We don’t want to see them, we don’t want to talk about them, we just want them to go away. Pores come in all sizes and we want to shrink them, but they do serve an actual purpose: pores house a hair follicle and sebaceous gland and serve as a gateway for sebum, our skin’s natural oil. “A pore is just a route or a channel for these things to reach the skin’s surface,” says Dr. Kucy Pon, consulting dermatologist for Olay.
While the size of our pores is largely determined by genetics, some pores tend to be bigger than others because of the size of the hair follicle and oil gland. Poor hygiene and the resulting dirt, oil and dead skin cells that often build up can also make pores look bigger.
Pores are generally clogged with sebum and dead skin cells, which naturally slough off from the side of the pore. If a pore becomes clogged, that will temporarily stretch the pore and make it more apparent.
Excessive clogged pores can lead to another unwelcome skin condition: blackheads and whiteheads. And if your pores seem to be getting bigger as you get older, you’re not imagining things: aging and sun damage also contribute to pore size. As the skin around a pore loses its firmness when we age, the pore may appear larger because of the lack of support from the surrounding tissue.
You can’t banish them completely (you need them, everyone has them), but with the right skin care, you can make pores less noticeable.
Oil cleanse daily
Deep cleansing your pores to get out the “grits” makes them far less noticeable and easier to cover up.
Tretinoin will keep your pores clear which helps to minimize them decrease the size of your pores over time. Exfoliants like AHA, BHA, and vitamin c help minimize your pore’s appearance by de-clogging them and allowing them to ‘unstretch’.
Use a toner
Use a cleansing toner with a cotton pad after cleansing. You will feel a big difference in the clarity of your pores.
Sun damage contributes to 90% of skin’s inelasticity, which means that your pores will become larger. Be sure to wear a 30+ SPF on your face daily to protect from harmful UV rays.
The right clay mask can really minimize the appearance of your pores for a day or two. Doing this every other day or a few times a week gives you a consistent run of nice looking pores.
Here are our recommendations: Ciracle Jeju Volcanic Clay Mask, Innisfree Jeju Volcanic clay mask, Caolion Original Pore Pack, Origins Charcoal mask, Origins Rose clay mask.
The right sheet mask can also minimize your pores up to 24 hours. This is a good quick fix before an event or a date. Our recommendations: MBD Apple Polyphenol, MBD Strawberry Yogurt.
Fake it till you make it
Pore balms are your friend! These fill in your pores like spackle to cover them up. You can use them with or without makeup and it still looks pretty natural because they are usually clear.
These are usually in the form of silicone primers and are sort of interchangeable with pore balms and can be used in the same way.
Our recommendation: Algenist Super Defense Blurring Cream
These usually have some kind of powder finish to them that provides some sort of blurring effect.
Our recommendations: Biore Perfect Milk, Missha Safe Block Sun Milk Soft Finish, Naruko Am/pm peptide sunscreen, Omi Menturm Sun Bears.