If you're plagued with large pores, your instinct might be to try to cover them up with cosmetics, or you may go the opposite route and think makeup is something to avoid. But if you pick the right products and follow a few tips, you can wear makeup without making your large pores worse -- and you just might be able to make them appear smaller.
Start with an oil-free noncomedogenic moisturizer. Anything that's labeled noncomedogenic is specifically designed to not clog pores. Moisturizer helps to maintain your skin's elasticity and smooth out its appearance -- which helps to minimize the look of large pores [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Then use a pre-foundation skin primer. Skin primers help to even out your skin tone while absorbing oil so that it doesn't seep through your makeup [source: DocShop].
Next, use oil-free noncomedogenic makeup -- not just foundation and powder, but blush and eye shadow as well. Because these products don't clog pores, they can help keep them as clean as possible. It's also a good idea to use oil-free hair products, particularly if you have long hair or wear bangs, because when your hair comes in contact with your face your pores can absorb any product that's sitting on the hair shaft [source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases].
Some manufacturers claim that mineral makeup -- a popular trend in cosmetics -- is better for skin with acne or large pores. While these products are made of the same basic ingredients as most other types of makeup, typically they're perfume-, preservative- or dye-free, which many dermatologists consider advantageous. Additionally, mineral makeup is noncomedogenic, so it's usually a safe bet for people with problematic skin [source: Bouchez].
For many, large pores are inevitable, but if you take care of your skin and follow the steps above, you can put your best face forward. For lots more information on additional ways to minimize the appearance of large pores, see the links on the following page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Acne Awareness." Dermatology Insights. Fall 2000. (Sept. 8, 2009)http://www.aad.org/public/conditions/_doc/DIFall00.pdf
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Skin Care for People with Acne." (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/acneguidelines_new.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Treating Acne in Skin of Color." (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/acnenet/article_skinofcolor.html
- Bouchez, Collette. "The Lowdown on Mineral Makeup." WebMD. (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/features/the-lowdown-on-mineral-makeup
- Crawford, Holly. "Your Skin: Are You Doing Too Much or Too Little?" WebMD. (Sept. 8, 2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/your-skin-are-you-doing-too-much-or-too-little
- DocShop. "Large Pores." (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.docshop.com/education/dermatology/skin-flaws/large-pores/
- Mayo Clinic. "Folliculitis Causes." (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/folliculitis/DS00512/DSECTION=causes
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. "What Is Acne?" (Sept. 9, 2009)http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Acne/acne_ff.pdf
- Roh, M., Han, M., Kim, D., Chung, K. "Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores." British Journal of Dermatology. 155(5):890-894, Nov. 2006. (Sept. 9, 2009)http://pt.wkhealth.com/pt/re/bjdr/abstract.00002300-200611000-00005.htm;jsessionid=KyvTD4rYLYJVcdry04py3QpcK619Jxgf2NMzJTGmTh6H4D8hqhL6!-1910442030!181195629!8091!-1
- Taylor S., F. Cook-Bolden, Z. Rahman and D. Strachan. "Acne vulgaris in skin of color." PubMed. (Sept. 8, 2009)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807471?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
- Villett, Michelle. "Face off: Can you really banish large pores?" Elle Canada. (Sept. 8, 2009)http://www.ellecanada.com/beauty/face/face-off-can-you-really-banish-large-pores/a/27247/2