Reduce Your Oily Skin and Reduce Pore Size at the Same Time

Women with oily skin will attest to the fact that oily skin makes it hard to apply makeup. In addition to being greasy, oily skin is often accompanied by large pores, increasing the complications for makeup application. This post is about the relationship between oil production and pore size, and what can be done to reduce pores size.
The oily and waxy substance that makes look so shiny is known as sebum. It is produced by specialized cells in the sebaceous glands called sebocytes. The sebocytes accumulate lipids until they eventually burst, resulting in the release of sebum into the lumen of the sebaceous glands and from there into the hair follicles.
Sebum Over-Production Causes Enlarged Skin Pores
As it turns out there is a correlation between the amount of sebum produced and the diameter of the skin pores. Sebum over-production results in enlarged pores. Therefore, people with oily skin often also have large pores.
This relation between oily skin and pore size has been studied extensively by Roh and coworkers from the University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea [Ref 1]. In one study they measured the pore diameters from 30 female and 30 male volunteers. They did this by taking pictures with a special dermoscopic camera and then measuring the size of pores using image analysis software. They also measured the sebum production of the skin using a sebumeter [Ref 1]. Health history and hormonal status were also taken into account.
The results show that there is a statistically significant correlation between pore size, amount of sebum produced, sex and age. The average production of sebum turns out to be significantly higher in males than in females of comparable age. On the other hand, the average pore size of females tends to be larger as compared to males. In females sebum production is significantly higher during the menstrual cycle and skin pore size increases around the ovulation phase. The graph shows how the pore size increases with increased sebum output (figure based on data from Ref. 1).

Correlation of sebum output and skin pore size

Environmental Factors and Pore Size
In addition to hormones, there are also a number of environmental factors that can increase sebum production, such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to ultraviolet light (photo aging due to excessive sun light). As a result, there are seasonal changes in sebum production. Hereditary factors also can play a role. The good news is that large pores does not appear to be related to the severity of acne.
Is it Possible to Shrink Large Pores?
Treatments for enlarged pores include oral isotretinoin (e.g. acutane), various retinoic acid creams, iontophoresis, strong pulsed light, and chemical peels. Unfortunately, such treatments have only had mixed success. A really effective treatment for large pores is not yet available. So, is there anything else that can be done?
One of the best clues comes from the correlation of sebum output and pore size during the female cycle, where both sebum output and pore size go up and down in sync. Another clue comes from what happens as people get older, where both sebum output and pore size decrease with age.
Thus, it is clear that reducing the oil production of your skin will result in a reduction of pore size over time, although this may not be a fast fix. Therefore, until better treatments specifically for enlarged pores become available, your best bet is to normalize your oily skin which then should cause the pores to shrink over time.
The problem is that it takes a long time to shrink pores. Many of the products that can reduce oily skin and pore size are really designed to treat acne and can be quite harsh to your skin (for the topical products) or tough on your body (for the oral acne treatments). But the biggest issue is that these products are not really suitable to be used long term, precisely because they can be so tough to take.
Sana Fela’s ShineFree Oil Control Cream
We have developed a treatment for oily skin that contains a special tangerine peel extract. This effective control of oil also often leads to a reduction in pore size. Citrus peels, and in particular tangerine peels, contain large amounts of a natural compound called nobiletin, which recently has been shown by researchers to reduce sebum production. Contrary to other oily skin products on the market, SanaFela’s ShineFree Oil Control Cream is very gentle and soothing to your skin and thus is suitable for long term use. Our customers love the dual action of this light, luxurious cream. ShineFree spreads easily, controls oilyness, and in many cases, reduces pore size. Visit our store, and try some today!
1. Roh M, Han M, Kim D, and Chung K (2006) Sebum output as a factor contributing to the size of facial pores. British J Dermatol. 155: 890–894
For Further Reading
Learn more about how nobiletin reduces oily skin