Let’s talk about pores – specifically, what are they, why we have them, and what we can do about them.
It’s not uncommon for our skin to yo-yo back and forth between silky smooth and textured, especially as we age. This evolution is natural as we age, but in some cases, our pore size can keep expanding beyond reasonable limits. That’s when we must wonder if we’re living with enlarged pores, and how we can better support our skin.
As we age, our focus on skin care has to be proactive. Addressing concerns right away with clean ingredients and consistency is the best way to maintain taut skin and a youthful glow. Let’s get to the bottom of enlarged pores, and share a few techniques and natural products for achieving smoother skin.
What Is an Enlarged Pore?
Though we like to think of our skin as our largest organ, in this case let’s imagine it as fabric. The tighter and more uniform the weave, the smoother the fabric is. So, the less uneven the skin on our face, the smoother our complexion will look – and the less pore visibility there is. Due to a variety of factors – many of them natural – there are usually pores on our skin that we can definitely see.
Pores aren’t a one size fits all type of deal, and size can vary greatly depending where on the face the pore lives and your skin type. Let’s describe those porous areas as “loosely woven” fabric. Since a typical pore is anywhere from virtually invisible to smaller than the tip of a mechanical pencil, an enlarged pore can be as big as a small seed (think poppy or sesame seeds).
An enlarged pore enhances the textured appearance of the skin. Common signs of enlarged pores can be raised skin, and redness or discoloration with visible darkness inside the pores. While an enlarged pore certainly isn’t the end of the world, it can be a sign of further skin troubles to come.
Enlarged Pores: Cause & Effect
Sometimes enlarged pores are just a natural behavior of the skin. This can be due to age, hormones, or simply genetics – but there are a few other causes, too. Because enlarged pores can be inevitable for some, this is where consistent skin rituals can really improve pore conditions. And beyond just natural factors, there are other causes of enlarged pores that could be making matters worse.
In many cases, enlarged pores aren’t permanent. They’re often the result of debris like excess oil, dirt, and dead skin building up in the pores. Along with hormones and genetics, frequent or harsh sun exposure can also lead to enlarged pores.
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When a pore becomes enlarged, the skin doesn’t just change physically. Our pores actually have a function: they allow our skin to release dirt, sweat, oil, heat, and toxins. So, when a pore is enlarged from being clogged, all that gunk is backing up in our skin.
Once our pore has become enlarged, we can experience additional issues. Since enlarged pores are more common in the T-zone of our faces, one of the first issues that follows is excess sebum. Not only can this lead to imbalanced skin, but the build-up of oil and debris can lead to some serious breakouts. From simple pimples to large, darkened blackheads, an enlarged pore is a breeding ground for blemishes.
If the pores have become enlarged due to an increase in sun exposure, or as a reaction to irritating skin care products, we may notice increased redness and raised skin. And depending on your skin type and hair type, it’s not uncommon to experience hair growth in the enlarged pore, or even ingrown hairs.
Newly enlarged pores are relatively easy to take care of. Rather than go through the blemishes, here are a few ways to help treat the skin.
Can We Control Our Pores?
Most of us will experience enlarged pores in our lifetime, but even if it’s natural or genetic, it doesn’t mean that skin care can’t help. While we’ll never be able to totally prevent them, we can certainly improve the appearance of enlarged pores and prevent some of their associated issues.
Here are 6 ways to control enlarged pores:
#1. First, stick to a consistent skin care routine. We’re sounding like a broken record at this point but truly, consistency is key. Since pore debris can build within a day, keeping up with daily cleansing will definitely pay for itself in the long run. Using physical or chemical exfoliants once a week can help keep the newest, freshest skin on the surface.
#2. A single wash with an antioxidant-rich face scrub can boost circulation, diminish the visible texture of pores, and help restore youthful suppleness. The fine scrubby texture sloughs away flakes and visible dead skin, while freeing the pores of debris.
#3. Enlarged pores hate to see a clarifying product coming, which is why using a daily toner can help minimize pores. Skin dealing with the excess sebum caused by enlarged pores will love the Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying Astringent, with antibacterial herbs to clear pores and kill acne-causing bacteria.
Using a toner is another great way to minimize pores. Toners shrink pores by constricting them, which also stops the secretion of excess sebum. Our Flower Water Toner is a perfect example of a formula that quenches thirsty skin cells with hyaluronic acid and contains organic witch hazel to constrict and purify your pores.
This alcohol-free hydrating face toner also features undiluted floral ingredients like rose hydrosol and calendula hydrosol to reduce redness, and calm and clarify your skin for a healthy glow.
#4. Choosing non-comedogenic products is another big factor. Lightweight and compatible formulas will lessen our risk of pore clogging and breakouts, which only worsen skin texture. If you’re looking for a skin care and travel-compatible formula, our Lavender Niacinamide Pore Minimizer Tonique is the perfect companion for any beauty arsenal. This pore minimizing face mist cleans and purifies pores to lessen the appearance of facial pores, lines, and wrinkles, while reducing inflammation, increasing firmness, and evening the skin tone.
#5. SPF is another big help for keeping pores tight, as pollutants and UV damage can damage skin structure.
#6. Supporting your skin’s collagen and elastin levels is one more strategy to lessening enlarged pores. Our skin becomes lax as we age, due to a natural drop in collagen; this causes pores to look loose and stretched. By using vitamin C and other collagen-supporting ingredients, you can keep pores firmer for longer.
Our skin is sensitive, so even the most innocent of daily activities can cause clogged and enlarged pores. Knowing how to identify and guard against these culprits can help clean up your skin, and give you the clear, smooth complexion you deserve!