We all yearn for smaller pores and clearer skin- but is it really possible? For the most part, the size of your pores and the way your skin looks and feel is genetically determined. Physically, you can’t truly make your pores smaller. You can, however, make your pores appear smaller, and keep them clean to improve the look and texture of your skin.
What Are Pores?
Pores are technically openings of hair follicles, each containing a sebaceous gland that produces your skin’s oils. If the sebaceous glands are bigger, as they typically are on the nose and forehead, your pores are larger. Besides genetics, several other factors can affect your pore size:
- Dead skin cells and trapped sebum (the oil from the sebaceous gland) get trapped and cause pimples, expanding pore size
- UV rays can weaken collagen, which keeps pores tight
- Collagen loss with aging can open pores
- Trauma to the skin from picking at or squeezing pimples can also enlarge pores
How Can I Minimize the Appearance of Pores?
The key to keeping pores looking smaller and less noticeable is keeping your skin clean and pores clear. There’s many ways to do this:
- Avoid heavy makeup containing ingredients like mineral oil- this can irritate pores and make them look bigger
- Wash your face before bed with a gentle cleanser to prevent buildup
- Cleanse your face before and after working out to rinse off sweat and other buildup from pores
- Exfoliate one to three times a week or every day if you have extremely large pores or very oily skin
- Dermatologists can prescribe powerful exfoliants or acid peels for those with extremely stubborn pores