Large Pores: How to Treat
We’ve all admired the radiant, dewy, poreless skin of models on magazine covers and wished that we could achieve the look of smooth poreless beauty that we really see only on babies. But the truth is, even the best pore minimizer products can’t actually make our skin look like the cover models. Chances are, the model herself has simply had the pores airbrushed and photoshopped out of her photo, so we are all struggling to reach an unrealistic ideal. When it comes to pores, dermatologists tell us that a lot of people are confused about what pores are and how they do and don’t function.
What are Pores?
Pores are actually hair follicles with attached sweat and oil glands. One of the reasons that scientists believe that humans were once covered in hair is the fact that our skin is covered in millions of tiny hair follicles, despite the fact that most of them don’t contain hairs. Follicles without hair, or with nearly invisible micro-hairs, are what we call pores. Unfortunately, there are a lot of common misunderstandings about our pores and how they function.
Pore Myths and Misunderstandings:
Pores can open and close. This is a misunderstanding. According to dermatologists, our pores don’t actually open when we heat or steam them or close when we splash cold water on them. Even the best pore minimizer products don’t actually shrink pores, though they can minimize the appearance of pores.
The reason people believe that pores can open is that warm water and steam loosen the sebum, or skin oil, that builds up inside the pore making it look larger. When the sebum loosens and is released in response to heat, it makes the pores appear smaller.
Pores can be made to shrink. This is another myth. Pores can’t actually be made to shrink. The size of your pores is mostly genetic, though they tend to look smaller in lighter-skinned individuals. What you can do to make them appear smaller is to clear them of excess sebum build-up, dirt, impurities, and blackheads. The best pore minimizer products address these issues, and while they don’t actually shrink the size of your pores, they can make them less visible.
Blackheads are black because they are filled with dirt. This is another misunderstanding. It’s unlikely you have a lot of dirt stuck in your pores unless you work or play in the mud. The reason that blackheads appear black is that the sebum inside has oxidized and turned black by being exposed to the air. Blackheads are a type of pimple or clogged pore. When a clogged pore is open to the air it’s a blackhead. When it’s closed to the air it’s a pimple.
You can get rid of pores for a smoother complexion. This is a myth. The only way you ever lose any pores is when you get a scar. Scar tissue has no pores, hair follicles, or sweat glands. Otherwise, your pores are yours for life. However, gently cleansing your face twice a day can help keep pores from being highly visible. Oil close to the pore’s surface reflects light, causing the pore to be more visible. However, it’s important not to over-wash or scrub too hard. This can cause irritation and inflammation which can actually cause your pores to look larger.
Some of the best pore minimizers work by pulling excess sebum, skin cell debris, and old makeup out of your pores to make them look smaller.
Do Pores Become Larger with Age?
This, unfortunately, is not a myth or misunderstanding. The tightness of our skin depends on collagen production, which lessens as we age. Babies appear to have poreless skin because their pores are not yet enlarged by years of sebum production. As young adults, our skin was still elastic enough for our pores to bounce back when sebum is removed, but with less collagen as we age, our pores become loose and slacken slightly, often causing them to appear larger. The best pore minimizers contain ingredients to help boost collagen production, allowing pores to appear smaller.
So, while it’s true that you can’t change the size of your pores, there are many options available to minimize their appearance, including using one of the best pore minimizer products easily found over the counter today.