Ever had those days when you look in the mirror and notice your skin pores becoming painfully striking? Well, I had. Sometimes it makes me want to scream and resort to using all kinds of facial cleansing product the TV recommends just so I could achieve younger-looking skin! Other times it leaves me wondering, “why are my pores so big?” Perhaps you’ve had those days, too.
You see, our skin is affected by many factors including environment, health, genes and the food we eat. As it battles sweat, dirt buildup, oil and skincare products everyday, we begin to notice our pores getting larger and more prominent — especially in the face. And let’s admit it, it’s not exactly an appealing image. Dermatologist and vlogger Dr. Dray said that skin pores are hair follicles that excrete natural oil to moisturize our skin.
It also acts as an escape channel for our body toxins and perspiration. People with oily skin are more prone to enlarged pores leading to other skin problems like blackheads, whiteheads and acne.
To get a full grasp on big pores, here’s a list of its major causes:
1. Oily Skin
Our body naturally excretes sebum – an oily substance secreted to waterproof our skin and keep it smooth and supple. But due to genetics and increased hormonal levels especially during puberty, some people produce more oil than others while some people just naturally have thick skin.
Excess oil settles around the pores. When it blends with other substances like sweat, dead skin cells and dust, the pore becomes clogged and eventually expands to make way for the excreted oil. Hence, an enlarged pore.
Notice how smooth baby skin looks? You can even barely spot a pore! Sad thing is, as one grows older, skin pores become more visible. Age is one of the most pernicious causes of enlarged pores. This is because skin elasticity changes over time causing your skin to stretch and sag, making your pores appear larger. Also, cell renewal activity and collagen production slowly decrease as time goes by making it tough for the skin to snap back to its original state.
3. Sun Damage
Years of sun exposure can lead to further depreciation of collagen, a protein that plays a vital role in keeping our skin flawless and firm. Sun exposure also draws water off the skin, which makes our skin thicker and our pores bigger.
Then there’s summer when we all love basking in the sun on our favorite bikinis. As pretty as it is to have some color, getting a tan or a sunburn damages the outer layer of our skin. UVA rays can now thrust its way deep into the skin to break down elastin and collagen and hinder the skin from producing more. In turn, our skin gets damaged and our pores get larger.
To prevent this, dermatologists highly recommend the use of sunscreens with an SPF of at least 15.
4. Genes and Gender
Connecticut skin expert Dr. Diane Madfes says that genes primarily determine your pore size. If your parents have large pores, chances are, you will have large pores, too! Some people are born with naturally thick, oily skin and some (lucky) others don’t. Let’s cross our fingers we’re one of the lucky few!
Studies show that males are typically more prone to larger pores than females. However, during hormonal changes like menstrual periods, women tend to experience larger pores.
With all the available channels advertising cosmetic products on TV, billboards, print ads, vlogs and even social media posts, who wouldn’t want to try those “hacks” to conceal your pores? Ironically, though, makeup can actually highlight your pores instead of hiding them.
It attracts dirt and oil and it settles in and around the pores causing them to look even bigger. Dermatologists suggest thorough removal of any cosmetics used and proper cleansing and exfoliating to combat big pores. Or, before applying anything, use a dermatologically-tested primer to “seal” your pores. Better yet, use as little products on your face as possible.
6. Diet & LifeStyle
Yes, with natural causes like genetics, aging, sun exposure and gender, enlarged pores seem impossible to miss. However, aside from those natural causes, diet and lifestyle also play a role both in pore expansion and management.
They say that real beauty exudes from within. This goes to say that in order for us to have a beautiful glowing skin, we need to make sure that our “insides” are clean by eating properly and choosing healthy food choices like grains, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A, E and C.
Smoking Do you know that your lifestyle accounts for some of those enlarged pores in your skin? Cigarette smoking is highly recognized to gravely affect your skin health. Its toxic constituents such as nicotine, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide leave the skin dry, wrinkled and aged.
It depletes nutrients like vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage, and it increases the chance of blackheads, whiteheads, acne and enlarged pores in so many levels! So if you’re aiming to save your skin but you’re one to huff and puff, you’ve got some serious mulling over to do.
It is apparent that there are a lot of factors causing big pores in our faces and while most cannot be possibly avoided, there are still multiple ways for us to keep it to a minimum and prevent it from aggravating. No need to wonder, “why are my pores so big?” anymore!
Effective ways to help with big pores include proper diet, healthy lifestyle, good hygiene and a strict skin care regimen. I hope you enjoyed reading and if you have any smart fixes to whittle the pores, do let us know in the comments below!