The skincare myth ends here.

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Forget the homemade remedies and hacks you've read about online. No matter what your favorite skincare brands products promise: there is no way to really shrink your pores.

But it's also equally as important to remember that the idea that large pores equal unhealthy or bad skin is a social construct.

"First, I think everyone needs to take a step back that it is normal to have pores," says board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss. "This idea to have pore-less skin is not real. As we get older, pores can increase in size due to the loss of elasticity of your skin or not being protected from the sun."

While you can't permanently shrink your pores, there are a few tricks you can try to make them look smaller, if that is one of your skincare concerns.

First Things First: What Are Pores?

Before deciding whether or not you want to target your pores with any treatments, it's important to understand why they exist in the first place. Basically, pores are tiny holes covering your skin that act as a built-in cleaner.

"They allow your sweat and oil to escape through them while cooling you off and keeping your skin healthy," Dr. Idriss explains. "Buildup from makeup or dead skin cells can make pores appear larger."

Are Certain Skin Types More Prone To Enlarged Pores?

There's a common misconception that skin color or oily skin can make you more prone to enlarged pores, but Dr. Ellen Marmur, board-certified dermatologist and founder of MMSkincare says these are just popular stereotypes. "There is definitely a genetic predilection for larger pores but I see large pores in every skin type and from ages 10 to 100 years old," she says.

VIDEO: 5 of the Most Expensive Facials on the Market

How Can You Prevent Your Pores From Increasing In Size?

If you wash your face in a few repetitive cycles to make sure you're getting all the dirt out of your pores, you're not the only one. But apparently, squeaky clean skin won't prevent your pores from enlarging, says Dr. Marmur. 

"My first tip is don't over wash your skin! I literally gasp when people tell me they use a bar of soap to wash their face," she says. "When you over wash, your skin is squeaky clean, but stripped of its priceless oils and you can give yourself eczema, with all its stress and inflammation and premature loss of the elasticity that keeps pores tight. "Another important tip is to wear sunscreen every day, adds Dr. Marmur.  "Sun damage makes pores much more visible. I love the MMSkincare // Sasha Suncare Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ because it's tinted and mineral- based."

Are There Any At-Home Treatments That Can Help My Pores Look Smaller?

Yes! The great news is you can minimize the appearance of enlarged pores with a number of at-home treatments.  

Cleansing your skin is the first step of any skincare routine and is also essential for getting rid of pore-clogging buildup from your face. Dr. Idriss recommends including a chemical exfoliator in your routine to further clear any buildup. "If you have enlarged pores or oily skin,  salicylic acid is good, as this AHA acid tends to fair better with oily skin," she says. 

We're fans of Dr. Peter Thomas Roth's Peptide 21 Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads. Each pad is infused with phytic acid, salicylic acid, sodium lactate, collagen-boosting peptides, and soothing chamomile and green tea to minimize irritation. 

LED skincare devices are another effective at-home treatment, not only do they minimize enlarged pores but they help enhance and protect the skin. A personal favorite of Dr. Marmur's is MMSphere 2GO. "An ideal treatment is Purple LED treatment during the day and green LED treatment at night," she explains. "Green LED improves collagen to tighten the pores, red LED helps reduce inflammation and calms the skin, and blue LED helps eliminate acne and bacteria thereby reducing breakouts.

What In-Office Treatments Can Make Your Pores Look Smaller?

At the dermatologist's office, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mona Gohara suggests her pore-concerned patients get microdermabrasion, a gentle exfoliation of skin's outermost layer that. "Microdermabrasion has a plumping effect on the complexion that pushes on the perimeter of each pore, making them appear smaller," she explains.

Dr. Idriss says other in-office tricks include resurfacing treatments such as Fraxel laser, microneedling, and even injectables. "Sometimes even Botox on the nose area can help minimize the appearance of pores temporarily," she says.

Skincare Products for Pores
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To buy: $52; sephora.com.

Using a retinoid is also beneficial, Dr. Gohara adds. By increasing collagen production these vitamin A-derived ingredients — whether over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoid acid like Retin-A — tighten the diameter of pores, which doesn't necessarily shrink them, but makes them less noticeable. Prescription retinoic acid also has the ability to keep skin un-clogged (that's why it's often prescribed for acne), another pore-minimizing talent.

SkinMedica's Age Defense Retinol Complex 0.5 is an over-the-counter retinol that improves texture and includes brightening ingredients such as niacinamide and algae extract to prevent irritation.

Skincare Products for Pores
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To buy: $78; dermstore.com.

A face mask is another option. Dr. Gohara advises using an activated charcoal mask once a week. "Activated charcoal can absorb up to 200 times its weight in impurities and is able to rid the skin of oil, debris and pollutants that dilate pores," says Dr. Gohara.

Origins cult-favorite Clear Improvement is infamous for sucking the gunk out of pores without leaving skin stripped and dry.

Skincare Products for Pores
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To buy: $26; sephora.com.

Whether you add a chemical exfoliant, retinoid, or mask to your routine, it's important to wear sunscreen every day. "Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!" says Dr. Idriss. "SPF will protect your skin from ultraviolet light, which leads to the breakdown of collagen in your skin. Hence, the appearance of large pores."

VIDEO: When You Apply Sunscreen in Your Skincare Routine Actually Matters A Lot

In a pinch, though, there's always makeup. A a silicone-based primer instantly blurs both pores and fine lines, leaving skin looking naturally flawless. And if you want to use a silicone-free formula, Tatcha's The Silk Canvas Protective Primer, which is infused with silk extracts to create a smooth base and botanicals that like a barrier between makeup and skin.

Skincare Products for Pores
Credit: Courtesy

To buy: $52; sephora.com.