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They’re large, they’re clogged, they’re black, they’re inflamed, and they’re a general cause for concern. What are they? Pores.
Your pores cover pretty much your entire body. It’s no wonder they’re the starting point for the majority of skin concerns. Pores are (relatively) tiny openings in your skin that house hair follicles or sweat glands. Healthy pores are lined with keratin and sebum and held up by collagen. Together these three elements keep your skin plump, healthy, and elastic.
As someone concerned with skin health, you’ve probably been enticed by products that claim to unclog, shrink, or even eliminate your pores. Before you pull out your wallet, check out these common pore myths to learn what pores can actually do.
News flash, pore size is mostly genetic. That means all those creams, serums, oils, and treatments that promise to shrink your pores are just little bottles of lies. Some products and treatments can minimize the appearance of pores, but none of them are permanent solutions.
Pore minimizing products work by stimulating and plumping the collagen that surrounds your pores. The collagen pushes on the walls of the pore, which makes it look smaller. If you’re really interested in pore shrinkage, look for collagen-boosting skincare.
HOT TIP: Check out the Completely Clear Gelee Makeup Remover for a burst of collagen-boosting goodness.
Have you ever heard that splashing cold water on your face will close your pores and keep them from getting clogged? It’s a common misconception, but the truth is, pores can’t close. Cooling treatments, like a refrigerated face mask, can restrict pores or reduce the inflammation of irritated blemishes, but your pores will never fully close.
Don’t fret, that’s actually a good thing. Typically if a pore’s opening is restricted, it’s clogged and forms a comedone, AKA zit. Relaxed pores are happy pores.
Just like pores don’t close, they don’t open either. So why do estheticians use steam during your facial? Steam and heat make your pores dilate (the same way your eyes do), and soften the dead skin, sebum, and debris that clog them. Once all that gunk is soft and loose, it allows for easier extractions.
Steaming your skin is still a great at-home treatment to work into your skincare routine, especially before a face mask or serum. However, you need to be extra gentle with your skin after steaming. Warming up your pores can make your skin more sensitive and prone to trauma.
In the same way that you don’t want to rid your skin of oil completely, you wouldn’t want to remove your pores either. Both are necessary for healthy skin. That annoying, gaping hole that you need a magnifying mirror to scrutinize is actually a transport system for skin nourishment.
Pores, or hair follicles, are needed to help your hair grow and let sebum make its way to the surface of your skin. Sebum, AKA oil, protects and hydrates your skin.
Most people assume that as you age, your skin gets worse. But have you seen J.Lo lately? That’s clearly not a hard and fast rule. In fact, age has less to do with your pore size than genetics.
One study looked at the size of pores based on ethnicity and age. It found that ethnicity (genetics) is a much more significant factor in determining pore size than age.
It’s true that collagen production decreases as you age, which is the reason wrinkles form. But, with a skincare routine that uses regular exfoliation and Vitamin C, you can keep the collagen in your skin healthy and strong.
It’s nice to think that a simple ‘Non-Comedogenic’ label would give you the green-light to use a product without fear of possible breakouts. Unfortunately, there are some serious problems with the comedogenic scale.
Comedogenic tests are commonly performed on rabbit ears, which react differently than human skin. Also, we prefer to stay cruelty-free. Everyone has different skin, and there’s no way to predict how anyone’s specific skin will react to a set of ingredients. Take a look at more facts about the Comedogenic Scale here.
Have you ever felt like your skin looks so much better after a day in the sun? Not only do you have a lovely bronzed glow (hopefully not a burn) and a few new freckles, but your blemishes seem to have dried up, and your pores are basically nonexistent. Is the sun the best treatment for problem skin?
Not so much.
While some wavelengths of sunlight help reduce inflammation, making your skin appear brighter and healthier, sunlight can actually make your pores look larger. UV rays weaken your collagen. Remember that stuff that supports your skin and makes it plump and elastic? Decreased collagen means less elasticity in the skin, so the pores aren’t supported or tight.
Pass the sunscreen!
Most of us, myself included, have been taught by society that we have acne because we’re dirty (puh-lease), so it’s easy to assume that blackheads are the visible representation of that. I mean, they’re black dots that appear in your pores; I’m just putting two and two together here.
The truth? A blackhead is made up of oxidized sebum and dead skin cells that are clogging your pore. When a pore is only partially clogged, it’s open to the air, and the reaction between the air and the gunk in your pore makes the blemish appear black. On the other hand, a fully clogged pore is covered with skin and appears white, AKA a whitehead.
It’s true, you can’t close your pores or get rid of them. But you can take steps to keep them healthy and strong. It’s all about your daily skincare routine.
Daily exfoliation is a must. When pores get clogged, they tend to stretch, which makes them look bigger. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin that can clog pores.
We recommend cleansing your face morning and night with our Radiant Cleansing Nectar.
Other exfoliating cleansers use beads as a physical exfoliant, which can actually damage your skin. Our Nectar is applied with a cotton pad instead, providing exfoliation gentle enough for daily use. Plus, the Radiant Cleansing Nectar leaves behind nutrients, like Vitamin C, to keep your skin healthy and nourished. Regular use can help give your skin a strengthening boost.
Basically, if you want to minimize the appearance of your pores and get glowing skin, the Averr Aglow skincare regimen is a great place to start.