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How to get rid of enlarged pores on your nose

You can’t remove your pores. But some products may make them less visible.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 7, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C
How to get rid of pores on nose
Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 7, 2023 • 6 min read
Medically reviewed by Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Disclaimer: Despite many YouTube and product claims, you can’t get rid of pores on your nose or anywhere else (sorry!). We can’t eliminate pores because they help our skin function. However, we may be able to help make pores less visible.  

Did you know that some parts of your skin are more susceptible to attracting impurities than others? Pores are one of those areas. Our skin is covered in pores that serve an important function, but many find clogged pores unsightly, especially on the face. If you’re curious about how to get rid of pores on your nose, our experts have let us in on a secret: You can’t, and you definitely wouldn’t want to. Here we’ll explain why and how to help reduce their visibility instead. 

What is a pore?

Simply put, a pore is an opening in the skin’s surface that leads to the oil ducts and hair follicles within the skin.¹ Pores release sebum, our body’s natural oil, that protects our hair and skin. Having large or visible pores can be frustrating, and many people wish they could get rid of them entirely. That said, any method claiming to “remove” pores is a myth, as they’re actually a normal part of our skin. Although you can’t completely get rid of your pores, there may be ways to reduce their appearance if you aren’t a fan of how they look. 

Potential causes of enlarged pores

Pores occupy up to 25% of the skin's surface² and are referred to as “enlarged” when the skin shows visible topographic (physical) changes.³ Although enlarged pores aren’t a medical or dermatological concern, they can be a cosmetic concern for some people. One research study suggests that your pore size may remain consistent throughout your life,⁴ but there are a few contributing factors that may be making your pores appear larger: 

  • Acne: Acne is associated with enlarged pores because, in some cases, blackheads and other types of acne lesions can make them more visible. Inflammatory acne may weaken the skin’s sebaceous glands and hair follicle openings. This can enlarge pores by making them more prone to blockage.

  • Loss of skin elasticity with age: As you age, your skin loses elasticity, which may cause your pores to become more visible.

  • Hair follicle size: The size of your hair follicles may impact how visible your pores are.

  • Use of comedogenic products: Comedogenic products may clog your pores—so using them can also make your pores more visible.⁵

  • Excess oil production: If your skin produces excess sebum, this may cause or contribute to visible pores. More research is needed—although a study shows a positive correlation between sebum production and the appearance of pores,⁶ this does not necessarily mean that oil causes enlarged pores. Another study suggests that it may not be sebum output that causes pores to appear more visible, but rather, the extra shine caused by the sebum.⁷ If you’re wondering how to get rid of sebum on your nose, our experts recommend using non-comedogenic skincare products designed for oily skin.

  • Sun damage: Sun damage may contribute to the appearance of enlarged pores.

  • Hormone fluctuations: Pore size may fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, with the largest size occurring during ovulation.⁸

Woman with skin problem on nose - How to get rid of pores on your nose

How to reduce enlarged pores 

Dislike the appearance of your pores? You’re not alone. If you’re wondering how to get rid of pores on your nose at home, it’s important to understand that you can’t remove them entirely, but you might be able to reduce their visibility. Our experts recommend the following to help reduce the appearance of your pores: 

  • Use a retinoid: Tretinoin, a prescription vitamin A derivative, may help reduce the appearance of your pores.⁹ You can also try using an over-the-counter skincare product that contains retinol.¹⁰ Because these products may irritate your skin, use them at night and acclimate your skin by introducing them to your routine gradually. In the morning, don’t forget your sunscreen!

  • Treat acne: Acne lesions mean that your pores are clogged, which may make them more noticeable. A salicylic acid cleanser can unclog your pores and reduce their appearance. Look for a gentle salicylic acid cleanser (like Curology’s Acne Body Wash), which you can alternate with a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to avoid skin irritation.

  • Cleanse your face regularly: Use warm (not hot!) water and a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to gently wash your face twice daily. This may help to prevent clogged pores and reduce oiliness.

  • Oral treatments: Oral medications such as combined oral contraceptives, the antiandrogen spironolactone, and the vitamin A derivative isotretinoin may help reduce the appearance of your pores.¹¹

  • Physical treatments: Physical treatments such as lasering and radiofrequency microneedling (skin needling) are additional options you may want to discuss with your local cosmetic dermatologist to reduce the visibility of your pores. 

A word of advice: If you have large pores you’d like to shrink, don’t squeeze them! Picking, scrubbing, squeezing, and digging at your skin can cause irritation and redness and make your pores appear even more noticeable. Always treat your skin gently. If you’re wondering how to open pores on your nose to remove blackheads, first, understand that pores don’t “open” or “close.” That said, to improve the appearance of pores and treat blackheads, skincare products designed to target blackheads are a great place to start.

Products that may help shrink your pores 

If you’re concerned about the size of your pores, it may help to build a skincare routine that addresses this concern. Various products on the market today may help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Our experts did some research, and here’s what they came up with:

  • Non-comedogenic skincare products and makeup: Your pores can expand when they’re clogged, which may make them more visible. To help avoid this, choose products that are labeled non-comedogenic and oil-free. Here’s a list of pore-clogging ingredients to watch out for.

  • Exfoliators: Exfoliating safely may help your pores appear smaller. There are many chemical and physical exfoliants available, and if you’re not sure what’s right for you, your dermatology provider will be able to point you in the right direction.

  • Sunscreen: If you’re looking for the best products to shrink pores on your nose, know that sunscreen can help improve their appearance. Sun damage reduces skin firmness, which may cause your pores to appear larger. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen every morning can help prevent sun damage. Look for SPF 30 or higher.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

If you have visible pores, there’s nothing wrong with you or your skin! Although some people view large pores on their nose, face, and body as a big deal, the truth is that they’re nothing to be ashamed of. Following a good skincare routine and using the right treatments and products can go a long way toward improving their appearance if you want, but we think you’re perfect just the way you are. 

Trust Curology’s effective ingredients

Curology products on lavender bath tub - How to get rid of pores on your nose

Founded in 2014 by a board-certified dermatologist, Curology offers a full-service skincare membership that provides products made with proven effective ingredients for treating acne, signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and more. We use ingredients that have been clinically researched, allowing our licensed dermatology providers to create custom treatment plans and prescribe formulas that adapt to your skin’s needs. 

Curology is one of the easiest ways to get a skincare consultation. Our experts can help take the guesswork out of your skincare routine by providing a custom treatment plan and personalized prescription formulato help you meet your goals. We believe everyone is unique, and we’ll work with you to determine the products you need to help you tackle your skin concerns.

Signing up is easy.Just answer a few questions and snap some selfies to help us get to know your skin better. If Curology is right for you, we’ll pair you with one of our in-house licensed dermatology providers, who will be there to answer any skincare questions you may have.

FAQs

What is a pore?

A pore is an opening in the skin’s surface that leads to the oil ducts and hair follicles within the skin. Pores release sebum, our body’s natural oil, that protects our hair and skin.

What can cause of enlarged pores?

One research study suggests that your pore size may remain consistent throughout your life, but there are a few contributing factors that may be making your pores appear larger such as acne, loss of skin elasticity with age, hair follicle size, use of comedogenic products, excess oil production, sun damage, and hormone fluctuations.

How to reduce enlarged pores?

If you’re wondering how to get rid of pores on your nose at home, it’s important to understand that you can’t remove them entirely, but you might be able to reduce their visibility. Our experts recommend the following to help reduce the appearance of your pores: 

  • Use a retinoid

  • Treat acne

  • Cleanse your face regularly

  • Oral treatments

  • Physical treatments

What products help shrink your pores?

Various products on the market today may help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Our experts did some research, and found that these 3 products can help: non-comedogenic skincare products and makeup, exfoliators, and sunscreen.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Martel, JL., et al. Anatomy, Hair Follicle. StatPearls. (2022)

  2.  Flament, F., et al. Facial skin pores: a multiethnic study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2015).

  3. Lee, S.J., et al. Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options. Dermatol Surg. (2016).

  4. Flament, F., et al. Facial skin pores: a multiethnic study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. (2015).

  5. Chan, L. Enlarged pores. DermNet. (2017).

  6. Roh M, et al. Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores.Br J Dermatol. (2006).

  7. Flament, F., et al. Facial skin pores: a multiethnic study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. Ibid.

  8. Roh M, et al. Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores.Br J Dermatol. Ibid.

  9. Flament, F., et al. Facial skin pores: a multiethnic study. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. Ibid.

  10. What can treat large facial pores?American Academy of Dermatology Association. (n.d.).

  11. Chan, L. Enlarged pores. DermNet. Ibid.

* Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Results may vary. 

Nicole Hangsterfer is a licensed physician assistant at Curology. She obtained her masters in physician assistant studies at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern in Chicago, IL.

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Nicole Hangsterfer Avatar

Nicole Hangsterfer, PA-C

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