You’re flipping through your favorite magazine (or, more likely, their site) and seeing all these celebrities and models with silk-smooth skin that looks like it was poured into a mold. Not a pore in sight. Then you look in the mirror at your own skin and it’s looking more like a dimple-filled orange peel because all you see are pores, pores, pores.
In all honestly, those model pictures have been retouched and airbrushed like crazy, but still, enlarged pores don’t have to be your everyday norm. Why do pores get visibly enlarged and what can you do about them? Let’s find out!
What Causes Enlarged Pores?
There are actually a few reasons your pores might be more visible than you’d like them to be. One of the most common issues is actually clogged pores. When your pores are packed with excess oil, dead skin cells, and other icky yet inevitable types of debris, that clog holds the pore open so it looks larger.
Another common culprit in the “who done it” of enlarged pores is aging: everyone’s nemesis. As you get older, your skin naturally has less of the firming collagen that makes it firm and youthful. Your skin starts to sag, and this pulls your pores down so they’re more open and more visible.
Why Do Some People Have Larger Pores Than Others?
Aging and pore-clogging debris happen to everyone to some degree. So you might be wondering why some people seem to have more struggles with enlarged pores than others do.
It all comes down to your skin’s unique anatomy and your skin care habits. Some unlucky folks are more prone to clogged pores than others, usually because their skin produces more oil (called sebum) than others’ skin does. Generally, if you’re prone to acne, you’re probably at a higher risk for enlarged pores too.
Another big determinant of your pore challenges is your sun protection. Sun damage will take natural aging and send it into hyperdrive because the sun’s radiation breaks down the collagen in your skin. If you’ve spent a good deal of time in the sun, you’ll be more likely to see enlarged pores than someone who wears sunscreen regularly.
Tips to Reduce Enlarged Pores
Now here’s the question you really want to have answered: how can you get rid of enlarged pores or make them less likely to crop up? You can put on a smile because there are several ways you can keep your pores as compact and smooth-looking as possible.
Use Oil-Free Skin Care Products
We know now that one of the primary causes of enlarged pores is a clog in the pore that stems from excess facial oil. If that’s what’s happening for your skin, the last thing you want to add is more oil. Instead, replace any oil-based products that go on your skin with oil-free skin products like oil-free sunscreen for example. This goes for your makeup too: ditch anything oil-based and choose water-based products instead.
A face mask is a relaxing way to treat yourself at home while doing something healthy for your skin. If you struggle with enlarged pores, you might benefit most from a deep pore cleansing mask. These are specifically designed to reach deep into your pores to either pull out or break down clogs. Black masks do this well as do clay masks.
Make Facial Cleansing a Priority
We all know we need to wash our face regularly, but let’s be honest – it’s not always our top priority. If you have enlarged pores, it’s probably a sign that you could use more consistent cleansing.
You want to wash your face with an oil-free cleanser in the morning and at night before bed. Toss in an extra wash any time you’ve been sweating significantly like after a workout.
Remember to Exfoliate
Exfoliating is another part of your skin care routine that everyone should be using regularly, but that is especially important for anyone trying to tighten up their pores. Your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with fresh cells, but those dead skin cells can hang around on your skin and make their way into your pores, sparking a nasty clog. Exfoliating gets them off your skin’s surface so you’re not playing with fire.
For most people, it’s best to exfoliate twice per week after using your cleanser. If you exfoliate too often, you could break down your skin’s moisture barrier and make your skin dry, so you’d just be creating a new problem while trying to fix an old one.
Protect Your Collagen
Remember, keeping your skin firm and full of rejuvenating collagen is one of the best things you can do to prevent or minimize enlarged pores. Cards on the table: rebuilding collagen isn’t as easy as cleansing your skin. There are definitely steps you can take to move in the right direction, though.
For one, start adding some age-fighting, collagen-stimulating products into your skin care routine. Try a wrinkle cream, for example, or a wrinkle-reducing serum. At the same time, make sure you add sunscreen to your morning skin care routine to minimize future unnecessary aging.
Keeping Your Pores Where They Belong
Pores are a necessary part of your skin’s anatomy because they release the important oils that keep your skin hydrated and strong. But when those pores start to widen their boundaries due to clogs or aging, they create a look that most people don’t love for themselves. It’s never too early or too late to start finding ways to get your skin back into shape, so start with the tips above, be consistent, and watch the results speak for themselves.