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Why Your Nose Pores Are Suddenly Larger and What to Do About It

person using a blackhead removal tool on their nose

Maybe at this point in your life, you feel like you’ve mostly mastered your skincare routine. You’ve found the ideal time to wash your face and the best cleanser to use in the morning and the evening — maybe you even have a special cleanser to handle breakouts.

You have your ideal moisturizer for the day and luxurious night cream that hydrates without clogging your pores. Maybe you’re such a pro that you even have a lineup of serums or treatments to target specific concerns or to help fend off visible signs of aging, and you know exactly when and how to use them to keep your complexion enviably glowy.

Until you lean just a little too close to the mirror to make sure everything is still going well and notice that the pores on your nose look big. Like, really big.

Especially if you’ve never struggled with enlarged pores before, it can be super frustrating to feel like you had a blind spot in your skincare routine.

Keeping your pores small and clear is a key part of making your complexion look like you live under the constantly blessed lens of an Instagram filter, so when you start to really notice them, it can really throw everything you're doing into question.

So let’s talk about large nose pores, what causes them, and how to minimize their appearance so your skin can look youthfully clear and bright no matter what your chronological age is.

What Causes Large Nose Pores?

The key to perfecting your skincare routine is approaching it a bit like a research project. You can’t explain or solve a problem if you don’t fully understand what the problem is! It’s the same with skincare.

Here are some of the most common things that cause your nose pores to appear enlarged.

Blackheads

If your skin survived your teenage years, you’re probably already familiar with blackheads. Blackheads look how they sound: tiny, black spots on your skin that can really get in the way of feeling like your skin appears as even and bright as it could be.

Blackheads appear when one of your pores or hair follicles gets clogged with dirt or oil. Unlike whiteheads, which have similar causes but appear when a clogged pore remains closed, blackheads turn black because of exposure to oxygen — which is to say, with blackheads, the pore remains open.

Blackheads are caused by various factors, like excess oil or sebum, bacteria, a buildup of dead skin cells, hormonal changes and even diet or medication. While, of course, we all strive to avoid pimples and blackheads, they are kind of a part of life, and sometimes there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop them.

Blackheads themselves can make the pores on your nose appear larger just because they become more noticeable when they’re a different color from the rest of your skin. But the issue comes in if you’re prone to blackheads and you tend to pick at your blackheads. This can actually cause damage to your pores and leave them enlarged and irritated, possibly permanently.

Dead skin

Another common cause of enlarged pores around your nose is simply dead skin. If exfoliation isn’t a priority in your skincare routine, dead skin cells can collect on the surface of your skin and end up getting deposited into your pores, where they create clogs. These clogs can cause issues like blackheads, as we’ve just talked about, or just make your pores appear larger and more dramatic in general.

Big Hair Follicles

This is one of those things that will really frustrate you if you think it’s the cause of your large nose pores because there isn’t a lot you can do about it. As with any part of our body, some things are just up to chance and genetics. If you have thick, dense hair, you likely have larger hair follicles than someone with finer hair.

If your hair follicles are larger, they naturally appear bigger, and so they’ll be more visible on your face than they would on somebody else’s. If large nose pores have been a skincare woe for you for most if not all of your life, it might just be the size of your hair follicles.

Hormones

As with pretty much any skincare issue under the sun, anything that affects your hormone levels can also affect your skin. It’s why acne is most likely to bother you during your teen years.

Certain medications like birth control, corticosteroids and some anti-depressants or similar mental health medications can also affect your hormones. Even if you can connect your enlarged pores or other skin complaints to when you started taking one of these medications, it’s important to consult your doctor before you consider stopping the medication or if you think you might like to try something different.

Your hormone levels can also be disturbed by certain medical conditions and stress. Sometimes people mistakenly believe that stress can cause you to break out or affect your complexion. But it’s actually the way your body reacts to stress that causes the problem.

Our bodies create additional hormones to help you cope with being stressed or overextended, and this shift in balance can cause negative reactions in your skin. So really, it all comes down to hormones!

Sun

You know that stereotypical image of a dad on vacation? Sunglasses, nose covered in sunscreen? Yeah, it’s because our noses are the parts of our faces most likely to get sun damage when we spend time in the great outdoors.

SPF application is totally not optional when it comes to proper skincare. Still, even if you’re religious about wearing sunscreen, we inevitably get a bit of sun damage here and there throughout our lifetimes.

Sun damage can actually impact the overall health and firmness of your skin, and over the years, those changes can make the size of your nose pores appear larger than they used to, or larger than they would if you, say, lived underground and never saw the sun. We’ll take warm holidays and sunny summers over that any day, but there’s definitely a trade-off.

Age

While there are so many things we love about getting older, it definitely takes a toll on our skin, as the processes that kept us looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in our youth slow down and leave us, well… looking older.

As your body’s production of things like elastin and collagen decreases as a natural effect of aging, your skin will start to sag a bit.

As your skin ages and gravity takes its toll, the sagging of your skin can actually stretch your pores out, which will make your nose pores look larger than they may have when you were younger.

How To Reduce the Look of Large Nose Pores

Some of the causes of enlarged pores around your nose are things we can’t do much about.

If you, for example, have larger hair follicles or are just getting older, there are certain things about our bodies that we can’t stop or change altogether. But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope!

There are definitely steps you can take to make sure your skin is as healthy as possible and reduce the appearance of your large nose pores so that you can feel happy and confident in your skin once again.

Always Wash Your Face

If you’re already on top of your skincare routine, this one can feel a bit silly, but it’s really important to keep in mind. Especially if you lead a busy, full life, sometimes you get in at the end of the day, and the idea of walking through your skincare routine can seem even more exhausting than a full day of work, errands and socializing.

While it’s okay to sometimes skip any extra steps like serums or treatments if you’re not feeling up to it, the one thing you should never let up on is cleansing your face.

You should be washing your face twice a day, both in the morning and at night. But it’s the evening that’s really key when reducing the appearance of enlarged pores. You never, ever want to go to sleep with any makeup on!

Throughout the day, your face accumulates so much dirt and grime. If you neglect cleaning your face, you can be left with all kinds of gross stuff that will settle into your pores and create blackheads or otherwise build up and stretch your pores in potentially irreparable ways.

Our Clear Skin Cleansing Bar is a great non-comedogenic cleanser that’s great for keeping your skin clean and free of excess oil so that you can avoid things that will exacerbate large nose pores.

Moisturize Religiously

Another crucial bit of skincare when it comes to fighting enlarged pores is keeping your skin hydrated.

Since oily skin can instigate breakouts and blackheads, you might sometimes want to lay off moisturizing to keep your skin from being even more oily. But even if you do struggle with oily skin, you shouldn’t skip this step!

Try a light moisturizer that won’t clog your pores but will help protect your skin’s natural barrier, which might otherwise get stripped if you’re using many products meant to level out oil production and reduce the appearance of large pores.

Don’t Slack on Exfoliating

Look, we get it — you like to keep it easy and breezy, and so extra skincare steps aren’t ideal. But one you should not sleep on is exfoliation!

Exfoliation will help resurface your skin, so it’s great for lessening visible appearances of aging and keeping your skin young, which can help fight widening pores if aging is your issue.

Wear SPF

Because sun damage is one factor contributing to large nose pores, it’s so important to make SPF part of your daily routine.

Even if it doesn’t look that bright outside, or you don’t think you’ll spend more time in the sun than it takes you to walk to your car before and after work, it’s important to make it a habit. Any amount of sun exposure will build up over time and cause potentially irreversible damage to your skin.

If you’re worried that oily skin is causing blemishes and making your pores more visible, you can use our oil-fighting Shineblock™ Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30. It can help hydrate and protect your skin in one simple step that won’t clog your pores.

Try Chemical Peels or Exfoliants

If you’re looking for a targeted treatment, the most intuitive option might be pore cleansing strips. While these popular treatments will reduce the size of your pores and get rid of pore-enlarging problems like blackheads and dirt, the effects are only short-term. And using them can actually open up your pores in a way that just exposes them to other skin issues. All in all, not the miracle treatment it’s advertised to be!

Products that contain Alpha Hydroxy Acids or other chemical exfoliants and peels can be useful for reducing the appearance of large nose pores.

Chemical peels and exfoliants work by lessening the bond between your top layer of skin and deeper layers.

If adding something to your daily routine seems too daunting, you can just use an at-home chemical peel once a week, or even less, depending on how concerned you are about large nose pores.

Our Dermapeel Smooth & Glow Treatment 2 Step System is a simple and intuitive way to resurface your skin and reduce the look of pores without needing to change your daily plan. If you want to add a new serum to your routine or want to change what you already use, chemical exfoliants like Glycolic Acid are a great option for treating your concerns long term.

Retinol or Retinoids

Retinols and Retinoids are Vitamin A-based treatments that are well-known for helping our skin age gracefully.

They’re super helpful when it comes to reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and removing dead skin cells and improving skin texture overall. Retinoids are the prescription version of Retinols, and so while they’re effectively the same treatment, Retinoids tend to be stronger.

In Conclusion

Many of the factors that contribute to visible pores on your nose are just part of the natural aging process. And in general, it’s important to remember that no matter what social media or paper publications might make you think… We all do have pores! There’s nothing wrong with being able to see them.

But if large nose pores are making you self-conscious, there are things you can do to get to the root of the issue and reduce their appearance so that you feel confident in your all-around glow and jealousy-inducing skin texture once again!

By: Ivey Rogers Aesthetician Educator & Community
Engagement Manager

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