3 Ingredients That Can Help To Reduce Enlarged Pores

Sometimes, when you look in the mirror, your pores may appear to be a little bigger than usual or a bit more obvious to look at, even under your makeup. What you may believe to be a case of enlarged pores isn’t actually the case — your skin is completely covered in thousands of pores, and unfortunately, there isn’t actually a way to make them bigger or smaller. The concept of “opening” or “closing” your pores doesn’t actually exist, but one way to make them appear smaller is to unclog your pores.

Why do my pores look bigger?


Your skin contains millions of pores all over your body, all of which contain hair follicles and sebaceous oil glands, which produce sebum. If your pores seem enlarged, it’s most likely due to them being clogged with excess dirt or sebum, which can be reduced and prevented with regular cleansing.

Activated Charcoal

1. Caolion Premium Blackhead Steam Pore Pack ($34)
2. Origins Clear Improvement® Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores ($39)
3. Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding – Intensive Wash-Off Treatment ($65)

One ingredient that effectively helps to clear your pores is activated charcoal. When applied onto the skin, it lightly exfoliates the skin as toxins are attached to the charcoal and then washed away, allowing for deep cleansing of your pores without excess stress or irritation to the skin. I personally really like the CAOLION Steam Pore Pack — it heats up when applied, activating the charcoal, and contains grain powder that gently exfoliates the skin upon application and removal.


1. Estée Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Bar ($30)
2. Estée Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly ($32)

Another pore-cleansing ingredient is algae, which is rich in amino acids, vitamins, and proteins. A natural detoxing ingredient, one particular species that is commonly found in both supplements and skincare is chlorella, a freshwater algae that contains vitamin C, chlorophyl, beta-carotene and other antioxidants. When applied on the skin, it gently removes pollutants that your skin is exposed to on a daily basis, and the additional proteins help to strengthen the epidermis. It also contains a high concentration of Omega-3, which is anti-inflammatory, and also hydrates and tightens the skin.

Salicylic Acid

1. Caudalie Vinopure Purifying Gel Cleanser ($33)
2. Caudalie Vinopure Blemish Control Infusion Serum ($62)
3. Caudalie Vinopure Clear Skin Purifying Toner ($35)

Excess sebum production can cause pores to appear larger, and one ingredient that can reduce this is salicylic acid. Also known as beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), salicylic acid first increases the amount of moisture in the skin, before dissolving debris and other substances that may be causing a build-up of dead skin cells. Caudalie’s Vinopure line contains a high amount of natural salicylic acid, alongside grape water and rosewater, which soothe the skin, preventing redness and inflammation. Do note that salicylic acid can be drying if used in excess, so those with sensitive skin should gradually introduce it into your routine.