Let's Talk About Pores

Sadie Young
December 11, 2023
Skin Care

Let’s talk about pores, baby! That song will be forever stuck in my head now… and yours. You’re welcome. So about those pores; why are they so big? How do I shrink them? I’m sure you’ve asked these questions to yourself at some point while staring into the mirror. Unless of course you are normal and don’t talk to yourself in the mirror. *Nervous laughter as I slowly step away from my mirror.

Well, good news is there are ways to minimize the appearance of large pores, but first, a little technical/medical lesson. Never thought about your pores before? Well aren’t you special.

Pore Lesson (pun intended)

What exactly are pores? All over the skin are tiny hairs, except on the palms of the hands and on the feet. Each of these hair follicles has a pore at the top of it and each has a gland inside that produces oil called the sebaceous gland.

When the sebaceous gland releases oil, the oil rises to the top of the skin and collects in the pore, which is nature’s way of keeping your skin hydrated and healthy. Those with excessive sebum (gland produces an excess of oil), have oilier skin. As oil collects in the pore and combines with dirt or makeup, the pore can become blocked, stretching the pore, making it look bigger. If the pore remains clogged, a pimple may develop (noooo).

Pore size can be contingent on a few factors though, mainly genetics and skin type. Some people are just born with tiny pores okay. Yes, yes, I know they’re the favorites. Also, those with oily or combination skin will typically have larger pores than those with dry skin.  If this is you though, don’t fret, there is hope, I promise.

The Hope I Promised

Told you I would help! Now, although “getting rid” of large pores isn’t exactly feasible, as pores, once enlarged, will not shrink (I’m telling you this now! After just telling you there is hope. Sorry.), there are ways to minimize the appearance and prevent other skin issues.

Wash the face both morning and night

These are the basics people! SO SO important! Washing the face every morning and evening helps wash away oil and dirt from the pores and can help make them less visible.

  • Wash your face up to twice a day or more after sweating a lot or doing sports
  • use lukewarm water and gently apply a cleanser with clean fingers
  • choose a gentle cleanser that is nonabrasive and does not contain alcohol
  • avoid scrubbing or rubbing the skin
  • pat the face dry with a clean towel

Try Skinbetter Cleansing Gel or Skinbetter Oxygen Infusion Wash

Exfoliate

Those with oily skin should exfoliate once or twice a week to remove things like dirt, dead skin cells, and excess oil that can clog the pores. Products to look for:

  • beta hydroxy acids, such as salicylic acid
  • polyhydroxy acids, such as lactobionic acid and gluconolactone, which help strengthen the skin’s barrier function
  • mandelic acid, for sensitive skin

*It is important not to exfoliate more than twice a week, as this can dry out the skin. Although exfoliation helps keep pores unclogged, pores can look bigger if the skin becomes too dry.

Try Skinbetter Peel Pads or Epionce Lytic TX

Moisturize daily

Wait, oily skin person here!  The idea of moisturizing oily skin may seem counterintuitive, but an oil-free or light moisturizer can help reduce pore enlargement, as well as keep excess oil at bay.

  • Wash and pat the skin dry
  • Gently apply a moisturizer to help hydrate and soften skin

Moisturizing allows the good oil from the sebaceous glands to penetrate more deeply instead of collecting on the surface (see, the pore lesson wasn't so poor after all… still love a good pun though).

Try  Skinbetter Trio , GlyMed CBD Facial Mist

Apply a clay mask

Using a clay mask once or twice a week can help remove additional oil from the pores because clay absorbs sebum.

  • Apply on a different day as your exfoliating to prevent irritation

Try GlyMed Sulfur Masque

Always remove makeup at night, a double cleanse is best!

We all forget, but it’s definitely worth the little extra time!

  • Start with an oil cleanser. Believe it or not, oil is good for all skin types and oil even ATTRACTS oil.  Starting with an oil cleanser first, helps remove all the excess sebum from your pores first, so that when you do your second cleanse, it can REALLY get in those pores and cleanse the skin.
  • Cleansing wipes are useful for removing makeup in a hurry (although these are not recommended by estheticians, but that’s a whole other story I won’t get into today).

Sleeping in makeup overnight can cause the pores to become blocked due to a buildup of makeup, oil, and bacteria.

Try PCA Daily Cleansing Oil

Wear sunscreen

It is crucial to care for the skin when in the sun. Sun exposure can dry the skin, making pores appear larger. Many moisturizers contain sunscreen, however using a separate sunscreen is preferred.

Keeping the skin protected from the sun keeps it supple. The best ways to do this are:

  • Apply sunscreen every day
  • Use a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or more
  • Use a separate sunscreen than your moisturizer (many moisturizers contain sunscreen)
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat
  • Stay in the shade when the sun is strongest

Overall good health practices

While home treatments and a regular skincare routine can help reduce the visibility of pores, the following can promote the overall health of your skin:

  • Eat well: Getting the right balance of nutrients, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates helps improve overall health (that means skin health too!)
  • Drink plenty of water: Water hydrates the skin from within, helping  improve your overall complexion.
  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise increases blood flow to all parts of the body, including the skin, and encourages sweating. Sweat helps protect the skin from bacteria, but leaving it on the surface may clog the pores. Always rinse the skin after exercise.

Yay! You made it to the bottom! Congrats on winning… just kidding, you don’t actually win anything EXCEPT the crucial, imperative, dare I say, life changing knowledge you need for minimizing large pores.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and in case it left your head already… “let’s talk about pores baby!”

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