Enlargened facial pores are a common problem. What causes Large Pores? There are a number of factors but genetics is one of them. Second is oily skin. Our skin produces sebum to help keep the skin from drying out. Individuals with oilier skin tend to have larger pores because dirt can easily attach to the pores, thereby making the appearance of the pores larger. Age is also a contributing factor. Older skin has lost some of its elasticity and this also makes the appearance of pores look larger. Cumulative sun damage is another factor as the skin thickens and the skin cells stretch, allowing the accumulation of dead cells. Men tend to have larger pores than women; however, women experience larger pores with hormonal changes, including their menstral cycle. Black heads are columns of hardened sebum that are blocked by skin cells. This sebum is this oxidized and appears red. While pores are a common complaint, unfortunately we can not shrink them. We can however, reduce the appearance of pores and help avoid exacerbating the problem. Most importantly is to unplug the pore, eliminate bacteria, and reduces excessive oiliness by keeping the skin clean. Wash your face twice daily but do not overwash as you can stimulate your skin to produce more sebum. Use an exfoliator once weekly to break down skin cells that clog pores. Using a topical retinoid solution can help reduce the appearance of large pores. Sunscreen should always be used to help prevent sun damage. Use noncomedogenic creams and make-up. Use primer to help even the skin complection while absorbing oil. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels help clean pores and smooth the skin as well. Lasers such as IPL and ulthera can also help diminish the appearance of pores.