What are pores? Understanding these tiny, but important, structures can help you adjust your skincare routines so you can achieve your best skin yet.
What Are Pores?
The word "pore" describes tiny openings in any structure that allow small particles to pass through. More specific to our bodies, pores are the opening at the top of our hair follicles. Your skin is covered with them, not just on your face and neck but all over your entire body, ranging from 20,000 pores on your face alone.
Some pores connect to the sebaceous glands beneath the surface of your skin. These glands produce sebum, a naturally-occurring oil your body needs to protect your skin and hair. Pores allow the oils to transfer up to the skin’s surface where they're needed. Healthy skin has a well-regulated amount of natural oils present to maintain balanced moisture levels. Clear, open pores allow those oils to transfer to the skin freely, preventing dry, dull-looking skin.
“Some pores connect to the sebaceous glands beneath the surface of your skin. These glands produce sebum, a naturally-occurring oil your body needs to protect your skin and hair.”
Why Do We Have Pores And Why Are They Important?
Pores help keep your skin cool. When your body temperature rises, your sweat glands activate, and sweat is released through the tiny passageways onto the surface of your skin. Thus, pores help regulate your temperature and keep you cool. While sweat is mostly water, it also contains some amounts of salt and fat, meaning your pores are also responsible for removing certain toxins from the body.
You must keep pores clear and open so that your skin can stay protected and balanced. Otherwise, you could be dealing with enlarged pores, which may lead to skin problems. Large pores usually appear this way because they are clogged and need to be cleared.
What Causes Clogged Pores?
Sometimes, clogged pores happen because of genetics and your skin type. If you have oily skin, you're more likely to experience this problem regularly. But how do clogged pores actually form?
Clogged pores occur when oil or dead skin cells become trapped in the skin's openings, resulting in inflammation. Your sebaceous glands are consistently producing oil to protect and moisturize your skin. In addition, skin cell regeneration is almost constant, so your body must rid itself of older, dead cells to make room for new ones.
However, it is still easy for sebum and dead skin cells to accumulate even with these natural processes. Routine cleansing and exfoliating are often necessary to remove this excess material and prevent buildup.
Signs of Clogged Pores
How will you know if your pores are clogged? Most of the time, it's pretty obvious. You'll start to notice some issues with your skin, such as:
- Pimples or acne
- Skin that's oilier than normal
The good news is that there are ways you can not only unclog them but also prevent more problems in the future. Developing a good skincare routine with the right products can help ensure everything stays clear.
How to Minimize Pores
The size of your pores, whether large or small, often comes down to genetics. Some people have larger ones, while on others they may be minimal. Of course, there are pros and cons to both, but at the end of the day, smaller pores help create a more even appearance across the surface of your skin. Fortunately, there are many ways you can minimize the larger openings for gorgeous and glowing skin.
1. Give Salicylic Acid a Try
If you want to minimize the appearance of your pores, start with ingredients proven to make a difference. Salicylic acid can penetrate below the surface and dissolve the dirt, oil, and other particles trapped inside, giving your pores a smaller appearance.
2. Build a Good Exfoliation Routine
Exfoliation is one of the most important keys to healthy skin. Using a good exfoliant a few times a week helps slough away those dead skin cells while removing oil buildup to reveal smooth, clean skin.
3. Use Pore Strips Weekly
Pore strips instantly remove dirt, oil, & blackheads and unclog pores in one convenient product. Use them once a week to unclog your pores and refresh your skin. They're especially great for addressing those trouble spots in your T-zone.
If you want clean, healthy-looking skin, start with proper pore care first. Keeping these important passageways clear of buildup can promote better health while improving the appearance of your skin.
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4. Cleansing Practices
In general, everyone should wash their face:
- At least once a day
- After wearing makeup, which should always be removed before bed
- After sweating or exercising
- After exposure to high amounts of air pollutants
Not taking the time to wash your face regularly will allow dirt, particles, and bacteria to settle in and work their way beneath the surface.
On the other hand, washing your face too often can also cause clogged pores. Using harsh products or cleansers too often can dry out your skin, ramp up natural oil production, and make the problem worse. You'll need to find the right balance for your skin to maintain pore health.
While many people recommend washing your face twice a day, the perfect schedule depends on your lifestyle and unique skin type. It may take time to learn what your skin needs to stay balanced and hydrated.
5. Other Lifestyle Habits
Some dietary choices can cause your body to produce excess oil and may lead to skin problems. If you already have naturally oily skin, you may want to enjoy certain foods in moderation, including:
- Fried foods
- High-sodium foods
- Refined carbohydrates
Moreover, touching your face with your hands or phone can also cause dirt and oil to transfer to your skin. Try to keep your hands and other objects away from your face as much as possible.
Clogged pores are a hassle to deal with, but with the proper skincare routine, minimizing pores can be done easily. Want more tips on how to reduce the appearance of pores? Check out our guide on how to get rid of pore buildup!