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Can Pores Actually Change in Size?

Can Pores Actually Change in Size?

5 minute read

Whether it’s makeup or skincare, there’s a wide variety of products that claim to be able to shrink your pores or make your pores disappear. But is it actually possible to alter the size of your pores?


🤔Myth or Fact: Can pores shrink?

Myth! Pores can’t actually open or close. For the most part, the size of your pores are dependent on genetics. So if you inherited oily skin, then you probably also have larger pores. Excess sebum production can trap dead skin and dirt in the pore, making them clogged and appear larger.

However, there are other factors that can also contribute to enlarged pores. For example, sun damage can make pores appear larger. Sun damage causes the breakdown of collagen, making the skin lose elasticity. Since pores are elastic, loss of elasticity means larger pores. Another factor that affects pore size is aging. As we age, we naturally lose collagen and elasticity in our skin, causing pores to appear larger.


😮The function of pores

As much as you may want your pores to close, it’s probably best that they don’t. Pores play an extremely important function in keeping the skin lubricated and getting rid of toxins. They deliver sebum to the surface of the skin so your skin stays moisturized and healthy. Pores also excrete sweat, helping cool down your body temperature.

A plus of having oily skin is that your skin won’t show signs of aging as quickly as it would on normal skin types since your skin is being constantly lubricated, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.


🙅‍♀️Damaging Habits

There are tons of videos of blackhead extractions, where people show the gross gunk that gets squeezed out of pores. As satisfying as it may be to squeeze blackheads, it can be pretty damaging, especially if you do it often and under the wrong conditions.

When you squeeze pores, the elastin around pores stretches and can actually result in your pores looking larger after you have squeezed out a blackhead. So as much as you may not like the appearance of blackheads, squeezing them out is not the answer.

Over-exfoliating can also be damaging to your skin. It may be tempting to over exfoliate because you might think that’ll help improve the appearance of larger and congested pores. But, over-exfoliating can cause much worse problems like skin irritation, a compromised skin barrier, and dryness. It's important to exfoliate to help even out the skin, but it should only be done 2 to 3 times a week to ensure your skin does not become irritated.

Another potentially damaging habit is the use of pore strips. While you may think pore strips will help with the appearance of larger pores by extracting black heads, it also comes with some unfortunate effects. For example, the act of peeling once dry can be quite irritating and painful.

While it may not be recommended to use traditional pore strips because of their potentially damaging effects, Hanhoo’s T-Zone Pore Strip is safe to use for all skin types and you don’t have to deal with the irritation or painful peel of a pore strip.


✍️What can you do about enlarged pores?

Although genetics affect pore size, that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about your pores, especially if you’re dealing with blackheads.

Excess oil, dead skin, and dirt can get trapped in pores causing acne and blackheads, while stretching out your pores. Although you shouldn’t focus on reducing the size of your pores (since you can’t really do that anyway), you can focus on breaking down the stuff that gets stuck in your pores.

One way to do this is through chemical exfoliation, about 2 -3 times a week. BHAs like Salicylic Acid are effective at getting deep into the pore to draw out excess oil and dead skin to help clear the pore and reduce blackheads and acne. While BHAs may not make your pores smaller in size, by removing the things that make pores look congested and large, they help smooth and even out the skin, so pores are less noticeable.

It may be also beneficial to consider adding a toner to your skincare routine, specifically a toner that helps with oil control. Our Blemish Toner uses ingredients like Calamine and Witch Hazel to help regulate oil production, so pores do not become clogged with excess sebum.

Another popular treatment for pores is clay masks. Clay masks help unclog pores by drawing out oil as the clay dries on the skin. Plenty of clay masks often include such clays as Bentonite and Kaolin Clay. Bentonite Clay helps extract excess sebum and exfoliates the skin. Kaolin Clay is great for sensitive skin types and also helps decongest pores of excess oil. 

An important thing to remember is to always wear sunscreen. Sunscreen not only helps protect the skin from damaging UV rays but also helps prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin, which as mentioned above can cause pores to lose their elasticity.


🤔Does pore size matter?

While you may be a little self conscious over enlarged pores, it’s important to remember that pores are vital to the health of your skin. And all the pictures you see on social media of seemingly smooth and poreless skin are usually retouched. Real skin doesn’t really look like that. Everyone has pores, and while they may be different in size for everyone they play an important part in keeping the skin moisturized and protected.


*This information is based on research, consult your dermatologist for professional advice

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