When most of us think about pores, we think of those little holes in our face that can often become quite a nuisance. However, pores have an important purpose, and understanding more about this will enable you to improve your skincare routine, as well as see right through the many common pore myths that are out there.
What are pores?
Sebum is what our skin’s natural oil is called, and each pore, in addition to housing a hair follicle, acts as a gateway for sebum, as well as dead skin cells, to reach the surface of our skin. When it comes to the size of our pores, this is mostly determined by genetics, as well as by the size of the hair follicle and oil gland that each pore contains. People with fair skin usually have less visible pores, whilst those with darker, or oily, skin, have pores that are more prominent.
Can I shrink my pores?
Since pore size is determined by genetics, it is not possible to shrink your pores, although it is possible to minimize their appearance. Dead skin cells, dirt, makeup, and a build up of sebum, can all contribute to the darkening of your pores, which, in turn, makes them much more visible. A regular cleansing ritual, including using a good exfoliator, will help to keep the appearance of your pores under control.
Can pores open and close?
Since pores do not have muscles around their openings, it is not possible for them to open and close. Despite what many people believe, cold rinsing and steam facials do not open and close your pores, but can help them to look smaller. By steaming your skin, you are loosening up any underlying debris that gets caused when sebum builds up. Once the sebum is cleared out, your pores will appear to be smaller, even though their size hasn’t actually changed.
Do pores look bigger with age?
Unfortunately, pores do end up looking bigger with age, and the reason for this is because as you get older, your skin loses collagen and is not able to stay as tight as it used to. When this happens, your pores begin to slacken and stretch, making them seem bigger. The best way to ensure that your skin retains as much collagen as possible is to always make sure that you are using a quality sunscreen, as exposure to UV rays quickens the rate at which your skin loses collagen.
Is it possible to over-cleanse?
Over-cleaning is a problem that many people have when trying to reduce the appearance of their pores. Washing your face too frequently will inflame your skin and make your pores more prominent, and you will also be washing away all of the natural oils that your skin needs to properly function. Ideally, you should be cleaning your face twice a day, as well as after any intense workouts or when your face is especially sweaty or dirty.
Although the idea of never being able to shrink pores, especially as they stretch with age, may be upsetting to some, there are plenty of products available to help you keep your pores as hidden as possible. ORO GOLD believes that exfoliators and deep peels will help to clean out any built up sebum, and a mattifying balm, applied throughout the day, can also work wonders, as oily pores usually seem larger. Don’t forget that picking or squeezing at pimples can also cause your pores to lose their shape, so it is best to use an oil-reducing cleanser instead.