Pores: How to minimize them and reduce their appearance

Pores. We all have them, and we have all probably wondered how to make them smaller at some point in our lives. We’ve all tried toners, serums, lotions, blackhead strips and facial masks promising to make them disappear completely, but is it even possible to get rid of pores?  What even are pores? What do pores even do? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about pores - from how to keep them “clean,” how to reduce their appearance, and what makes them look bigger. 

What are pores?

According to Healthline, pores are “small openings in the skin that release oils and sweat. They’re also connected to your hair follicles.” The Dermatology Center says that “our pores release sebum, our body’s natural oil, to naturally moisturize our skin to help keep it supple. Although large pores can be frustrating, pores are necessary for maintaining healthy skin.” So if you have larger pores, don’t worry - it’s all natural and necessary for healthy bodily functions. However, there are some ways to help reduce your pores’ overall appearance - more on that later. 

Did you know? Pores are located all over the body - and the only parts of the body that don’t have pores are the palms on your hands and the soles of your feet.

What determines pore size?

There are many factors that determine pore size and every individual is different, but some of the main factors are the following:

Oily skin: Caused by increased sebum production, oily skin might make pores appear larger due to the amount of excess sebum on the surface of the skin.

Acne: Acne is actually considered a disorder of the pore. According to Healthline: “All acne blemishes begin as a pore blockage. This includes blackheads, milia, small pimples, and large inflamed breakouts. To get acne under control, a treatment that keeps pores clear is a must.”

Genetics: One of the biggest determinants of pore size is genetics. Look at your parents or siblings' skin - do they have large pores, too? 

Sun damage: Believe it or not, sun damage can also cause pores to appear larger. The Dermatology Center of Skin Health explains how “sun damage can thicken the skin, which leads to bigger pores. Prolonged sun exposure can also remove collagen, elastin and water from your skin, which causes the tissue beneath your skin to shrink and pull at the edges of your pores, making them sag and look bigger.” Just another reason to wear sunscreen all day, every day!

Clogged Pores caused by makeup: Do you sleep in your makeup or use comedogenic makeup? Check to make sure that the beauty products you’re using aren’t actually making your pores appear larger by clogging the pores on your face and causing breakouts. Non-comedogenic makeup is best, and always, always wash your face each night - especially after wearing makeup. 

Is it possible to shrink your pores?

So by now you’re probably wondering if it’s actually possible to shrink your pores. The bad news is, it isn’t possible to physically shrink your pores (although we wish it was!). But the good news is, there’s a few ways to help reduce their appearance and keep them clean, healthy, and free of acne and blemishes. 

What are some products that can help pores appear smaller?

Clay or mud-based masks: Doing a weekly clay or mud-based mask can help clean out the pores by drawing excess sebum out of the pores and also gently exfoliating the skin, helping reveal a glowing complexion. We love the Magical Beans Magnetic Mud Mask for this very reason - not only is it known to help with oily and blemish-prone skin - it will also leave your skin looking soft and glowy!

Hydrating (non-comedogenic) moisturizers: Now that you know one of the causes of larger pores is oily skin, it’s not a bad idea to make sure your skin is adequately moisturized to reduce excessive sebum production. It’s best to use a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer like our Whipped Moisturizing Cream

Cleansers: Kind of a no-brainer, but it’s extremely important to make sure you wash your face every night so the makeup, SPF, debris and oil that collects on your skin during the day is cleansed away. This will help keep your pores clean and prevent them from getting clogged overnight, which can result in blemishes. Try a deep cleanser like our Macchiato Foaming Cleansing Scrubber that functions as a 3-in-1 product to aid in the removal of makeup, cleanse the skin and exfoliate..

Sunscreen: Since sun damage can cause the pores to look larger and skin to thicken, it’s extremely important to make sure you are using at least SPF 30 on your face each and every day, especially if you are going to be in the sun.  

What are other ways to make pores look smaller?

Diet and exercise: Eat a healthy diet full of nutrients and vitamins, healthy fats and proteins to help improve not only your skin’s health, but the overall health of your body, as well. Exercise is important to increase blood flow and help your body sweat out any toxins.

Drink water: It’s cliche at this point, but we had to remind you to drink water regularly to help hydrate skin from within! Aim to get at least eight glasses of water per day, but increase this if you’re out in the heat or losing water from sweating/exercising.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to pores than meets the eye. While it’s physically impossible to shrink your pores, a great skincare routine and healthy eating habits can help reduce their appearance. How do you feel about pores? Add to the conversation in the comments below. 

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