Contrary to popular belief, pores can’t be opened, closed or shrunk. However, they can be cleared and decongested to reduce their apparent size. Read on to discover exactly what pores are, why they can look enlarged, and how to minimize their appearance.
What are pores?
Pores are small openings on the skin’s surface at the top of hair follicles from which sebum or sweat are released to help lubricate or cool the skin. There are two types of pores:
- Oil pores sit at the top of hair follicles that are linked to sebaceous glands. They release sebum to keep skin naturally moisturized, and can become clogged and look enlarged
- Sweat pores sit at the top of hair follicles that are linked to sweat glands. Much smaller than oil pores, they can’t be seen by the naked eye
When discussing how to minimise the appearance of pores, we are referring to oil pores.
What causes large pores?
Pore size is often determined by genetics, but external factors can affect the visibility of your pores too.
- Skin debris: If pores are clogged by dead skin cells, dirt and sebum, they may appear larger
- Dehydration: Dehydrated skin often produces excess sebum to lubricate the skin and compensate for the lack of water, causing pores to swell
- Pollutants: When pollutants settle on the skin, they can congest and stretch pores, enhancing their appearance
- Sun damage: Overexposure to the sun can cause skin to lose elasticity, resulting in dilated pores
- Ageing: As we age, skin naturally produces less collagen and elastin, two proteins responsible for skin’s plumpness and firmness. As such, skin loses its elasticity and pores appear less tight. Cell turnover also slows with age, potentially causing a build-up of dead skin cells that can congest pores
How to minimise the appearance of pores
1. Cleanse regularly
Throughout the day, environmental aggressors like pollutants and dirt settle onto the skin, potentially clogging pores and enhancing their appearance. Cleansing twice a day will wash away these impurities, helping to keep skin and pores clear.
Cleanser for pores
No7 Radiant Results Purifying Clay Cleanser is formulated with 10% kaolin clay to absorb oil and impurities, helping to deeply cleanse and mattify the skin, while reducing the appearance of pores. Use twice daily to reveal a shine-free and clear-looking complexion.