How Can I Shrink My Pores After 40?

Gigantic pores: the bane of your post-forties.
BY Sarah Lim
| Last updated May, 2023
How Can I Shrink My Pores After 40?

Before we get into any of this, always remember: even JLo has pores. Now, moving on… Do you feel like you have especially large pores?  Here you may know how to diminish large pores, with advice on the best pore minimizer.

Large pores are more natural in some people than others and tend to be more common in people with oily skin or acne-prone skin. Even though pores are essential for skin health—as we’ll see in a sec—large pores can reduce our self-confidence.

Even if you don’t have large pores but just want your pores to be smaller for smoother-looking skin, it’s certainly possible to make pores look smaller in appearance, even if it may not be possible to actually “shrink” your pores, per se. 

Here’s the deal with large pores and how you can help reduce their appearance after 40, including some recommendations when you’re searching for the best pore minimizer.

What’s the Deal With Large Pores?

What’s the Deal With Large Pores

Your pores are actually connected to your hair follicles and your skin’s oil glands. In fact, pores are instrumental in allowing your skin’s natural oil—our friend sebum—to get to the top layer of your skin and keep your skin protected. However, when pores look large, they aren’t exactly doing our skin any favours.

Maybe you’ve always had large pores, or your pores have started to look larger as you age. Unfortunately, since the skin naturally loses some of its elastin and collagen as we age, pores can look larger than they really are. It’s common for people after 40 to notice that their pores look bigger than they used to, thanks to structural changes in the skin.

Clogged pores may also appear larger, which highlights the importance of keeping your skin clean, exfoliating, and using non-comedogenic (a fancy word for “won’t clog pores”) skincare products to help keep pores clear and minimize their appearance. 

Whether you’re new to the large pore club or you’ve been around for a while, here are some ways you can “shrink” your pores.

Ways to “Shrink” Your Pores

There are ways you can reduce the appearance of your pores. Whether you’re looking for the best pore minimizers or want a cleanser or peel that will be worth its weight in gold, we have the tips and product recommendations you need to get started on your journey to smaller-looking pores.

Consider Pore-Minimizing Skincare Ingredients

Consider Pore-Minimizing Skincare Ingredients

There are a few excellent skincare ingredients to consider when you want to shrink pores. Whether it’s the finest pore minimizer or a great mask, ingredients such as clay, retinol, and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help.

While clay and AHAs such as glycolic acid can help unclog pores and keep skin looking smooth and fresh, retinol encourages cellular turnover to keep skin looking younger and can potentially reduce the appearance of pores.  

AHAs can be used in cleansers, masks, and serums, while retinol is most commonly used in moisturizers. Clay is a great mask ingredient but can be used in cleansers as well.

Amp Up Your Skincare Routine

Amp Up Your Skincare Routine

Your skincare routine is going to be a huge part of keeping your pores looking as small as possible. Therefore, if you don’t already have an established skincare routine, this is a great routine to consider starting with.

  1. Cleanse every day at least once a day but not more than twice a day. Keeping your pores clean is one of the best ways to minimize their appearance. Look for a gel, clay, or foam cleanser that’s not too harsh and suits your skin type (if you have dry skin, a cream or oil cleanser may be more appropriate). 

Consider: Acure Resurfacing Glycolic & Unicorn Root Cleanser

  1. Exfoliate with a physical or chemical exfoliant. If you’re using physical, no more than twice a week is fine. If you use chemicals, like glycolic acid, you might only be able to use it three times a week. Exfoliating helps prevent dead skin cells from clogging pores and can keep skin looking fresh while toning down those pores.

Consider: Herbivore Blue Tansy Invisible Pores Resurfacing Clarity Mask

  1. Follow up with a serum for your skin type. This could include one that contains niacinamide for anti-inflammatory properties or one that contains hyaluronic acid for moisture. If it’s your morning skincare routine, a vitamin C serum can help prevent sun damage and protect against aging skin.

Consider: Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum

  1. Use retinol or your moisturizer (or a retinol moisturizer). If it’s morning, skip the retinol and instead apply sunscreen after your moisturizer. If it’s nighttime, use retinol and let it absorb for about 15-20 minutes before using another skincare product.

Consider: 100% Pure Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm

  1. Don’t forget your eye cream—even though it won’t necessarily help your pores; it can help prevent skin sagging and wrinkles around your pretty eyes!

Use Matte Sunscreen

Use Matte Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must regardless of your skin type or whether or not you’re dealing with large pores. Many conventional sunscreens can leave somewhat of a shiny finish—definitely not something you want when trying to minimize your pores! Try a matte sunscreen or one with primer to prevent extra shininess that could accentuate your pores.

Consider: Supergoop! Mineral Mattescreen SPF 40

Go Pro With Skincare Treatments

Go Pro With Skincare Treatments

Professional skincare treatments may help minimize the appearance of pores and generally help skin appear more youthful. These include procedures such as laser resurfacing, microneedling and chemical peels.   

Your dermatologist or certified aesthetician can help you determine which treatments you would qualify for based on your skin type and skincare goals. To create the ideal pore minimizer treatment for you, you may also be able to use a combination of treatments, such as microneedling, microdermabrasion, and light therapy

Don’t Smoke

Don’t Smoke

It goes without saying that smoking is bad for you, but did you know it’s also been linked to more skin wrinkles and enlarged pores? Even if you’re just a recreational smoker, now is a great time to consider quitting!

Take Our Skincare Challenge

Large pores got you down? Try taking our 7-day skincare challenge to establish a skincare routine based on your unique skin type and skin concerns, including minimizing pores. Do you have the appropriate pore minimizer that you swear by for smaller-looking pores? Let us know in the comments below!

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