Skin pores produce an oil-like substance called sebum which keeps the skin moisturized and saturated with oxygen. It also helps absorb healthy ingredients from cosmetics. But if the skin produces too much sebum and doesn't get the right care, pores become dirty and enlarged which may cause acne.
Large pores come about due to a number of reasons. Excess production of sebum is one, which may be caused by bad food, stress, sunlight exposure without sunscreen, the wrong type of skincare or comedogenic cosmetics. A decrease in elasticity is another possible cause. With age, the production of collagen is slowed down, the skin becomes less elastic and the pores look bigger.
Take care when out in the sun as damage due to sunlight exposure can also lead to the destruction of collagen. Genes may also be a cause. In fact, scientists found out that the pores of Asian women do not change much with age, while the pores of Indian women become bigger. And while you cannot change your genes, you can change your approach to skincare and food, ensuring that your skin looks better. So, what more can you do to protect your skin:
Firstly, decrease the production of sebum. You should also reconsider your diet, your skincare procedures and the ingredients of your cosmetics. Be sure to protect your skin from collagen destruction by using sunscreen every day and stop the pores from becoming bigger by moisturizing them regularly, using non-comedogenic cosmetics. This approach won't change your skin type but it will help to make your pores smaller and clearer. If you notice your skin becoming oily after just one hour after morning care, maybe it's because your skin produces too much sebum.
What you can do:
1. Decrease the number of carbs you eat: Foods that have a high glycemic index, such as sugar, white bread, and white rice can make the skin produce more sebum. Consequently, pores get blocked and this may lead to acne.
2. Add herbs and spices to your food: Opt for cinnamon, oregano, cloves, ginger, and garlic. All this prevents the processes that lead to aging of the skin and the decrease in elasticity.
3. Drink green tea: It contains polyphenols that decrease the production of sebum, helping to reduce acne.
4. Eat more fish and vegetables: These foods decrease the probability of acne.
If your skin is prone to large pores it should be moisturized and cleaned twice a day. The remains of cosmetics, dead skin cells and dirt block the pores, leading to a breakout.
What you can do:
1. Use peels that contain salicylic acid (up to 1%) or glycolic or lactic acid (2-5%) as they stimulate the regeneration of cells, helping to keep pores clear.
2. Don't use scrubs as they contain abrasive particles that can damage the skin and cause inflammation which can lead to enlargement of pores.
3. Use gels to clear your face as they are better for oily skin than lotions are.
4. Don't wash your face with regular soap. The acidity of soap is 8 to 10 on the pH scale so it can destroy the protective layer of the skin, which will lead to an increase in sebum production. Use products with a pH no higher than 5.5.
5. Wash your face sometime between noon and 4 pm. At this time of day, the skin produces sebum very actively which is why we notice an oily shine in the middle of the day.
6. Use sunscreen as if you don't, the UV-light will destroy the collagen in your skin making it less elastic.
7. Use a water-based cream or gel as they moisturize the skin without blocking the pores.
Cosmetics are comedogenic if they contain ingredients that can block pores like wax, oils, talcum and other similar components. Skin with enlarged pores requires cosmetics that decrease the production of sebum. Look out for useful components in cosmetics like Nordihyroguaiaretic acid, NDGA, and sarcosine, which reduce the production of sebum. Furthermore, it's better if you do not buy cosmetics that contain:
1. Talcum as it clocks pores. You're better off using mineral based products.
2. Alcohol dries out the skin and disrupts the natural process of removing dead skin cells.
3. Mineral oil is a cheap, easy comedogenic component of many cosmetic products.