Pores. You don’t want to see them, but you need them. I get it. Everyone is aiming for that “flawless skin” look and the appearance of pores doesn’t really help your cause.
For years, I’ve been asked the question, why are my pores so big and how do I “close” them? Here’s the thing, they don’t have the ability to open and close. That is just a beauty myth that has gained so much support over the years, it stuck.
The truth is, steaming your face, splashing it with cold water or applying a warm compress (all the things we’ve been told to do over the years to improve the appearance of our pores) won’t change a thing.
In the post, I’ll tell you what will help but first, let’s talk about what pores do for your skin and some of the things that impact their functionality.
Your Pores Job
Pores are holes in your skin that are connected to your hair follicles. Their job is to act like an exit door and provide a way for sweat and oil to leave your body and reach the skin’s surface. Everyone has pores and, just like bodies, they come in all shapes and sizes!
Why Some People’s Pores Look Better Than Others
So, why do some people have large pores, while others are practically invisible? Simple. It all boils down to your skin’s health and overall condition. While pores can’t “open and close”, they can grow and change size!
If your skin’s collagen becomes weak or damaged, you may start to notice your pores become larger and more visible. In case you aren’t familiar with collagen, it’s the connective tissue found under the skin’s surface that holds everything together nicely. It gives your skin strength and elasticity. It also gives your hair and skin a “glow”. So, when you start to lose collagen, your skin begins to stretch and that can lead to increased pore size.
Clogged or congested pores can also be more visible.
How to Improve the Appearance of Pores
As I just mentioned, there are basically two reasons your pores increase in size; loss of collagen or congestion. In this section, I’ll suggest how to fix both problems and start improving the appearance of your pores. If you aren’t sure what is causing your pores to be more pronounced, come see me. I can take a look, evaluate your skin and help you with next steps.
If you know the issue is congestion, there are a number of things you can do. To start, schedule a facial with extractions. That will give you a clean slate to start with and allow me to suggest some products that might be beneficial to you. Next you want to be sure you’re washing with a good cleanser and maintaining your daily regime. Cleansing can help loosen the oil (aka sebum) that has built up in your pores and allow it to slide out while washing, which helps reduce congestion.
Lastly, products with lactic, glycolic or salicylic acids may help with clogged pores. Be careful not to strip your skin though! That will lead to other issues. If you’re interested in adding an acid to your routine, come see me and I’ll help you find the right one.
Now let’s talk about collagen. Losing collagen is something that happens over time. The process can be expedited due to sun damage and even genetics but for the most part people start losing collagen naturally around 25 years old.
Even though this totally stinks, the good news is, there are steps you can take to bring it back and prevent further loss. Here’s a few suggestions:
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is pretty much a wonder vitamin for the skin. It can help with so many skin conditions including hyperpigmentation and it can also help increase collagen production.
- Diet – Yes, your diet plays a role in collagen production too! There are a number of foods that can help encourage collagen production. Here’s an article with more info. Scroll to the bottom for the list of foods.
- Retinol – Adding a high quality retinol in to your skin care routine is one of the best things you can to improve your skin’s pores. Retinol increases cellular turnover and boosts collagen production.
If you are struggling with large and/or clogged pores, get on my schedule. I will evaluate what’s going on and make some suggestions to start improving them!