oily or congested.

Kiehl’s Tip: If your pores are enlarged in one area and not the other (large, visible pores are common on the T-zone, for example), consider multi-masking. This masking method allows you to address multiple skin concerns on different areas of your face.

Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion

Tip 7. Exfoliate Regularly

One of the easiest and most effective ways to address large pores is by exfoliating. Regular exfoliation helps remove the excess oil, dirt, and dead skin that can contribute to clogged pores. It also helps reduce existing congestion, promoting a smoother, more refined skin tone. As with anything, though, balance is key, as over-exfoliating can leave your skin feeling irritated and dry while also making existing skin concerns worse.

To reap the benefits of exfoliation without damaging your skin, we recommend incorporating Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion into your weekly skincare routine. This powerful face scrub contains micronized sea shells (also known as diatomaceous earth) suspended in a creamy, shea butter-infused formula. It immediately smooths and refines the skin, while over time continued use visibly reduces enlarged pores and skin discolorations for a more even appearance. You can use this highly effective facial scrub up to three times per week on your face, neck, and chest — just be sure to follow it up with a gentle moisturizer after each use. If your routine includes any type of exfoliation, SPF is paramount as your skin is more sensitive to the sun. Every morning, reach for one, like the Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30 to provide lightweight hydration and broad-spectrum protection.

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