When talking about acne and its potential causes, you’ll tend to notice that the term "pores" comes up quite often. After all, breakouts occur when pores become clogged with excess sebum, dirt, and dead skin cells.
However, if you want to gain a deeper understanding of your skin, what pores are and what role they have in your skin’s health, ahead, we’re breaking down things you may not know about pores on your face, as well as what you can do to help minimize their appearance.
Pores are hair follicles
So what are pores, and what do they do for your skin? Pores are small openings found throughout the skin. These openings lead to a canal called a follicle, which contains hair and an oil gland inside. This oil gland ‒ also known as the sebaceous gland ‒ has an important role in maintaining skin health, as it helps remove old skin cells, keeps the skin lubricated, and prevents drying of tissues.
And yes, pores may look a little weird under a magnifying mirror. However, rest assured, they are very normal and everyone has them! If anything, they can be more of a cosmetic nuisance at times, as larger-sized pores can look more pronounced.
Genetics determine pore visibility
Much like the color of your eyes, the texture of your hair, and your height, the size of your pores are sometimes genetically predetermined. This means if you have a family history of enlarged pores, you are likely to have them as well.
There are other internal factors that influence pore size, including sex, age, and hormone levels. External factors also influence your pore size. When pores become clogged with excess dirt, sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria, they tend to look a lot bigger than they are, making it necessary to keep the skin clean in order to keep them clear.
To help minimize the appearance of large pores on the face, check out our tips below.
Pores can change shape but not size
One of the biggest myths surrounding pores is that you can change their size. Sadly, pore size can’t be reduced, as they are genetically predetermined. However, there are things you can do to make them less noticeable.
First, cleansing your skin twice a day can be helpful in unclogging your pores, as it rids the skin of excess dirt, sebum, and dead skin cells. However, not all cleansers are created equal so remember to choose a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser. That can make all the difference, as these products won’t clog pores. Gently exfoliating a couple times a week is also helpful as it buffs away dead skin cells and makes the pores less noticeable.
Next, consider investing in skin care products that contain acne-fighting ingredients. Products containing benzoyl peroxide or a retinoid can help prevent pores becoming clogged. Using sunscreen daily also improves the appearance of pores, as when skin becomes damaged by the sun, it loses firmness, causing the pores to look more noticeable as a result.
Pores are small openings found throughout the skin. These openings lead to a canal called a follicle, which contains hair and an oil gland inside. This hardworking gland helps keep the skin healthy by removing old skin cells, keeping the skin lubricated, and preventing drying.
To prevent pores from becoming clogged, washing your skin twice a day with a gentle and non-comedogenic cleanser is a great place to start. Investing in skincare products with anti-acne ingredients also helps your pores stay open and clean. And don’t forget the sunscreen!