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Open Pores

Open pores: can you close them?I Dermatologist reveal truth

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Open pores: can you close them?I Dermatologist reveal truth

Hey there, pores! We all wish they could magically vanish, but as a dermatologist with 15 years under my belt, I’m here to burst the (pore-minimizing) bubble. The truth is, no cream can completely erase your open pores. Think of them as tiny little craters on your skin’s landscape – they’re meant to be there!

However, that doesn’t mean we can’t make them less noticeable. Salicylic acid and retinoid-based creams are your pore-blem buddies. They help to gently exfoliate dead skin cells that can clog and enlarge pores, making them appear smaller. But don’t be fooled by those insta-perfect filters and influencer promises – even fancy procedures won’t give you completely poreless, glassy skin.

This article dives deep into the world of open pores, covering:

  • The Science Behind: What causes those little craters to appear?
  • Your Daily Dose: The skincare routine that keeps pores in check.
  • Treatment Time: From creams to peels, exploring the options to minimize pores. 
  • DIY Delights: Natural remedies you can whip up in your kitchen!

And hey, if you’re curious about my age-based pore-minimizing regimes, click that link below!

  1. Regime to reduce open pores at less than 25 years
  2. Regime to reduce open pores at more than 25 years

Why Those Tiny Craters Appear: The Open Pore Mystery Unraveled

Ever wondered why your nose and cheeks sometimes resemble an orange peel with its little dimples? Those, my friend, are open pores, the visible openings of your skin’s oil glands. And yes, they can be a bit of a mystery!

But fear not, for science has cracked the code on these tiny craters. Here’s why they show up:

  • Oil Overload: When your skin produces too much sebum (that’s the fancy word for oil), it can clog and stretch out pores, making them more noticeable. Think of it like a miniature traffic jam at the pore gates!
  • Losing Your Pep: As we age, our skin loses its elasticity. This lack of bounce can cause pores to sag and appear larger, like deflated balloons.
  • Hairy Situation: If you have thick or coarse hair follicles, they can physically push at the pore walls, making them look bigger.
  • Acne Attack: Chronic acne can damage the pore walls, leaving them permanently dilated. 
  • Hormonal Hustle: Fluctuations in hormones, like during puberty or pregnancy, can also trigger increased oil production, leading to more visible pores. 
  • Skincare Slip-ups: Using harsh cleansers or neglecting proper exfoliation can clog pores and contribute to their appearance. Think of it like forgetting to clean the chimney, and smoke starts billowing out!

Now, remember that oil isn’t the enemy! It keeps your skin lubricated and healthy. But controlling excess oil and maintaining skin elasticity are key to minimizing open pores. So, what can you do?

Skincare Regime for Open Pores

The occurrence of open pores is attributed to the use of dense skincare products or excessive layering of products. Hence, by adhering to a basic CTM routine using the specified products twice a day, you can prevent further enlargement of your pores. Refer to the provided video for guidance on performing CTM (cleanse, tone, moisturize).

Morning Regime

The morning regime consists of face wash, rose water, Vitamin C serum, sunscreen and make-up (optional).

Step 1 Face wash:

Open pores develop due to unregulated oil secretions. Therefore, it is crucial to utilize a facial cleanser that efficiently eliminates oils from your skin while avoiding excessive dryness. Here are some mistakes to steer clear of:

  1. Refrain from washing your face more than three times a day. Although your face may appear oily a few hours post-wash, resist the temptation to exceed three washes daily, as it can trigger an oil rebound.
  2. If you experience excess oil secretion, consider using salicylic acid (if you’re under 25 years of age) or retinoids (if you’re over 25) to manage oil secretions.
  3. Always pat your face dry; avoid rubbing, as friction can induce oil rebound.

For brand recommendations, refer to the article below, which delves into choosing a suitable face wash based on your skin type.

Step 2 Toner:

When considering open pores, toner typically comes to mind initially. Nonetheless, steer clear of toners containing alcohol as they can harm the natural skin barrier. Instead, opt for rose water; spray it and massage until absorption. Rose water provides hydration and soothing effects to your skin without causing pore blockage.

Brand recommendations: Click here to find the best pure organic Rosewater.

Step 3: Vitamin C Serum

While Vitamin C serum may not have a direct impact on open pores, it effectively postpones signs of aging, brightens the skin, diminishes dark spots, and contributes to continuous skin repair. Vitamin C plays a role in maintaining youthful skin and preventing premature sagging. Open pores become more noticeable in lax or sagging skin. Hence, it is advisable to incorporate Vitamin C into your skincare routine starting at the age of 20.

For optimal results, consider using a Vitamin C serum that includes salicylic acid to manage oil and prevent the occurrence of open pores.

Brand recommendations:

Step 4 Sunscreen:

Sunscreen has a tendency to block pores, making it optional for indoor use but crucial before going outdoors. It’s advisable to reapply every 2-3 hours if necessary.

When selecting a sunscreen, ensure it meets the following criteria:

  • Lightweight formula
  • Water should be among the first ingredients
  • Avoid silicon-based sunscreens as they can block pores
  • Gel, lotion, or fluid preparations are preferable
  • It should be absorbed into the skin rather than forming a thick layer on top
  • Zinc-based sunscreen may help reduce acne
  • SPF 30 is sufficient for daily use, and higher SPF values can result in a greasier sunscreen.

Apply at least a coin-sized amount to cover the entire face. Sunscreen takes approximately 30 minutes to become effective, so remember to apply it half an hour before heading out into the sun.

Cetaphil PRO Oil Control Moisturising Lotion SPF 30 is a good option for acne-prone skin. It fulfills all of the above criteria. It has anti-agent(zinc gluconate), Anti-oxidant (Vitamin E), and anti-inflammatory agents(allantoin and panthenol).

Step 5: Make-up

Consider the following makeup tips:

Opt for a foundation or BB cream containing salicylic acid, such as Maybelline Dream Pure BB cream.

Choose a thin or liquid foundation that spreads easily over cream or stick alternatives.

Avoid excessive layering of makeup products.

Reserve the use of daily makeup to essential occasions rather than attempting to conceal open pores.

Ensure to remove your makeup before bedtime.

For enhanced results, use a compact powder that provides foundation coverage and absorbs excess oil.

Noon Regime

Many of you may experience a greasy and dark complexion by mid-day. In such situations, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Cleanse your face.

If washing your face is not feasible at your workplace, use a cotton pad soaked in dermatologist-recommended micellar water to remove excess oils and achieve an instant matte appearance.

Brand Recommendation: Dermatologist Recommended Micellar water

Step 2: Rosewater

Spritz chemical-free pure rose water onto your skin and gently massage.

Step 3: Sunscreen

Apply sunscreen only if you intend to go outdoors within the next 30 minutes.

Initiate your evening skincare routine by cleansing your skin with dermatologist-recommended micellar water to eliminate excess oils, dust, pollutants, and build-up. Follow up with face washing and a spritz of rose water. Finally, apply the night treatment product to minimize those stubborn pores.

Step 3 Night cream for open pores:

Creams formulated for open pores containing either salicylic acid or retinoids can effectively manage oil secretions, minimize the formation of new open pores, and to some extent, shrink existing ones. While salicylic acid is suitable for use at a younger age, retinoids become the preferred choice as you age.

Salicylic acid (for individuals under 25 years):

Consistent use of salicylic acid aids in diminishing oil secretion, open pores, and the occurrence of white/blackheads. Its gentle exfoliating properties contribute to a clean and brighter complexion. However, avoid combining salicylic acid with Adapalene or tretinoin, as the combination can be excessively drying.

Brand recommendations: Best salicylic acid and how to use it correctly. 

Retinoids for >25 years:

Beyond the age of 25, the appearance of open pores is often exacerbated by lax skin. Retinoids play a crucial role in reducing wrinkles, plumping the skin, regulating oil secretion, and minimizing open pores and fine lines with regular use.

Brand recommendations: Best brand of retinoids and how to use them. 

Weekly Regime

On the weekend, you can do a two-step facial with scrubbing followed by an oil control face mask.

Step 1 Scrub:

Exfoliation removes dead cells that clog your pores. You can scrub your face once or twice a week.

Brand recommendations: Click here for dermatologist-recommended brands of scrub

Step 2 Face pack:

Face pack allows ingredients to act on your skin over a long time. And when it comes to open pores, they are essential to tighten pores and absorb extra oils. 

Brand recommendations: Click here for dermatologist-recommended brands of face packs

Open pores Treatment

Dermatologists today have various options to minimize open pores, although comprehensive studies on their effectiveness and response rates are still lacking. Here are some treatment options for minimizing open pores:


Salicylic acid peels, specifically beta-hydroxy acid, can penetrate sebaceous duct openings and eliminate keratin plugs, effectively reducing open pores. Dermatologists can administer salicylic acid peels, offering an excellent means to control oil secretions and decrease open pores. Studies indicate that a series of 5 glycolic acid peels, spaced at 2-week intervals, contribute to pore shrinkage.


Topical and oral retinoids, particularly Tretinoin, play a role in diminishing oil secretions and open pores. Tretinoin, the most potent retinoid, is available only under dermatologist prescription.


Certain lasers show promise in reducing open pores by inducing collagen remodeling. While laser treatments are known for addressing larger pits and craters resulting from acne scars, their effectiveness in treating open pores is still under exploration.


A simple yet effective method for reducing large open pores is TCA Cross, although it entails 7-10 days of downtime. The procedure involves applying tri-chloro-acetic acid to the wall of open pores with a toothpick, leading to the formation of black scabs on each treated pore. These scabs fall off within 7-10 days, resulting in a 30-50% reduction in pore size. Repeated sessions can be conducted if necessary.


Micro-needling, a collagen remodeling technique, may help reduce open pores but is generally less effective than laser treatments.


Micro-needling Radio-frequency (MNRF) is primarily used for acne scars and skin rejuvenation. MNRF can contribute to shrinking pores to some extent.


This technique entails the administration of small injections of highly diluted Botox, resulting in an immediate reduction in pore size. It is an ideal option for those seeking a rapid solution before a significant event. However, it’s important to note that the effects are temporary and typically last between 6 to 12 months.

In conclusion, closing open pores is a challenging task. Consistent skincare, as mentioned above, is crucial for reducing pores, complemented by treatments administered by dermatologists.


Get free dermatologist-recommended regime by choosing your skin or concerns.





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