Pores | Oily Skin & Acne | Guides

The Esthetician Guide on How to Shrink Pores

The fact is, the larger your pores, the less smooth,
flawless, and – god damn it – young your skin looks

Pores are fast becoming the complexion issue du jour.

Lately, we’ve seen a shift from those seeking treatments for ageing.

To those wanting to achieve smoother and seemingly pore-free skin.

It’s a persistent skin condition that is taking centre stage.

So, before you have a pore-related freak-out, join us.

As we look at how to control your predisposition to larger pores.

How to Shrink Pores

If you are concerned about shrinking pores, it is essential to understand your ultimate goal: maintaining the follicle’s size and preventing natural stretching.

In order to achieve this, you need to take a multi-pronged approach:

1. Surface of the Pore:

  • Hydrate and smooth your skin’s surface, giving you a soft-focus finish.

2. Around the Pore:

  • Use gentle products to flush out your pores, such as kaolin clay and other mattifying ingredients found in Fortify cream that instantly absorb excess oil, ensuring a shine-free finish.

3. Within the Pore:

  • Use specific, targeted ingredients and treatments to strengthen and tighten your skin, like peptides and bee venom found in Betox brighten and tighten skin shot which will gradually reduce the appearance of pore size over time.

It would be best to scale back your pore workload by reducing the skin’s production of inflammation-inducing oils.

Scientific studies (1) support the effectiveness of a 750mg daily supplement of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) in regulating sebum production, providing a foundational step in your pore management routine.

Deep Clean Pores

Jumpstart the pore-refining train with a clarifying cleanse. Often, pores seem larger because they’re filled to the brim with oxidised sebum (oil) and dead skin cells.

Once you clean them out, they don’t shrink or disappear, but they won’t stretch and are not as easy to spot.

Miracle Cleanse is a unique cleanser that combines antioxidants and lipids to protect as it cleanses, promoting healthy cell renewal.

Facial Extractions

As with most skin conditions, the key is to find your sweet spot when it comes to extraction.

Treating your face with steam is a great way to extract without damaging your skin.

Facial steaming softens your skin and loosens compacted sebum, helping you perform a controlled extraction without causing tiny micro-tears or damaging your barrier function.

Dont Forget to Exfoliate

A crucial step in your pore management routine is exfoliation.

Despite the familiar promise that exfoliants can “reduce the appearance of pore size,” it’s important to acknowledge that pore size is mainly genetic.

Therefore, the primary goal of exfoliation is to help maintain clean pores; we recommend using an enzymatic exfoliant.

Enzymes like Papaya and Papain work like miniature Pac-men on your skin, sloughing away dead skin cells and penetrating the pores to ensure a gentle and thorough cleanse.

Mask the Difference

If you prefer an old-school approach, rediscover that 80s skincare favourite: the clay mask.

Certain clays like Kaolin and Fuller’s Earth encourage pore walls to relax and purge deep into the skin, pulling out impacted plugs as they dry.

This allows the debris inside the pore wall to be more readily drawn out.

Laser treatments

These help diminish the appearance of pores and acne scarring with laser treatments. Each light pulse works to smooth and refine your skin while creating micro-zones of boosted collagen to reveal fresher, smoother skin.

A study (2) on the clinical and histological effect of three sessions of fractional CO2 laser on enlarged facial pores showed a significant decrease in the count of dilated pores—by roughly 28 % after the second session and 54% after the last treatment.

Gentle Peels

Ones that contain BHA, like salicylic acid, gently dissolve the build-up of oil and dead skin cells, so there’s less chance of dirt, sweat, or sebum getting trapped inside your pores, making them cleaner and less noticeable.

Scaling Treatment

With this treatment, your skin is professionally prepped, primed with a scaling fluid, and then steamed by a professional therapist. Once your skin has been softened and the pores opened, a manual extraction is performed to keep your skin clear of blackheads and shine-free.

Vitamin A-based topicals

When thinking about shrinking pores, you can’t overlook retinol, which helps reduce oil production. Topical retinoids like A+ skin shot can help flush the pores and promote even skin texture.

The Filter Perfect face

The grand finale of pore-concealing sorcery is makeup, and whilst no one line of makeup magic will make your pores disappear entirely, some tips will help improve your base.

Hydrate the Base: When applying makeup to make pores look smaller, it’s essential to ensure that your base is as hydrated and even as possible. H2O Hydrating Skin Shot is like a mini drink for the skin, plumping and hydrating, preventing your pores from drinking what you’re about to apply.

Blur Primers: No article on how to shrink pores would be complete without discussing Blur primers. These are usually silicone-based skincare products that act like Polyfilla in a good way by smoothing away the uneven appearance of pores. Our favourite is Benefit’s Porefessional – a silky, vitamin-E-enriched face primer that minimises the appearance of pores and fine lines over or under makeup.

Foundation: Avoid a heavy base that will clog your skin as it will settle visibly into enlarged pores; instead, opt for light-to-medium coverage. Follow the link to learn more about applying makeup on oily skin for that perfect matte finish.

To conclude. The naked truth

So, as you can see, the definitive answer on how to shrink pores is not so definitive.

While many pore-specific skincare products are available to help conceal your pores, you can’t wholly minimise them.

We recommend starting early to keep your pores clean. A simple skincare routine with products that slow sebum secretion and draw out impurities will help refine the appearance of pores and keep your skin healthy.

A great place to start is our Clarify pH balancing gel, an oil-free moisturiser that resets and balances overactive oily skin, keeping oily secretions at bay.

We find a big problem is that many of our clients make a big mistake with enlarged pores, putting off dealing with them until they become a real problem.

Because left untreated, clogged pores stretch, leading to blackheads and breakouts, and can quickly become inflamed and irritated.

So, implementing a good skincare routine is key to keeping your pores clean and your skin shine-free.

Your routine will require constant maintenance simply because no permanent solution makes your pores appear smaller.


1. The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production.

2. Clinical and histological evaluations of enlarged pores after energy laser.

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