Most of us have had a moment or two where we get downright fixated on the size of our pores. Step away from the magnifying mirror! While most people have completely normal-sized pores, some really do struggle with enlarged pores that are truly noticeable to the naked eye. It can be an especially challenging skin condition to treat; while not painful or detrimental to your skin health, enlarged pores are unsightly and can make you look older. Here are the basics you need to know.
The first thing that we need to establish is that no matter what skincare companies tell you, your pores do not “open” and “close” regularly. Your pores are not controlled by muscles, which means they do not just spontaneously dilate when you apply hot water. Warm water does soften sebum and the skin around your pores, making it easier to dislodge clogs. But do your pores actually do a lot of moving? Not so much.
What causes enlarged pores?
Enlarged pores are most common in people who have very oily skin. When a pore becomes clogged, the oil glands continue to pump out sebum that tries to escape from the clogged pore. Because of the clog, the oil has a harder time escaping the pore, stretching out the edges of the pore to reach the surface of the skin. Even after the clog is long gone, the pore may remain stretched and visible.
How do I prevent them?
Prevention is the best tactic if you know that you have a predisposition to enlarged pores. Preventing enlarged pores begins with controlling oil production and minimizing clogs. To keep your face clear of pore-clogging dead skin, try a sonic cleansing device like a Clarisonic to loosen debris and pull dirt away from the skin. Exfoliate regularly with a gentle face peel like my TCA Multi-Acid Face Peel. It resurfaces skin so that pores don’t become blocked by dead skin cells. It contains ingredients that help control oil and deter blemish-causing bacteria.
You should also be sure to moisturize regularly. Skin that is extremely oily is often over-producing oil because it is dehydrated and unbalanced. Use a lightweight moisturizer like my HA Hydrating Serum to rebalance the skin’s moisture levels so that it doesn’t have to produce so much oil.
How do I shrink them?
Diminishing the appearance of visible pores once they appear takes time. Monthly facials to extract clogged pores will help diminish pore stretching. Regular exfoliating with a peel can help return the pore to its original size over time by encouraging new skin cell turnover. You should also try using a microneedling tool like my Collagen-Boosting Microroller to quicken the skin’s regeneration process. As the skin produces new cells and new collagen, it will appear smoother and softer than before.
Do you have a specific concern about your enlarged pores? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to make a recommendation for your unique skin needs.