Some days you wake up and you’re just having a bad skin day. We’ve been there. You might not be specifically experiencing any acne or breakouts but the texture of your skin just isn’t at its best. You inch up closer to your mirror and you think, “Were my pores always this huge?”
You quickly Google how to minimize pores. Here’s one hard truth that you need to hear: you can’t actually reduce your pore size. However, it’s not all bad. There are things you can do to minimize the appearance of pores on your face.
Continue reading to find out what pores actually are, what causes them to look enlarged, and a skin routine on minimizing pores.
What Causes the Appearance of Large Pores?
So what exactly are “pores”? A hair follicle has a gland inside that produces oil. This gland is called the sebaceous gland. When the sebaceous gland produces oil, the oil rises to the surface of the skin and collects in the pore. When a person has an oily skin type, this can cause the look of large pores due to the sebaceous glands producing an excessive amount of sebum.
Aging is one of the main culprits when it comes to your pores looking larger over time. As we age, the skin produces less elastin and collagen, which are responsible for keeping the skin firm and supple. This causes the skin around pores to become less supple and bouncy. This is also the cause of fine lines and wrinkles. Pores are also elastic, meaning they typically can bounce back in shape, but as collagen levels decrease, pores lose this elasticity.
In addition to this, your skin produces less oil as you age, causing your skin to feel more dry and tight. The surface of your skin becomes thinner and more susceptible to environmental stressors and damage. While your skin is drying out, the skin’s natural exfoliation process called desquamation slows down. Coupled with the drying out of your pores, this results in more dead skin cells that are sitting on the surface of the skin. The longer they sit in the pore which causes them to stay stretched out – causing the look of large pores.
Sun exposure does not help any of this. Sun damage causes accelerated aging, which according to the above, is one of the main culprits in large pores. Prolonged sun exposure can remove collagen, elastin and water from your skin, which is responsible for keeping your skin looking young, hydrated, and firm. This causes the tissue beneath your skin to shrink and pull at the edges of your pores, making them sag and look bigger.
Lastly, genetics do play a role in the appearance of your pores. If your family experiences large pores, then you are also likely to experience them too. While you can’t do anything about your pore size, there are steps you can take to reduce the appearance of large pores.
7 Step Skin Care Routine for How to Shrink Pores
Having a consistent skin care routine will immensely help you reduce the look of your pore size. It’s about using products that are the best for your specific skin type, and being consistent with your efforts. The results will show over time so remember to be patient!
Step 1. Double cleanse
Product: Oil-based cleanser and water-based cleanser
First, cleanse your face with an oil-based cleanser. The oil-based cleanser is the best at drawing out oil-based debris like sebum, makeup, and your sunscreen sitting in your pores. As we know, excess sebum can cause the look of enlarged pores. Water-cleansers aren’t as effective at this because water and oil don’t mix so it will have a harder time drawing out the oil-based residue. Once you’ve finished your first cleanse, now go in with a water-based cleanser to get rid of the dirt, sweat, and left-over makeup. Ensure to use lukewarm water when washing it all away as hot water will dry out your pores.
Step 2. Exfoliate
Product: Your chosen exfoliator
By exfoliating, you are getting rid of the dead skin cells that make your pores look enlarged from sitting in there too long. . What’s important in this step is the type of exfoliator you’re choosing. The type of exfoliator you choose determines how frequently you should be exfoliating because you absolutely want to avoid over-exfoliating, which leads to irritation.
So what are the two types of exfoliators? There are physical and chemical exfoliators. Physical exfoliators have granules that you mechanically message into the skin and it removes the excess dead skin cells like a scrub. Because of its more abrasive nature, you only need to do this one a few times a month.
Chemical exfoliation is popular option in Korean skincare. It uses acids like AHA (Alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid) to mildly exfoliate the surface of the skin without the abrasiveness of physical exfoliation. Simply put the solution on a cotton pad and pat on to the skin, avoiding the eyes. You can do this form of exfoliation 2-3 times a week.
Step 3. Tone cleansed skin
After effectively cleansing and exfoliating your skin, it’s time to start the rebuilding process. Toner is essential to balance the skin’s moisture and PH levels, and can remove any impurities that might still be left behind your pores.
Step 4. Hydrate like no other
Essence preps the skin for the rest of your pore hydrating routine. Essences typically contain many different types of ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin that are great for hydration and make a great first step to prep you pores and skin for intense hydration.
Step 5. Eye cream for anti-aging
Product: Eye cream/Anti-aging cream/Wrinkle Cream
As we know, aging is a main culprit of large pores, but don’t forget that your eyes are one of the first places to show signs of aging. Make eye cream part of your daily routine and thank us later. Remember to pat the product instead of rubbing, the skin under your eyes is the thinnest and most delicate.
Step 6. Serums Target Specific Concerns
A serum’s purpose is to target an area of concern. If you’re specifically looking to ‘shrink’ the look of pores, then look for serums with antioxidants like vitamin C or E. They will help to fight against environmental damage from free radical production, and stimulate collagen production, which will increase elasticity in your pores. This will shrink their appearance.
Step 7: Protect and moisturize
Product: Moisturizer with SPF
Finding a moisturizer with SPF is bang for your buck. Not only will you be sealing in all the good ingredients you’ve just applied to your skin, and strengthening that moisture barrier, you will also be protecting your skin from sun damage. Sun exposure is a major culprit to the look of large pores. An SPF of at least 30 is the best at protecting from those harsh UV rays. Remember to re-apply SPF during the day if you’ll be outside for a prolonged amount of time.
While pores can’t physically change in size, it’s important to know that aging, sun exposure, and genetics play a role in their appearance. Having a consistent skin care routine will not only help reduce the look of large pores, but is a great skin hygiene habit to have and will improve the quality of your skin over time.
Remember to choose the right kind of products to your specific skin needs and stay consistent with it! Lets keep in touch @kiseu