Our bodies are covered by millions of pores -small openings in the skin- but this term can be deceiving. We actually have two different kinds of pores- oil and sweat. Sweat pores, like the name suggests, release sweat onto the skin surface and are too small to see with the naked eye. Oil pores are what we see when looking at the skin surface and are responsible for things like blackheads and oily skin. While pores are a natural part of our body’s makeup and their size is mainly  predetermined  by our DNA, certain factors could be causing your pores to appear larger than you would like. Fortunately, there are ways that you can keep your pores healthy and minimize their appearance.

Identify the cause of your enlarged pores

The first step in combating enlarged pores is understanding what causes them. According to a 2016 study on facial pores, researchers found that there six main reasons for enlarged facial pores, including  three major clinical issues: high sebum excretion ( overproduction of your body’s natural oils), decreased elasticity around your pores (aka—loss of collagen), and increased hair follicle volume (clogged pores). They also found that sex hormones, chronic acne, and poor skincare routines can also affect the size of your pores.

Stop washing your face with soap

Switching up your facial cleanser  may be enough to calm and minimize enlarged, clogged pores. Because our face is much more sensitive than the rest of our body, we need to be more mindful of how we wash it.  Even “gentle” body soaps can disrupt the skin’s PH levels, causing clogged pores, acne breakouts, dry skin, and yup, large pores. Ideally, you should wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and again at night, with a gentle gel-based cleanser, a water-based cleanser, or cleansing oil.

Reconsider any acne treatment products

Acne treatment can create a vicious cycle. While salicylic acid may help treat a current outbreak, long-term use can irritate and strip your skin of its natural oils—thereby encouraging your body to create more oil. As a result, these treatments may ultimately cause an even greater build-up of sebum in your pores. If you are using these products, make sure to use them on an as-needed basis to avoid over-drying and increasing oil production.

Exfoliate twice a week

Using an exfoliant once or twice a week can help to remove dead skin and remove built-up layers of dirt and makeup. Be cautious not to overdo your exfoliation, though, as it can also irritate the skin and strip it of its natural oils, which we know by now can lead to clogged pores. Avoid exfoliating in the morning, since  fresh skin is more vulnerable to sun damage. Instead, incorporate exfoliation into your nighttime routine. Be sure to moisturize after exfoliating as well.

Get results with a charcoal face mask

Face masks should already be a staple of your self-care routine to keep supple, healthy, and radiant skin, but you can also use a charcoal face mask to reduce pores.

The KNESKO Black Pearl Detox Collagen Face Mask is particularly effective at minimizing the appearance of pores. Our doctor-formulated masks utilize activated bamboo charcoal that attracts dirt and oil trapped deep within your pores like a magnet. The black pearl powder replenishes your skin’s moisture level, and the marine collagen enhances its elasticity and overall health. And because of its hydrogel structure, the mask seals onto your face, allowing your pores to soak up every bit of powerful serum. Bask in the glow of noticeable results that are visible as soon as you remove your mask.  Repeat as often as necessary to maintain healthy pores.