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can you shrink and tighten enlarged nose pores?

Found yourself in the bathroom mirror zooming in on those enlarged nose pores?

can you shrink and tighten enlarged nose pores?

If you're anything like us you just can't take your eyes off those annoying pores. But just like those pesky pimples and breakouts on your face, visibly large pores are a common annoyance that may become a cosmetic concern.

So we asked dermatologist Dr Kathleen Eusebio-Alpapara why we have enlarged pores and can large pores be reduced? .


What causes large pores on the face?

Skin pores that are naturally on the surface of your skin, think hair follicles and sebaceous glands which are commonly seen on the face and scalp. Based on scientific references, excess sebum production or oily skin, loss of firmness from ageing skin, and large follicle size lead to noticeably larger pores (like those pesky nose pores).

Aside from skin ageing, chronic sun damage can cause large pores. When we expose ourselves to UV light, free radicals (reactive oxygen species) are produced, causing skin damage by increasing collagen breakdown. UV light also causes elastin to become abnormal which can lead to yellow, thickened skin with deep wrinkles or sallow skin similar to crepe paper with dilated pores.

Large skin and nose pores become more visible when pores become clogged. Pores can get clogged up by dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt - which means they appear more prominent, especially during summer, when it's warm and humid.

Other factors contributing to clogged and large pores include genes, acne, or hormonal imbalances, making sebaceous glands produce more oil.


Can you decrease pore size?

The burning question is, can large pores be reduced? Yes, but the bad news is that our pores are genetically determined, so you can't totally shrink pores into oblivion. Though large pores are hard to treat, there are some ways to make that annoying pore seem smaller, one way is by making our skin's texture look finer or smoother. Some products and treatments can help reduce the appearance of skin and nose pores, but they are rarely permanent and need to be used regularly.


How can I tighten my pores?

Dr Eusebio-Alpapara says "To make pores look smaller, the aim is to reduce excess oil production, rejuvenate the skin, unclog pores, and remove hair follicles." Here are some tips Dr Eusebio-Alpapara shared with us to help minimise pores.

Choose the right skincare products.

Include non-comedogenic and non-occlusive skin care products in your skincare routine. These can help renew the skin, prevent clogged pores and remove excess oil. Chemical peels with alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid and lactic acid are good options to treat large pores. But make sure that these are suitable for your skin type.

Wash face at night using a gentle cleanser.

For oily skin, use a foaming cleanser to strip off excess oil and remove make-up during the night.

Moisturise every day.

Choose clean products like moisturisers in gel form, which can be a suitable form of lightweight moisturisers for oily skin.


Exfoliation aids in removing dead skin cells and keeps nose pores clean.

Apply a clay mask that best suits you

Clay masks help absorb excess oil and dry acne breakouts.

Wear sunscreen

Apply SPF 30 or more at least twice a day if exposed to the sun for long periods of time. Avoid UV light or sun exposure as much as possible. Remember, ageing can cause pores to become more visible.

Be healthy

Having a healthy lifestyle improves overall skin health.

Chat to your dermatologist

Book an appointment with your trusted dermatologists for in-clinic pore-tightening procedures like laser treatment.


Which ingredients can help unclog or tighten large pores on my nose and face?

Those of you like us, who experience enlarged pores often ask (when looking in the mirror), how can I naturally close the pores on my nose? The bad news is, you can't reduce enlarged pores forever, but it's not a total lost cause. Dr Eusebio-Alpapara explains that when those nose strips are not enough, there are some natural ingredients that might help.

Salicylic acid

The top layers of our skin have dead skin cells with dirt, oil and comedones that block the pores. These can easily be removed by using salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid, commonly derived from salicin and naturally found in willow bark. It is soluble in lipids and can easily mix with oils on the skin, making them easily washed off afterwards. It dissolves lipids that cement dead skin cells together, causing exfoliation.

It is a popular ingredient in acne products since it can completely dry inflamed zits. Although it is relatively safe to use, salicylic acid can irritate sensitive and dry skin, so it should not be used if you suffer from skin health conditions like rosacea.

Witch Hazel

A shrub known as Hamamelis virginiana L... A pore fave astringent skincare ingredient that is used in acne products because of its anti-inflammatory property. According to some peer-reviewed studies, it has an anti-ageing potential by increasing collagen production by inhibiting its breakdown. It is also a good anti-oxidant that prevents damage to skin cells.

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A and its derivatives, retinoids, are proven anti-ageing skin care products and are common in night creams. According to various peer review studies, they are proven to rejuvenate skin, minimising pores, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, laxity and oil production.

Vitamin C

A natural anti-oxidant since most plants, including animals, can make vitamin C. Vitamin C protects our skin from sun damage by neutralising those free radicals. Vitamin C enhances collagen production and works best with vitamin E. It is also an excellent lightening agent, especially with soy and liquorice. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it great if you have skin issues like acne or rosacea.

What natural routines can help enlarged nose pores?


Steam softens and loosens up dirt, debris, and even the dead skin cells so that they can easily be removed, have your pores unclogged and achieve clean skin. Steams can dilate vessels and improve skin circulation which can help decrease the size of your nose pores.

How to steam?
Steam your face for 5- 10 mins, once a week, but don't overdo it.

After steaming apply your fave cleansing oil to draw out any further dirt.

Finish up with a foaming cleanser to wash your face.

Tips: Be careful not to burn your skin - make sure you do not place your face too close to the steamer - it should be at least 12 inches away.

Remember: steam is hotter than boiling water (more heat energy) so it can burn your skin more. You may also use a towel soaked in lukewarm water in place of steam.

Ice massages.

A way to shrink pore size is with a good old fashioned home remedy: an ice massage. How does it work? When exposed to cold temperature, pores contract to preserve heat. Oil glands become less active so ice massages help calm skin and reduce redness and swelling because it constricts blood vessels, decreasing blood flow.
Caution: Do not leave the ice too long for it may cause skin damage or ice burns. This may manifest as tingling, redness, swelling, or peeling and blistering.

Laser therapy.

Several energy-based devices, like lasers, radio-frequency and ultrasound machines, are also pore minimisers. They simply induce injury to the skin, which leads to healing, thus collagen synthesis and remodelling. These devices also improve skin elasticity. Some reduce oil production, all of which contribute to smaller pore size.


Skincare products to include in your skincare routine for minimising your pore size.

Aside from sunscreen (in the morning) and retinol (at night), these vegan products are great add-ons to your daily skin.

cleanser to decrease enlarged skin pore and nose pores

Double Cleansing Kit
Gently apply the Lavender face and body oil on the whole face to dissolve sunscreen, make-up, and excess oil. Then wipe it off with a cotton pad. Rinse off with Cleanse Dust, a foaming cleanser, for a clean skin free of dust and sweat.

toner for skin type with large nose pores

Fresh Face Toner:  
It has Kakadu plum and dessert lime packed with vitamin C. Besides that, it contains witch hazel, a natural astringent perfect for that oily skin.

serum large face pore

Lighten brighten up serum:  
Aside from Kakadu plum and desert lime, Davison plum extract, native sunflower, and salicylic acid make this serum perfect for an oily and ageing face.

serum for large nose pores

Hydrate hero thirsty skin serum
This product contains Quandong extract which is packed with Vitamin C and finger lime packed with ferulic acid. Vitamin C plus ferulic acid work best together in neutralising free radicals. It also contains Lili Pilli for that additional anti-ageing effect.

face mask for large nose pores


Clay Face masks

Aside from chemical peels, add a face clay mask to your skin care routine to help remove skin debris. A clay mask is also good if you have super active oil and sweat glands. The Rose Pink Clay and Cactus Face Masks contain Rosehip, which has vitamin A  to help give you that fine smooth skin with a youthful glow - Your nose pores will thank you for it!


Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara is a board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology at VE Eusebio Skin Centre.