You can't make your pores disappear, but you can make them look smaller.
You need your pores. That's how oil and sweat reach your skin's surface. Many things can affect your pore size, including these six that you control.
1. Pick Products Wisely
Take stock of your skin care products. Zinc and magnesium help restore your skin's oil balance and clear pores, which can make them look smaller.
Products with soothing ingredients such as rosemary and lavender may ease irritation and prevent pores from stretching out.
Also, choose products that say "noncomedogenic" on the label. That means it won't clog your pores.
If salicylic acid is listed as an ingredient, it may help your skin's texture and unclog pores because it exfoliates your skin. Retinol or prescription-strength retinoids also help unclog pores and keep them looking smaller.
2. Keep Clean
Washing your face is a short-term solution. It stops your pores from having to expand to hold extra oil or other buildup from the day.
Exfoliating two or three times per week does the same thing. But these steps are "only temporary," says cosmetic dermatologist Mitchell Chasin, MD. "You will naturally have large pores if you are born with oily or combination skin."
3. Wear Sunscreen
Too much sun can make your skin less supple, making your pores look bigger, Chasin says.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. Also, wear a broad-brimmed hat and avoid being out in the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. Spot Treat
Drier skin tends to have barely visible pores. Oiler skin tends to have larger, more noticeable pores.
"The larger the oil production, the larger the pore, and vice versa," Chasin says.
Some areas of your face may be oilier and show more visible pores than others. If the pores on your nose, cheeks, or forehead are large, try spot treating with a clay mask.
Smooth a thin layer on clean skin, leave it on for several minutes, and rinse it off with water. The clay can quickly and gently wick extra oil out of congested pores so that your skin appears smoother.
You can also use blotting papers on your oily areas.
5. Eat Right
Food that's high in fat and unhealthy oils can inflame your skin, which can lead to clogged pores, Chasin says.
Instead of chips, candy, and cookies, snack on natural, low-fat foods like fruit and vegetables.
6. Never Sleep With Makeup On
Don't go to bed without washing your face. Leaving make-up on overnight clogs your pores, stretching them out over time.
Stash a pack of face wipes at your bedside for those nights you forget to wash off your makeup at the sink.