Large pores on the face can be very annoying and unattractive and many of us wish they could make them disappear. But what causes them in the first place? What can you do to prevent large pores? Is there a way to shrink them? Let‘s find out!
Causes of enlarged pores
Many factors can cause large pores, most of which you can’t control:
The size of your pores is genetically determined. Some people are born with small pores and others with large pores. You cannot change the structure of your pores but don’t worry: you can approve their appearance by making them look smaller.
2. Skin type
People with oily skin usually have bigger pores. If your skin produces too much sebum, your skin pores expand to allow the sebum to flow. Additionally, when sebum, dirt, dead skin, and makeup collect on your skin’s surface, a clog is formed. Clogged pores then expand further and tend to be more visible.
As you age, the production of collagen is slowed down and your skin becomes less supple. The decrease in elasticity makes your skin sag and your pores appear larger.
4. Sun damage
Excessive sun exposure can damage your skin and remove its collagen, elastin, and water. Your skin becomes thicker and loses its firmness. As a result, dead skin cells are gathered around the edge of your pores, stretching them out and making them appear larger.
The environment in which you live can affect the appearance of your pores and the overall health of your skin. Hot climates make you sweat more, causing clogged pores that look enlarged. Very cold climates, on the other hand, draw moisture away from your skin and cause dehydration, making your skin produce more oil that may result in clogging of your pores.
6. Lifestyle and habits
Drinking a lot of alcohol, smoking, unhealthy eating, being exposed to polluted spaces are habits that contribute to unhealthy skin, and reduced elasticity. The excessive use of makeup is also a big contributor. Makeup gets accumulated in the skin pores along with oil and dirt and clogs them.
7. Gender and hormones
Men generally have oilier skin and bigger pores than women and it is believed that this happens due to the increased amount of testosterone. Women, on the other hand, go through a lot of hormonal changes in their lives (pregnancy, menstruation, menopause) that may lead to increased oil production and enlarged pores.
Some ethnic groups tend to have small skin pores while others tend to have larger pores. Not only the pore size but also the skin tone plays a role: pores appear more visible on lighter complexions than they do on darker skin tones.
What to do to prevent enlarged pores
As we all know, prevention is better than cure. Let’s find out what you can do to prevent enlarged pores.
1. Wear sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen every day is a very important health care habit. Sun can damage your skin cells and worsen your acne. By using a high protection sunscreen, you slow down the aging process, help your skin remain firm, and prevent the appearance of enlarged pores.
2. Follow a healthy diet
Processed foods and sugar can cause excessive production of sebum. Try to follow a diet that includes foods:
- rich in protein, such as fish and beans
- rich in vitamins, such as vegetables and fruits
- rich in healthy fats, such as nuts and natural oils (olive oil, coconut oil, etc.).
Don’t forget that it is important to keep your skin hydrated, so try to drink lots of water every day.
3. Take proper care of your skin
Maybe it’s time to reconsider your skincare routine and the products you are using. Some general rules are these:
- When it comes to cleansing, avoid products with drying ingredients, and opt for more gentle solutions.
- Don’t use harsh scrubs as they may dry out and irritate your skin.
- Always use a moisturizer to balance out dehydrated skin.
- Never go to bed without removing your makeup first and remember to cleanse your makeup tools often.
What to do to treat enlarged pores
It is very important to understand that you cannot close your pores. However, you can minimize their appearance and make them less visible. Try out the following tips:
You should cleanse your face every day. This way, excessive oil, dirt, and makeup is removed and pores don’t get clogged. If you have oily skin, it’s preferable to use a gel and if you have dry/normal skin, you’d better use a lotion. Wash your face with lukewarm water and do not overdo it as you will dry it out. Cleansing twice a day is enough.
You should exfoliate twice a week. This way, dead cells are removed and your skin looks smoother and brighter. Dead cells that gather in your skin lead to clogged pores. When you exfoliate regularly, you keep your skin clean and encourage it to produce new cells. Again, do not overdo it. If you exfoliate every day, you will strip off your skin’s necessary oils; as a result, your body will produce more sebum to make up for it.
Use a moisturizer daily to avoid dehydration. Moisturizing helps skin regulate sebum production and you should not skip it even if you have oily skin. In that case, you should avoid greasy creams and prefer water-based products with light textures.
4. Avoid heavy makeup
Thick, heavy makeup makes your skin look less attractive. Too much foundation often gets stuck in the pores making them appear larger. Additionally, if you do not clean your face thoroughly before bed, makeup will combine with dirt, bacteria, and oil and clog your pores. It is preferable to apply makeup only on small areas to conceal skin imperfections rather than over the entire face and remember always to remove it at the end of the day.
5. Use natural ingredients
While many ingredients can help you in the treatment of enlarged pores, two of them tend to be the most effective: Clay and Activated Charcoal.
- Clay is an earthy material that is soft when wet, and hard when dry. It is known for its absorptive quality and its healing properties and it is been used since ancient times as an antiseptic.
- Activated charcoal is a black powder made from carbon material burned at high temperatures. It is known as a powerful detox ingredient and it is been used for many years by doctors to treat overdoses and poisonings.
Both, clay and activated charcoal are used in many beauty products and work amazing as pore cleansers due to their ability to absorb dirt, oil, and bacteria.
Last recommendation: If the tips above do not produce the desired result, then you should consider getting professional help. Consult your dermatologist or physician for proper treatment.