Pores- What Are They Good For?

pores_closeupAll us humans have pores.  In fact, we have to have pores.

Pores in our skin allow us to sweat, which helps our bodies regulate temperature.  Pores also allow our skin to be moisturized naturally by the sebum (or oil) produced under the skin.  All of our hairs throughout our bodies come to the surface through pores.

So, now that you accept that we have to have pores, the next question is usually about why pores have to be big at times.  More specifically, why do pores become so large to the point of being unsightly and annoying?

Some people have large pores from birth, and it is an inherited trait for them.  More commonly, however, there are habits that make the pores look bigger and cause the skin to look worse.

This blog post will concentrate on highlighting those bad habits that make your pores clog up and become more irritated and enlarged than they should.  Rather than highlighting the bad habits, the following five tips are what you should do to avoid larger pores, rather than what not to do.

 1.  Stop Touching Your Face

touching_faceWhen you touch your face over the course of a day, you are transferring from your hands to your face remnants of whatever your hands touch.  Despite normal hygiene and during the normal course of your life, every day your hands will come into contact with oil, viruses, bacteria, and other impurities that can clog your pores.

Obviously, washing your hands will help.  However, the best habit for your skin especially on the face is to stop touching your face!

2. Wash Your Face Before Bedtime

For women especially, the best thing they can do before bedtime is to remove their makeup.  Washing the face also removes any of the other oil, dirt or other agents that come into contact with your face.

It is also important for men to remove the dirt on their faces that may accumulate in their pores, which already happen to be bigger than women at baseline.  Even if you men feel you don’t have time at bedtime to wash your face thoroughly, makeup removal wipes can actually be quick and helpful.

3.  Exfoliate Regularly

Another common cause of pore clogging is a buildup of dead skin cells.  Exfoliation is by definition the removal of these dead cells by physical and/or chemical means.

shavingWhen men shave in the morning, they are basically performing exfoliation whether they realize it or not.  For women, washing the face alone is frequently not enough.  For home use, using a mask once or twice a week can do the trick.

I personally use our O2 Lift Mask once a week to remove dead skin cells and to hydrate my naturally dry skin.  Facials can also perform this function.  The Hydrafacial our aesthetician Denise performs here does this job, and feels great!

4.  Stop Picking

Some people are so aggravated by their pores that they squeeze and pick at them in a vain attempt to decrease their size.  In the end, they are making the problem worse.

skin_pickingTheir rough efforts actually damage the skin they want to look better.  They open access to the underlying skin for superficial oil, bacteria and other impurities.  This act results in pimples, inflammation and damage to the point of scarring over time.

Depending on the degree of inflammation, washing with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide calms inflammation when it occurs.  Our own Overnight Spot Treatment can also target areas that are already broken out to dry up and decrease the temptation to pick or pop.

5.  Stop Using Concealer Makeup

concealer_makeupIf you hate how your pores look, it is certainly tempting to cover them up and give the appearance of smooth skin.  The problem is that these concealers are usually thick, and will aggravate the problem by clogging your pores more.

Most of these products are composed of waxes, oils and butters.  These ingredients do help to cover up smoothly, but are also considered to be comedogenic, or pore-clogging.

Mineral makeups are generally the best for those with enlarged pores or a tendency to breakout.  The Osmosis line of makeup that we carry here at Maine Laser Skin Care is an excellent choice for mineral and non-comedogenic coverage.


I hope that these pointers can help those of you with large pores to keep them from getting worse, and to improve their appearance without aggravating them.  If you have any questions about our products or treatments that can help you, do not hesitate to call us at (207) 873-2158 to schedule a free consultation or a Hydrafacial and skin analysis by Denise.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
This entry was posted in Facial Health, Facials, Other. Bookmark the permalink.