In this age of photoshop, facetune, and filters, it’s easy to forget that nobody truly has “perfect” skin.
The beauty standard of smooth, pore-free skin has been ingrained in society for decades through advertisements, movies, and more. Even Hollywood used to use the old “Vaseline on the camera lens” hack to make their female actresses appear to have a more glowy, radiant, and smooth look to their skin.
While most people view their pores as a nuisance, pores are actually extremely important for maintaining healthy skin.
Today’s post includes:
- What Are Pores?
- Common Misconceptions About Pores
- What Can You Do If You Have Large Pores?
- Like, Comment, and Subscribe!
What Are Pores?
Pores are simply openings that allow subtances to pass through the skin barrier. The concept of facial pores is similar to a flashing yellow traffic light: vehicles will proceed with caution and will stop for oncoming traffic, red lights, or accidents- kind of like how sebum and sweat are moderately secreted unless stopped by a blockage (causing acne). Despite common misconception, there is more than one type of skin pore.
- Oil Pores– these pores are connected to Sebaceous Glands (oil glands). They secrete sebum to protect the skin barrier and keep the skin healthy and supple. Oil pores are located everywhere on the body except the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Usually, when one refers to “large pores” and “blocked pores” they’re talking about oil pores since oil pores can be commonly seen with the naked eye.
- Sweat Pores– these pores are connected to sweat glands. The secreted sweat helps with many bodily functions such as maintaining a constant body temperature. They’re very small and can’t usually be seen with the naked eye.
Our pores are very important for our body. Without pores, our skin would be weak and we’d be more susceptible to getting infections and worse since our skin barrier wouldn’t be able to protect us. Usually, pores do a good job of ridding our skin of dead cells and excess sebum through a process called desquamation; but in some cases, desquamation goes awry and we get acne.
Common Misconceptions About Pores
1.Blackheads Are Dirt Stuck In Your Pores
Blackheads, according to Anna Guance, MD, a board vertified dermatologist of California, “are not dirt- nor are whiteheads pus. Clogged pores are actually a result of increased oil production and dead skin cells.” Blackheads occur when dead skin cells and oil block the opening of a pore. At the surface, the oil oxidizes and turns black. If you deal with many of blackheads and whiteheads, check out one of my previous posts about them: Blackheads and Whiteheads.
2. Washing Your Face More Often Can Prevent Blocked Pores
Washing your face too often will make your pores go into some sort of “panic mode”. The overwashing can cause extreme drying and stripping of natural sebum of your face, causing your pores to release more sebum to protect your skin. Going off of the previous misconception explanation, clogged pores result from increased oil production and dead skin cells. Along with over washing, there is such thing as over exfoliating that can lead to the same problems.
3. Sun Exposure Reduces Pore Size
I’ve never heard this one before to be honest, but according to Averrglow this is a commonly told myth. This is false because going in the sun just causes sun damage to your skin. The harmful UV rays of the sun inhibits our skin from producing collagen, and overtime the lack of collagen results in our pores appearing largers. Now, I’m not saying “If you want good skin, never go out into the sun!” — the sun is important for our bodily funtions too. Simply wearing sunscreen or wearing clothes that properly cover your skin is good protection
4. You Can Make Your Pores Smaller
The size of your pores is determined genetically. If your parents have larger pores, chances are you’ll have them too and you’re stuck with the pores you have.
5. You Can Open And Close Pores
Pores are not muscles so they techincally can’t “contract and relax” like muscles can. Hacks like cold water to “tighten” or “close” pores are based off the fact that muscular tissue contracts when in cold temperatures. Cold water only temporarily closes blood vessels which gives the effect of smoother skin. Warm water, on the other hand, does not “open” or “relax” your pores either and can put your skin in a weaker state if you’re not careful.
So You Have Large Pores… What Can You Do?
My main recommendation is to properly exfoliate.
Properly exfoliating helps the process of Desquamation by loosening dead skin cells so they can be shed off. Usually Desquamation works well on it’s own, but if you’re prone to acne and have large pores, exfoliating can help prevent blockage and breakouts. There are two types of exfoliation: chemical and mechanical. Read my previous blog posts about chemical exfoliation with AHAs and BHAs.
You can also have a light but simple skincare routine. Making sure you have a gentle cleanser and you moisturize your skin well can help your pores reduce sebum production.
Lastly, wearing suncreen/covering your skin when you go out can help you protect your skin from getting damaged. It’s true that overtime pores will become larger because of sun damage, but this can be prolonged if you’re aware and careful.
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Love, Moe ❤