The Hole Truth About Pores

May 4
Understand how pores work and what they say about your skin.
Enlarged pores take-up a lot of space in the skincare world. Every other product on the market has it's claims about reducing, minimizing, and unclogging.
Understandably, a lot of people want their facial skin to have a smooth, pore-less quality. Everyone has pores, but those lucky enough to be blessed with tiny pores tend to have flawless looking faces. 
Clogged pores can contribute to blemishes and an enlarged appearance, so it's best to give your skin room to breathe. But between trying to keep our skin moisturized and our pores free and breezy, skincare can be downright confusing!
The problem is, with enlarged pores being such a common problem, there is a lot of inaccurate information out there. 
There are certain genetic realities we have to make peace with when it comes to our looks- but if you're looking to reduce the appearance of your pores and keep your skin clear, there are some things you can do without falling for the promises on a pretty package.
What are Pores?
Before we seek to reduce our pores, we have to understand what pores are, how they function, and what they're doing on our pretty little faces.
Many people use "pores" as a catch-all term for the tiny openings we may see on certain parts of our body, especially our faces. The thing is, there are actually two kinds of pores at work here.
You have sweat pores sprinkled across your entire body to keep you comfortable. They work with the sweat glands to secrete a cooling liquid when you're hot to trot. Some parts of the body have more sweat pores than others- like your hands, feet, underarms, and groin. You don't really have to worry about these pores getting clogged, it doesn't happen often.
Hair follicles, on the other hand, work with your oil glands to deliver oil to your skin's surface. This is an important task because your natural oils serve to nourish your skin. Like sweat pores, you have oil secreting hair follicles over your body, except for your palms and the soles of your feet. These can become clogged very easily, so learning how they function can help you maintain smooth, glowing skin.
How do Pores Become Clogged, and Why does it Matter?
When dead skin gets trapped in your follicles, they become irritated and inflamed. While your pore size is pre-determined by genetics, having clogged pores can stretch them out, causing an enlarged appearance. When a pore is irritated and inflamed, it can lead to:
  • Enlarged appearance of pores.
  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Acne
  • Milia (tiny white bumps.)
None of these things are life-threatening of course, but they're a sign that something's up with your skin, and you may need to change up your routine so everything can function properly.
What Ingredients Clog Pores?
Remember, everyone's skin is so different. Your friend may swear by coconut oil, but it's a known comedogenic, meaning it can clog pores and cause blackheads. You need to find a skincare cocktail that's right for you, and that may change with age, or even the seasons.
If you're prone to blemishes, here are a few ingredients that tend to clog pores:
If you're prone to blemishes AND have patches of dry skin, you'll need to embrace spot treatments. For example, a product high in alcohol may do a great job of drying out your pimples, but it's too harsh when used all over your delicate face.
How do I Minimize Pores?
You can't get rid of your pores. And you can't really shrink them, scientifically speaking. Your pore size is determined by a myriad of factors, and those clear-skinned, poreless looking people are, for the most part, lucky.
But just because you didn't hit the genetic jackpot, doesn't mean you can't do your best to minimize the appearance of pores, and keep them clean.
Pore Strips
If blackheads are driving you crazy, pore strips can be a satisfying quick fix. They will pull out the offending blockage, but they don't really get to the root of the problem. There's nothing wrong with a little pore strip action for a night out or a photoshoot, but you'll want to embrace healthy habits to prevent future problems.
Cleanse and Exfoliate
So, we've learned that dead skin can become trapped inside your sweat glands, causing all kinds of irritation and inflammation. This happens more as we get older because cell renewal tends to slow down, but that doesn't mean you can't give your skin a little boost.
Reach for cleansers with small amounts of salicylic or glycolic acids. These will naturally exfoliate that dead layer of skin, and encourage those lazy cells to get to work.
Chemical or "liquid" exfoliants do exist and can be used as a toner. They tend to be mild enough for everyday use, but can be drying- so it may take you a minute to find the right potion for you.
Physical (or manual) exfoliators are products made with grainy materials to scrub away at dead skin. These are effective, but generally too harsh for daily use. 
Grab a manual scrub for an intensive, once a week treatment. Those pores won't know what hit them!
Lotions and Creams
Try to avoid thick face lotions and creams. If you have dry patches, you may want to use small amounts of rich lotion in those areas after cleansing and toning. Otherwise, a light breathable lotion is your best friend.
Hot or Cold- Does Temperature Affect Pores?
There is an idea floating around the beauty industry that heat "opens" pores, while cold "closes" them. This is sort of true, but not really. Your pores are always "open." They will soften up in warm temperatures, which makes it easier to extract blemishes, so gently cleansing your warm skin may be effective for targeting those pores.
Being born with large or small pores doesn't say anything about the amazing person you are, so try not to sweat it when you see a blackhead. Just take deep, calming breaths, reach for your trusty cleanser, and embrace your wonderful natural self.
Best Reviews
Toner, Peel, Serum, Mask? Four Ways to AHA
Toner, Peel, Serum, Mask? Four Ways to AHA
What is AHA? Alpha hydroxy acids gently removes dead skin cells, encouraging the regeneration of new skin. It is know for its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation, minimize pores and brighten skin. So how is that different from Glycolic Acid? Glycolic acid is actually a type of AHA! Known to be the “smallest”, most researched and gentlest AHA, glycolic acid does all of the aforementioned things and also acts as a humectant, leaving us with smoother, plumper skin. AHA vs BHA? So some of the products I’ll mention contain both AHA and BHA. BHA, particularly salicylic acid, is great for reducing acne but can be drying. BHA has better penetration into pores due it its affinity to oily sebum. That’s why they say BHAs are better for oily skin! How should I incorporate AHA/Glycolic Acid into my skincare routine? Whichever way you choose! Some prefer it in their daily routine whereas others prefer it 2-3x a week- the products mentioned below allow you different options. 1. AHA as a toner. The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution When: Everyday if you want, AM or PM toning step. Price: $8.70 for 8oz Comments: I personally wouldn’t use this everyday especially if you have a broken skin barrier (it stings!) but it leaves me so hydrated and clean the next morning. Paired with a hydrating night serum, I’ve noticed a huge decrease in pore size and bumpy irregularities on my face. 2. AHA as a night cream/peel. VERSED - THE SHORTCUT Overnight Facial Peel When: 2-3 nights per week in my moisturizing step. Price: $9.99 for 0.5 oz Comments: If you have super sensitive skin, this one is for you. This acts as a lotion and has been the mildest form of glycolic acid I’ve seen. I don’t notice as drastic of a glow as TO’s toner or Good Molecules’s Overnight, but it works. Another con is the price...$10 for only 0.5oz allows for only 6-7 uses before repurchasing, whereas I’ve had that 8oz toner for almost a year with plenty left! 3. AHA as a night serum/sleeping mask. GOOD MOLECULES - Overnight Exfoliating Treatment When: 2-3 nights per week in my serum step. Price: $6 for 1 Oz Comments: this is my absolute favorite way of getting my AHA for only $6. I use only 4-5 drops as a “serum” in my regular night routine (see my old post). I would minimize using too many other acids with it! Creates a delicious glow in the AM, this mask also minimizes pores. It is not drying even though it contains BHAs! Would recommend for those who are dry, blackhead, and acne-prone. 4. AHA as a wash-off mask. The Ordinary - AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution When: 1-2 nights a week for 10 min before rinsing off. Price: $7.20 for 1 Oz Comments: This product is hyped and I’m not too sure why. It works as a wash-off mask but it’s drying (bc of BHAs). I would only recommend if you want to add a mask without changing your existing routine.
Lavender is one of my favorite flowers and essential oils to use! 😘 The oil has so my amazing properties and has been used for over 2500 years for things like the beauty world or cooking! 🌟BENEFITS FOR SKIN: 🌟 helps acne and dermatitis ✔️ helps prevent aging ✔️ helps treat dandruff and boosts hair growth ✔️ reduces stress✔️ I use lavender oil 2x a day every day on my face to treat my perioral dermatitis. 🙍🏼‍♀️ I realized go through the store-bought droppers fast! And I thought maybe I can make my own! 💁🏼‍♀️ 🟣TIME TO DIY🟣 what you need 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻 sun 🌞 dried lavender buds (will make a better oil yield if they are sun dried) glass jar with lid fractionated coconut oil🥥 1. Remove extra stems from lavender. 2. Combine lavender buds and fractionated coconut oil in jar. 3. Shake together. 4. Wait 7-10 days and strain using cheese cloth. 5. Keep in sealed glass jar. 💟 Now you never have to buy lavender oils again! {why fractionated coconut oil and not refined coconut oil??} 🥥 Fractionated coconut oil absorbs better into the skin and is less likely to cause breakouts! It also stays in a liquid form even at low temps! OTHER BENEFITS OF LAVENDER OIL 💟 natural insect repellent {plant by your doors or wear on skin} purifies air {defuse it} relives stress {place on temples} helps you sleep better {defuse in bedroom} antioxidants {bye bye wrinkles} reduces muscle soreness {massage into sore muscles} helps with menstrual pain {place on lower stomach and ovary area} I hope you try this fun and super easy diy! 😘 #cheriecreator #diy
Ingredient Breakdown: Peptides
Ingredient Breakdown: Peptides
Collagen is a protein made up of amino acids, imparting bounce and firmness. But collagen can be broken down by free radicals (hello, oxidizing fragrance/volatile essential oil compounds), smoking, UV rays, and age. Age contributes to collagen loss also because your body makes less collagen peptides after some time in your 20s. Topical collagen-containing products don’t work, as collagen molecules are too big to pass through the epidermis. Instead, use peptides to help it act younger and make more collagen! Peptides (also made up of amino acids) are small enough to get to the dermis where collagen is made. In response, skin should start making more peptides to form more collagen. Copper peptides are considered particularly beneficial, though the main benefit over normal peptides is their wound healing capability, making them wonderful for those with acne, on top of their anti-aging benefit. DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Moisturizer contains 9 varieties of peptides, including copper peptides, as well as a variety of amino acids, fatty acids, and humectants. I love this gel-cream, it’s wonderful as a multifaceted moisturizer that is light enough for oily skin and helps fight signs of aging. PAULA'S CHOICE - Peptide Booster contains 8 peptides, amino acids, fatty acids, and a variety of humectants. No copper peptides, instead incorporating a variety of antioxidants, helping to contribute to the calmness of skin and prevent free radical-induced breakdown of collagen. An amazing anti-aging serum with a texture that sits between creamy and silky, sinking in quickly and giving my skin quite a bit of plumpness. This would be the best of the bunch for a multifaceted anti-aging peptide product. The Ordinary - "Buffet" + Copper Peptides 1% contains seven peptides -one of which is a copper peptide- plus a variety of amino acids and hyaluronic acid. It’s a simple yet effective serum that is a bit tacky and smells of metal, but the results are worth it. Applying it to a scab/large acne lesion nightly speeds along its healing noticeably- plus I see less hyperpigmentation develop afterwards. I can’t recommend this enough as a budget-friendly entry into peptide serums!
Acne comes from so many different reasons. But generally there are a few tricks that really help to prevent and treat them. SALICYLIC ACID: PAULA'S CHOICE - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA (Salicylic Acid) Liquid Exfoliator Known for: combating whiteheads & blackheads by penetrating into the pores of the skin and unclogging them This exfoliating toner is amazing at preventing future breakouts because it’s so effective at unclogging pores and keeping them clear. My blackheads have also diminished so much since using this toner and I definitely can’t turn back. It’s quite strong so even I don’t use it every day and night. I’ll take it out only when I feel like my skin is getting congested (around 1-2x a week). AZELAIC ACID: PAULA'S CHOICE - 10% Azelaic Acid Booster Known for: gently exfoliating the surface and refining texture of the skin This is a great booster to mix in with moisturizer whenever I feel like my skin is breaking out a lot and very congested. It’s not super strong especially mixed into the last step of my skincare routine but definitely helps to smooth texture. RETINOL: SKINCEUTICALS - RETINOL 0.5 Retinol night cream Known for: speeding up our skin’s natural cell turnover to reveal newer and clearer skin I’ve used a retinol for more than a year now and I’ve seen the biggest improvement in my skin regarding breakouts and texture. I use it as the last step of my skincare routine every other day now and it’s just a great way to keep my skin healthy over the longterm. NIACINAMIDE: THE inkey LIST - Niacinamide Known for: helping to control oil production by renewing and restoring the surface of the skin against moisture loss Especially with living in a humid climate currently, my skin has been freaking out a lot. But this serum helps so much with promoting my skin to be balanced and self-regulating. My T-zone doesn’t get as oily but doesn’t feel dry either! SUNSCREEN: SKINCEUTICALS - Physical Fusion Uv Defense SPF 50 Okay sunscreen doesn’t DIRECTLY correlate with breakouts, although, there are definitely some that can cause breakouts for some people, mainly physical ones (so find one that doesn’t break you out)! This sunscreen doesn’t break me out and in fact helps with my skin durinf breakouts so much because it protects my skin from hyperpigmentation! The scarring that comes after a breakout can be just as annoying as the breakout itself but sunscreen helps so much to speed up the recovering and healing process! Do you have more tips for preventing breakouts to share?
TIPS FOR GETTING LONG LASHES (that stay curled!)
TIPS FOR GETTING LONG LASHES (that stay curled!)
I don’t have naturally long lashes. Or even full looking lashes. But I feel like I’ve found the perfect combo for naturally long and full looking lashes with the combination. Here is what I do! 1) CURL YOUR LASHES. (AND IN 3 PLACES) shu uemura - Eyelash curler What I mean by curling in 3 places is curling it once at the base of the lashes, once in the middle of the lash-length and once near the tips. This gives a very pretty, soft curl that actually looks like a curled lash compared to a crimped “L-shape” lash that you would get with curling in just one place. I’ve used this same eyelash curler for almost 10 years and it still gives me the BEST curl and actually lasts on my naturally very-straight lashes. (Obviously I have changed the rubber pads every 2-3 years too!) This just helps to fan out the lashes and point them upwards to show the full length. 2) DEFINE THE LASHLINE. DollyWink - Liquid Eyeliner I don’t necessarily draw on liquid liner every time but I’ll usually dot a few dots along the lash line to add some definition that looks soft from afar. This liquid liner is my holy grail liquid eyeliner because it’s super long-lasting and waterproof! 3) USE A LENGTHENING, DEFINING MASCARA. (waterproof helps too!) MAYBELLINE - Lash Sensational Curvitude Waterproof Curling Mascara I love a waterproof mascara because it never smudges or flakes, and it seriously holds a curl! This Maybelline mascara has a really nice curved plastic brush that pushes up the lashes to promote a curl. Probably the most curl-defining mascara I’ve tried in a looong time.