What Are Open Pores?

Facial Skin Closeup
Large pores are noticeable to the naked eye. (Image: Rusudan Mchedlishvili/iStock/Getty Images)

Open pores can refer to large pores on the skin, or even certain types of acne. In an effort to achieve perfect skin, many people try to “get rid” of their pores. While you can minimize the appearance of many imperfections, pores are a natural part of the skin don’t go completely go away.

Pore-ing Over the Facts

Large pores are noticeable to the naked eye. The size is common in both oily and combination skin because of excess sebum (oil) production from sebaceous glands. These glands are located beneath the skin’s surface. Such an openness in the pores can also increase acne problems. Blackheads, a common skin complaint, form into plugs at the opening of your pores.

Busting Pore Myths

The term “open pores” can lead to misconceptions about the size of your pores. The size ultimately depends on the activity level of the sebaceous glands, and not on your beauty habits. Also, while blackheads might make your pores look bigger, the pores won’t shrink if you remove the plugs.

Achieving Picture-Perfect Pores

While there’s little you can do about the size of your pores, there are some steps you can take to transform their appearance. Eastern Virginia Medical School’s David H, McDaniel, M.D., tells “Oprah” magazine that over-the-counter skincare with salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) may decrease the opening of the sebaceous glands. Some people opt for laser therapy to permanently shrink pores, but the results aren’t guaranteed. One of the easiest, most non-invasive methods is to apply oil-free foundation that has a matte finish for an overall smoother look.

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