Beauty industry has instilled an unreal image of skin in our minds. Was our skin ever meant to be glass like or flawless? No! Skin has texture, pores, sometimes even acne or pigmentation. We’ve been told that visible or enlarged pores are bad and an endless number of hacks and diy methods of shrinking them. The obsession with the size of our pores has been real!
Through today’s blog, I want to break down what pores are, why they are important for the functioning of our skin, and some knowledge about caring for them.
What are pores and what functions do they perform?
Pores are small openings on the surface of our skin that provide a way for the sebum (oil) in our glands to come to the surface. This oil protects our skin against external stressors, contributes to healthy skin microbes and keeps the skin moisturised. Apart from this, they also help in shedding of old dead skin cells. Pores on the human body are absolutely natural and an essential part of the skin’s structure. There are two types of pores: sweat pores and oil pores.
The oil pores are present all over our body except the palms and soles. The main function of these is to lubricate and moisturise our skin. But a healthy pore is interrupted by many factors such as pollution, stress, improper skincare routine, environment and imbalanced body functions to name a few. This is when our oil pores become clogged and a plethora of other skin conditions such as acne, milia, etc appear.
Now, when the pores on our skin get clogged by excess sebum, dirt and other unwanted particles; they tend to stretch a little and appear to be bigger. In reality, they neither expand or contract. It is this buildup that makes them more visible on the surface of the skin and our pores look ‘enlarged’.
What determines the size of pores?
The size of our pores is largely determined by genetics, however as we grow old, our skin loses some of its elasticity due to a decrease in collagen production. This affects the ability of pores to bounce back and they loosen and sag a little.
How to care for clogged pores?
First things first, never fall for products that claim to shrink your pores or offer you flawless skin. That’s never going to happen. Any product you use, it’ll only give an appearance of smaller pores. I would like to say here that the physcology of skincare is more important than the skincare regime itself. However, having said that, a consistent skincare routine according to your skin type can help fight external conditions that play with the natural role of pores:
1. Cleanse your face and neck with an anti pollution cleanser. This will take away all the dirt and grit and unclog your pores.
Product Recommendation: Wind up cleansing lotion
2. Use a hydrosol to hydrate and nourish your skin.
Product Recommendation: Aloe Vera Hydrosol
3. Use a serum or moisturiser with Niacinamide, an active ingredient that tightens the pores and regulates sebum production.
Product Recommendation: Margarita face and eye gel.
4. Soften and decongest your pores by masking once or twice weekly. Masking detoxifies and energises our skin.
Product Recommendation: Muddly in Love