Diminish the appearance of enlarged pores and oily skin with a few simple tips and natural skincare
Let’s talk about pores – specifically, what are they, why we have them, and what we can do about them – plus the annoying large pores that often accompany even the more annoyingly oily skin.
It’s not uncommon for our complexion to yo-yo back and forth between silky smooth and textured skin, especially as we age. This evolution is natural as we get older, but in some cases, our pore size can keep getting bigger beyond our actual age. So, if we have to live with enlarged pores, how can we better support our skin? We may also wonder, how can I come to better terms with their annoyances?
As we age, our focus on skincare needs 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.
Though we can think of our skin as a rather large fence that keeps everything inside, in this case, let’s imagine it as a big 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 see.
Pores aren’t a one-size-fits-all type of deal, and size can vary greatly depending on 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).
Large pores enhance 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.
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, other causes of enlarged pores 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 sun exposure or certain pore-clogging activities, like not washing our face, can also lead to enlarged pores.
So, what are the effects of enlarged pores? 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 pores have 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 follow 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 skincare 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, below are a few ways to help treat the skin.
Most of us will experience enlarged pores in our lifetime, but even if it’s natural or genetic, it doesn’t mean that skincare can’t help. While we’ll never be able to prevent them, we can certainly improve the appearance of enlarged pores and prevent some of their associated issues.
Here are 6 ways to help treat and control enlarged pores:
#1. First, stick to a consistent skincare 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 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 a natural face scrub can boost circulation, diminish the visible texture of pores, and help restore youthful suppleness. Our Acai Pulp Facial Scrub has these skin-efits covered and more with this intensive, concentrated formula designed to gently yet effectively exfoliate the skin while instilling vitamins and antioxidants for a super soft, glowing complexion.
#3. Enlarged pores hate to see a clarifying product coming, which is why using a daily toner can help minimize pores. Skin dealing with 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 to lessen enlarged and clogged pores. Lightweight and compatible formulas will lessen your risk of pore-clogging and breakouts, which only worsen skin texture. If you’re looking for a skincare 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.
#6. Supporting your skin’s collagen and elastin levels is one more strategy for 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!
What causes enlarged pores, and can they be permanently reduced in size?
Enlarged pores are primarily caused by excess sebum production, aging, and genetic factors. They can also be exacerbated by improper skin care, sun damage, and clogged pores. While you can’t permanently reduce the actual size of pores (as they are genetically determined), you can minimize their appearance. Effective skincare routines, regular cleansing, and treatments that improve skin elasticity can make them less noticeable.
How does exfoliation help in reducing the appearance of enlarged pores?
Exfoliation helps in removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores, which can make them appear smaller. Chemical exfoliants like alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) are particularly effective as they penetrate deeply and clear out pores. Regular exfoliation can also boost cell turnover, preventing dead skin and sebum from accumulating in pores.
How effective are topical treatments in reducing the appearance of enlarged pores?
Certain ingredients and products can help reduce the appearance of large pores. First, make sure you have an effective cleansing routine. Cleansers effectively remove makeup and help break down clogged pores. Add, depending on your skin type, and exfoliating toner with an AHA or BHA – both of which are exceptional at reducing the appearance of pores. A plant-based retinol can also do wonders at increasing skin turnover and improving elasticity, making pores less noticeable – and being gentle on the skin.
What role do genetics and skin type play in pore size?
The size of your pores can depend on genetics and skin type. Typically, fair-skinned people can have pores on the smaller side, while those with olive or darker skin can have larger pores. Your skin type can play a role in this, too. Naturally dry skin tends to appear more “poreless”, while oily skin often has more visible pores.
Are there specific ingredients to look for in products targeting enlarged pores?
Yes, certain skincare ingredients are particularly effective in targeting enlarged pores. Salicylic acid, a BHA, as well as azelaic acid, are excellent for penetrating pores and dissolving the mix of sebum and dead skin cells. Niacinamide helps in regulating oil production and improving skin texture, thereby reducing the appearance of pores. Retinoids can increase skin turnover and improve elasticity, making pores less noticeable.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.