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The Key to Healthy Pores

by Emily Linehan on November 05, 2021

Pores. We all have them and I think it's fair to say that we all have a love-hate relationship with them. 

If you haven't quite found the "love" end of that spectrum, there are a lot of things to love about our pores!

Why Do We Have Pores?

Pores most often show up on the nose, cheeks, and forehead, but we all have them all over our face (and other parts of the body!). Our pores are hair follicles. Each one contains a sweat gland (to cool the skin off) and something called a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland is an extremely important part of the skin, as it produces our natural oil (known as sebum). 

When functioning at their finest, pores do a lot for us. The sebum that the sebaceous gland makes lubricates the skin to protect against irritation caused by friction. It also delivers antioxidants, produces anti-inflammatory properties, helps heal wounds, and helps regulate moisture. Wow! After the sweat gland and the sebaceous gland create sweat and oil, the pore sheds its inner lining and pushes the sweat and oil out. This is good! 

However, on the downside, when pores are not functioning optimally, this whole process goes awry. Pores are self-cleaning and shed a single inner lining. When they're not functioning normally, the pore doesn't shed just one single inner lining...it sheds multiple layers. When this happens, the weight of the sweat, oil, and dead skin cells is too heavy to be pushed out, causing clogged pores, oily skin, and breakouts. Luckily there are many products out there that treat this!

What Causes Large Pores?

Most of us have been there. In front of the mirror, poking and prodding at our nose or cheeks, asking ourselves "ugh why do I have such large pores? Why is this one larger than the others?" This skin concern is so very common! 

There is one thing that causes "large pores" more than anything else and that's:

Genetics.

Some of us have larger pores because that's just how our skin is. However, this isn't a death sentence! The appearance of large pores can be reduced with these tips!

How to Reduce the Appearance of Pores

First thing's first, even though many skincare products make claims that they will reduce your pore size, the size of your pores actually cannot be reduced. Don't let that get you down though, because the appearance of your pores can absolutely be minimized with the following tips:

1. Clarify

In short, pores clog due to a build up of sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. This is often caused by genetics, but is triggered/worsened by many external factors as well. When the pores are clogged, they are far more noticeable on the skin. Keeping the skin clear and the pores clean is a must when looking to reduce their appearance.

If you want to read about how pores function and why this build-up occurs, read this post here

To keep pores free of excess sebum and dead skin cells, it's important to get acne-bacteria and oil production under control. The best way to do this is to fill out my consultation (it's free!). I'll suggest the right products (such as the ones I am about to mention below) for your skin's unique needs. This consultation is so important because not only will you know which products will work best for your skin type, but I'll explain the best way for you to use them to get the results you want...like reduced appearance of pores! 

With that being said, there are products and ingredients that target this specifically. 

Clarifying Serum - Clarifying Serum is formulated with L-Mandelic Acid. This alpha-hydroxy acid works to unclog the pores by dissolving the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. When this happens, your pores are cleared of all of that nasty build up I mentioned before! 

Pro-Retinol Serum - We don't often think of Retinol as an acne product, but our Pro-Retinol Serum was designed to pack a (gentle!) punch. Formulated with Niacinamide, a topical form of B3, Pro-Retinol Serum reduces redness, irritation, and minimizes pore size. It also contains a retinol (retinyl propionate) which decongests the pores (among other things...). Learn more about our Pro-Retinol Serum here

Acne Eraser - (Tip: Start with the consultation to ensure sure you purchase the right level of Acne Eraser) A pro at preventing clogged pores, Acne Eraser is formulated with Benzoyl Peroxide, which encourages the skin to shed more effectively (preventing clogging). It also releases oxygen into the pores to suffocate acne-causing bacteria! Bye acne!

Sulfur Refining Mask - As you could probably guess by the name, this mask contains Sulfur, a naturally-sourced ingredient that effectively draws out oil and impurities from the skin, decongesting your pores. It is also formulated with a natural clay called Kaolin, which absorbs excess oil, which in turn purifies the pores.

2. Exfoliate

Regular exfoliation is another effective method of clearing the pores and preventing future clogging. During exfoliation, dead skin cells are buffed away which helps to keep the skin clear and reduce the appearance of pores. 

Sensitive skin? No sweat! At Emme Diane, our exfoliation products are designed for sensitive skin while still being extremely effective. 

Skin Smoothing Polish - This exfoliant is gentle enough to be used daily if you'd like! Formulated with environmentally-friendly natural silica beads, Skin Smoothing Polish unclogs the pores, which in turn reduces their appearance. Just use a nickel-sized amount after cleansing and massage onto the face in gentle circular motions for one minute. 

Pumpkin Enzyme Mask - Another gentle exfoliant, our Pumpkin Enzyme Mask is a facial mask that contains Cucurbita Pepo...aka pumpkin! Pumpkin contains natural fruit enzymes that gently dissolve dead skin cells - and all you have to do is sit back and relax while it happens! This mask can be used as often as you'd like. Cleanse your skin and apply four pumps of Pumpkin Enzyme Mask to the face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. 

3. Protect

Believe it or not, sun impacts the appearance of large pores, by making them appear larger. Collagen keeps our pores tight and firm, but UV rays are known to weaken collagen which loosens our pores, making them more visible. These rays do not make the pores larger...they make pores appear larger. 

Protecting the skin from harmful UV rays is a must for minimizing the appearance of pores. 

Note: Some sunscreens can be pore clogging. Ensure you're always using an acne-safe sunscreen, like the two below. 

Tinted Mineral SPF 40 - Formulated in a universally flattering tint with a sheer, natural finish, this sunscreen is our bestseller. It's completely acne-safe (meaning it won't clog your pores!) and it's water and sweat resistant for 80 minutes. 

Illuminating Tinted SPF 58 - Ideal for fair skin, Illuminating Sunscreen gives an elegant, radiant finish and is water and sweat resistant for 40 minutes. It's also acne-safe!

4. Know Your Body

I'm going to throw a couple quick facts at you.

  • Men typically have larger pores than women.
  • If you are someone who menstruates, the appearance of your pores will change depending on where you are at in your cycle. Changes in hormones have a big impact on the skin, including when impacted by birth control methods. Read more about birth control and the skin here
  • Pores may appear larger as we age, due to a decrease in skin elasticity. 

Knowing these three things can help you understand the effectiveness of your efforts to reduce pore appearance! 

5. Become an Expert about Your Own Skin

The best thing you can do to reduce your pore size is to become your very own skin expert! This means understanding your skin type, potential acne-triggers and substitutes, which products and ingredients are ideal for your unique skin, and how to use the products effectively (timing, amount, order of use, etc.). When you fill out this online form, I send you ALL of this information, so you understand what you need before you even get started. Start now.

xoxo, Emme

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