Pores are openings in the skin that contain hair follicles. Keeping pores clean prevents them from becoming clogged and promotes healthy skin.
Most areas of skin on the body contain pores, including the skin on the nose. Although the pores are usually small and difficult to notice, they can become clogged and appear larger. When this happens on the nose, the pores become more noticeable.
Pores can become clogged with excess oil, dead skin, or dirt, or they can appear more prominent as a result of too much sun exposure. Other factors that can influence pores becoming clogged include genetics and hormones.
In this article, we provide six tips for keeping pores clean and unclogged.
Cleansing the skin removes the oils, makeup products, and dirt that build up throughout the day. The removal of these substances reduces the chances of pores becoming clogged.
Using a gentle cleanser with warm water is usually enough to remove debris from the skin. It is important not to scrub too hard as this can damage the skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology (ADA) recommend choosing a noncomedogenic cleanser to minimize irritation. Noncomedogenic products are those that do not clog skin pores.
People with very oily skin may find a nightly salicylic acid cleanser beneficial.
Dead skin cells can build up and clog pores on the nose, which can make them appear larger.
Exfoliating — either physically or chemically — can remove these dead skin cells.
Physical exfoliation products contain rough substances that remove dead skin cells with gentle scrubbing. Scrubbing too hard can damage the skin.
Chemical exfoliation products do not require scrubbing as they work by increasing skin cell turnover. However, they typically contain retinol or glycolic acid, which can cause skin irritation and sun sensitivity. Therefore, it is best to apply them at night.
People with dry skin on their face should limit their use of exfoliants to the nose.
The findings of a study in the journal Cutis suggest that tazarotene can reduce the size and appearance of pores. If other exfoliants are not working, a doctor may recommend this prescription medication.
Sun damage can make pores appear larger, and the nose is particularly vulnerable to sun damage. People can prevent pores on the nose from appearing larger by regularly applying sunscreen to the face.
The ADA recommend sticking to products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher to protect pores.
The best defense against sun damage is to avoid directly exposing the skin to the sun, especially during the middle of the day when it is hottest. A person can do this by wearing a hat that protects their face or staying in the shade.
Dermatologists can offer specialized treatments, such as microneedling, to minimize the appearance of large pores.
This treatment involves puncturing the skin with a series of tiny needles, using either a roller-type or a mechanically driven device. Microneedling causes small amounts of skin damage to trigger the production of collagen for skin healing. This new collagen can reduce the appearance of pores.
Some microneedling devices are available for home use. However, the ADA recommend avoiding these devices due to concerns about injury and infection. They also note that these at-home devices are less effective than professional treatments.
Laser treatments are another option. Lasers can reduce oil production and decrease the size of pores.
The use of some products can make pores more noticeable. For example, makeup products can contain oil that clogs pores. People may notice an improvement if they replace these products with noncomedogenic options.
It is also important to remove any makeup before going to sleep. Wearing makeup for too long can cause pores to become clogged.
Although exfoliation and skin care products can reduce the appearance of pores, using these products too regularly can prevent the pores from doing their job.
Pores are important for keeping the skin healthy.
For example, they produce oil that softens the skin and maintains its moisture level. Exfoliating or using products that dry out the skin can stimulate oil production in the pores and increase the risk of clogging again.
To avoid this, limit the use of exfoliating treatments to once or twice a week. People with very oily skin can stick to exfoliating every other day.
The skin may have become too dry if it flakes off, feels tight, or appears red. If these symptoms occur, it is best to apply an oil free moisturizer and avoid exfoliating treatments for a few days.
It is possible to reduce the appearance of pores on the nose with good skin care. Many different products are available to cleanse and exfoliate the skin. Professional treatments, such as microneedling, are another option in more severe cases.
It is important to avoid exfoliating excessively or using too many treatments to clean and unclog pores, both of which can damage the skin. People with dry and sensitive skin should take extra care when using these products.
If pores on the nose remain persistently clogged for a few months despite the use of proper skin care and exfoliation, it may be worth seeing a doctor to discuss medical treatments.