By and large, our genetics determine our skin type and therefore our pore size. Your pores are somewhat larger over the nose and your pores do enlarge slightly with age. Here is the big print material: Your pore size is your pore size. It takes a significant procedure to change that and we will explore that later.
Assuming that your skin is healthy, your pore size can’t be changed by finding a magical deep cleaning cleanser or using creams, astringents, toners or pore strips. If you have a tendency to oily or acne prone skin with blackheads or whiteheads, chances are most of your pores are a little plugged up with a combination of dead skin and oil even in areas where you don’t have bumps. This can make the pores look larger, especially over the nose area. In this case, keeping your skin exfoliated by cleansing normally twice daily and using exfoliating topical products or exfoliating procedures will keep your pores from looking bigger than they are. But keep in mind that while your pores may appear smaller when you are exfoliating your skin regularly, your pores are still the same size. Beware the following words used to trick you into thinking you will have smaller pores: “pore minimizing”, “reduces the appearance of pores”, “pore refining”. These do not actually make your pores smaller. Even those pore strips that pull the yucky dead skin out of the pore don’t reduce the pore size. That dead skin just accumulates again in your large pores. If you like to do it, fine! Just know that your pores will stay the same size.
What actually reduces your pore size? Laser resurfacing treatments. Clear and Brilliant laser can make pores measurably smaller after a series of 6 treatments. Fraxel laser can make your pores smaller after 4 treatments or less. It is the heating of the skin from the laser energy that stimulates the collagen and shrinks the pores.
Aging skin loses volume and collagen and the pores gradually enlarge. Tightening the skin with tissue tightening procedures and stimulating collagen with topicals and collagen building procedures can take back pores back to their “normal” size before the aging process began. Ultherapy, Thermage, Fraxel resurfacing, and microneedling can make pores smaller when they are getting larger due to aging and collagen/volume loss.
What about steaming your skin or visiting a steam room? People assume they are “cleaning out their pores” when they sweat inside a steam room but they aren’t. The heat and moisture cause swelling of the skin and the pressure from the increased skin volume pushes the pores shut temporarily. Your sweat ducts open and let the sweat out but the sweat does not come from the pore.