Despite how annoying they can be when it comes to trying to achieve that flawlessly smooth complexion, the little guys actually serve a pretty clutch role for our bodies. We’ve got two types: sweat pores and oil pores. The former helps regulate our body temperature to prevent us from overheating (not a good look), and the latter helps keeps our skin glowy and moisturized (a great look). By better understanding what pores do – and what they don’t do – you’ll be on the fast track to gorgeous skin. You can even call out someone else’s perpetuation of a pore myth in the future!
Myth: Your Pores “Open” and “Close”
Your skin do not have little makeshift doors and they do not randomly open and close for business! While pores do not have the capability to open and close, they can [technically] expand when triggered by steaming, working out, [or when using] certain masks. Also, when pores get clogged, they expand in order to relieve some of the oil building up under the skin.
Myth: Blackheads Are Dirt-Filled Pores
It’s easy to assume blackheads are always the result of dirt taking up residence in your pores, but that’s technically incorrect. Open comedones, often referred to as blackheads, are pores that have been blocked by debris – not necessarily by dirt. This debris can be a buildup of dead skin cells and oil underneath the skin. A variety of factors like genetics, hormones, and skin type can cause this. It doesn’t always mean the skin is dirty. They reason blackheads have that black/gray color because they’ve been exposed to the air and have oxidized.
Myth: Simply Wearing Makeup Clogs Them
Did we just hear a collective sigh of relief? Whew. Sure, it’s true that some cosmetics can cause breakouts. Those include super heavy, oil- and pigment-laden products and low-quality makeup products that aren’t formulated well. However, there’s plenty of good stuff out there that won’t squash your makeup vibe. People often think makeup seeps into individual pores and clogs them, leading to breakouts. This isn’t true. You’ve just got to seek out high-quality, non-comedogenic products. You’ve also got to wash them off at the end of the day. Going to bed without washing off makeup can lead to breakouts or exacerbate the acne problem.
Myth: Some Products Will Permanently Shrink Them
Here’s the bottom line: pore size is determined by your genes and permanently altering their shape or size isn’t possible. However, you can temporarily minimize their appearance! For example, an astringent toner, clay mask – or any other oil-zapping skincare product – can soak up excess sebum. When there’s less oil in your pores, they can appear smaller. Chemical exfoliants and topical retinoids strip excess oil, dead skin and dirt from your pores, new cells are born, and the texture of the skin is overall improved. Retinol is also a collagen stimulant which reduces the appearance of pores.
Collagen is what helps keep our pores looking tight when sebum and dead skin cells are washed out. In addition to the above topical treatments, both agree that in-office procedures, including microneedling, DermaSweep, and chemical peels, can stimulate collagen and can help minimize the look of pores, too.
Myth: Sun Basking Will Shrink Them
While we’re on the topic of pore-shrinking, let’s go ahead and nip the rumor that getting your tan on helps minimize their size. Sun exposure actually expedites aging by breaking down collagen and elastin, which can eventually make your pores appear larger. Many people think the sun will dry out your pores and ‘shrink them.’ However, with less collagen to keep them tight, the pores actually become more pronounced.
Also Read: Ultimate makeup tips for easy zoom glam
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