Enlarged pores are the bain of our existence, they are constantly there mocking us. I am sure you have tried every pore minimiser, primer and skincare regime promising to minimise your enlarged pores. Honestly, we spend way too much time and money on cunning products that won’t actually work. You can’t make your pores disappear, but you can make them look more refined. As much as we dislike them, we do actually need our pores. Pores allow oil and sweat to reach the surface of your skin.

We have pores covering pretty much our entire body, so its no surprise that they are often the starting point for a number of skin concerns. Pores are tiny openings in your skin that home hair follicles or sweat glands. On our face, the follicles are miniature or sometimes even invisible. There are oil glands that exist at the base of the follicle and these can over-grow causing your pores to become bigger and more noticeable. This usually starts at puberty, and feels like it will never end!!

Regina George analysing her pores in the movie Mean Girls. (Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Regardless of our obsession with clear, smooth and radiant skin, most of us still don’t know that much about our pores. Let’s take a look at 5 things you didn’t know about enlarged pores.

You have two sets of pores

Your skin is made up of oil pores and sweat pores. Oil pores are hair follicles which contain a sebaceous gland that produces oil. These are the pores which tend to be the source of our cosmetic concern. These pores deliver the oil to the surface of the skin to keep it healthy, supple, and moisturized. Sweat pores, on the other hand, work in a similar way by allowing sweat to travel from the glands to the surface of the skin to cool down the body.

Blackheads are not dirt!

Contrary to popular belief, blackheads are not dirt nor are whiteheads pus. Clogged pores are in fact a result of an increase in oil production and dead skin cells known as keratin. This is a normal occurrence, since everyone has pores on their face that secrete oil. A blackhead is caused by dead skin cells and oil blocking the opening of the pore. Once the oil reaches the skin’s surface it becomes oxidized and turns black. Voila, that is a blackhead, see no dirt!

You can’t change your pore size with products

It doesn’t matter how many pore minimising serums or creams you purchase, they will not change the size of your pores! The size of your pores is often genetic, so if your parents have bigger pores, you probably will as well. It’s not all doom and gloom though, there is light at the end of the enlarged pore tunnel. There are some things you can use to minimize the appearance of your pores such as regular exfoliation, using retinol, laser therapy or micro-needling treatments. These are not permanent, they simply improve the appearance of pores by stimulating collagen in your skin, which pushes against the follicle walls making the opening of the pores look smaller.

Makeup clogs your pores

As we grow up, we’re told that makeup causes us to break out, but we also want to hide our breakouts… What a dilemma! What no one tells us, is that it’s not necessarily the makeup but actually just the makeup brand. Products we need to look for is makeup which is non-comedogenic, which means makeup that won’t cause blackheads and breakouts. Once we start using this type of product were in the clear.

Frequently washing your face will prevent clogged pores

When you’re enduring a breakout, it can be quite annoying and in some cases painful. Our first instinct is that we need to excessively clean our skin to remove the breakouts. Being prone to blackheads depends on a number of factors like our skin type, hormones and genetics. Cleansing your skin doesn’t really play a major role in reducing blackheads and breakouts, it can only help indirectly to avoid blackheads by removing excess dead skin and oil. Washing your face excessively can cause irritation, dryness, and redness which can actually worsen your breakouts.

Sadly, our enlarged pores are not going anywhere. The good news is that we can improve the appearance of them using the right treatments. The moral of the story is, stop wasting money on products that aren’t going to do anything.