Pores are small openings in the skin and they’re found all over the body, except palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The face has more pores than anywhere else on the body. Each pore is an opening to a follicle, which contains a hair and an oil gland. These oil glands help lubricate the skin and protect it from bacteria and infection. Some people have small pores, while others have larger pores. The pores can become stretched in our lifetime due to blockages, but despite popular thinking the size of our pores is determined genetically; this means we can’t just change our pore size.
When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked. Dirt, debris, bacteria, and inflammatory cells build up. The build up may look small and white; this is often called a whitehead. Sometimes it can look dark in colour, due to oxidization, and this is called a blackhead. Sometimes there is more of a build up under the skin where the follicle, deeper down, is full and it can look red and inflamed; these are pimples. So, from continuous breakouts the pores may open and stretch. Using a quality skin routine can help support the healing of pimples so the skin returns to normal and a supportive skin routine can help to prevent blockages, but the pores can’t actually be shrunk.
A technique called Skin Needling is often used by skin therapists to treat stretched pores and to assist the skin to heal to return closer to the original pore size. Unfortunately, topical creams have not been known to make the pore any smaller.