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Have Your Pores Got Bigger All Of A Sudden? Here’s How To Get Them Back To Normal

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Are you currently experiencing a sudden change in your pores look? Do they appear bigger than they used to, and now you’re trying to find the reasons for this hasty change and how to minimize your pores?

Let me tell you by now that if your pores have suddenly become bigger, it has nothing to do with aging or sun damage, so you can cut these from your suspects’ list. While these factors can indeed make your pores larger and more visible, they don’t have an immediate impact but rather trigger changes over time. Instead, you should look for the culprits in your skincare routine, as this is often where most pore issues begin. Keep reading to learn why your pores have become bigger all of a sudden and how you fix it.

Why do pores get bigger and more visible?

Since pore size is mostly genetically determined, it can’t be reduced, so if you’ve been born with large pores, there’s not much you can do. However, if you’ve recently noticed some change in your pores’ appearance, it could be a sign that something is clogging them or your skin is losing some essential proteins. Various factors can make your pores appear bigger, including:

  1. Excess sebum production
  2. Loss of skin elasticity around pores
  3. Comedogenic products
  4. Dead cells buildup
  5. Hormones
  6. Aging
  7. UV damage

Of all, studies have found that excess sebum and lack of skin elasticity have the most significant impact on pore size.[1] You see, pores contain sebaceous glands that produce sebum. So the more oil is secreted by sebaceous glands, the larger the pores become — since the excess sebum can dilate pore diameter. Besides, sebum can get trapped inside the pores, congesting them and making them appear bigger. That’s why people with oily skin often have large pores too.

Enlarged pores could also be a matter of skin losing collagen due to aging or sun damage. With less collagen, the skin around the pores becomes less elastic, which in turn stretches the pores.[2] Last but not least, both the buildup of dead cells on the skin’s surface and comedogenic products can clog the pores, leading to enlarged pores.

Reasons why the pores suddenly become larger

While genetics, aging, and sun damage won’t make your pores suddenly bigger, other things do. These include sebum, comedogenic products, and not exfoliating, which are often the reasons pores suddenly become larger and more visible. Think of a pore as a balloon and all these pore-blocking elements as water. The more water you put in the balloon, the bigger it gets. The same happens with pores. When pores get clogged (either with sebum, dead cells, or comedogenic oils), they can instantly appear bigger.

How to minimize large pores

If you have large pores all of a sudden, here’s what you can do to clear and shrink their appearance:

Exfoliate your skin regularly: Exfoliation helps slough off dead cell buildup, preventing pores from clogging. For the best results, use oil-soluble exfoliants, like salicylic acid. As an oil-soluble compound, it can penetrate through the fat layers to reach the pores and clear them out of dirt, sebum, and bacteria. Besides, salicylic acid can also regulate sebum production, making pores less likely to get blocked.[3] We recommend these face exfoliators for clogged pores and congested skin.

Use a clay or charcoal face mask: Both clay and charcoal can absorb the excess oil and impurities from pores. You can use one of these detoxifying face masks once a week to purify even the most stubborn clogged pores.

Steaming: Steaming also help clean out pores, making them look smaller.

Use pore-minimizing serums: They usually include exfoliators and pore-clearing ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, and retinol. You can count on these pore-minimizing serums to shrink your large pores.

How to prevent pores from getting bigger

  • Exfoliate your skin once or twice weekly.
  • Cleanse your complexion every day, morning, and night.
  • Avoid comedogenic products.
  • Use SPF.
  • Keep your skin hydrated to avoid excess sebum.
  • Apply ingredients like salicylic acid and niacinamide.
  • Use antioxidants and anti-aging treatments to preserve skin elasticity.

Read next: 10 Best Pore-Minimizing Serums To Shrink Your Large Pores


  1. Kim BY, Choi JW, Park KC, Youn SW. Sebum, acne, skin elasticity, and gender difference. Which is the major influencing factor for facial pores? Skin Res Technol. 2013 Feb;19(1):e45-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0846.2011.00605.x. Epub 2011 Dec 28. PMID: 22211382.
  2. Hameed A, Akhtar N, Khan HMS, Asrar M. Skin sebum and skin elasticity: Major influencing factors for facial pores. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2019 Dec;18(6):1968-1974. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12933. Epub 2019 Apr 13. PMID: 30980606.
  3. Zhang, L, Shao, X, Chen, Y, et al. 30% supramolecular salicylic acid peels effectively treats acne vulgaris and reduces facial sebum. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2022; 00: 1– 8. doi:10.1111/jocd.14799
Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana is a sociologist and feminist with a shared passion for literature, psychology, and skincare, the combo that made her determined to start Women's Concepts. With over five years of experience in dermatological research, she has now become a certified skincare consultant keen to convince others of the importance of a diligent routine. Her close relationships with dermatologists around the globe, along with years of researching, analyzing studies, and hand-testing products on a daily basis, made Ana one of the best persons you can get advice from.
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