Recently, we told you about why pores get enlarged, and what to do about it. Now to help further your pore education journey, we’re dispelling the most common pore myths below.
We all want our pores to be deep-cleaned and to appear as small and even as possible, but it can be a major struggle to get them to behave. Not only are there hundreds of products on the market that claim to treat and shrink pores, there are also tons of confusing myths floating around about how they function.
Thankfully, the Klog is here to de-mystify some of this pore folklore so that you can get back to your skin care routine with confidence.
MYTH: Pores can be “closed” when exposed to cold temperatures…
Pores don’t close or open like windows to your skin, instead, they can become dilated depending on how much sebum (oil) and other impurities are clogging them, making them appear larger. Cooling treatments, like a mask kept in the fridge can, however, cause them to temporarily constrict. So, while using cool temperatures can seal in a skin care treatment and soothe irritation, nothing will make your pores fully close.
MYTH: … and “opened” with heat.
Your pores are always open. What heat, like that from a facial steamer or a warm washcloth, does is help the pores to dilate further and allow for the softening of sebum and debris (like dead skin cells) inside. That’s why many facialists will steam your skin before a treatment, as it allows for any impurities to be loosened and for extractions to be performed with more comfort and ease. Facial treatments, like exfoliation and masks, are also able to penetrate the skin’s surface better when pores are dilated, so try adding an at-home facial steam to your routine before using a deep cleansing mask like the Goodal Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay.
For the steam, you can fill your sink with hot water and cover your head with a towel, letting the steam warm your face. Adding a few drops of essential oil to the water can make for a relaxing experience as well. Just remember to avoid letting the too-hot water touch your skin, as it can be irritating and drying.
MYTH: Blackheads are dirt built up inside of your pores.
While those little black dots that pop up in clusters may look like specks of dirt, your pores are actually clogged with dead skin cells and trapped sebum that has oxidized, causing it to turn black. When blackheads pop up, it’s a sign that your dead skin cells are not being regularly exfoliated, and that your skin’s sebum production is suffering from an imbalance. One of the best fixes for this is to use a product that contains BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), the most popular of which is salicylic acid. I like the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner. The formula combines salicylic acid with aloe to hydrate and soothe.
MYTH: Your pore size stays the same forever.
As we get older, our skin’s natural production of collagen slows down, and skin’s elasticity diminishes. Collagen helps our pores “snap back” so to speak, allowing them to return to their normal size when sebum and dead skin cells are flushed out. However, without healthy new collagen, our pore walls can start to slacken and over time, they’ll begin to look larger. Regular exfoliation can help keep your pores healthy, and using an antioxidant serum like the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum can build elasticity and fight free radicals that damage healthy collagen.
MYTH: Sunscreen will clog your pores.
Many people shy away from using SPF daily on their faces, believing that all sunscreen formulas are greasy and will lead to clogged pores and frustrating breakouts. Thankfully, sunscreen formulations have improved drastically in the last few years, and there are plenty of noncomedogenic formulas on the market that are easy to apply everyday, with no negative effects on your pores. In fact, using an SPF on a daily basis can help keep your pores in tip-top shape. Recent studies have shown that UV rays can cause a rapid decrease in collagen production, which is much needed for resilient, healthy pores. Apply a light-textured SPF like Acwell Aqua Capsule Sun Control Gel SPF 35/PA++ daily for non-greasy, soothing sun protection that will keep your pores from becoming weakened and enlarged.