Pores are vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Though sometimes they can appear enlarged and become particularly noticeable in certain places, such as the nose and the forehead.
So, why do we have them?
Pores have many important functions. First off, as mentioned above, they house our hairs. These keep us warm, protect us from external factors and act as touch receptors.
Additionally, pores produce the body’s own natural oil. This is called sebum and it comes from the sebaceous glands that lie inside our pores. This oil is vital for our skin as it keeps it moisturised.
These glands become particularly active during puberty, as well as prior to the menstrual cycle. As a result, they can prompt the development of blemishes to arise on the surface of the skin.
If you’re struggling with breakouts, take a look at our post on how to treat blemishes fast.
Why do pores become enlarged?
You may notice that some people have larger pores than others. This is all down to genetics and our varying skin types. If your parents have larger pores, then you’re more likely to have larger ones too. Of course, the opposite also applies.
Though for all people, pores are larger from the chest up, and thus more noticeable. In fact, the sebaceous glands on your nose and forehead are actually larger and more active than those on the rest of your body.
However, other factors can also play a role in determining the size of our pores. These include:
Age:As we age, our skin loses elastin. This causes our skin to stretch and sag, making our pores appear larger.
Your skin can also thicken as you age. As a result, tiny skin cells gather around your pores, making them look larger.
Sun Damage:In a similar vein, pore size can also increase due to sun exposure. This is because the sun’s UV rays damage collagen, which acts as the structural support for the skin.
When the structural support is reduced, the pore expands.
Blackheads and blemishes:Both blackheads and spots can make your pores appear larger. This is because blackheads are caused by the clogging up of sebum from the sebaceous glands. These lie within the pores themselves.
Spot-Popping:Popping your spots or blackheads is often tempting, we’re all guilty of it every now and then.
However, this can damage the pores, and even enlarge them. When you pop a spot, you apply pressure to the circumference of the pore. Applying too much pressure can damage the structural circumference of the pore, irreducibly enlarging it.
However, for those who can’t resist the temptation, Dr. Oz outlines how to use a sterile needle to pop pimples without damaging the pore and surrounding tissue.
Stress Levels:There are a number of ways in which stress affects our skin. This includes enlarging our pores due to excess sebum being secreted.
The lower your stress level, the less oil you secrete and the smaller your pores.
So, if you’re working long hours or feeling particularly stressed for a specific reason, suss out the cause and take steps to reduce stress!
So, how can I minimise enlarged pores?
Whilst we can’t eradicate visible pores completely, there are steps we can take to reduce their appearance.
These are simple steps that can be incorporated into your daily routine, such as investing in a skincare routine and improving your diet!
Look after your skinDevelop a deep cleansing routine:
It’s really important to maintain natural oil levels within your skin. This will prevent your pores from clogging and make them appear smaller.
Cleansing and moisturising daily will help to clear the skin of irritants and restore any moisture lost throughout the day. Most importantly, it will prevent the sebaceous glands from becoming overactive.
Another effective step is to use an exfoliator 2-3 times per week.
One of the many benefits of exfoliating is its ability to unclog pores. When you massage an exfoliator into your skin, this works to clear any blocked pores of excess sebum.
Clay facial masks are also a nifty way of absorbing any extra oil moisture from our skin.
Always use products with SPF:
One of the most important, but often forgotten steps when it comes to skincare routines is applying SPF. Doing so will reap dividends for your skin as you age.
Using make-up and skincare products such as foundations and moisturisers that contain SPF is an effective way to ensure you protect your skin.
What’s more, this helps to prevent overexposure to the sun and the enlarged pores that form as a result of this!
Improve your lifestyleWhile developing a healthy skin routine plays an essential role in reducing the appearance of pores, taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle can also help to decrease their visibility.
Just like the UV rays emitted from the sun, smoking can damage your skin. Smoking promotes the development of free radicals. These damage our collagen levels, which are needed to keep our skin looking fresh and youthful.
Eat a balanced diet:
Fruit and vegetables are full of plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals. They also contain antioxidants. These antioxidants work wonders for our skin as they fight the damage caused by free radicals.
Try to increase your consumption of super foods, as these are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This will help to improve the health of your skin and reduce the appearance of pores.
Follow these steps and you’ll see visible improvements on your skin. You’ll minimise the appearance of enlarged pores and nourish your skin in the process!