Each pore is an opening of a hair follicle. Some follicles on the face are so tiny, we can barely see them, but if you can see a pore, it’s usually because trapped impurities have made it visible. The size of your pores is mostly due to genetics, and although there’s nothing we can do about our genes, we can manage daily habits that clog our pores and give us those annoying blackheads.
1. Not using beauty products that contain retinol
Although it’s impossible to permanently reduce pores, some skincare products can make them appear smaller. The best way to make your pores look better is to use topical retinoids overnight. Retinol is a form of vitamin A and it can increase skin cell turnover, helping to improve the overall thickness of the skin. Skipping products containing retinol may make it harder for your skin to purge oily plugs from the pores.
2. Holding your phone close to your face
Our cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. Phones serve as magnets for buildup and bacteria, and throughout the day, makeup, natural skin oils, and environmental toxins accumulate on our screens. Every time we hold the phone next to our face we bring these germs onto our skin. It can cause clogged pores and breakouts.
3. Being exposed to the sun
Sun dehydrates your skin and makes the oil glands work overtime, causing the pores to look bigger. Getting a tan can temporarily mask the pores and make them look smaller, but in the long run, it will do exactly the opposite. Your pores will enlarge, and excess oil that plugs the skin will make blackheads even worse. Dermatologists recommend using sun protection every day to prevent pores from getting bigger.
4. Skipping toner
Pores that are clogged with oil and impurities for a long time can stretch permanently, and eventually, even deep-pore cleansing won’t help to minimize them. Leaving pores untreated for a long time can permanently weaken the pore walls. Toner provides your skin with daily exfoliation and helps to remove dead skin cells and impurities to prevent buildup and pore enlargement. Skipping toner means not allowing your skin to exfoliate naturally and quickly.
5. Not cleaning your makeup tools
Even if you follow a strict skincare routine, some of your lazy habits can still cause clogged pores. Every time you use your makeup brushes and sponges, they collect oil, dust, dead skin, and residual makeup. If you don’t regularly clean them, these tools can re-deposit these substances back onto your face, clogging the pores. Cleaning your beauty tools properly can reduce the transmission of excess bacteria onto your face and prevent breakouts.
6. Using hair products that contain oil
When hair care products contain oil, it can find its way to your skin, causing clogged pores. These clogged pores are usually found where the hair comes into contact with the skin, such as the hairline, forehead, sides of the face, and neck. Even if your skin isn’t prone to acne, hair care products can cause breakouts. This is so common that there’s actually a medical name for it: acne cosmetics.
7. Wearing waterproof makeup
Waterproof formulas often contain loads of silicone. This heavy ingredient can congest your skin and clog your pores, not allowing your skin to breathe. Using waterproof makeup on a daily basis isn’t recommended as it can aggravate acne-prone skin and is more difficult to remove.