When it comes to skin goals, shrinking pores is right up there with assisting breakouts, uneven skin tone and maturing skin. And while many products claim to ‘shrink’ pores, we beg the question… is this actually true? Right out the gate we have to tell you: no, you cannot get rid of your pores! And for good reason – your pores are a structural layer of your skin that serve their own purpose (more on this in a sec). But you can minimise the appearance of pores. Hoorah! Let’s explore.
Why do we have pores?
Even though we may wish away our pores, they do actually play an important role in the health of our skin. Our pores allow sebum (the oil that keeps the skin lubricated) to rise from the sebaceous gland to the surface of our skin, which keeps our skin from drying out. So yes, we absolutely need them!
What causes the appearance of large pores?
Long story short, pores are genetically determined. People with fair skin or dry skin tend to have smaller pores while people with olive skin, darker skin and oily skin tend to have more visible pores.
Aside from the unchangeable, there’s also a couple more culprits at play here too. As our skin loses collagen our pores appear bigger (collagen loss can occur from maturing, exposure to UV rays and environmental pollutants) and if pores are consistently clogged they can become stretched and simply appear bigger as well.
Can you really shrink your pores?
Pores play an important role in our skin and they’re genetically determined – so they’re not going anywhere! But the good news is you can make them retreat to the point where they have been visibly minimised. How do we get them to retreat? Two ways – decongest and tighten!
How to decongest your pores
When our pores are decongested (free from impurities and pollutants), they appear smaller. So it’s great to use products that exfoliate dry, rough and dead skin cells, actively work to draw out congestion or resurface the skin. Whether it’s a manual exfoliant, clarifying mask or a resurfacing treatment, we can achieve just this.
When it comes to penetrating and decongesting your pores you can’t go past alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). AHAs work mostly on the surface of the skin to brighten and smooth while BHAs penetrate deeper to remove dead skin cells and decongest pores. Together these resurfacing ingredients decongest the pores and keep skin stretching at bay too (which as we know, can contribute to the appearance of larger pores).
How to tighten your pores
When we increase our cellular turnover and our collagen production, we essentially tighten our pores too. Increased cellular turnover essentially exfoliates dead skin cells while releasing trapped dirt and oil while collagen helps our skin to look firmer which, in its own right, minimises the appearance of pores.
- The Foundation: Flawless Retinol & Vitamin C Lotion
- Eternal: Plumping Deep Sea & Malachite Collagen Serum
Protect your skin
With repeat exposure, the sun can break down your skin’s collagen which is essential for firmness and elasticity, leaving you with stretchier skin and larger pores. So it comes as no surprise that we should protect our skin from the sun every day and we can do this by capping off our morning skincare routine with some sunscreen.
So while we cannot completely get rid of our pores, we can minimise the appearance of our pores in two ways: decongest and tighten! With a consistent routine, you can feel confident, pores and all!