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How to minimise the appearance of pores

Posted by Liz Earle Beauty Co.

February 21, 2024

3 min read

It’s common to have visible pores on your face, but have you ever wondered what they are and how to reduce the appearance of pores? Contrary to popular belief, pores cannot be opened, closed or shrunk. However, you can effectively reduce their apparent size by keeping them clear and decongested. In this helpful guide you’ll discover tips on how to minimise the appearance of pores and find the perfect plant-powered pore minimising products to help.

visible pores on a womans face

What are pores

Pores are tiny openings on the skin’s surface at the top of hair follicles and sweat glands that play a crucial role in the release of sebum or sweat to help lubricate or cool the skin. They appear anywhere where oil glands are present, but are more concentrated on your face, especially the nose area. Pores can be categorised into two distinct types:

Oil pores sit at the top of hair follicles that are linked to sebaceous glands. They release sebum to keep skin naturally moisturised, and can become clogged, these blocked pores can then look enlarged.

Sweat pores sit at the top of hair follicles that are linked to sweat glands. Much smaller than oil pores, they can’t be seen by the naked eye.

When discussing how to minimise the appearance of pores, we are referring to oil pores.
a street view in London deckchairs on a beach

What causes large pores?

Pore size is often determined by genetics, but external factors can affect the visibility of your pores too. Although you cannot reduce large pores, once you know why your pores look to be large, you can find the best pore minimising products to suit you.
  • Impurities: When make up, oil or dirt build up on the skin’s surface, they can get lodged and cause blocked pores, increasing their appearance.
  • Dehydration: Dehydrated skin often produces excess sebum to lubricate the skin and compensate for the lack of water, causing pores to swell.
  • Pollutants: When pollutants settle on the skin, they can congest and block pores, this can lead to stretched pores, enhancing their appearance.
  • Sun Damage: Overexposure to the sun can cause skin to lose elasticity, resulting in dilated pores.
  • Ageing: As we age, skin naturally produces less collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for skin’s plumpness and firmness. As such, skin loses its elasticity and pores appear less tight. Cell turnover also slows with age, potentially causing a build-up of dead skin cells that can congest pores.
  • Environmental aggressors: Where you live or work can take a toll on the skin, such as drying air conditioning or extreme heat.
  • Hormonal Changes: Hormones trigger the sebaceous glands which can cause them to secrete more oil, making them appear larger.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Glow™ Transforming Gel Cleanser

Skincare routine for reducing the appearance of pores

1. Consistently Cleanse

Throughout the day, environmental aggressors like pollutants and dirt settle onto the skin, potentially blocking pores and enhancing their appearance. Cleansing twice a day will wash away these impurities, helping to keep skin clear and reduce the appearance of pores on your face.

Deeply cleanse

Cleanse & Glow™ Transforming Gel Cleanser leaves skin looking fresh and luminous, for glowing skin in just 30 seconds. Our deliciously scented cleanser is formulated with a meting formula which transforms from a luxurious gel, enriched with natural micelles, into a lightweight oil to effortlessly remove SPF, dirt, pollutants and make up, before rinsing off as a skin-softening milk to rinse away impurities, helping to minimise the appearance of pores on the face.
Liz Earle Smooth & Glow™ Exfoliating Tonic

2. Refresh skin with a toner

Toning is an important step in your skincare routine, especially for minimising pores. Using a toner regularly can help to remove any residual pollutants that could still be present in pores after cleansing. A toner is a lightweight liquid full of ingredients that work to refresh and hydrate skin, helping to remove traces of dirt and rebalance the skin, revealing clearer-looking pores and a more even-looking complexion.

Pore minimising toner

Our Smooth & Glow™ Exfoliating Tonic is your essential next step. Gentle enough to use both day and night after cleansing, our multi-benefit toner evens the appearance of skin tone, helps support surface cell turnover and hydrates to leave your complexion looking energised while reducing the appearance of pores. With powerful, antioxidant-rich botanicals, our indulgent toner creates the perfect canvas to enhance the effectiveness of moisturiser.
Liz Earle Superskin™ Alt-Retinol Paste

3. Unclog pores with retinol

Enhance your night-time routine by incorporating retinol, supporting the natural renewal of the skin’s surface. This helps to prevent dead cells from accumulating and congesting pores. With continued use, skin feels smoother, and the appearance of pores is visibly reduced.

Refine the look of pores

Our Superskin™ Alt-Retinol Skin Paste leaves skin feeling more supple, refreshing its appearance for a brighter, plumped, radiant-looking complexion, while also refining the look of pores. This powerful blend is enriched with Bidens pilosa, a plant-based alternative to retinol, that works by mimicking retinol’s mechanism of action to smooth the appearance of deeper lines and wrinkles whilst being kind to the skin. Plus, it’s enriched with shea butter and hyaluronic acid for up to 48 hours of moisturisation, leaving skin feeling nourished and hydrated.
Liz Earle Revitalise & Glow™ Transforming Gel Moisturiser and Liz Earle Smooth & Glow Exfoliating Tonic™

4. Invest in acids

Acids and chemical exfoliants, including AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid), can help to minimise the appearance of pores by smoothing, tightening and unclogging the skin. AHAs to reduce the look of pores A chemical exfoliant known as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs), works to exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin, supporting its natural renewal process. Skin appears clear, refined and even in tone, while pores look visibly reduced.

Our Superskin™ Microdermabrasion Polish is a chemical exfoliation delivered by fruit enzyme AHAs, dissolving skin-dulling particles in just 5 minutes, while ultra-fine powdered pumice physically buffs away tired surface cells, for instantly bright and smooth skin to clear congested pores. With its luxurious texture, the cream is enriched with moisturising shea butter and rosehip oil to ensure skin isn't stripped of essential oils, while the relaxing neroli scent makes for a truly spa-like experience..

Smooth & Glow™ Exfoliating Tonic is the perfect routine addition for lacklustre skin as it evens the appearance of skin tone while supporting surface cell turnover for an energised, hydrated complexion. Both this and our Revitalise & Glow™ Illuminating Gel contain prickly pear, nature’s powerful brightening exfoliant. Sourced in Tunisia, prickly pear acts as a gentle alternative to acid exfoliation that reveals equivalent results to glycolic acid in hydration and radiance.
Liz Earle Superskin™ Microdermabrasion Polish

5. Exfoliate

A physical exfoliator not only helps to remove surface debris, scrubbing away dry and dead cells that settle into pores and cause congestion, but can also help keep the skin looking plump, tight and youthful.

Best exfoliator for clogged pores

Superskin™ Microdermabrasion Polish combines the benefits of naturally derived chemical and physical exfoliation in a nourishing formula, to reveal a soft and more youthful-looking complexion instantly. The gentle exfoliation effectively clears congested pores by removing dirt, dead skin and impurities.
Liz Earle Skin Repair™ Hydrating Serum

6. Keep skin hydrated

If skin is dehydrated and lacking in water, it’s likely to produce excess sebum to lubricate the skin. As the oil glands become more active, pores dilate to release these larger quantities of sebum. Therefore, keeping skin healthy and hydrated will help regulate sebum production and prevent pores from expanding, reducing the appearance of large pores. You can quickly determine if you have dehydrated skin by grabbing a small area of your skin near your cheeks and pinch lightly. If fine lines appear and the skin doesn't bounce back after being loosened, it's probably dehydrated.

Hydration boosting serum

Skin Repair™ Hydrating Serum is a lightweight serum that’s scientifically proven to hydrate multiple layers of the skin, instantly quenching thirsty skin with a concentrated hydration boost. Powered by a plant-based hyaluronic acid and snow mushroom to leave skin feeling instantly refreshed and deeply replenished.
Liz Earle Environmental Defence Cream

7. Wear SPF

As sun damage can emphasise signs of aging (including enlarged pores, wrinkles, and dullness), consider applying an SPF as part of your morning routine to shield skin from potential damage. As sun damage can emphasise signs of aging (including enlarged pores, wrinkles, and dullness), consider applying an SPF as part of your morning routine to shield skin from potential damage.

Best SPF face cream

Environmental Defence Cream Mineral SPF 25 is formulated with naturally derived mineral UV filters and antioxidant plant extracts to help protect skin from the elements and prime it for the day ahead. This non-comedogenic formula delivers SPF 20 protection from UVA and UVB rays, blue light and pollution – making it the ideal formula to protect against environmental stressors.
Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask

8. Use a face mask for pores

A purifying face mask formulated to effectively draws out impurities needed to effectively tighten and cleanse pores.

Our Deep Cleansing Mask purifies to leave skin looing mattified after just one use. It effectively removes impurities, helping to unclog pores for clearer-looking skin, without leaving it feeling dry. Formulated with aloe vera to soothe, green clay to balance skin and manuka honey to purify.

There are many ways to help minimise the appearance of pores. Try the above tips to find the method and formulas that work best for your skin.