It's fair to say that pores are an obsession. From Regina George to Quinn Morgendorffer to our own Bioré strip-filled history, pores are something we hear people focus on, facial after facial.
Okay, what really are pores?
Pores are tiny openings at the top of our hair follicles, where our body's natural oil (also known as sebum) is released onto our skin to keep it moisturized. Because they are open, they can easily become clogged with debris as we navigate through life (sorry, that was a lot). When a bacterial infection develops in these clogged pores is when you end up with a breakout or acne. Pores come in different sizes which are pre-determined by genetics. So you can thank your mom for that one!
What are the different pore sizes?
There are four types of pore sizes. Along with the amount of oil production, these create the different skin types that we use as the basis of our skin analysis at Heyday. The first type of pore is what we call "eggshell." It is when pores are so tiny that they are almost invisible. We can also see that glands are underproducing or not at producing oil at all. We call this skin type "dry skin." Then we have "normal skin" which includes pores that are similar to the outside of a lime, aka fine, small, and visible in the t-zone area. We also notice oil build up in this area as well. Naturally oilier skin tends to be like the outside of an orange. Pores are larger and found all over the face, as is oil. Contrary to what you might think, this skin type is often dehydrated, plentiful in oil but lacking in water.
There is no such thing as a "bad pore" size. However, many people we see wish that they had smaller pores.
My pores are big. Can I make them smaller?
Sadface, but you can't change the size of your pores. (So don't be fooled by any products that say they can. That ain't right.) However, you can change the appearanceof the size of your pores by keeping your skin healthy and clear of debris.
The first thing to consider is to wear sunscreen. Pores can become enlarged when the collagen in your skin depletes. On average we use 1% of our collagen a year as our skin matures, and UVA and UVB rays hastens that along.
A second way to change the appearance of the size of your pores is to cleanse thoroughly. This helps flush out your pores from any leftover product, makeup, or things you picked up from your time at the gym. If you don't cleanse thoroughly, you're leaving debris in your pores. The more debris in your pores, the larger they appear. Exfoliating also helps clear your pores of dead skin cells and debris. And both of these help keep blackheads at bay, which is one of the major factors for the appearance of larger pores. Regular facials keeps those blackheads from becoming a fixture on your face and stretching out your pores.
Seek out products that won't clog your pores like the Vitamin B Enzyme Cleanser Oil from One Love Organics or the Oat Cleansing Facial Polish from Naturopathica.
I read somewhere that a product will help close my pores, is that possible?
Heat can help temporarily soften the outer layer of our skin and improve blood flow (i.e., why we use hot towels prior to extractions.) However, pores are always, essentially, tiny openings in our skin and nothing can technically "open" or "close" them. They don't have muscles.
Is there a way to just get rid of pores all together?
We're sorry there is not BUT think about it this way – everyone has pores. Michelle Obama has pores. Oprah has pores. Beyoncé even has pores! So we're all in this together.