Can you actually shrink pores? It’s a common question that beauty enthusiasts and the average person want answered – a 2016 study done by Skinfo showed enlarged pores was the most-Googled skin concern in 7/50 states. Sadly the clear-cut answer is no. The size of our pores is something we can’t control; pores are in the hands of external and internal factors like genetics and the environment our skin is exposed to. Don’t worry, there’s still hope for those who are concerned with the way their pores look and work. There are skincare/makeup products and lifestyle changes that can minimize the appearance of pores rather than physically change the size of them.
First thing’s first: what do your pores even do? Though many are concerned with how pores look, it’s important to know what they do for the skin in order to properly take care of them. Pores contain small hair follicles, oil glands (sebum) and sweat glands, which help to filter out and guard the skin against excess oil and bacteria from sweat. Not only do pores secrete, but they also absorb skincare products, allowing ingredients to pass through the surface and enhance the skin. But there comes a point where pores can be an issue. Concerns can stem from too much or too little sebum production, darkened, clogged pores from makeup and pollution and enlarged pores due to aging (loss of skin elasticity) that tend to give pores a bad rep. So what’s there to do?
One of the most important things for pore care is skincare. If there’s any step that can’t be missed, it’s removing makeup. Try stepping away from the average makeup wipe and cleanse with a cleansing oil. Because oil attracts oil, the product gets deep into the skin to remove impurities. To make sure that the skin doesn’t clog, it’s important to follow up with a water based face soap to combat the oil. Using face masks can also help since they are a quick way to provide a large amount of serum to the skin. Face masks give and pores receive. An alternative is a clay mask that can absorb any excess oils that lie within and on the surface. But no matter what the product, make sure there are pore minimizing ingredients like tea tree, charcoal, egg whites, black bean and acids (AHA and BHA). There are also treatments that go beyond everyday skincare. Laser treatment uses an LED light that stimulates collagen production which then in turn makes pores temporarily smaller. But just like any other step to getting clear skin, catching “z’s”, drinking water, wearing sunscreen and eating right are natural ways to get skin looking the way you want.
So the next time you do everything you can to actually shrink your pores, remember it won’t work. Let pores do their natural thing and when it comes to skin concerns, take small steps to maintain them in a healthy way.