Contrary to claims made by the labels on many creams, cosmetic products or skin treatment advertisements, large pores cannot actually shrink. That doesn't mean, however, that there is nothing you can do. The appearance of pores can be temporarily reduced, and there are several things you can do to avoid exacerbating the problem.
To reduce the appearance of large pores, start by keeping them clean. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, but you should also use it after you sweat to prevent oil from building up. Just be careful not to scrub too much: When you over-wash, your skin responds as if it's dried out, so it produces more oil to compensate. That just makes your problem worse. For the same reason, be sure to not scrub your skin with a washcloth or other abrasive materials. Using an exfoliating cleanser once a week will also help, because it breaks down dead skin cells that clog pores and can give your skin a smoother appearance. Pore-minimizing creams contain ingredients that boost the skin's production of glycoaminoglycans, which help to firm the skin around pores, minimizing their appearance [source: Crawford].
Next, take some preventive steps to eliminate or avoid factors that contribute to the appearance of large pores. By applying a topical retinoid solution, you can not only reduce the appearance of large pores, but you can also dissolve bacteria that cause acne and treat sun damage at the same time -- two factors that contribute to pores looking larger than usual. And, of course, you should always use sunscreen to protect your skin and keep large pores from becoming worse [source: Villett].
You may be tempted to simply cover up your large pores with makeup. Before you do, read on to learn about choosing the best makeup for skin with large pores.