by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

5 Ingredients That Can Help To Reduce Enlarged Pores

We’re all trying to perfect our skin to achieve the poreless ‘glass skin‘ look (I blame Instagram filters and magnifying mirrors), but the truth is no skin is truly free of pores. You can’t get rid of your pores, no matter how many products you use or how hard you pick and prod at them. If they’re bothering you, they’re probably wider, deeper, or more prominent than you’d like them to be. But before you despair, the right skincare products and ingredients can help minimise the look of your pores, letting you emulate the smooth, (almost) poreless look you so desire.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best pore-minimising ingredients, so you can incorporate them into your routine and shrink the look of your pores.

AHAs and BHAs

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) are holy-grail ingredients when it comes to tightening pores. Since excess sebum production can cause pores to appear larger, it’s good practice to use acids to unclog pores and prevent them from stretching.

While both acids help remove dead skin buildup, AHAs work on the surface of the skin to brighten and smooth (making them more suitable for the drier and sensitive skin types), while BHAs penetrate deeper to remove dead skin cells clogged in pores (like blackheads), making them especially great for oily, acne-prone skin.


Further proof that you should add retinol into your skincare routine: not only does that it smooth fine lines and brighten the skin, it also works to counter acne breakouts and tighten pores. Retinol works its magic by increasing your skin’s collagen production, while simultaneously decreasing its sebum production, which leads to smoother skin, fewer breakouts and blackheads, and smaller pores.

If you’ve got very dry, sensitive, or rosacea-prone skin, you’ll want to reduce irritation and build up your skin’s tolerance. Start by applying once a week for a week, then building up to three times a week before eventually applying it every other night.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has been used to clear bacteria, toxins, and other gunk from congested pores for decades. It acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and sebum from your pores, making it a great ingredient for deep cleansing.

Witch Hazel

A botanical extract which has anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel has long been used to soothe and cleanse the skin. Much like other acne-fighting ingredients, though, witch hazel can be drying to the skin if it’s overused, so tread carefully.


Also known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that works to visibly minimise large pores, improve uneven skin tone, soften fine lines and wrinkles and brighten the skin. It also helps to minimise the impact of environmental damage on your skin and generally contribute to a healthier skin barrier.