shrink pores

How to Shrink Pores on Face? 5 TIPS

By SkinCabin

I will tell you five main reasons for large pores and then give you tips on how to address each of these five reasons.

Pores start in the deeper layers of skin. They start off like a bowl shape, and then gradually change into a tube shape and then open up in the visible layer as a small opening.

Pores play an important role in the skin's function. Oil/Sebum travels to the visible layer through pores. Sebum is essential for the healthy functioning of skin.

Here are five main reasons for enlarged pores and how we can address each one:

1. Support structure

In the deeper layers of skin, pores are shaped like a bowl. This bowl-like shape is held together in its place by a support structure. This support structure is primarily made up of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Now imagine this, if the support structure is compromised, if the quantity or the quality of collagen and glycosaminogly cans is affected, the bowl-like shape is not held together in its place. So the bowl like shape (bottom of the pore) starts to sag. And as it sags, everything at the top (tube- like structure) dilates, and the pore becomes more visible.
The support structure has to be strong - only then can it hold the pore in its place. So how do we do this?
Two ways:
  1. We protect what we already have. We do this by applying a broad spectrum SPF 50 at regular intervals. Sun's UV radiation damages the support structure. SPF50 offers protection from this UV radiation.
    With age, the support structure does get compromised. We cannot do anything about age. We are only trying to prevent premature ageing from the sun's UV radiation - not natural ageing.
  2. We boost the support structure. We do this by using skincare products that have ingredients that can boost the support structure. Some examples of these ingredients are Vitamin A and its derivatives, Vitamin C, Niacinamide, Ceramides, humectants etc...
    Skincare treatments like micro needling and dermaplaning can also boost collagen production.

2. Increased sebum production

Sebaceous glands pump out oil into the bowl-like shape of the pore. From here, it travels to the top layer of skin through the tube-like structure of the pore. If more than required sebum gets pumped into the bowl like shape, the bowl like shape gets blaoted with all the excess sebum. And this dilates the tube-like structure...And finally, the opening at the top gets enlarged and becomes more visible.
So how do we control sebum production?
Two ways
  1. Skincare products: Use products with ingredients that can control sebum production. Niacinamide is one such ingredient.
  2. Eat less sugar. When you eat more sugar, the amount of insulin increases which stimulates production of sebum.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, click play below:

3. Clogged pores

The bowl-like structure of the pore can get clogged with dead cells, excess sebum and dirt. This clogging enlarges the bowl-like structure. Once the bowl-like structure gets enlarged, the tube-like structure dilates. And when the tube-like structure dilates, the opening on the visible layer becomes more apparent.
There are a few things we can do to prevent this clogging:
  • Makeup. Always remove makeup at the end of the day. If you don't, it will clog the pores.
  • Some skincare ingredients are comedogenic - meaning they clog the pores. Examples of these ingredients: coconut oil, lanolin
    Not everyone reacts to these ingredients the same way. For some, all will be fine. For some, they clog the pores. If your pores look enlarged after using certain products, check the ingredients and stop using these products.
  • Cleanse your face to get rid of all the dirt and grime.
  • Exfoliate regularly. Use a chemical exfoliant. Chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid are effective in unclogging pores.

4. Normalization of Keratinization

New cells get formed in the deeper layers of the skin, and these new cells travel upwards and reach the visible layer of the skin - almost like a conveyor belt. The old cells from the visible layer fall off, and the new cells replace them. This whole process should happen in a very smooth way, but sometimes some of these old cells are stubborn. They refuse to fall off. So they get stuck in the visible layer of the skin. These old unwanted cells and the new cells, which can't replace the stubborn old cells (because they refuse to fall off) accumulate in the bowl-like shape of the pore.
Exfoliating regularly gets rid of the old stubborn cells. Chemical exfoliants are particularly effective.

Sometimes new cells are formed at a much slower rate. Again, this is a problem - old cells are stuck as there are not enough new cells to replace them. Using skin care products that have vitamin A will speed up the formation of new cells.

This whole process where the right amount of new cells are formed regularly, travel upwards, replace old cells, and old cells fall off is keratinization. If keratinization happens at a normal rate, then there isn't much room for these cells to get stuck in the bowl-like shape.

5. Squeezing

When you squeeze the pores, you are manipulating them - trying to change their shape - this will inflame them. This inflammation results in pores looking more visible than they should. So, don't squeeze!