Many of us are as much obsessed about our pore size as we are about our wrinkles.. We wish they would just shrink to an invisible size leaving our face perfectly smooth.
Yet there are many factors contributing to the size of our pores, like:
Increased sebum production
Hair follicle size
Use of comedogenic products
Loss of skin elasticity with age
Skin pores are associated with hair follicles and are found over most of the body (there's none on palms and soles).
A 'Pore' is just a tiny hole in the skin through which the hair is being let out. At the bottom of the shaft of hair there is a small SEBACEOUS GLAND which secretes sebum. These glands open out into the hair follicle and release sebum that is passaged to the surface of our skin.
Sebum is important for our skin and has the following functions:
it reduces water loss from the skin surface - it makes the skin waterproof
it protects the skin from infection by bacteria and fungi
We need it and don't want to strip it totally from the surface of our skin with harsh cleansers.
Pores can DILATE (they don't open and close), are dynamic and can enlarge or shrink (steaming doesn't 'open' pores but loosens up the oil and debris clogging the pores).
What makes them look bigger is:
high sebum production - this is under the control of hormones, which stimulate the sebaceous glands cells to enlarge and produce more sebum. Are you familiar with breakouts around the special time of the month?
comedones - these are blackheads (or whiteheads) that are formed by debris (skin cells rather than dirt) blocking the sebaceous duct and hair follicle. Despite popular belief, the black bit is not actually dirt: it's just dead skin cells gathered up and made to look dark by the pigment in the skin called melanin. By scrubbing and washing your face you won't be able to remove blackheads but you may prevent forming new ones.
low collagen level in the skin - in other words ageing.. More collagen and elastin in the skin makes pores more squished. Sorry to say ladies but when you get older your you have less collagen in your skin and your pores may look larger. But! The sebum production declines with age. ;-)
sun exposure - UV light weakens collagen that keep pores tight.
If you are interested in different treatments of acne, check my previous blog but meanwhile please let me know what do you do to minimise the appearance of your pores and make your skin look smoother?
Leave me a comment :-)