What Your Pores Say About Your Skin
Beauty ads everywhere tell you to shrink your pores, but it’s not all about looks. When your skin doesn’t get what it needs, your pores suffer. That’s when you start to see acne, enlarged pores, and other skin issues.
It happens to everyone at some point, but keeping your skin healthy means knowing what your pores need and how to keep them clear. We’re here to show you how you can do that, what to look out for, and what products work best when you want to avoid skin troubles.
What Are the Different Types of Pores?
No matter what the big brands say, you need your pores. They keep your skin healthy, and no amount of cleansing, toning, or concealing will get rid of them. You don’t want them gone—you just want them to work the way they should!
Before you spiral down the skincare rabbit hole, not all pores are the same. They don’t just vary between people either. Depending on where you look on your face, you’ve got different types of pores based on your skin type.
The main two types of pores that everyone has are oil pores and sweat pores. Oil pores are usually larger, and they connect to oil glands. Those are the ones that beauty brands are talking about when they try to sell you stuff to make your pores disappear, and they’re the ones that get clogged and create acne. Sweat pores are super tiny and connect to sweat glands.
Both pores work with your body to help you, even beyond the surface of your skin. Oil pores are attached to hair follicles, which let sebum—your skin’s natural oil—come to the surface and moisturize your skin. In other words, it keeps your skin healthy. Sweat pores release sweat onto the surface of your skin that evaporates to cool you down and regulate your body temperature.
If your pores do their jobs right, they help your skin stay healthy and clear. But sometimes, sebum, sweat, and pollution can create skin issues, especially as your skin changes over your life.
You might have already guessed that the location of your pores can lead to different skin issues. For example, your T-zone is more acne-prone because it has more oil pores, which means more sebum and potential for clogging. Plus, hair products can cause acne on the forehead, making it even more important to cleanse and exfoliate these areas. Likewise, enlarged pores on your cheeks can happen for lots of reasons, from UV rays and environmental factors to not enough cleansing.
The shapes of your pores can tell you a lot about your skin and what it needs. Watch for these three pore types:
• Y-shaped: Pores take this shape thanks to gravity and age leading to reduced skin elasticity.
• O-shaped: When you have too much sebum, it creates acne and skin inflammation, leading to this pore shape.
• U-shaped: This shape also comes from lower skin elasticity, though in this case, it’s usually caused by dehydration, not aging.
Pore shapes can tell you how to take care of your skin. If you have U-shaped pores, your skin probably needs more moisturizing. Y-shaped pores could benefit from serums or retinol products that help keep your skin firm and increase elasticity.
Sometimes changing up your skincare routine isn’t enough. If you have severe skin issues or aren’t sure what to try next, talk to a dermatologist. They can help pinpoint the cause of your skin trouble and work with you to find solutions that benefit you.
Match Your Skincare to Your Pores
Tailor your skincare routine to your skin type. If you have oily skin, avoid oil-based products and go for water-based ones instead, like this Momo Puri cleansing wash. Like most things in life, it’s all about creating balance. Even though you need your skin’s oils, you don’t want too much of a good thing.
A minimal skincare routine should include a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer to keep your pores fresh and clean. Using AHAs and BHAs to exfoliate can also help prevent acne, since they get deeper into your pores than your average cleanser.
Even if you have oily skin, don’t skip the moisturizer. It can balance your skin’s oil production and help the oil your skin does make go to the right place, leaving your skin looking less oily and more hydrated than before. If you have dry skin, a moisturizer will pick up the slack where your skin doesn’t make its own oils. You can also use a clay mask once or twice a week to unclog pores before trapped dirt and sebum cause problems. And don’t forget to protect your skin with sunscreen!
Not sure where to start? Check out Keshoume’s selection of Japanese skincare products and see which ones fit your skin’s needs!
Sarah Wood - March 29, 2021
Kim, Wendy. “3 Different Types of Pores and How to Treat Them Like a Pro.” Wishtrend. https://www.wishtrend.com/glam/3-different-types-of-pores-and-how-to-treat-them-like-a-pro/. Accessed 18 March 2021.
Palmer, Angela. “What Your Pores Say About Your Skin.” VerywellHealth. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-are-pores-15488. Accessed 18 March 2021.
“Top 8 Ways to Get Rid of Large Pores.” Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-get-rid-of-large-pores. Accessed 18 March 2021.