What Are Open Pores, and How to Treat Open Pores?

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    We must know two common facts about our body: the skin is the largest organ of our body, and our skin has pores: millions and millions of them. Even though the modern makeup industry, to some extent, has made us believe that flawless, HD skin is how beauty looks like, visible pores on our skin are authentic and genuine. Those pores allow our skin to breathe, though many of them are not visible to the human eye.

    Each pore on our skin contains a hair follicle And a sebaceous gland that produces sebum to keep our skin moisturized and healthy. The presence of those glands is most abundant in the pores of our face, chest, back, and groin. 

    Hormones are essential in stimulating those glands, promoting more sebum production. This is why sometimes the pores on our noses, cheeks, and foreheads appear more prominent than those on other areas of our bodies.

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    Regardless of the skin type, whether it is usually dry or oily, the appearance of large and open pores is common. But the downside of this common thing is that your skin starts looking dull in appearance, particularly if those pores are clogged with bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells.

    Though having large and open pores is not even a medical concern, it is a cosmetic issue for some people who do not like how their skin appears. Especially people who are going through adolescence or are prone to acne suffer from clogged pores that turn into blackheads or whiteheads.

    Aged people with less collagen may also notice their skin with larger open pores, which is also a concern. But the irony is that the pores on our skin can neither be opened nor closed. They cannot even be made look similar to each other. Then what is the way out?

    Although pores cannot be closed or opened, the appearance of those open pores can be transformed into shrunk or closed by removing excess oil and debris. 

    This article will discuss how to close open pores and prevent them from coming back.

    The Causes Of Open Pores

    To know how to treat enlarged pores, it is necessary to understand why they occur on your face. People with oily skin types are more likely to have large pores. That is because the excess oil on their skin sometimes gets mixed with dead skin cells and dirt and gets trapped in their skin, causing the pores to grow in size.

    Here are some primary reasons for open pores on our faces:

    • Genetic: Genetic plays a vital role in determining the size of our pores. So if your parents have large pores, you have a high chance of getting them too. Genes can cause skin pores to grow and open around our nose, forehead, and cheeks. Also, if you don’t take proper care of your skin, it can accumulate dead skin build-up and stretch out those pores.
    • Increased Sebum Production: Excessive sebum production is among the leading causes of open pores. We mentioned earlier that each skin pore contains a sebaceous gland that secrets oil or sebum. But when those glands overproduce oil, it makes our skin oily. Although sebum is a natural moisturizer for our skin, excessive oil production is a big problem.
    • Lost Skin Elasticity: We all will age with time. And aging is something that brings in many issues to our skin and overall health. As we grow older, our skin loses its elasticity, causing our pores to look more prominent in size. It also makes our skin looks saggy and stretched. Enlarged pores are a natural part of our skin’s aging process. As collagen production reduces, the firmness of our skin also gets stolen.

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    • Sun Exposure: If you reside in a humid climate or spend more time in the sun, the collagen production in your skin can be reduced, causing wrinkles and open pores. Collagen keeps our skin firm and healthy, and when its production gets reduced, it triggers sagging around the edges, reducing the water levels in the skin.
    • Large Hair Follicles: Every pore has a hair follicle. Therefore there is one hair positioned under each pore. The pores are the opening of the hair follicles. When our hair follicles are large, pores will generally be significant.

    How To Get Rid Of Open Pores?

    As we discussed earlier, we could not do anything with the size of the pores. But with some methods, we can reduce the appearance of large pores, and here we will take you through some processes to make large pores less visible.

    Using Water-Based Products

    Regarding moisturizing our skin, we have many options available in the market with various active ingredients, including oils. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, using oil-free products and incorporating water-based makeup are the best ways to upkeep the skin’s health.

    People with oily skin can benefit from products high in humectants and less in oils. Urea and honey are the best examples of humectants. Therefore skin care products containing those components can be helpful.

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    Most oil-based products have petroleum, coconut oil, or other kinds of fat. Although they successfully moisturize dry skin, the level of moisturization they offer is not suitable for people with oily skin and large pores. Since oily skin type is more likely to produce much oil, those oil-based products can add more to the overproduction causing the pores to look more prominent.

    Washing The Face Twice A Day

    Washing our faces is a part of our basic skincare routine. Wash your face with a good face wash at least twice a day. People who sweat more or do lots of exercise can wash their faces more than twice, especially soon after sweating.

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    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, we must:

    • Use lukewarm water to wash your face
    • Wash our hands thoroughly before applying a cleanser or face wash
    • Choose a non-abrasive, alcohol-free, and gentle face wash and cleanser
    • Avoid frequent scrubbing and rubbing of our skin
    • Pat dry our skin with a soft towel instead of rubbing the face with a towel

    Washing your face soon after you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night will always help you control the production of oil on your skin and prevent dirt from entering the pores. That way, the open pores will be less visible.

    Preferring Gel-Based Cleansers

    The gel-based cleanser is suitable for people with oily skin who want to reduce the appearance of the open pores on their faces. It is always recommended to avoid oil-based and alcohol-based cleansers as they can irritate the skin.

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    Moreover, using a moisturizing cleanser may leave a residue in the pores and increase the oiliness making the pores look large in size. A gel-based cleaner removes the oil from the pores and reduces their appearance.


    Exfoliation should not be there in our daily skincare routine. But occasional exfoliation is necessary for people with oily skin. According to dermatologists exfoliating our skin at least twice a week is a must for people with oily skin to remove the substances that can make their pores clogged, such as:

    • Dead skin cells
    • Excess oil
    • Dirt

    Some suitable exfoliants suggested by dermatologists are:

    • Salicylic acid or other beta hydroxy acids
    • Lactobionic acid, gluconolactone, or other Poly hydroxy acids can strengthen the skin’s barrier function
    • Mandelic acid, especially for people with sensitive skin

    All over-the-counter products containing the abovementioned ingredients generally have 7% to 10% of those components. Because when the percentage is over 10%, the effects may aggravate your skin. However, when dermatologists prescribe a more potent formulation, they also guide you with the proper usage methods to protect you against any harmful side effects.

    It is also important to remember that we must not exfoliate our skin more than twice a week, as over-exfoliation can lead to drying out the skin. Exfoliation helps unclog our pores, but over-exfoliation makes our skin dry, and the pores might appear larger.

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    Adequate moisturizing

    Moisturizing oily skin may sound counterintuitive. However, moisturization is also necessary for people with oily skin types. In that case, oil-free moisturizers are the best ones to reduce the appearance of open pores.

    If you have oily skin, you must first wash and dry your skin before applying a moisturizer to hydrate and soften your skin. That way, you can also help the oil secreted from the sebaceous gland penetrate more deeply into your skin instead of staying in the pores or surface.

    The moisturization method we mentioned recently also prevents the open pores from becoming clogged with dirt and oil and reduces their appearance.

    Using Clay Masks

    When you incorporate the usage of a clay mask once or twice a week, it can help you remove additional oil from the pores effectively. Clay has the potential to absorb the excessive sebum on your skin. And when the oil on your face gets released, it also prevents the pores from becoming enlarged and visible.

    It is advisable to apply a clay mask on a different day than exfoliating, as when we over-treat our skin, our skin faces irritation. And irritation may lead to the open pores looking larger.

    Remove Makeup Before Going To Bed

    Before you go to sleep, no matter how sleepy you feel or how lethargic you are about removing your makeup, it is always recommended to clean your face before you touch the bed. Leaving your makeup on your skin overnight can cause your pores to become blocked due to a build-up of makeup, bacteria, and oil.

    Instead of washing your face with a face wash, you can also use cleansing wipes to remove makeup if you are in a hurry.

    Applying A Good SPF Sunscreen

    Protecting your skin against harmful sunrays is crucial, especially when you are out in the sun. Excessive sun exposure can dry out the skin and make our skin pores appear more prominent. Many moisturizers also contain SPF. Therefore if you have oily skin and don’t like applying sunscreen because of its oiliness, you can choose moisturizers with SPF over 30.

    Protecting your skin against the sun keeps it supple. And apart from applying a good amount of sunscreen before stepping out in the sun and reapplying it every 2 hours, you also must:

    • Wear a hat 
    • Stay in the shade when the sun is strongest

    Clinical Treatments To Treat Open Pores

    Open pores are sometimes also formed due to other skin-related issues due to adolescence and excessive UV exposure. No matter how the open pores are accumulated, they make our skin appear inflamed and rough. 

    All the tips mentioned above are helpful for people with extremely oily skin since they can help deal with enlarged open pores.

    But sometimes, open pores become a real headache to some people who get them due to inflammatory acne and other skin issues. For many people, the remedies mentioned above don’t get desired results. In both cases, the patients must reach out to a dermatologist and ask for clinical treatment methods to reduce the enlarged open pores.

    Fortunately, many safe clinical treatment options are available, including topical applications and dermatological procedures.

    Topical Applications To Treat Open Pores

    Topical application of niacinamide, vitamin C and AHAs can help treat open pores.

    Alpha hydroxy acids help treat open pores for being a potential ingredient to promote collagen production in the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and open pores, promoting blood flow to the skin, treating and preventing acne, and also helping in the absorption of different skin products.

    Since collagen production is essential in keeping our skin plump and smooth, alpha hydroxy acids are highly recommended by dermatologists to people suffering from visible open pores. Collagen is a protein-rich fiber that breaks down when we age. Overexposure to the sun may also damage the collagen in our skin.

    Using alpha hydroxy acids can help promote collagen production, destroying the old collagen fibers and making way for the new ones. Alongside promoting collagen production, alpha hydroxy acids also loosen and remove clogged pores and prevent future clogs from forming.

    People with acne-prone skin must use alpha hydroxy acids since they are more likely to suffer from enlarged pores after acne.

    Dermatological Procedures To Treat Open Pores

    Many non-invasive and safe dermatological procedures help reduce the appearance of open pores on our skin. Below we will talk about the three most common dermatological procedures suggested by dermatologists to people with open pores.

    Chemical Peels

    Chemical peels work successfully in removing dead skin cells lying on the surface of our skin, allowing the new skin beneath to grow and giving us a clear and fresh complexion. People suffering from enlarged pores can get benefited from chemical peels since those peels can improve their skin tone and remove the outer layer of their skin called the epidermis. 

    Although chemical peels for our skin sound a little raw and scary, they stimulate collagen production and cell renewal, leaving healthier and younger-looking skin. Dermatologists generally use trichloroacetic acid for the reduction of open pores.

    A chemical peel treatment is performed in a dermatologist’s office for being an outpatient procedure. Before starting the procedure, your dermatologist will thoroughly clean your face with an agent to remove the excess oil and cover your eyes and hair to protect them against the chemical solution.

    A chemical solution is then applied to your skin. Besides trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid is also beneficial in treating open pores. The concentration of the solution used on your skin depends upon the desired result of the patient and the severity of the problem.

    After leaving the peel on your skin for several minutes, your dermatologist will apply a neutralizing solution or wash your face with water. The last step of chemical peel treatment is to apply moisturizer and sunscreen. You might need several sessions of chemical peel treatment to get a smooth and fresh look and get rid of open pores. And the number of sessions entirely depends upon each patient’s unique condition.

    Though many market-grade chemical peels are available, one must talk to a dermatologist before opting for them. Wrongly done chemical peel procedures may lead to more severe trouble than having open ports.


    Micro-needling is a fast and safe procedure for open pores. Therefore it is growing in popularity as a cosmetic treatment for people trying to regain their lost radiance. In this technique, a cluster of 9 to 12 pressurized needles are used to puncture the skin at various places rapidly and at multiple depths to induce the healing mode.

    When the needles are pricked, as a normal human body reaction, it starts promoting collagen production; therefore, micro-needling is also known as collagen induction therapy. During the micro-needling procedure, the skin is punctured to create micro tunnels so that the skin can regenerate and heal mild to moderate skin issues. And open pores are among those problems that are commonly focused on by dermatologists to be treated through micro needling.

    Micro-needling is a comparatively straightforward procedure; still, it requires the expertise of a dermatologist, and hence you first need to find a suitable dermatologist for the treatment. You also need to remember that the technique of micro-needling and the equipment used also play an essential role in the success rate of the treatment.

    As mentioned earlier, during micro-needling, the skin is punctured using needles moving at high speeds that penetrate the epidermal layer till a certain depth. Therefore your dermatologist might apply a numbing solution on the area that you want to be treated.

    Generally, a setting of 0.8 mm needles is used since they can go deep enough to generate a pinkish inflammation without drawing blood. However, the setting of the needle can be changed when your dermatologist moves towards more sensitive regions, such as near the eyes, forehead, and around your lips.

    The micro-needling procedure is done in an office setting and does not require hospitalization. It is a safe and chemical-free method that promotes new collagen production. It is suitable for all skin types and colors without much worry about the downsides of complications.

    Laser Skin Resurfacing

    Laser skin resurfacing is a skin treatment using laser Intense Pulse Light or photodynamic therapy to treat skin conditions like open pores. The treatment aims to remove the skin layers precisely so that new skin cells can form, giving the skin a tighter and younger-looking surface.

    The procedure starts with consulting a plastic surgeon or dermatologist and knowing if you are a good candidate for laser resurfacing. When both of you decide to go ahead with laser skin resurfacing, you must visit your doctor’s clinic on the selected day and time to get the treatment done. In laser resurfacing, you might feel a slight itching or stinging sensation due to the laser’s heat, but those are normal.

    Treating the entire face takes up to 45 minutes, but depending on the problem, the session time may go slightly higher. After the treatment, you will notice your skin to be better, and laser resurfacing can be combined with other treatment modules to bring better results in patients with open pores.


    Open pores are not a huge problem, but it is better to react proactively when they occur. Not only for cosmetic reasons, but treating open pores is beneficial for maintaining skin health in the long run. I hope this article helped you navigate many treatment modules to treat open pores and gave you a clear idea about how to prevent them. Keep following us for many such articles. Stay happy and stay healthy.

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