Skin Concerns

How to Minimize the Appearance of Pores

Contrary to popular belief, pores can’t be opened, closed or shrunk. However, they can be cleared and decongested to reduce their apparent sizeRead on to discover exactly what pores are, why they can look enlarged, and how to minimize their appearance 

What are pores? 

Pores are small openings on the skin’s surface at the top of hair follicles from which sebum or sweat are released to help lubricate or cool the skin. There are two types of pores:  

  • Oil pores sit at the top of hair follicles that are linked to sebaceous glands. They release sebum to keep skin naturally moisturized, and can become clogged and look enlarged 
  • Sweat pores sit at the top of hair follicles that are linked to sweat glands. Much smaller than oil pores, they can’t be seen by the naked eye 

When discussing how to minimize pores, we are referring to oil pores.  

What causes large pores? 

Pore size ioften determined by genetics, but external factors can affect the visibility of your pores too 

  • Skin debrisIf pores are clogged by dead skin cells, dirt and sebum, they may appear larger 
  • DehydrationDehydrated skin often produces excess sebum to lubricate the skin and compensate for the lack of water, causing pores to swell 
  • Pollutants: When pollutants settle on the skin, they can congest and stretch pores, enhancing their appearance 
  • Sun damage: Overexposure to the sun can cause skin to lose elasticity, resulting in dilated pores 
  • AgingAs we age, skin naturally produces less collagen and elastintwo proteins responsible for skin’s plumpness and firmnessAs such, skin loses its elasticity and pores appear less tight. Cell turnover also slows with age, potentially causing a build-up of dead skin cells that can congest pores 

How to minimize thappearance opores 

1. Cleanse regularly  

Throughout the day, environmental aggressors like pollutants and dirt settle onto the skin, potentially clogging pores and enhancing their appearance. Cleansing twice a day will wash away these impurities, helping to keep skin and pores clear.  

Cleanser for pores 

No7 Radiant Results Purifying Clay Cleanser is formulated with 10% kaolin clay to absorb oil and impurities, helping to deeply cleanse and mattify the skin, while reducing the appearance of pores. Use twice daily to reveal shine-free and clear-looking complexion 

2. Tone after cleansing 

Often overlooked, toning is an important step in your skincare routine – particularly when it comes to minimizing pores. A toner can help to remove remaining traces of dirt and rebalance the skin, revealing clearer-looking pores and a more even-looking complexion.  

Pore minimizing toner 

Our No7 Radiant Results Purifying Toning Water is specifically formulated to help protect the skin’s natural balance and reduce the appearance of pores. Apply after cleansing morning and night to lend the skin a fresh, toned and clarified appearance. 

3. Incorporate retinol into your skincare routine 

Incorporating retinol into your nighttime skincare routine supports surface skin’s natural renewal processpreventing dead cells from accumulating and congesting pores. With continued use, skin feels smoother and pores appear visibly reduced.  

Retinol for pores 

No7 Advanced Retinol 1.5% Complex Night Concentrate combines our anti-wrinkle peptide technology, Matrixyl 3000 Plus™, with a unique Retinol Complex to support surface skin’s renewal process and reveal visibly younger-looking skin from the very first application. Skin feels smoother and firmer, while fine lines and pores look less prominent. 

For best results, follow up with the No7 Pure Retinol Night Cream. Combining .025% pure retinol with shea butter, bisabolol and No7’s famous Matrixyl 3000+ anti-aging peptide technology, this night cream helps to reduce the appearance of pores. Apply on top of the Night Concentrate to wake up to skin that looks and feels younger, firmer, hydrated, and more even toned. 

4. Invest iacids  

Acids and chemical exfoliants, including AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid), can help to minimize the appearance of pores by smoothing, tightening and unclogging the skin.  

Salicylic acid for clogged pores 

Also known as a BHA, salicylic acid is a powerful, oil-soluble exfoliant that can penetrate pores, exfoliating both the skin’s surface and its deeper layers. It helps to unblock clogged pores and exfoliate dead cells to reduce the risk of future congestion. 

No7 Laboratories Acne Treatment 2% Salicylic Acid is a medicated salicylic acid acne treatment that helps to unblock clogged pores, exfoliate away dirt and impurities, and prevent new blemishes. Skin looks healthy and clear, while pores appear minimized.  

Glycolic acid to reduce the look of pores 

A chemical exfoliant known as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), glycolic acid works to exfoliate the outermost layer of the skin, supporting its natural renewal process. Skin appears clear, refined and even in tone, while pores look visibly reduced.  

No7 Laboratories Resurfacing Peel 15% Glycolic Acid is a gentle yet powerful 5-minute wash-off treatment formulated with 15% pure glycolic acid and gluconolactone. It helps to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface to reveal a renewed, youthful-looking radiance. Skin feels softer and smoother, and pores appear clarified and refined.  

Ascorbic acid for large pores 

Also known as Vitamin C, ascorbic acid is rich in antioxidants that may help to protect skin and delay visible signs of aging, including the appearance of enlarged pores.  

No7 Youthful Vitamin C Essence infuses the skin with 5% pure Vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the natural skin renewal process. In just two weeks, skin’s tone and texture look more even, lending the complexion a radiant appearance.  


A physical exfoliator not only helps to remove surface debris, scrubbing away dry and dead cells that settle into pores and cause congestion, but can also help keep the skin looking plump, tight and youthful. 

Best exfoliator for clogged pores 

No7 Radiance+ Daily Energizing Exfoliating Cleanser blends natural apricot seed and fruit extracts with skin-brightening Vitamin C to help clean, unblock and refine pores by removing dirt, dead skin cells and impurities. From the first use, skin feels firm and smooth, and looks radiant and more even. 

6. Keep skin hydrated 

If skin is dehydrated and lacking in water, it’s likely to produce excess sebum to lubricate the skin. As the oil glands become more active, pores dilate to release these larger quantities of sebum. Consequently, keeping skin healthy and hydrated will help regulate sebum production and prevent pores from expanding.  

Pore minimizing serum 

No7 HydraLuminous Water Concentrate is powered by pure hyaluronic acid and our HydraDrench Complex to provide an instant burst of moisture, while an antioxidant blend of mulberry and Vitamins C and E helps shield skin from environmental damage. 

Alternatively, No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum blends hyaluronic acid with No7’s powerful anti-wrinkle peptide technology, Matrixyl 3000+, to help replenish skin with moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lineswrinkles and pores. 

7. Wear SPF 

As sun damage can emphasize signs of aging (including enlarged pores, wrinkles and dullness), consider applying an SPF as part of your morning routine to shield skin from potential damage. 

Best SPF face cream 

No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Day CreamNo7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day CreamNo7 Restore & Renew Multi Action Face & Neck Day Cream, and No7 Early Defence Day Cream are all formulated with SPF 30 and our Double Defence Technology to protect skin from the sun and environmental stressors. 

8Use a face mask for pores 

A purifying face mask formulated with exfoliating acids or particles provides a highly concentrated dose of the key ingredients needed to effectively tighten and cleanse pores 

Best face masks for pores 

No7 Laboratories RESURFACING Skin Paste is powered by 10.5% AHA and PHA to gently yet effectively exfoliate the skin, revealing a refined texture and visibly reducing the appearance of pores. 2-3 times a week, apply an even layer to cleansed skin, leave for 15 minutes then remove using a muslin cloth. Expect pores to be less visible and skin texture to be dramatically improved after just one week.  

Alternatively, No7 Instant Results Purifying Mask is designed to draw out impurities, tighten pores and reduce shine without stripping away essential moisture. Twice a week, massage the mask onto the face using circular motions to exfoliate away dirt and impurities. Wait 2 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Skin will feel thoroughly purified and pores will appear tightened. 

There are many ways to help minimize the appearance of pores. Try the above tips to find the method that works best for your skin.  


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No7 Beauty

No7 Beauty

Writer and expert