Bad news for people with oily skin: It turns out you're more prone to having large pores because your oil glands secrete more sebum. As Dr. Stephanie Sy-Chua, a fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society explains: "Pores are actually hair follicle [openings] that also [contain] sebaceous glands, and when there's [an excess or a buildup of] sebum secretion or when dried sebum combines with keratin, the pores become more noticeable and appear larger."
So can you actually shrink your pores?
Sadly, no. According to Dr. Sy-Chua, because there are no muscles around pores that can contract, it's not possible to shrink them.
Don't lose hope, though. You may not be able to shrink large pores, but there are ways to make them appear smaller. Sy-Chua says, "You can minimize the appearance of [big pores] by cleansing, removing the sebum, and tightening the skin."
If your pores need a little help, here are a few products you may want to try out!
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Koreans are known for their obsession with skincare. Because of this, they have become masters of tightening and minimizing pores—they invented "glass skin," after all. So is it any wonder that the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask has a huge following?
The Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask is a six-in-one pore care mask that removes sebum as it exfoliates and soothes the skin. The Jeju volcanic clay takes care of the excess grease, while the Super Volcanic Capsules slough off dead skin cells and contain AHA that further exfoliates the skin.
Size: 100 ml
Where to buy: SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia
Skinfood New Zealand Mud Masque
Here's another pore-tightening product with volcanic mud as its active ingredient. This time, the geothermal mud comes all the way from New Zealand. Loyal users rave about how effective it is at minimizing the pores' appearance without drying out the skin!
It has mineral-rich Rotorua mud, which is known to rejuvenate, heal, hydrate, and get rid of toxins and excess oil. It also contains other nourishing ingredients such as spirulina, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, and lavender oil.
Size: 100 ml
Where to buy:
COSRX Two In One Poreless Power Liquid
COSRX has built quite a rep for skincare products that actually deliver on their promise. Their Snail Mucin Essence and pimple patches are absolute skincare game-changers.
Poreless Power Liquid, like the rest of COSRX's products, lives up to the hype. It's a toner-slash-serum designed to address large pores and give you a porcelain-smooth complexion. The willow bark water and salicylate unclogs pores, while the tannin gets rid of excess oil. The best part is it's mild enough for sensitive skin and daily use.
Size: 100 ml
Where to buy: Lazada, Watsons, Beauty Bar
Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizer
Perricone MD's Intensive Pore Minimizer works three ways in making large pores appear less visible: It exfoliates, controls oil production, and firms up the skin. It has salicylic acid which helps manage excess sebum, DMAE (also known as "dimethylaminoethanol") which contributes to firmer skin, and a copper complex which aids in collagen and elastin production.
Size: 118 ml
Where to buy: Rustan's The Beauty Source
Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer
A face primer smoothens out the skin's surface, refines the appearance of pores, and corrects skin tone. Benefit's famous POREfessional is the true MVP (That's "most valuable primer," FYI!).
This oil-free, lightweight, translucent balm was created to minimize the look of pores, and it contains a Vitamin-E derivative that protects the skin from harmful free radicals.
Price: P860, P2,120, P3,580
Size: 7.5 ml, 22ml, 44ml
Where to buy: Greenbelt 5, SM Megamall, Rustan's The Beauty Source, Lazada
Leaders Insolution Pore Tight Mask
Nothing beats a Korean face mask when you want an easy and affordable way to pamper your skin at home. And if you're looking for a targeted and concentrated skin treatment with pore-tightening action, you can try Leaders Insolution Pore Tight Mask. It contains 17 amino acids that hydrate, protect, and lift the skin. It also gently gets rid of dead skin cells and impurities!
Size: 25 ml
Where to buy: Watsons
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores
Both men and women swear by this pore-tightening skincare product and claim to have seen a difference after just one use! The activated bamboo charcoal in Origins' best-selling mask unclogs pores by drawing out bacteria, dirt, and oil from deep within your skin. The white China clay absorbs toxins, and the lecithin dissolves skin impurities.
Size: 75 ml
Where to buy: SM Megamall, SM Makati Department Store, SM Mall of Asia, Lazada
Kiehl's Precision Lifting & Pore Tightening Concentrate
Kiehl's clinically tested serum is formulated with micro-filtered yeast extract to minimize large pores, tighten skin, and redefine the facial contours. It also contains geranium and rosemary oils, which are both rich in antioxidants, to improve skin texture and appearance.
Vogue UK explains that yeast retains moisture, brightens, and lifts the skin. It addresses pigmentation, inflammation, and aging.
Size: 50 ml
Where to buy: Robinsons Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza, The Podium, Greenbelt 5
Dear Klairs Pore Gentle Black Sugar Charcoal Soap
Here's another K-Beauty fave with a cult following! Dear Klair's charcoal soap is made of ingredients that address oily skin and large pores: Black sugar serves as a physical scrub to gently get rid of dead skin cells, charcoal aids in absorbing all the toxins and bacteria, and organic Moroccan ghassoul draws out the excess oil lurking deep within the pores.
Size: 100 g
Where to buy: Go Bloom and Glow
Caudalie Vinopure Pore Minimizing Serum
This serum is famous for tightening pores and getting rid of stubborn blackheads. It's potent, yet light on the skin, and gentle enough for all skin types and daily use. The natural salicylic acid in the serum gets rid of pore gunk and excess oil, while the grape seed extract prevents blackheads from forming by keeping the sebum in your pores from oxidizing (i.e. turning black). Vinopure Pore Minimizing Serum contains rosewater, as well, which is known for moisturizing the skin and giving it a healthy glow.
Size: 30 ml
Where to buy: Sephora.ph