I was recently looking back on everything that I have written about skin, and trying to figure out if I may have missed something…
Lately my own skin is getting much better, more clearer, just more awesome, really, but I have been struggling with what looks like blackheads, or enlarged pores, or both on my chin, and I was like; “Well… What could have caused this?”
It struck me that it was time to really look at what’s going on inside my skin.
Learn more about my pores. Learn more about how to prevent certain things, and how to manage others…
The 411 on Pores
Your pores go with your hair; like “fingers, go with nails”, in that:
For every hair on your body, there is a corresponding skin pore.
Even though we can’t see every single pore, we can definitely see some of them, and it’s the same with hair actually.The average adult has around 5 million hairs on his or her body, so if you think you have large pores and feel low about it, take heart in the fact that 4.9 million or so of your pores are nice and tiny and that only a proportionately small number of them are causing you grief, it’s not much to console yourself with, but it’s something right?
What about follicles then?
“Follicles” and “pores” are sometimes used interchangeably, and other times referred to as two different things. In truth, the pore is simply the opening upon the skin of the hair follicle, which extends downward through several layers of skin.
If a hair follicle were a tall chimney, the pore would be the opening at the top of the chimney. Instead of emitting smoke, the follicle emits a shaft of hair.
Skin cells are constantly dying inside the follicle.
And then our sebaceous glands are also inside the follicle, producing an oil called sebum. Sebum is a mixture of fats, proteins, cholesterol and inorganic salts.
It travels up the follicle and (if there’s nothing blocking its passage) exits through the pore. It also carries those dead skin cells found within the follicle up to the skin’s surface.
What about sweat — doesn’t that come out of the same pores?
No. Sweat is produced by separate sweat glands that also heavily populate your skin. While sweat emerges from the skin from a different source, it does affect your skin’s appearance.
Once that sweat reaches the surface, it dries but leaves salts behind that can block your pores.
This mix of oil and dead skin cells helps coat your skin to protect it from bacteria, viruses, wind and rain (we sort of take our skin’s protective qualities for granted). Sometimes the pore is occluded (blocked) resulting in acne.
I have huge pores. Can I get rid of them?
Okay, let’s get to the skinny (see what I did there?) of it all…
You cannot do anything to “get rid” of your pores, and since you now know what function pores serve, it would be ill-advised to even consider getting rid of them.
All those years of squeezing your pimples, and just straight up being mean to your skin have finally caught up with you, and your skin is just about losing its elasticity. That’s okay though, because there are ways to make your pores appear smaller.
It’s not the same as completely getting rid of them, but it’s much safer!
How can I shrink my pores?
If you have large pores, there’s some good news — but you may have to wait a few years to receive its benefits. As we age, our skin produces less oil, leading to dryness. This dryness, coupled with environmental damage to the skin, causes skin to age and wrinkle. Large pores produce more oil, and this comes in handy later in life when your skin needs it most. So while you may be bugged by the appearance and size of your skin pores today, you’re just getting an early start — and their existence will please you down the road.
How about now? I want to shrink them!
Okay, I get it, you really don’t like having large pores… Well;
If you use makeup, remember to wash it off each night with a gentle cleanser like Bella Terra’s makeup remover, and Bella Terra’s Cleanser , this can help to prevent pore blockage.
Protect yourself from the sun. Sun and aging thicken the outer layer of skin, and as the tide of skin cells rises, they form a tiny volcano rim around pores. This makes pores seem bigger than they really are.
Oily-looking skin tends to make pores look larger. Washing your face regularly to cut down on oiliness will improve their appearance. Solutions or medications containing salicylic acid can dry out the skin and help you maintain clear pores.
My recent personal fave (even though it’s already autumn) is to get ice-cubes, put them inside my face-cloth, and rub that on my face first thing in the morning, after cleansing. I do this on my exfoliation days, and boy does it work! My pores feel tightened, and less oily…
Okay, so I should avoid Oily products?
Many people with oily skin avoid using moisturizers because they think it’ll just make their skin oilier. But you need to remember this, if you don’t remember anything else;
The oil on your skin seals in moisture — it doesn’t replace the moisture you lose, especially as you age. So oily skin, in essence, is youthful, more supple skin!
If you–like me–have oily skin, then you probably also have acne, which happens when our oil, and dead skin cells clog the pore. Remember?
Acne treatments are more acidic, and can dry out the skin, but I personally recommend the Bella Terra Skincare range, as it is much more gentle, and doesn’t create premature wrinkles.
If you want to maintain a clear complexion and keep your skin moisturized, use Bella Terra Mineral Cosmetics’ oil-free, noncomedogenic moisturizer
Why should I bother with a non-comedogenic moisturizer?
Noncomedogenic moisturizers won’t clog your pores and are less likely to cause acne breakouts than regular moisturizers. Their name comes from the word “comedones.” Comedones are hair follicles that enlarge when they fill with dirt and oil — they appear as blackheads or whiteheads on the skin. When comedones become inflamed, they can turn pink or red and fill with pus — these are the pimples normally associated with acne. According to SkinCareGuide.com, noncomedogenic moisturizers may also be called nonacnegenic moisturizers, especially if they’re specifically designed to treat acne.
Noncomedogenic moisturizers have a lighter feel than regular moisturizers, and many are oil-free, so they won’t leave additional oil on your skin. Most labels will advertise if a moisturizer is noncomedogenic or oil-free.
If you have acne, doctors recommend using all noncomedogenic products, including moisturizers, cleansers, shampoo, makeup and sunscreen.
How do I clear my pores, if they are clogged?
Well I am pretty sure that the internet is heavy laden with answers for that question. As a matter of fact, there are indeed many ways to clear clogged pores, and some of them are just more practical than others.
1) I personally recommend clearing your pores after taking a long hot shower.
The heat, water, and steam will help to soften the skin and allow the pores to open.
Also, even though my dermatologist would kill me for doing this (since she maintains that washing your face in the shower is a big no no), I like to thoroughly wash my face and hands in the shower, because, I just feel like it’s unlikely that dirt or bacteria will get into the pores in the process of clearing them.
The other ways to prepare your pores for clarification include taking a long, hot bath, sitting in a sauna for ten to 15 minutes, or steaming the face. The face can be steamed by filling a sink full of very hot water. Hold the face just a few inches from the water’s surface and place a towel over the back of the head. This will keep all of the steam in a semi-enclosed area around the face.
Disclaimer: This method can be painful for people who have back or neck problems.
2) Once the skin has been cleaned and steamed, it should be disinfected.
This can be done by applying an astringent made with rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, or tea tree oil all over the face except for the area around the eyes and on the lips. You can also use Bella Terra Mineral Cosmetics’ Pore Refining Toner
3) Once this has been done, there are three products that can be used to help clear clogged pores.
You can use cleansing mask, an exfoliant, or a pore strip.
I personally recommend using a cleansing mask, or pore strip. An exfoliant can create micro-tears in the skin, and actually make your pores, bigger whilst creating wrinkles. No bueno!
A cleansing mask helps to pull dirt and excess oil out of the pores.
Usually, the mask has to dry, which may be difficult in a very steamy bathroom… I like to catch up on the latest episode of Girls, by relaxing on my bed while the mask does its work.
When the mask dries, I just peel it off, and other masks that I use would require me to go back to my bathroom, and wash them off. I like those ones too! No biggie…
At the end of the day, if someone even thinks of mentioning That B Word, don’t get offended, just remember that the B is for Beauty!
If you have any skin related, or beauty related queries, simply send me an email at: ThatBeautyWord(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will ask my dermatologist what she has to say about it, and get back to you, either in the email, or as an entire post!
- Wish You Could Add Oxygen to Your Skin? (gingercarter.wordpress.com)
- Home Remedies to Reduce Appearance of Skin Pores (sarahskinbeauty.wordpress.com)
- Getting better Pores and skin Employing One Skincare Evaluation Phase at a time (petersixplus.wordpress.com)
- Beauty Basics For Healthy Skin pt. 4 (thatbword.wordpress.com)
- Reasons to Cleanse Your Face Twice a Day (districtspagirl.com)
- Skin Care 101: the Basics (uberchicmichi.com)