Healthy skin looks smooth, clarified, and even-toned, but no matter how clean and glowing your skin may be, if you’ve got large, visible pores, you’re probably on a mission to shrink them.
We get it. But before you start spending loads of cash with your aesthetician, you should know a few more facts, including:
You cannot ever make your pores smaller. It’s impossible to reduce pore size with any skincare routine—and that includes pore strips, charcoal masks, or your beloved Kaolin clay mask. If products or home remedies say they can permanently reduce your pore size, steer clear. The only thing that can semi-permanently shrink your pores is cosmetic surgeries and laser treatments.
- Pore size is part of your genetic code. The size you have is in your DNA. If your parents have large pores, chances are, you do too.
- Pores are important. They have specific functions (aside from being noticeable) that help keep your skin healthy, so you need them to be clear and healthy so they can do their job.
Now that we’ve covered a few myth-busting pore basics let’s talk about what you can do about your visible pores.
We’ll start by explaining what your pores do (other than play host to blemishes and bumps), how you can keep them healthy, and how you can minimize (aka “shrink”) your pores.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF YOUR PORES?
Pores are simply openings in your skin, and each pore has a corresponding hair follicle.
Even if you can’t see the hair, the follicle, and the hair, are present. The follicle is the shaft that extends downward from the pore. Essentially, the pore is like an opening at the top of a tube, and the tube is the follicle.
The main function of the pores is to keep your skin lubricated and hydrated. Your pores secrete an oily substance called sebum, which is your skin’s natural lubrication. Sebum is a mixture of salt, cholesterol, and fatty acids.
Your pores secrete sebum to help keep it moisturized and protected from external stressors. It’s a good and necessary part of your skin health. However, it does contribute to whether your pores are visible and the development of acne. Read on.
WHY ARE THEY SO BIG?!
Your pores aren’t actually as big as you think. However, some people do have pores that are more noticeable than others. Genetics plays the biggest role in why your pores are as large as they seem. However, other factors can make your pores appear more noticeable or “larger” than they are.
Large pores size is commonly associated with oily skin, and there’s a reason for that. Oily skin is skin that is overproducing sebum. Studies show that skin that produces too much sebum usually has pores that appear enlarged.
Just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily have larger pores. However, if you do have larger pores, the presence of excess oil will make them more noticeable.
There’s a plot twist here: having oily skin doesn’t mean your skin doesn’t need moisture. In fact, your skin could actually be oily because it’s dehydrated. When your skin becomes dehydrated, your sebaceous glands (the glands that produce sebum) start working overtime to produce even more oil, resulting in excessively oily skin.
If you use skincare products with harsh ingredients that strip your skin of its natural oil, the cycle will just continue, and you’ll have oily skin and visible pores.
FREE RADICAL DAMAGE
Free radical damage gets a lot of press, but you might not clearly understand what it is and how it affects your skin. Here’s what you really need to know about free radicals.
- Free radicals are unbalanced molecules (they only have one electron). They’re constantly in search of balanced molecules (balanced molecules have two electrons).
- When free radicals find balanced molecules, they steal one of their electrons. This causes damage to that molecule and the cell where the molecule lives.
- They can damage your skin by causing premature aging. Skin loses its elasticity, sags, becomes less firm, develops fine lines, wrinkles, and areas of hyperpigmentation.
- Free radicals come from sources like the sun, cigarette smoke, pollution like smog and smoke, and even some household cleaning chemicals.
When your skin is damaged and loses elasticity, the natural result is stretchiness and sagging around the pores. It goes without saying that a pore that is stretched and sagging will be noticeably larger.
Your skin cells turn over constantly, although the process does slow as you age. Dead skin cells need to be removed from the deeper layers of your skin, and they do so by being pushed up the hair follicle along with sebum.
The sebum carries dead skin cells and other impurities through your hair follicle and out of your pore, where it is washed away when you cleanse your skin.
In a perfect skin scenario, this transfer of dead skin cells and sebum is flawless. In reality, your hair follicles sometimes get clogged. When dead skin cells, sebum, bacteria, and dirt get backed up in your pores, it creates blemishes.
Blackheads and whiteheads are the results of pores that are clogged and in need of a little maintenance. Clogged pores are noticeable not just because they’re swollen but because they now contain a blemish.
HOW TO SHRINK PORES FAST: BEST METHODS AND PRODUCTS
No, you can’t permanently change your DNA and decrease the size of your pores. But you can make them less noticeable with a few skincare tips and tricks and the right products. Here’s how.
FIGHT FREE RADICAL DAMAGE
Free radical damage from the sun and other external stressors can take a toll on your skin and make your pores look massive. SPF is your friend—protect against free radical damage by using sunscreen and loading up on antioxidants.
Antioxidants are your skin’s shield against sun exposure and free radical damage, donating one of their electrons, so that skin cells are left unharmed.
One Ocean Beauty uses algae in our skincare products, which is an abundant source of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals to help keep your skin protected against external stressors.
BE GENTLE WITH OILY SKIN
It can be very easy to over-cleanse oily skin. It seems like washing your face excessively would help keep it dry. In reality, it has the opposite effect. The best solution for dealing with oily skin is to ensure your skin is properly hydrated by using safe, natural products that never strip your skin of its natural moisture balance.
If your large pores are the result of clogged pores, exfoliation may be able to help. Whether you choose a physical exfoliant like a scrub or a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid, removing the dead skin, sebum, and pollutant build-up from your pores will help reduce blemishes while removing a physical blockage that's keeping your pores open wide.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid, retinol, or topical retinoids and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid are great temporary fixes. But be careful—certain retinol products like Retin-A or Tretinoin might make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
USE BETTER SKIN CARE
The main reason your pores are as noticeable as they are is likely because you aren’t caring for your skin properly. Whether your pores are clogged with dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, or you’re simply not proactive in keeping your skin protected against free radicals, clean, clinically proven skincare is the solution.
HOW TO SHRINK YOUR PORES WITH SKIN CARE
You don’t need an invasive peel. You just need a little skincare TLC. The best way to achieve better skincare is by using clean skincare products free from toxins and ingredients that could irritate your skin.
One Ocean takes clean beauty to the next level, making clinical, clean, and clinical skincare. Our skincare is formulated with clean, marine ingredients that have been clinically proven to benefit your skin.
Great skincare starts with a great cleanser, and our Ocean Mist Cleanser is clinically proven to reduce shine, improve firmness and diminish the appearance of pores. Your complexion is more even, and pores are barely noticeable.
Your pores suffer when free radicals damage your skin. Our Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil delivers on that promise by dosing your skin with microalgae oil rich in antioxidants that help repair and protect your skin from external stressors.
Every skin type deserves moisture, even oily skin types. Some moisturizers can sit on top of your skin, weighing skin down and clogging pores. Our Replenishing Deep Sea Moisturizer is formulated with clean, natural marine ingredients that help to keep your skin hydrated, soothe inflammation, and increase firmness and elasticity.
Daily use can result in pores that appear smaller and skin that appears smoother.
You can’t shrink your pores, but you can make their appearance less noticeable. Using better skincare is one of the most effective ways to keep your skin healthy and your pores clean and clear.
One Ocean Beauty offers clean, clinically proven products to reduce the visibility of your pores and is packed with marine ingredients that help soothe, nourish, and revive your skin.
Our skincare helps you notice your skin for its brightness, beauty, and health, not your pore size.