large pores, you say?

by dana whitaker

Oftentimes I'll read articles on howyou can get rid of your pores, or products promising to eliminate them completely. Don't be fooled, this is sadly a myth. It's important to know that you can't actually "shrink" your pores. There is no magic cream out there that is going to banish or instantly tighten your large pores. However, all is not lost, there are definitely things you can do to improve the appearance of them.

why do we get large pores?

Genetics: A large part of what determines the size of your pores is genetic. If one or both of your parents have large pores, odds are you will eventually experience a similar condition. People who have oily skin tend to have larger pores. This excess amount of oil will mix with dirt and dead skin cells, essentially blocking the pores/holding them open. This will lead them to expand and appear larger than they regularly are. If you don’t clear this obstruction, a pimple can even form.

Age: As we get older, our pores tend to get larger as well. With age, our skin produces less collagen which leads to it becoming less firm and less elastic. This can cause sagging and stretching of the skin. This stretching of the skin can make pores appear larger. Older individuals have also had more exposure to the sun, which causes a great deal of skin damage from UV rays and free radicals. When these free radicals destroy skin cells, they collect around the outer edges of the pores of the face, which stretches them out and creates larger pores.

Gender: On average, men tend to have larger pores than women. However, women who have very oily skin or who are experiencing hormonal changes due to menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause can also experience the development of large pores on the nose and cheeks.

add pore treatment to your skincare routine.

Cleanse: To reduce the appearance of large pores, start by keeping them clean. Use a gentle cleanser twice a day, but you should also use it after you sweat to prevent oil from building up. Be careful not to over scrub. Over-washing can lead your skin to respond as if it’s dried out, therefore, it will try to compensate by producing more oil..

Exfoliate: Good exfoliation will help minimize the amount of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that hold pores open. Regular use of a chemical exfoliant can help immensely to get a little deeper into the skin and rid it of any debris. Chemical exfoliation includes the use of exfoliators with ingredients like AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids) and BHAs (salicylic acid). Mechanical exfoliation with bead-like texture or microdermabrasion will work on the surface of the skin to relieve buildup in the pores. Products containing retinol (a member of the Vitamin A family) are a great option as well to increase your cell turnover, but go easy until your skin has built up a tolerance.

Hydrate: Start with a lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer. Anything that's labeled noncomedogenic is specifically designed to not clog pores. Moisturizer helps to maintain your skin’s elasticity and smooth out its appearance, which helps to minimize the look of large pores.

Protect: Applying a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher helps prevent sun-damaged skin. Remember the more sun-damaged your skin, the less firmness it has leading to pores looking more noticeable. To protect your skin, apply sunscreen every day, even when it’s raining or cold outside.

Although we can not eradicate our large pores completely, we can certainly improve them. It’s all about finding a routine that works for you. For many, large pores are inevitable, but if you take care of your skin and follow the steps above, you can put your best face forward.

some do’s & don’ts

  • try a clay mask

  • remove blackheads using a comedone extractor

  • protect your face from harmful UV rays

  • don’t:

  • use solid bars of soap to wash your face

  • use overly hot water to wash your face

  • expect your skin to smooth & pore free
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