Truth: “Porexia” is a thing
Are you obsessed with the size of your pores? Would you do anything to make them appear smaller? If so, you’re far from alone. Many people complain about the size of their skin pores because they fear it makes them look older, according to a study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. The good news is that putting pore myths and facts into perspective can eliminate the need for any such sacrifices.
Truth: There are two types of pores
Your skin is composed of oil pores and sweat pores. Oil pores are actually hair follicles. Each contains a sebaceous gland that produces oil (sebum), and these pores tend to be the source of our cosmetic discontent. “Sweat glands are very small, so it’s the hair follicles that bother us more and tend to become blocked,” says Gervaise Gerstner, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, NY.
Truth: Pores have a purpose
And it’s not just to irritate you and drive you to distraction either. Oil pores are needed for hair to grow and to provide safe passage of oil to the skin surface, where it is tasked with protecting your skin. In fact, the average adult has 5 million pores, with approximately 20,000 on the face alone. When pores become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, a blackhead or whitehead may form. Enter bacteria. In response, the skin grows red and inflamed, causing a pimple. (Here’s the dermatologist-approved way to pop a pimple—if you can’t leave it alone.)