When oil collects in the pore and combines with dirt or makeup, the pore can become blocked. This blockage stretches the pore, making it look bigger. If the pore remains clogged, breakouts may develop. Though it may not be possible to get rid of large pores, there are ways to make them look smaller, including keeping the skin supple and stopping the pores from becoming clogged.

Below are 8 ways to assist with reducing the visibility of congested or enlarged pores.

1. Choose water-based products

Moisturising products contain various active ingredients, including oils. Using oil-free products, including water-based makeup is recommended! Oil-based products contain petrolatum, coconut oil, and other kinds of oil. They effectively moisturise the skin but may not be suitable for people with oily skin and large pores. The excess oil that collects on the skin can make pores appear larger. Water based toning mists are great to use after cleansing, to clear pores and balance the skin's PH levels. Try theSkin Affair Toning Mist orEnviron’s concentrated Alpha-Hydroxy Toner.

2. Wash your face both morning and night

Wash your face twice a day, or more after sweating due to sports/gym and always remove makeup before going to sleep. Sleeping in makeup overnight can cause the pores to become blocked due to a buildup of makeup, oil, and bacteria. Cleansing wipes and micellar cleansers are useful for removing makeup in a hurry. 

Washing the face every morning and evening with a gentle foaming or gel cleanser or a micellar product helps wash away oil and dirt from the pores. This can help make them less visible.Try Dr Grandel Micell Cleansing Oil, Environ Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser or Nimue Gel Cleanser with triple AHA complex.

3. Use Face Friendly Acids 

Exfoliate once or twice a week to remove matter that can clog the pores, such as dirt, dead skin cells and excess oils. Opt for exfoliating enzymes rather than scrubs. For deep exfoliation - suitable products may contain fruit acids such as:

  • beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid for oily skin types
  • polyhydroxy acids, such as lactobionic acid and gluconolactone, which help strengthen the skin’s barrier function
  • mandelic or glycolic acid, for sensitive, dry skin types 

Over-the-counter (OTC) products usually contain 7–10% of the active ingredient. A tonic or pre-soaked cotton pad containing an alpha hydroxy acid is your best option for a quick, easy exfoliation. TryEnviron’sConcentrated Alpha Hydroxy Acid Toner 200ml. Or opt for OTC peeling masks such as the EnvironBio-Botanical Revival Masque 50ml  orDr Grandel AHA Peeling Index

4. Refine with Chemical Peels & Micro-needling

Chemical exfoliation and micro-needling in winter months, is a great way to keep pores clean and clear while stimulating collagen and assisting product to penetrate deeper into the skin. Book a series of peels or micro-needling sessions at Deluxe Spa and upgrade with LED facials for an overall 30min facelift!

5. Moisturise Skin daily

The idea of moisturising oily skin may be counterintuitive. However, an oil-free moisturiser can help reduce pore enlargement. First wash and pat the skin dry, then gently apply a moisturiser to help hydrate and soften the skin. That allows the oil from the sebaceous glands to penetrate more deeply into the skin, rather than staying in the pores on the surface. Moisturising prevents pores from becoming clogged with oil, reducing their appearance. Try theNimue Moisturiser Lite, Dr Grandel Retinol Balm orSkin Affair Light Organic Moisturiser

6. Apply a clay mask

Using a clay mask once or twice a week can help remove additional oil from the pores. This is because clay absorbs sebum. Removing that oil can help prevent pores from becoming enlarged and make them less visible. It is advisable to do this on a different day than exfoliating, as over-treating the skin may cause irritation. Irritation can cause pores to appear enlarged and can lead to blemishes. UseEnviron Balancing Masque orDr Grandel Elements of Nature Cream Mask as they both help remove excess oils from the skin preventing congestion and build-up. 

7. Remember your Retinol

Retinol can be your best friend when it comes to shrinking pores – but be warned against using it too heavily. Retinol helps to minimise oil production and congestion build-up in the pores that could potentially be a reason for enlarged pores. However, as with most active ingredients, too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect. When using retinol, dermatologists recommend three months on, two months off for a maximum period of 18 months. This will ensure optimal results aswell as skin safety.

You can apply a retinoidserum or cream such as Environ Retinol Serum, it’s designed toassist in improving the appearance of uneven skin tone and helps to refine the skin texture, giving the skin a firmer and smoother appearance.

UseThe Dr Grandel Timeless Retinol Balm as well as its special focus is to reduce fine lines and wrinkles noticeably and visibly. This balm can be used in both the morning and the evening. 

8. Wear sunscreen

It is crucial to care for the skin when in the sun. Sun exposure can dry the skin, making pores appear larger. Many moisturisers contain sunscreen. Choose one with an SPF of 30 or above. Keeping the skin protected from the sun keeps it supple. The best ways to do this are: wearing a wide-brimmed, broad-spectrum sunscreen every day and staying in the shade when the sun is strongest. Try theDr Grandel SP UV Perfection 50, it protects against UVA and UVB radiation. This intelligent sun protection can be applied and combined with everyday cream.