'Pore-refining', 'pore-reducing', 'pore-minimising' – do you often hear beauty and skincare brands pushing the idea that you need to 'get rid' of your pores? The truth is, everyone has pores and it's important to understand how they function in relation to the overall health of your skin. Contrary to popular belief, your pore size cannot be physically changed or removed with certain products or ingredients. What you can alter, however, is the appearance of your pore size - you can minimise how they look but you can't get rid of them.
Simply put, pores are small openings or crevices across the surface of your skin where your hair follicles grows out of (and yes you do have hair all over your body!) that release oil and sweat. Here's everything you know to know about taking good care of them.
Why Do My Pores Look Enlarged?
There are a number of things that can impact the appearance of your pore size. Firstly, if you naturally have oily skin you'll generally have larger pores. This is because pore size correlates to the quantity of oil your skin produces, and if you have oily skin, it means your sebaceous glands (oil glands) produce excess oils.
Some other factors that can cause pores to look enlarged include sun damage, noncomedogenic skincare products and unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, an unhealthy diet or lack of hydration.
"While pore size cannot be altered, the appearance of your pores can be minimised."
Why Do My Pores Become Clogged?
Blocked pores are one of the most commonly experienced skin problems out there. Dead skin cells, oil, dirt, pollution particles, residual makeup and skincare can all build up on the surface of your skin and since your pores are like tiny open crevices, they can all get trapped there.
Why Do Clogged Pores Lead to Acne?
When oil, bacteria and dead skin cells are trapped within your pores and are not properly cleaned away, your skin becomes a breeding ground for whiteheads, blackhead and pimples. All types of acne typically begin with pore blockage. This explains why people with oily or combination skin have a stronger tendency to experience acne problems.
Are My Pores Always Healthy if I Have Dry Skin?
While oily skin types are more prone to pore-related problems, this isn’t to say that people with dry skin don't experience these problems as well. Your skin naturally releases oils and sheds dead skin not matter what skin type you have. So the same can happen if you have dry, normal or combination skin, perhaps just at a slower or minimal rate in comparison to someone with oily skin.
"Overactive sebaceous glands are not the only cause of clogged pores. Other factors such as exposure to the sun, ageing, and unhealthy lifestyle choices can also degrade the health of your pores."
How Can I Minimise the Appearance of My Pores and Keep Them Healthy?
Keeping your skin clean and moisturised is the key to maintaining your pores. Exfoliating with a chemical exfoliant twice a week is key to keeping your pores clear and acne at bay. (Note that physical exfoliants can be too harsh for facial skin, causes micro-tears over time.)
Furthermore, make sure you pick the best exfoliating ingredients for your skin. For instance, BHAs (salicylic acid) are an excellent pore-cleansing agent, while Retinoids boost cell turnover, preventing dead skin cells from clumping together with other impurities. Some natural ingredients such as chamomile extract and green tea leaf extract are also beneficial, since they have calming properties that tackle irritation caused by clogged pores.
It is also important to follow the best morning and night skincare routine for your skin, and make sure to cleanse consistently twice a day and apply SPF daily to protect your skin from sun damage.
If you’re still unsure about what approach to take, start by trying our Clean Slate exfoliating pads! They’re packed with all of the wholesome ingredients mentioned in this article, and are a fool-proof way to maintain healthy pores.
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