The skin surface naturally has openings that are called pores, that help to release sebum to the skin surface to lubricate it as well as remove toxins in the form of sweat from the skin. Some pores contain the hair follicle and you can see the hair through the pores.
Therefore, these pores are a natural feature of every normal skin and ideally the skin pores are/ should be open for proper functioning.
However, sometimes the pores can become enlarged and visibly larger as a result of oily skin, acne, dry skin and aging.
When this happens, it looks as if the pores become more prominent and can give the skin a rough texture and feel.
In this article, we will be discussing some common ways that we can help to reduce the pore size.. Not closing open pores, because this is both unhealthy and impossible.
What Causes Enlarged Pores?
Multiple factors are responsible for enlarged pores:
- Ageing Process- Low collagen levels during the ageing process can weaken the skin fibres and hence cause the pores to become slightly enlarged
- Sun damage- Sun damage can also affect the level of collagen in the skin, which can also cause the pores to be become slightly enlarged
- Excess sebum production can cause an expansion of the sebaceous glands which can cause the pores to expand
- Menstural Period
- Clogged Pores
Ways to reduce the size of the pores
- 1a. Clay masks:
Using a clay mask to tighten your pores is recommended. It reduces inflammation and reduces the appearance of lesions.
These masks tend to absorb excess oil from deeper layers of your skin. This results in tighter pores, firm skin and and restores a natural looking glow.
An example of clay is kaolin, a natural clay that is added in skin formulations to help draw out excess sebum(oil) from the skin while gently exfoliating. This results in smaller looking pores.
Clay masks can be combined with other ingredients to best fit your skin concerns. For example, sulfur a natural antibacterial can fight acne, charcoal powder draws up oil, Vitamin E micro beads to replenish skin moisture, and pumpkin enzymes to help regenerate skin and refine pore size.
To avoid skin irritation, masks should not be used more than twice a week. We offer different masks and scrubs to fit your skin type – acne, combo, dry, normal, oily and sensitive.
- 1b. Proper cleansing:
Using mild and ph balanced face cleansers that will remove excess oil from the skin surface without causing excessive drying, this is because using the wrong type of cleanser can cause the skin to dry out, which will in turn cause the skin to produce even more oil to counter the dryness.and this increase in oil production will lead to increased activity of the sebaceous glands and hence increased pore size.
As you grow older, your skin loses it elasticity, which causes it to stretch and sag, making pores appear larger. Anti-aging and Anti-oxidant products can help to regenerate collagen breakdown in the skin. Reduced elasticity around the pores can also lead to enlarged pores. Most skin care products that contain anti- aging products and anti oxidants can stimulate collagen production and this will help to firm up the skin and streghten the skin fibres
2a. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is natural antioxidant that the skin needs to function effectively. Adequate levels of Vitamin C in the skin can boost collagen production in addition to protection from photo damage which causes enlarged pores.
2b. Resveratrol: Known as the fountain of youth can help to regenerate the skin structures and straighten the skin.
2c. Hyaluronic acid: This helps to plump up the skin and this can make the pores appear smaller
2d. Retinol is a type of vitamin A that makes pores smaller by increasing cell turnover unclogging pores.
2e. Alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid and glycolic acid can help regenerate collagen as well exfoliates dead skin.
3. Sun damage
Sunscreen is a must. Constant sun exposure will result in pores that will begin to stretch and sag around the edges, which makes them look bigger. For everyday sunscreen use, view our products here. One great way to prevent sun damge is by regular , daily and proper application of sunscreen.
- Menstural Cycle and genetics
Skin pores are dynamic in nature as they continuously keep changing in size. Hence, when there is a heightened level of hormonal activity during your menstrual cycle, your facial pores can enlarge and open up. Once the hormonal activity is back to its normal state, then you will observe that the skin pores have tightened up. Hormonal changes during menopause and pregnancy may also lead to enlarged, open pores in women.
Yes, genetics decide the size of your pores. Your skin is decided according to the skin of your parents.
- Clogged Pores
An excess amount of oil and dead skin cells gathering in your pores can cause pores to appear larger than usual.Our skin is always creating new skin cells and shedding old ones. The sebaceous glands create natural oils (sebum) that are meant to nourish your skin.
In a perfect world, sebum would simply keep skin soft and hydrated. However, there are times when sebaceous glands can become overactive. During these periods, your sebaceous glands can actually create too much oil, which can cause dead skin cells to stick together instead of shed off.
In clogged pores, the sebum from the oil glands can’t move out. As a result, stretches the pores. Even after the clog is gone, the pore may remain stretched and visible.
Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the upper skin layer. Exfoliation brightens skin as well as leaves you with a smoother texture.
If you are routinely removing the dead skin cells that clog your pores, your pores won’t stretch out and look larger.
There are two types of exfoliants:
- Physical Exfoliators: This is a cleanser that has tiny scrubbing particles that you can feel with your hands. Usually labeled as face scrubs, these granule-filled formulas help to buff and slough all the dead skin cells off of the surface of your face. Check out our walnut face powder Here
- Chemical Exfoliators: Chemical exfoliants have two subcategories, AHAs and BHAs:
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are mostly derived from natural ingredients, glycolic acid from sugar cane, lactic acid from milk, malic acid from apples, citric acid from citrus and tartaric acid from grapes.
These acids are water soluble and capable of enhancing our skin’s natural moisture levels, decreasing the look of wrinkles and fine lines, smoothing rough skin texture and improving dull, uneven skin tone.
Beta Hydroxy Acids usually refer to salicylic acid. BHAs are similar to AHAs but work more deeply within our skin, inside the lining of our pores. They are oil soluble, meaning they are ideal for oily skin and a great ingredient for calming red skin, even those who have rosacea.
You do not want to over exfoliate your skin though. This can strip the skin’s protective barrier and result in dehydrated and inflamed skin. If this occurs, decrease the frequency, strength or type of exfoliation.
Finally, to summarise…
The Oilier the skin, the larger the Pores
Your pores belong to your parents:
With age, pore size increases:
Pore size can be changed, with regular exfoliation, and excessive sebum control