Large pores are one of the most common skincare complaint we hear. Many women are concerned about the size of their pores, which in a magnifying mirror can frighteningly appear to resemble craters. What are pores, why do we have them, why are some people’s pores larger than others, and most importantly, what can we do about them? Let’s find out.
Pores are tiny openings on the surface of the skin that release oil and sweat. Your pores are also where your hair follicles are found, and they are found everywhere on the body, apart from the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and of course your mouth and eyeballs.
Your pore size is mainly determined by genetics; if either of your parents have large pores, you are most likely going to have them too. There are, however, external factors that can cause your pores to stretch out and become enlarged. If your oil glands produce too much oil, the oil can mix with dead skin cells and debris on the surface of the skin and form a clog. Clogged pores make it harder for the oil to flow freely and the pore becomes enlarged. While oil production is usually controlled by hormones, other factors like using products that are too heavy, or even living in a hot, sticky environment (like the gulf) can contribute to blocked pores. Your age also plays a role. As we age, sun exposure and the natural loss of elasticity in our skin can lead to larger pores.
Now for the good news; while you can’t get rid of your pores, you can effectively minimize their size. Here are some of our favorite tips and products for minimizing large pores.
- Choose the right products for your skin type and avoid using products that are too heavy or thick. If you have oily skin, try a lightweight moisturizer that will hydrate dry areas without clogging your pores. SkinMedica Ultra Sheer Moisturizer is a light moisturizer in a non-oily formula that will hydrate and firm while balancing oil production.
- Find the right balance and avoid using products that are too harsh and will dry out or irritate your skin. When your skin becomes too dry or irritated, your pores produce even more oil to try to compensate. Choose a mild cleanser like Exuviance Purifying Cleansing Gel, a gentle, non-drying, foaming cleanser with AHAs to refine and conditioners to improve skin texture.
- Become friends with salicylic acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid that will exfoliate pore-clogging dead skin cells and work its magic deep within the pore to minimize its size from the inside. If your large pores are due to age, salicylic acid will also help smooth out wrinkles and encourage collagen production. Try Rodial Super Acids X-treme Pore Shrink Pads, pre-soaked cleansing pads that remove makeup, dirt, and oil, while visibly minimizing the appearance of large pores and refining skin texture.
- Try a clay based mask to instantly reduce surface oil and tighten pores. Lierac Purifying Mask contains kaolin clay, star anise, and lime extracts to absorb oil, mattify the skin and instantly minimize the appearance of pores.