While you can’t permanently shrink your pores, there are many products out on the market today that will help tighten them and make your skin look smoother.

Things You'll Need

Cleanse your face with an oil-free cleanser. It should contain either salicylic acid, lactic acid or glycolic acid or an antibacterial ingredient (such as tea tree oil). You should do this at least twice a day.

Exfoliate your skin with an exfoliating cleanser to remove dead skin cells. You should exfoliate your face two to three times a week to keep pores looking small. There are many exfoliators available; be sure to get one that is formulated for your skin type.

Tone your skin using a clarifying toner to purify the pores and remove any residual cleanser or exfoliant. Toners help to pH balance the skin after cleansing and help to refresh and tighten pores. Match your toner with your skin type. Those with oily skin may want an oil-free toner, while drier complexions benefit from a more moisturizing toner.

Treat pores with a special pore minimizing treatment. There are many options on the market which have been developed specifically to help shrink pores and help promote a smooth complexion. This product is typically sold in a gel or cream form.

Moisturize skin with a moisturizer. If your skin is oily, choose a lightweight oil-free moisturizer (especially in the summer) to avoid excess oil buildup in the T-zone.

You may want to add a mattifying creme on top of your moisturizer. Mattifying creams are sold in addition to moisturizers, and they usually come in the form of a silicone-based gel. You apply them over your moisturizer to problem areas only. These products help to fill pores, making them appear smaller, while reducing shine.

Visit a dermatologist if you have severely blocked pores, as he or she may prescribe a retinoid cream to help exfoliate and cleanse pores and get rid of the oil and buildup. If the prescription medications don’t work for you, the dermatologist may need to use a chemical peel, light or laser treatment to cleanse the pores, which will also make them appear smaller.


  • Choose a cleanser with up to 1 percent salicylic acid or up to 5 percent lactic or glycolic acid to help keep pores clean.

  • Make sure the moisturizer you pick is oil-free.

  • Avoid exfoliators containing particles with sharp edges, such as ground seeds or pits, which can cause damage with tiny abrasions on the skin surface. Instead, opt for fine-grained or oatmeal exfoliators, which are much gentler on skin.

  • Use a clay or other skin-firming mask to tighten skin once a week.