Pores: Fact and Fiction

Woman touching her face

Since we started learning about skin care from a young age, pores have been a big part of the conversation, and over time, we’ve heard a lot of helpful information regarding caring for them and keeping them clean. This is in addition to coming across some tidbits of fiction that are easy to believe might be true. There is a plethora of information out there, but let’s talk about four pieces of fact and fiction that you may find useful when it comes to dealing with your pores.

Fiction: Pores Open and Close
Despite the long talked myth about how pores can open and close, there’s no truth to that. Your pores are constantly open and they won’t magically disappear, especially when you consider that they don’t have muscles around them to make them open and close. Ice water is not going to make them close, and hot water and steam are not going to open them up like a door.

Fact: Exfoliating Can Loosen Built-up Gunk in Pores
When you have built-up gunk in your pores, your pores might appear larger, but exfoliating can help loosen up all that stuff stuck in pores so once they’re cleaned out, they can appear smaller. However, you don’t want to over-exfoliate which could actually irritate your skin; in this case, too much is not a good thing. Exfoliating only once or twice a week depending on your skin type can be beneficial.

Smiling woman with towel in hair touching her face

Fiction: Everyone is Staring at How Big Your Pores Are
We tend to be our own worst enemy and our biggest critic. When we’re staring at ourselves in the mirror and evaluating every little spot and mark on our face, we’re often bound to think the worst. Basically, you can do what you can to reduce the appearance of your pores if they bother you, but know that while we’re thinking that everyone is staring at the size of our pores and thinking all these negative things, in reality, it’s likely that we’re the only ones noticing.

Fact: You Can Shrink the Size of Your Pores
So here’s the deal. While pore size is mostly a matter of genetics, it’s said that an in-office laser treatment can permanently shrink the size of your pores. Other than that, however, it’s a no-go. Sorry, but all those masks and creams and such that you heard about that supposedly permanently shrink the size of your pores might do some good for your skin depending on what you’re doing, but shrinking the actual size of your pores isn’t one of them.

Should you have any specific questions about how to deal with your own particular skin, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dermatologist and esthetician for personalized information. There’s nothing wrong with asking for some advice and insight if it can make a positive difference in the long and short term. After they evaluate your skin, they can get you started on a skin care regimen that could best benefit you.

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