CERM Skin: Enlarged pores all you need to know. Pexels.com/MART PRODUCTION

Enlarged pores: All you need to know

Hands up who stresses about enlarged pores… yeah, most of us do, apparently. It’s one of Google’s most searched beauty problems. And can you get rid of them? Weeell, it’s a process. The good news is that you can make them look a whole lot smaller and less visible.

Here's a rundown about what pores are and – believe it or not! – why we need them, why they become enlarged, and what you can do about it. Ready to level up your pore game?

What are skin pores?

No matter how much we wish we were poreless, we should be grateful we have skin pores. These small openings on the skin's surface allow sweat and oil (sebum) to reach the surface. They're also the hair hub – where hairs comes out of our skin. And they are pretty important for keeping our skin healthy and functioning well.

Here's why we need them:

Oil control: Pores help control the amount of natural oil our skin produces. Oil is important for keeping skin moisturized and for building our protective skin barrier, which defends it against dirt, pollution and germs.

They help us stay cool: When we overheat, our body regulates our temperature by releasing sweat through our pores, it evaporates on our skin to cool us down.

They’re important for skin health: Pores help keep our skin clean by letting out dead skin cells, excess oil, and other gunk. This helps prevent build-up that causes acne and infections.

Problem is… pores can sometimes become enlarged or clogged

Enlarged pores may not give you the flawless look you want for your skin, and if you don’t treat and prevent them, they will get larger. Also, if they clog up, you’re setting yourself up for blackheads, pimples and acne. So, take action early, before this becomes an issue.

Let’s find out why your pores become enlarged

It’s in our genes: Some of us are just born with larger pores, thanks to our genes. So, if your parents or sibs have big pores, chances are you might inherit them too.

Oil overload: When your skin’s oil production goes into overdrive, especially during hormone changes (like during puberty. pregnancy or before your period) all that excess oil can mix with dead skin cells and other debris, which can clog pores and stretch them out.  

Skincare snafus:

  1. Not cleansing properly: If you don’t cleanse your skin regularly and keep your pores clear, you can get a build-up of pore-stretching dirt, oil and dead skin cells.
  2. Using harsh skincare products: Products with harsh chemicals or alcohol can strip the skin of its natural oils, irritating it, making it produce even more oil, and making pores more visible.

Sun damage alert: Spending time in the sun can mess with your skin's building blocks – collagen and elastin – making it sag, which causes enlarged pores.

Aging: As we age, there’s a slowdown in that collagen and elastin production and our skin loses elasticity and firmness, which can make your pores seem larger.

Smoking and pollution: Lighting up is a total skin wrecker. Both smoking and pollution in the air trigger free-radicals that damage the skin, age it before its time and leads to enlarged pores.

Unhealthy habits: You know the drill – eating junk food, skimping on workouts, and not drinking enough water can all mess with your skin. Oh, and make your pores look bigger.


Cerm Skin Can you do anything about enlarged pores? Image: Pexels.com/Cottonbro Studio

Image: Pexels.com/Cottonbro Studio

So, can you shrink your pores?

In the past, the answer was always no, you could only make them look smaller and less visible, as once pores were stretched, they couldn’t snap back. This is why you needed to prevent that happening in the first place.

But! There’s a new sheriff in town. It’s called PoreAway™ (made from mastic gum), and it is proven in scientific tests to reduce the look and number of enlarged pore size in as little as 2 weeks.¹

It does this by helping to control excess oil, as it has an astringent (tightening) effect and soothes inflammation. Aaaaand... it's the hero ingredient in our Pore Minimizing Serum.

How can you improve your pores’ appearance?

You can definitely make a difference to the look of your pores by refining them.

Keep your skin clean: Prevention is always better than cure, so the first step is to wash your face regularly with a gentle exfoliating cleanser to clear out dirt, oil and makeup from your pores.

Exfoliate: Use a gentle chemical exfoliant with ingredients like salicylic acid or polyhydroxy acids to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. But don't overdo it – too much exfoliation can backfire (by making you produce more oil) if you strip away the skin barrier.

Avoid pore-blocking products: Choose skincare and makeup products labeled as non-comedogenic, which means they’re less likely to clog pores and make them bigger.

Use a pore-refining serum at night: Pore Minimizing Serum helps refine enlarged pores and balance sebum production. 

Retinol also rocks: Try products with retinol or other retinoids – only to be used at night. They speed up skin renewal, enhance skin texture and boost collagen, which can help shrink pores over time.

Use a clay mask: Clay masks can help absorb excess oil and impurities from the skin, temporarily tightening pores and giving skin a smoother look.

Always wear sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against UVA and UVB) daily to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Prime time! Before foundation, use a pore-minimizing primer with silicone-based ingredients to fill in open pores and even out your skin, making them way less obvious. It’s important to clean it off at night, then apply your serum.

Consider pro treatments: Procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and microneedling, performed by a dermatologist or licensed skincare professional, can help improve refine the skin and improve the appearance of enlarged pores.

Cerm Skin enlarged pores or poreless? Picture of smooth-skinned nectarine against skin. Image: Pexels.com/Laker

Image: Pexels.com/Laker

Last thoughts

The key steps to tackling big pores is to understand that this isn’t an instant fix. Consistency is important, so stick to a solid skincare routine, wear sunscreen, and live a healthy lifestyle. And if you need expert help or are unsure, it never hurts to chat with a dermatologist for personalized advice.

¹ Mibelle Biochemistry, Clinical Studies from PoreAway™