For as many pores as we have covering our bodies — about 5 million, on average — most of us remain utterly clueless about how they work. There is the widely-held myth that pores can somehow open and close (they do not, though they can stretch to accommodate oil, makeup, and dirt), and the even more erroneous belief that a million "poreless" skin products have banked on us believing: that somehow, pores, which are really just the openings at the very top of each individual hair follicle, can be shrunk.
Impossible, yes, but it's just the thing nearly half of women dream of. According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of L'Oréal Paris, 47% say they’d would give up something — including alcohol and social media — in exchange for smaller pores. After all, who needs Facetune when you’ve got freakishly smooth skin?
But back to reality: Though swapping Instagram access for robotic skin isn’t in the cards (yet), there are things we can do to make pores appear less pronounced. Since pore size can grow with age, genetics, a surge in the skin’s oil production, the development of thicker skin, and sun damage, there are several different angles from which we can work to make them look smaller, cleaner, and otherwise less noticeable. Ahead, find tips from three dermatologists on how to close the gap on big pores, both in the doctor’s office and from the comfort of your own magnifying mirror.