There’s a saying about your pores. You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. You need pores on your skin to flush out sweat and oil. But, sometimes, that sweat and oil can mix with dirt and debris, and clog the pores, making them the larger. Or, in some cases, people are born with naturally large pores, which make them more likely to have skin problems and breakouts. While you don’t want to close off your pores and you can’t make them invisible, there are things you can do to make them less visible and less of an issue.
What Pores Do
The pores on your skin are the site of hair follicles. You have pores all over your body, except in the areas where you have no natural hair (such as the bottom of your feet and the palms of your hands). Along with containing a hair follicle, each pore is also connected to a sebaceous gland, which allows your body’s natural oils to be transported to the surface of the skin.
While you might be thinking “ick,” remember that you need that oil to keep your skin moisturized. It’s only when too much oil is produced that things become an issue.
Several factors influence the size of your pores. Some are just naturally larger than the rest, because they have larger connected oil glands. Some people have larger pores than others because of their genes. Finally, some external factors, such as dirt buildup and even aging, can make the pores larger.
If you’re concerned about your pores or feel that they are way more visible than they used to be, there are several ways you can deal with them, both at home and with the help of a board certified facial plastic surgeon. Since clogged pores tend to look larger than unclogged pores, one of the first things you might want to do is make sure you’re using products that won’t clog your pores.
While it’s common for products designed for use on the face or other areas of skin to be non comedogenic, or non-pore-clogging, it’s still worth it to check and verify that your products are. Just look at the packaging and see if it mentions whether or not it’s non-comedogenic or whether it won’t clog pores. Usually, products that don’t cause pore issues are going to say so.
Another thing to look out for when choosing skincare products is a product that irritates your skin or leads to an increase in oil production. When a product is too-drying or irritating, your skin typically makes more oil to try and calm things down. Your body might also produce extra oil if you have naturally oily skin and are using a very creamy or very moisturizing product.
Finally, keeping your skin clean is another way to keep your pores under control from the comfort of your own home. Dirt buildup in the pores makes them bigger and can clog them. Make sure you’re using a gentle, non-irritating cleanser once or twice a day, to wash away any dirt or cosmetics.
If daily cleansing and choosing your products with care doesn’t seem to be helping your pores, you may need to enlist the help of a facial plastic surgeon. A number of in-office treatments can help improve the look of your pores. For example, a chemical peel encourages exfoliation of the skin, removing buildup of dead skin cells which can clog your pores. Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths, too, so there is likely to be a peel that will tackle your biggest skin concerns, from uneven skin tone to enlarged pores and from fine lines and wrinkles to frequent breakouts.
Other in-office treatment options include laser skin resurfacing. Like a chemical peel, laser skin treatments exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and improving the overall appearance and texture of the skin.
Dr. Stephen P. Smith is a board certified facial plastic surgeon from a long line of plastic surgeons. If you are concerned about the signs of aging on your face, particularly about the size of your pores, Dr. Smith can help you determine which treatment is best for you and can discuss the best ways to care for your skin at home. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith at his practice in Ohio, call (614) 678-7180 today.