Why do pores get dirty?
The clogged pores are not actually ‘dirty’, even if the black dot you see looks like it. The sebum that human bodies naturally eliminate accumulates and in contact with the oxygen changes its color to black. Of course the open pores collect some dust from the environment, but it is not the main factor that causes clogged pores.
The weaker pores might enlarge under the pressure from accumulated sebum acquiring a very displeasing look. People tend to blame the bad looking skin on food, cosmetics and environment. They are not far from being right. The spicy food and the sweets compel the body to secrete more sebum.
Cosmetics happen to contribute to clogging the pores when they are chosen and used properly. Not all that says ‘facial cleaning’ actually clears your pores. Some of the cosmetic products are too heavy and oily, so it is better to use them for cleaning/massaging and then wash them off. Genetics play a role in the way your pores look, but in the end it is the care that you give to your face that determines its look.
How to clean the pores?
There are several effective ways to clean the pores.
- Steaming the face
Keep your face above a bowl with hot water. You can cover your head with a towel to keep the stream flowing to your face instead of sideways. After 3 or 4 minutes, wash the face with cold water. The pores enlarge a bit in the warm steam and release the accumulated particles of sebum. Rinsing with cold water will wash it off and close the pores, as the skin contracts in contact with it.
- Soap & salt
It is a homemade scrub. Take a cotton pad and dip it in warm water then pour a bit of soap on it and add a pinch of salt. Scrub on the face and wash off with slightly warm water (because it rinses the soap faster), then cold water to close the pores and finish the procedure. The best time to perform this is during a bath or a shower because the warmth opens the pores.
- Commercial masks
There are plenty of them. For the pore cleaning, I find the peel-off masks the most effective. You can actually notice the small particles that it drags out from the pore when peeling it off. It is possible to blend a homemade version of it as well. Mix 1 tbsp unflavored gelatin with 2 tbsp milk. Warm them in the microwave. Once the mix cools down to a temperature that you can apply on your skin, spread the mask on the areas where you have clogged pores. The mass gets dry as it cools up and then you will be able to peel it off.
Why do pores become enlarged?
Some people do not complain of having problems with clogged pores, however, they believe that the facial pores are more visible than they should be. That can be a result of too much exposure to sun. Enlarged pores can be a result of the use of warm water to regularly wash the face. Even after a shower you should never forget to wash the face with cold water, or your pores will remain in the enlarged estate they got while you spent time in hot water.
As one gets older, the skin loses elasticity and since the areas around the pores are not that tight, it even makes the pores appear enlarged. Taking pills with hormones can affect your skin in an either positive or negative way too. Usually, it is a combination of several factors that leads to bad pores look.
How to close enlarged pores?
- Keeping them clean is the first step. The sebum that accumulates pushes the margins of the pore causing its enlargement in the long run.
- Facial massage will contribute to a better blood and lymph circulation and tighter facial skin. Since much of the damage is caused by the natural loss of elasticity, you should do all that you can to keep the blood flowing and nourishing your skin from the inside. Here are a few favorite face-massage links:
- The lemon juice – rub a lemon slice on the zone with clogged pores then rinse with water. It is not a procedure that you should perform often though. The excessive strong acid from it might damage your skin if you are too zealous.
How often to clean pores?
Depending on the degree to which your pores get clogged. A deep clean once a week or every other week in combination with a daily makeup removal + 5 minutes of facial massage should be enough to keep a smooth shiny facial skin.