Why Your Pores Are Big and What You Can Do About It

Question: How Can I Reduce the Appearance of My Enlarged Pores

I’m in my late 30’s and had severe acne as a teen and into my late 20’s. While it is mostly cleared up now, I still deal with the lasting look of enlarged pores. Are there any tricks you can give me that will help them look smaller?


Boy can I relate; acne was a big issue for me as well. I, like you, am thankfully 90% over dealing with acne, but because I suffered with it for so long, I also have enlarged pores. But rest assured, everyone has pores, and if you look closely, you’ll notice them. But it is true that some people have larger pores than others. Here are some helpful tricks as well as product advice that I use, and you can try to see if it helps.

You didn’t say what type of skin you have now, and because you had oily skin previously, I’m going to assume that you currently have combination skin.

We’ll first address your skin care regime. I would recommend Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Collection which gets rave reviews. Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Cleanser (compare prices) is gentle enough to use daily, but with the addition of glycolic acid and salicylic acid, you’ll be getting a gentle exfoliation which will help unclog your pores. And that is the first step to reducing their appearance.

If you aren’t using a toner already, I’d suggest doing so. Toners and astringents are great and deep down cleaning of your pores, and temporarily reducing their appearance. When using Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Toner (compare prices), apply it to your face with a cotton ball and let dry.

And lastly, Neutrogena’s Pore Refining Cream (compare prices) will be the final step to your skin care regime. It contains Retinol and Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, which helps stimulate cell turn-over, bringing the new layers of skin up to the surface faster as well as clearing clogged pores.

If you wear makeup on a regular basis, you may notice that makeup sinks into your pores causing them to look more noticeable. By using a makeup primer before applying your foundation, you’ll see instant results. Primers help make your skin look flawless and keeps your makeup in place all day. Cover FX Skinprep is one of my favorites. (buy direct)

By making sure to continue a consistent skin care regime, you will notice your pores looking smaller and your skin looking overall clearing and brighter.

Review of Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner

The Bottom Line

A good buy if you want to reduce scaliness and size of pores.


  • Effective, without drying out skin
  • Overwhelmingly loved by users who tried it
  • Reduces pore size for some
  • Leaves skin feeling fresh, smooth, dewy


  • Some users reported finding the smell too overwhelming


  • A toner for those trying to reduce pore size
  • Use twice daily
  • May also reduce signs of aging, wrinkles

Guide Review – Review of Neutrogena Pore Refining Toner

I’m not a huge fan of toners because I find most cleansers do a good job of cleansing skin and you don’t need the extra swipe of a toner to cleanse even more. Also, most toners can be drying. This toner, however, is reportedly NOT drying, according to users who tested it.

The users overwhelmingly liked the way it left skin feeling soft, supple and dewy. Some reported their pores decreased in size (this can happen by the plumping of the skin from the active ingredients).

This toner works by sweeping away dead skin cells while also smoothing over rough, uneven patches.

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