nose
Ethan Haddox | Unsplash

The profile of your face is very much affected by the shape of your nose. A large or pronounced nose can be valued as a sign of beauty and distinction. In fact, the lauded and legendary beauty Cleopatra had a nose that was so long and large that people are still talking about it.

But some people see having a prominent nose as an unwanted feature. If you don’t like the way your nose looks, you might be tempted by home remedies and exercises that claim to narrow, streamline, and shorten your nose. Keep reading to find out what you can actually do to make your nose look smaller.

Sketchy internet remedies

There are tons of internet rumors about making your nose smaller. Some websites suggest that putting ice on your nose repeatedly will make it shrink. It won’t.

Some say that applying a paste of garlic extract, toothpaste, apple cider vinegar, ginger powder, or other anti-inflammatory ingredients will get rid of a bump in your nose. This won’t work, either.

There are people who swear that doing certain facial exercises and holding certain expressions can make your nose look smaller. But it’s collagen that gives your face its shape, and your nose is made of cartilage — not muscle or fat. Toning or strengthening certain face muscles won’t make a visible difference in how large your nose appears to be.

There are even DIY injection products and facial molds that you can use to try reshaping the bones in your nose. Many of these products are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Evidence to suggest that any of these remedies work is severely lacking.

Nonsurgical remedies

Using an unproven home remedy to actually make your nose smaller is unlikely to work. But there are makeup strategies that you can try to make your nose appear smaller, such as nose contouring. Plenty of YouTube tutorial videos explore methods of nose contouring. The basic idea is simple:

  1. Using bronzer that’s two shades darker than your skin tone, outline your nose on both sides.
  2. Use a matte highlighter to trace the narrow outline of your nose and bring attention to it.
  3. Use a beauty blender to play up the shadows and highlights of this effect. It may take some practice, but many people love the result of this makeup technique.

You may also consider what’s called a nonsurgical rhinoplasty. This is a procedure that injects a temporary filler, such as Juvederm or Restylane, into the structure of your nose. These fillers will temporarily even out bumps, divots, or other asymmetries in your nose. The effect can last for up to six months.

Surgical remedies

If you’re considering a surgical intervention to make your nose smaller, you may have heard of a method called a rhinoplasty. A cosmetic surgeon will consult with you about the shape you’d like your nose to have. Then you’ll be put under general anesthesia while your surgeon removes cartilage and tissue to reconstruct your nose.

Nose reshaping surgeries are more common than you might think. More than 200,000 of these surgeries are performed in the United States every year. It’s the third most popular kind of cosmetic surgery nationwide, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. These surgeries are not typically covered by insurance.

Experiment with different looks

If you aren’t happy with the shape of your nose, there are plenty of options to consider. Noninvasive remedies, such as contouring techniques or fillers, are reversible ways to experiment with the way your nose looks.

The size of your nose is also sometimes dependent on outside health factors, such as weight gain, pregnancy, melanoma, rosacea, and frequent consumption of alcohol. Speak with your doctor if your nose shape seems to be changing drastically.