The Truth About Shrinking Your Pores

If you've ever read or heard about skincare, there's a good chance you've heard about pores. Many products promise pore-shrinking action to get clear and smooth skin since it's no secret that pores can cause many skin annoyances. Although they can be much hated, pores serve a purpose on the skin.

According to Healthline, pores connect to your sweat glands and sebum, keeping your skin hydrated. They are a vessel that can join the inside of your body to the outside. Even though they are helpful, they are still not the most glamorous to look at in the mirror. When they fill with sebum and dirt, acne and blackheads can arise.

When these skin issues appear, we start to get concerned with shrinking our pores to minimize them. However, while the solution to these skin issues is simple, it likely isn't what you imagine it is.

Can you shrink your pores?

Unfortunately, your pores can't shrink. No matter which products you use, the size of your pores will remain the same. This is because the size of your pores ultimately comes down to your genetics (via Real Simple). Although they seem smaller when you are a child, genetics will determine how big they get as you age. Your skin type will also play a factor in the size of your pores. As a general rule, Real Simple notes that people with lighter skin often possess smaller pores, while people with darker skin tones often have larger ones.

Even though there is a popular myth that hot water opens up pores, it's not exactly true. According to Verywell Health, hot water can slightly dilate them, making them look like they'reĀ opening, but this is only a temporary action. All pores will eventually end up back in their original size. No matter the product or temperature of water you use, there is no way to shrink or enlarge your pores.

What can you do about your pores?

Although you can't shrink your pores, there is something you can do to make them look smaller. Since the pores typically look more pronounced when they create blackheads or acne, the trick is to prevent oil and dirt from becoming trapped within them.

According to Marie Claire, ingredients like AHAs and BHAs can work to make sure nothing gets clogged in your pores, regardless of the size. BHAs specifically work to remove dead skin cells trapped in the pores on a deeper level. You can also opt for retinol, which can appear like it is tightening the pores as it is a high-functioning ingredient that'll get rid of just about anything clogged. When using retinol, follow your product's instructions, as it can easily harm your skin when used too often and improperly.

Even though it can be a nuisance, your pores are not a skin concern. When using proper skincare or makeup routine you can make them look like they don't exist. As dermatologist Scott Paviol stated to HuffPost, having larger pores can also be beneficial when we grow older. Since the pores connect to the sweat glands and provide moisture to the skin, having larger pores means more moisture. This can help prevent drying skin as you get older.