How To Minimise The Appearance Of Facial Pores



May 12, 2024

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I understand the toll chronic stress takes on your mind, body, and skin. Throughout many years of figuring out my health issues, I have channelled my existing knowledge as a Holistic Remedial Therapist and up-skilled as a Certified Cosmetic Formulator to create FIFTY7KIND, offering a collection of Multi-Award-Winning, Luxury formulas elevated by High-Performance Clinically Proven Actives, designed to holistically treat the impact of stress, by calming, nurturing, rejuvenating and restoring balance to the skin. Every product is made by hand in my Artisan lab in Australia.

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What Are Facial Pores?

Before we learn how to minimise the appearance of facial pores we must first understand the roles of these minuscule, but visible openings of hair follicles, where hair grows out of the dermis (the second layer of skin) and sebaceous glands reside. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturises and protects the skin. Pores allow sebum to reach the skin’s surface, helping to maintain its hydration and flexibility.

There are two types of facial pores – Oil and Sweat Pores. Both can become clogged causing congestion including acne. Pores provide an exit for dead skin cells and excess sebum (oil).

Contrary to popular belief, pores do not open and close, they are openings on the surface of our skin (Epidermis) to the Lower second (Dermis) level of skin. Their size is primarily determined by genetics and tends to be more noticeable in areas where sebaceous glands are more abundant, such as the nose, forehead, and chin. Factors like age, hormonal changes, environmental stressors and sun damage can affect pore size and appearance.

The Function of Facial Pores

Facial pores play a crucial role in skin health, the key functions:

  1. Sebum Regulation: Sebum produced by the sebaceous glands helps moisturise and protect the skin from environmental damage, such as pollutants and pathogens.
  2. Thermoregulation: Pores assist in regulating body temperature by allowing sweat to reach the skin’s surface, where it evaporates and cools the body.
  3. Elimination of Toxins: Pores also serve as a pathway for the elimination of toxins and waste products from the body through sweat and sebum production.
diagram of the structure of the skin, epidermis, dermis and hypodermis

10 Facial Pore Facts

Skin pores are fascinating structures that play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin. Here are some interesting facts about skin pores:

  1. Pore Numbers Vary. The number of pores on the skin varies widely from person to person, depending on factors such as genetics, age, and skin type. Individuals with oily skin tend to have more visible facial pores compared to those with dry or normal skin.
  2. Not All Pores Are Visible. While we often associate pores with the ones visible to the naked eye, such as those on the nose or cheeks, millions of microscopic pores cover the entire surface of the skin. These tiny pores help regulate sweat and sebum (skin oil) production.
  3. Pore Size Can Change. Pore size is not fixed and can change over time. Factors such as aging, sun damage, hormonal changes, and skincare habits can affect facial pore size. For example, prolonged sun exposure can lead to collagen breakdown, making pores appear larger.
  4. Pore Appearance Varies Throughout the Day. Pores may appear larger or smaller depending on various factors, including humidity, temperature, and skincare products. Steam, for example, can temporarily enlarge pores by softening the skin and loosening debris trapped within them.
  5. Pores Don’t Open or Close. Despite the common belief that pores can open and close, they do not have muscles that allow them to change size in this manner. However, certain skincare ingredients and treatments can help minimise the appearance of facial pores by reducing oil production, exfoliating dead skin cells, and improving the skin texture.
  6. Pores Serve Important Functions. Pores play a vital role in maintaining skin health. They help regulate body temperature by allowing sweat to reach the skin’s surface, cooling the body. Pores also facilitate the release of sebum, which moisturises and protects the skin.
  7. Genetics Influence Pore Size. The size and appearance of pores are largely determined by genetics. Individuals with a family history of large pores may be more predisposed to having them. However, proper skin care can help minimise their visibility and improve skin texture.
  8. Pore-Cleansing Myths. Contrary to popular belief, pore size is not directly related to cleanliness. While keeping the skin clean and free of excess oil and debris is important for overall skin health, over-cleansing can strip the skin of its natural oils and lead to irritation.
  9. Age Impacts Pore Size. As we age, the skin’s elasticity decreases, causing it to sag and pores to appear larger. Additionally, decreased collagen production and sun damage can contribute to pore enlargement over time.
  10. Pores Are Not Just on the Face. While we often focus on facial pores, pores exist on other parts of the body as well, such as the chest, back, and arms. These pores serve similar functions, helping regulate temperature and sebum production throughout the body.

Minimising the Appearance of Facial Pores

While you can’t change the size or number of your facial pores, you can take steps to keep them clean and minimise their appearance, with these self-care tips:

  1. Cleanse Gently. Use a mild, non-abrasive cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Avoid harsh scrubbing, which can irritate the skin and enlarge pores.
  2. Exfoliate Regularly. Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts, just don’t overdo it as this can disrupt your skin barrier.
  3. Moisturise Daily. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin and minimising the appearance of pores. Opt for a lightweight, moisturiser or Facial Oil/Serum to prevent clogged pores.
  4. Use Sun Protection. Sun damage can exacerbate pore size and lead to premature aging. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and always check the UV index, level 3 or above apply sunscreen even on cloudy days!
  5. Consider Professional Treatments. Dermatological procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy can help improve the appearance of enlarged pores and promote overall skin health.
Skincare ingredients to clarify skin and reduce the appearance of pores

Skincare ingredients that clarify skin and reduce the appearance of FACIAL pores

1. Fermented Papaya Enzymes (ZUCI Unbind Purity Cleanse)

  • Papain is an enzyme found in Papaya Fruit. This particular compound stands out for its remarkable ability to break down proteins and exfoliate the skin gently offering several benefits for pore clarification.
  • Fermentation enhances the efficacy. Fermentation increases the concentration of bioactive compounds and promotes the release of additional enzymes. Oil solubility ensures better penetration into the skin, allowing the extract to target deep-seated impurities within the pores.
  • Exfoliation: Papain, the primary enzyme found in papaya, has exfoliating properties that help remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. By gently sloughing away impurities, fermented papaya enzymes can promote clearer, smoother skin texture.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Papaya contains the antioxidant beta-carotene, helping to neutralise free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects. Papain exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe irritated skin and reduce redness. Papain contributes to improving skin concerns such as acne and rosacea, which are associated with the appearance of enlarged facial pores, by reducing skin inflammation.

2. Sytenol A – Bakuchiol (TANU Skin Affinity Coactive Serum)

  • Regulation of Sebum Production: Excessive sebum production can contribute to pore congestion and enlargement. Sytenol A has been shown to regulate sebum production. Helping to balance oil levels in the skin and prevent pore blockages.
  • Exfoliation. Sytenol A promotes cell turnover, effectively exfoliating the skin and preventing the buildup of dead skin cells within the pores. By encouraging the shedding of cellular debris, Sytenol A helps to minimise the appearance of facial pores.
  • Antioxidant Protection. Sytenol A exhibits potent antioxidant properties, helping to neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from oxidative stress. Reducing inflammation and preventing damage to the skin’s barrier, Sytenol A contributes to the skin’s overall health. Furthermore, it supports pore clarity, enhancing the skin’s appearance.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Inflammation plays a significant role in many skin concerns, including acne and enlarged pores. Sytenol A has anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe irritated skin and reduce redness, promoting a calmer, more balanced complexion.

3. AROLEAT SAMPHIRA – Sea Fennel (TANU Skin Affinity Coactive Serum)

  • Reduces Sebum Secretion: Lessening breakouts, and helps minimise the appearance of facial pores.
  • Gentle Exfoliation: Of the skin’s superficial dead cells encouraging reduction in blackheads and blocked facial pores.


  • Natural bioactive complex. Balance and mattify oily skin utilising Polyphenol-rich fractions from the fruits of Saw Palmetto, and Sesame Seeds.
  • Balances skin. Regulating the production of sebum to a normal level helps to minimise the appearance of facial pores

5. Fermented White Willow Bark (TANU Skin Affinity Coactive Serum)

  • Willow Bark is rich in the compound Salicin. This anti-inflammatory agent helps reduce the visible signs of aging skin and skin irritation including the appearance of facial pores.
  • Topical application of Salicin. Brings significant improvements in the skin condition by reducing skin roughness, and reducing the appearance of pore size.


We cannot change our genetic predisposition; however, we can support our facial pores and minimize their appearance by cleansing gently and exfoliating regularly—without overdoing it. Additionally, by moisturizing diligently and protecting our skin from the sun, we can further enhance pore health. Overall, your pores are an essential part of your skin barrier function, be kind to them, and put the magnifying mirror away!

Until next time, be human, be kind, and be you.

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  • Baumann, Leslie. “The Skin Type Solution: A Revolutionary Guide to Your Best Skin Ever.” Bantam, 2006. Available at Internet Archive and Open Library.
  • Draelos, Zoe Diana. “Cosmetic Dermatology: Products and Procedures.” John Wiley & Sons, 2015. Available at Wiley Online Library.
  • Lee, Patricia K. “Understanding and Treating Ethnic Skin.” John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Available at Wiley Online Library.
  • Shah, Neelam A., and Alexis, Andrew F. “Acne in Skin of Color: Practical Approaches to Treatment.” Journal of Dermatological Treatment, vol. 19, no. 1, 2008, pp. 32-37. Available at Taylor & Francis Online.

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