Large Pores/Open Pores

If you have visible pores that are easy to spot, they’re probably on the larger side. People that have large pores often have a darker or olive complexion. They also usually have oily skin as well. If you have large pores, you may also suffer fr...

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Table of content

Causes of Large Pores

Large pores are generally chalked up to genetics. If your parents or siblings have large pores (or if you have a darker skin tone), you probably have them too. Yet there are a few other factors that can cause pores to open. 

The most common causes of large pores include:

  • Acne

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Collagen loss

  • Dehydration

  • Genetics

  • Oily skin

  • Some products/makeup 

  • Sun exposure

  • Thick hair


Dehydration is often the cause of large and open pores. Your skin needs to be hydrated from the inside out. This means that skin draws hydration from your body’s reserve (the food you eat, the water you drink) and sometimes needs extra external hydration in the form of moisturizer if you live in a dry climate or have dry skin in general. 

Some people with larger pores actually have oily skin, and they use too many products that suck moisture from the skin. 

If your skin is dry or oily, you want to balance its pH balance — not overcompensate with oily or drying products. 

Oily Skin

People with oily skin are more likely to suffer from large and open pores than people with dry skin. To add insult to injury, oily skin can make pores look even larger. 

Oily skin makes pores open further because the oil causes an increase in sebum production. When the elasticity of the skin is decreased, the pores can open even larger. 

If you suffer from oily skin, you’ll want to ensure you’re using a face cleanser to keep pores (especially large pores) free of dirt, debris, and sebum. If not, your pores are more likely to get clogged and result in breakouts. 

Collagen Loss

One of the main causes of enlarged pores is collagen loss. Collagen is the protein that gives skin that plump and firm look. When the skin is broken damaged? It boosts cell regrowth — especially after popping or picking at a pimple. It also helps skin stay elastic.

When we lose collagen, our skin can sag. This can give the appearance of large or open pores. Tight skin can make pores look smaller.

Most people experience collagen loss as they age. We also lose collagen because of nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, sun damage, and nicotine consumption. 

Thick Hair

We have two types of pores: hair grows from one type of pore while sweat is released from the other.

Thick hair follicles can also create open pores — simply because the hair is so thick that it needs more space to grow out of the pore. These pores produce sebum that coats the follicle and protects both the follicle and the pore.


Our genetics has a lot to do with our appearances. 

If your parents, grandparents, and siblings all have large pores, you’re more likely to suffer from large pores, too. Yet, your DNA doesn’t totally determine your likelihood of developing large pores.

Your family members may make lifestyle choices that make them more likely to have large pores. When it comes to DNA, you always want to control the factors you can control (skincare routine, preventative choices, etc.) and stop worrying about the things you can’t control (especially because stress can lead to clogged pores and acne!).


Most people can healthfully drink up to two alcoholic beverages a day. If your family has a history of open pores, you might want to reconsider those two drinks (or cut down to just one a day).

Alcohol can dry out the skin and make pores look even larger. 

To make matters even worse, drinking too much alcohol can even lead to reduced collagen, as alcohol attacks collagen cells. It can poke little holes into the collagen, weakening its structure.


People with acne are more likely to have oily skin (and large pores). Not only can acne correlate directly with large pores because of its connection with oily skin, but the overproduction of sebum is also connected to large pores. 

If you have acne, you might want to think twice about using a product that completely sucks the moisture from your skin — as this can lead to even more sebum production, more acne, and even larger pores.

Try to find products that balance the pH balance of your skin and don’t dry it out. 

Sun Exposure

Sun exposure is to blame for pretty much every skincare issue — well, under the sun. It can lead to dry skin, reduced collagen production, and damaged skin. These are all known causes of large pores. 

Sun damage can even make pores look larger over time. It can thicken the skin, giving the illusion of larger pores. 

Some Makeup or Products

Some makeup and products can even make the pores look larger. If you suffer from large pores, you may want to steer clear of products that leave a sheen on your dermis, as this can give the illusion of larger pores.

Products with harsh chemicals that dry out the skin and attack free radicals and collagen can also lead to larger-looking pores. 

Thick and cakey makeup can also define large pores, making them look larger. This type of makeup can also clog pores and cause breakouts and open pores even wider. 

Preventing Large Pores and Open Pores

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can prevent large pores — even if your family has a history of oily skin and acne. Making simple lifestyle changes can make a dramatic difference in the size of your facial pores and your skin health in general. 

Cleanse Skin Daily

Cleansing your skin twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) can help to keep your pores free of excess sebum, dirt, and debris. In turn, this can help reduce the size of your pores and keep your skin glowing and healthy. 

If you have oily skin or dry skin, you may want to use a cleanser that is pH balanced for your skin type. 

Use a Gentle Exfoliant

Dead skin cells can build up on the top layer of the dermis and clog pores, opening them and making them more pronounced (and prone to acne). Use a gentle exfoliant to help shed these layers of skin.

You should never use a harsh exfoliant on your face. 

Avoid the Sun

If you live in a sunny climate, you should wear an oil-free SPF 30 sunscreen (or higher). Apply liberally to your face, neck, chest, and arms. Wearing long sleeves and long pants (while it may seem counterproductive in a warm climate) can also protect your skin from the sun.

Even if you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Cold and windy climates can also dry your skin out and make pores look even larger. 

Switch Makeup and Skincare Products

If you’re wearing skincare products and makeup that clog pores or contain harsh chemicals, you may want to switch products. 

You’ll also want to be careful about other products you use. Harsh hand soap, hairspray, and laundry detergent can also dry out your skin or clog your pores. 

Use Specially-Formulated Products

Most dermatologists also recommend opting for products that are pH balanced for your skin type. If your skin is oily, use a skincare regimen for oily skin (though, make sure the product doesn’t strip all oils from your skin).

Use a good moisturizer for dry skin, and use special products for the daytime and nighttime, as using a heavy moisturizer at night can clog pores, too. 

Boost Collagen

You’ll want to ensure your skin is producing a healthy level of collagen. If you’re worried about collagen production, you may want to eat more foods that are known to produce this protein, like fatty fish, bone broth, and leafy greens.

Avoid alcohol and nicotine, two products that are known to attack collagen and deteriorate this protein’s structure. 

If your skin is aging and you’ve suffered from a loss of collagen, you might want to try skincare products that can replenish collagen topically. We recommend checking out prescription skincare products that are specially formulated for your skin type, as these are more likely to provide the results you’re looking for. 


Hydrate your skin internally by drinking plenty of water (for most people ‘plenty’ is eight glasses of water a day). Drinking enough water can help remove toxins from your pores, help keep your skin hydrated, and help your skin produce more collagen.

You’ll also want to hydrate your skin from the outside, too. Use a moisturizer that’s heavy enough to deliver enough hydration through every layer of your dermis — but not one that’s so heavy it clogs your pores. 

Treating Large Pores and Open Pores

If you want to ensure your sebaceous glands don’t wreak havoc on your pore size, unclog your pores and keep skin tight with these treatment options. 

At-Home Prescription Skincare

Treating skincare issues at home is easier than ever with personalized at-home skincare prescriptions. Dermatologists can now diagnose your skin issues, like acne scars, blemishes, and open pores — without ever seeing a patient in person.

Musely Skin Regeneration Set

Musely’s skin regeneration set is a personalized skincare set that exfoliates, cleanses, and moisturizes your dermis — leaving you with healthy skin. The cleanser tightens pores without drying skin out, while the daytime cleanser protects your skin from the harsh rays of the sun. The nighttime cream helps to keep your skin pH balanced and prevents skin from drying out. 

Rory Nightly Defense

Rory’s Nightly Defense cream is an overnight treatment that attacks breakouts, unclogging pores and banishing dark spots, like acne scarring. This customized cream can be personalized for every skin type and skin issue. 

In-Office Treatments

If your pores need a little extra TLC, you can always turn to dermatology to tighten them up. Some of the most common in-office treatments include microneedling (small needles that poke the surface of the dermis, exfoliating the skin), microdermabrasion (deep exfoliation), laser treatments, and glycolic acid treatments. 

Many in-office treatments are harsh and more expensive than in-home treatments, so you may want to try prescription skincare before heading straight to a dermatology office.

If you suffer from large pores and open pores, there are plenty of treatment options available. From in-home personalized prescription skincare to in-office dermatology treatments, there’s no reason to suffer from large pores anymore.