Large pores are a nuisance, but what causes them? Are large pores strictly genetic, and if so, how can you fight them? The following information about pores will better explain why you might have them and what you can do to combat this common skin condition. The good news is, even if you can't fix large pores, you can certainly control them and prevent them from getting any bigger. Follow these tips.
What Are Pores?
Pores are tiny openings on the surface of the skin that allow sweat and sebum to leave the body. They have a very important role, as they aid the body in eliminating oils and toxins. We have pores all over our bodies, sans the bottoms of our feet and the palms of our hands.
When pores become clogged or filled with excess dirt or sebum, you may find yourself beset with acne, whiteheads, blackheads, or cystic acne. The larger your pores, the more visible they are. Large pores are quite irritating, and many people find themselves wondering what causes large pores, and how you can fix them.
What Causes Large Pores?
If you have large pores, rest assured that it's not your fault. Large pores are not attributed to poor skin care regimes. In fact, there are only three known determining factors that affect your pore size.
Genetics. Blame it all on your genes. If you have large pores, they have likely been passed down through the genetic line. Your parents, grandparents, and perhaps even great-grandparents had large pores as well. While you can't control how you got large pores, you can control whether they get stretched out or impacted with sebum.
Oily Skin. People who have naturally oily skin have larger pores. The more you stimulate your sebaceous glands, the more oil is produced, and the pores enlarge to expel this oil. Oily skin is a complexion type, but there are things you can do to cut the amount of oil your face produces. If you touch your face often or play sports or exercise with makeup on, your skin will become oilier. Reducing the amount of oil is key in having some control over your pore size.
Age. As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity. This means it can no longer spring back to its earlier state after being filled with dead skin cells or sebum. Sun damage can also contribute to larger pore size, as well as aging. Anti-aging skin care regimes can help combat large pores, as can wearing a daily SPF 30.
How Do Pores Become Clogged?
Now that you know what pores are and what determines their size, understanding how they become clogged is a very important aspect in preventing the occurrence of large pores.
Pores become clogged when excess sebum, dead skin cells, and dirt cannot escape the skin. The more the pores begin to clog, the larger the pore hole becomes because it has to accommodate the trapped debris. Pores will expand and stretch out. Once pores have stretched, they cannot go back to their original size. It's crucial that you control how much oil is being produced and whether or not the oil is absorbed, or you'll be dealing with a vicious cycle, often accompanied by breakouts as well.
Can You Shrink Large Pores?
Unfortunately, there is no way to physically reduce the size of your pores. The only thing possible is to visually reduce the appearance of large pores, as well as prevent pores from becoming clogged, which in turn stretches them out and increases their size. Using the right cleanser and exfoliating your skin will make your skin brighter and will tighten your skin.
Thanks to advanced treatment options, there are a few treatments that can visually decrease the appearance of enlarged pores. These treatment options include:
- Chemical peels.
- IPL photofacials.
- Laser skin resurfacing.
- Laser skin tightening.
How to Prevent Large Pores From Getting Larger
Large pores can continue enlarging if you allow them to stretch out and become clogged with whiteheads, blackheads, sebum, and dirt. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce this occurrence, thus prevent the appearance of large pores, for good.
Avoid creamy skin care. If you already have oily skin, the last thing you need to do is to apply thick and emollient skin care creams on your face. Greasy formulas are a recipe for disaster if you already have pore challenges. They will quickly begin to clog your pores and make them even bigger than they already are. You might need to try several different brands of skin care products before finding a solution that works.
Avoid drying products.On the flip side, you also need to avoid using products that are overly drying to your skin. This might seem counterproductive, but it's the truth. Your skin will go into shock mode and produce even more oil if it feels it's under threat of losing all moisture. If you want to see results, you need to strike that perfect balance of hydration so your natural oil production slows down considerably.
Avoid bar soap. Not only are bar soaps very drying on the skin, which as stated will increase oil production, the select ingredients that help the soap shape into its bar form can actually clog your pores, increasing their size.
Absorb oil. Absorbing excess oil is key in controlling your large pore size. Whether you opt for oil-blotting papers or foundations and cosmetics that offer oil-absorbing benefits, when you absorb oil, you can minimize the appearance of pore size, and reduce the risk of breakouts and the pores stretching out.
Rely on antioxidants. Antioxidants are crucial in your skin care regime if you want to prevent large pores from getting even larger. Opt for serums or lightweight gels and not lotions or creams.
Get regular facials. Regular facials can help you maintain your pore size and prevent them from getting larger. An esthetician will use a tool called a comedone extractor to remove the deeply embedded dirt and oil that becomes trapped in your pores, stretching their size. If you cannot get a facial every few months, you can buy a comedone extractor and use it at home to combat the problem.
Use facial masks. Facial masks will help draw oil and deeply embedded sebum and dirt from your pores, which will prevent your pores from enlarging. Use a facial mask once per week for maintenance.
Remove all your makeup. No matter how tired you are at the end of the night, you need to remove all traces of your makeup before going to bed. Cleanse your face thoroughly, preferably with a facial cleansing brush, and then apply a toner afterward to make sure the makeup is all gone. Depending on how soft and hydrated your skin is, you might be able to ditch a nightly moisturizing routine.
Switch birth control pills. If you're taking birth control pills, the extra hormones might be contributing to excessive oil production. Speak with your physician about switching to lower-dosage birth control pills so that you can prevent excess oil production.
Go in the sauna. Detoxifying your skin and opening up your pores through steam will help oil escape. A gym membership might be a valuable investment if the facilities include unlimited use of a steam or sauna room. Consider this your facial. Be certain to cleanse thoroughly before and after entering.
Use a primer. Apply a cosmetic primer before you put on your makeup. A primer not only helps your makeup adhere, it smooths and fills the surface of the skin. This can help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.
Keep hair out of your face. If you have longer hair, it's especially important to keep it out of your face. Don't go to bed and bury your face into your tresses. Hair already has lots of natural oils in it. If it's constantly brushing up against your face, oil production will increase, and pores will once again enlarge to accommodate the excess production. Pull hair up and out of the way, especially when you're working out. Opt for headbands or sweat bands to keep hair off your forehead.
Watch your diet. Are you eating lots of greasy foods? If so, you aren't helping your complexion. Opt for lots of fruits, vegetables, and other elements of a raw diet, and limit the amount of oily foods you consume. Detoxifying your body and skin can help control its natural oil production, and prevent the occurrence of enlarged pores.
Prevention is Key
Prevention is your best defense if you have large pores. While you may not be able to shrink your pore size, you can ensure your pores don't get any bigger by following a proper skin care plan and using facial cleansing products that are suited specifically for your skin type and its challenges. If you take a proactive approach when dealing with your pores, you can limit the chances that your pores will get clogged, and you can stop excessive oil production in the process.