Are tight pores and a smooth complexion top of your wish list? We hear you. Enlarged pores are one of the most common beauty hiccups our customers complain about. In fact, they’re the reason we developed our OG product – the cult favourite Porefining Face Mask. Plus, a bunch of other Pink Clay goodies to perk up your complexion.
But have you ever considered how much you really know about your pores? Like what they are and what purpose they serve? And why are yours so visible, when your bestie’s are itty-bitty? We’re here to present the facts – and dispel 5 pore myths that could be standing between you and a polished, seemingly poreless complexion. Read on to learn more about your pores!
Firstly, what are pores?
Before we start myth-busting, let’s go right back to pore basics. In case you’re unclear, pores are simply small openings in the skin’s surface through which substances can pass. There are two types of pores – those that release sweat and those that release sebum (or oil)1. Both play an important role – the first for temperature regulation and the latter to keep skin supple and moisturised with natural oils.
When people complain about visible or dirty pores, they’re talking about oil pores. These are connected to a hair follicle – and they exist all over your body. However, it’s mainly the pores on our faces that seems to bug us the most.
Keep reading to learn what most people don’t know about pores and how to manage them!
Myth #1: Blackheads are just dirty pores
Think that blackheads are pores packed with dirt that you need to aggressively scrub and cleanse away? They’re not. And you don’t.
Also known as open comedones, blackheads are a mild, non-inflammatory form of acne. They appear when the opening to a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells, which creates a ‘plug’. When the plug meets the air, a chemical reaction called oxidisation occurs. And you end up with that signature brown or black darkening.
So, not dirt – Science. But since excess oil contributes to blackheads, you DO want to make sure you’re cleansing twice daily. And for problem pores and congestion, you might want to consider getting a cleanser that is formulated specifically to eradicate these problems.
Instead of a basic face wash that removes surface dirt and makeup only, choose something with a deeper detox function. Our Deep Pore Cleanser is formulated with purifying Australian Pink Clay, which is the gentle yet effective active ingredient that works hard to draw out all the oil, toxins and impurities that clog your pores. Natural AHAs in the formula also helps to unclog pores, balance oil production and shed dead skin cells.
Myth #2: You can close your pores
Let’s be clear – pores are not doors. They do not open and close. They are always open, allowing sebum and sweat to escape. However, they can be stretched and appear larger with excess oiliness and dead skin build-up.
Your pore size can be attributed to your genes (thanks Mum!) and skin type (oily skin = more prominent pores). However, ageing, sun exposure and pollution can worsen your pore problems by accelerating the breakdown of collagen and elastin.
While you can’t close pesky oversized pores, you can improve their appearance. You can reduce pore-clogging dead skin build-up by exfoliating. And you can temporarily shrink oversized pores with active ingredients like retinol and niacinamide. As well as natural astringent, witch hazel.
Our powerful Porefining Face Mask contains both witch hazel and Australian Pink Clay, which means it has the perfect key ingredient mix which does wonders to mattify your complexion and give you that coveted ‘poreless’ look.
Myth #3: Makeup is the enemy of clear pores
When it comes to clogged pores, makeup gets a pretty bad rap. But that doesn’t mean you have to give it a miss. Instead, make sure you look for products labelled as non-comedogenic. This is just a fancy way of saying non-pore clogging, and it means that the product is free of particular oils and ingredients that are known to cause congestion.
The same goes for sunscreen! There are countless non-comedogenic formulas available – and these will not create added problems for your pores. A broad-spectrum SPF will help prevent premature photo-ageing, skin laxity and saggy baggy pores – so don’t even consider skipping it.
Myth #4: There’s no solution to enlarged pores
OK, so we’ve established you cannot permanently close your pores. And you wouldn’t want to, either! However, a good skincare routine and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to achieving tight, refined pores – porefect skin!
Experts agree that one of the best products you can use for visible pores is a clay mask2. This is because clay is an absolute champion at absorbing sebum and eliminating unwanted shine. While certain types of clay used in these masks can be drying, rest assured Australian Pink Clay is a super gentle clay, meaning that the Porefining Face Mask never leaves your skin feeling stripped while it deep cleans your pores.
In addition to using a clay mask once or twice a week, cleanse your skin AM and PM to remove excess sebum and makeup. Exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores and blackheads. (How often you’ll need to exfoliate will depend on your skin type.)
And to prevent pores from becoming lax, protect your skin from the sun – and avoid picking at your face. More on this is the next bit!
Myth #5: It’s okay to squeeze out blackheads
So, you’ve got a nice little crop of blackheads across your nose and you can’t wait to start squeezing away. But don’t! We know, we know. It’s SO very tempting. However, picking blackheads is never a good idea.
While you might manage to remove the gunk (and we’d be lying if we said it’s not super satisfying), you’ll likely create more damage in the long term. By picking blackheads, you risk infection, scarring and hyperpigmentation. Pulling and prodding at your skin can also stretch out your pores. Permanently. So, consider yourself warned.
Instead, invest in a good quality exfoliator to boost skin cell turnover and help prevent pore blockages. Our pick? One that does double duty with both chemical and physical exfoliants. Combining AHAs from Australian Finger Lime with bamboo and macadamia, our Flash Perfection Exfoliator gently absorbs oil, refine pores and resurfaces and mattifies the skin.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know all the myths about pores, you’ll be able to use this information to take control of your pores and get porefect skin in no time! While pores can be really pesky to deal with, it’s important to remember that they’re really the regulators of our skin and if we know how to treat them right, they’ll do the same for us.
Still not sure how to use Sand & Sky products to improve the appearance of your pores? We’ve got you – reach us out on Instagram for more tailored skincare suggestions!
Written by: Pip Jarvis
Edited by: Celeste