Ah, pores. Can't live with them, can't live without them - or at least that's how it feels! Clogged pores, blemishes and blackheads are aesthetic nuisances for our skin, and many of us have spent time and money trying to shrink them to a point of imperceptibility. But this begs the question, can you really alter your pores' size?
The answer is complicated, your pore size is determined by genetics, for the same reason you're likely to share the same skin type as one of your parents. Pores work to keep your skin healthy by providing vital oils to the top layer of your skin, however enlarged pores occur when your sebaceous glands produce excessive sebum. This sebum mixes with dead skin cells in your pores, causing a blockage and making these tiny openings appear more obvious, resulting in blackheads. If pores that appear enlarged are bugging you, you can affect their appearance with the correct skincare!
Where the most oil is being produced, we're at the highest risk of getting clogged and congested skin. This is why your pores are more visible in the T-Zone. Oily skin tends to have the 'largest' pore size as it's producing and releasing the most sebum, hence why it can often go hand-in-hand with blemish-prone skin. On the flip side, the good news for us oily skin folks is this usually means our skin will age slower!
Pores attract heat and collect a build-up of oil, toxins, dirt and make-up, so the easiest fix for decongesting pores is a good cleansing routine - double cleansing is a must! You should also exfoliate regularly to keep those pores from standing out. A gentle chemical exfoliator like our Apple AHA Exfoliating Gel will help to keep things clear and calm. If you want to keep your routine simple, our Niacinamide Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser is a great option for cleansing and exfoliating all in one. Steer clear of makeup wipes as they simply just move dirt around your face and are not effective at cleansing.
Now, let’s talk ingredients. Introducing oil controlling ingredients like Zinc PCA and Niacinamide into your regime will ensure your skin remains balanced, only producing the sebum your skin needs (and some is essential!). For hydration, using non-comedogenic oils, like Squalene and Jojoba Oil, will help your skin stay moisturised without adding more oil to your pores, thanks to their ability to absorb rather than just sitting on the surface of your skin. I always recommend that you try to pat in products, rather than rubbing them in, as this will reduce dragging irritants across your skin and aggravating/collecting in your pores.
There are many other factors that can affect pore appearance too. When the collagen (the structure responsible for firm, lifted skin) in our skin degrades, the lack of elasticity can cause pores to widen. You might have noticed that pores have become a bigger problem with age, or that tiny dots have stretched into more of an oval shape. Age-accelerating factors like sun exposure, smoking, and air pollution can also affect your pores, so besides keeping your collagen levels healthy with our Peptide Facial Serum and Collagen Face Cream, always use SPF and products with antioxidants to protect your skin.
But just like the other features of our skin, like hair or freckles, pores are just a part of our complexions, and a sign that we’re functioning healthily (and staying youthful!) - pores aren’t flaws! So, whilst we can’t get rid of them, we can keep them clear and tight to keep the focus on all your other beautiful features.
Amy @ Team Q+A
Aspiring author, craft addict, and Q+A's eCommerce Coordinator