Pores, they’re everywhere in our body and a necessary function of our skin. However, we seem to get obsessed with the pores on our face due to images of airbrushed models plastered all across social media, tv, and print ads.
The truth is, everyone has visible pores and they are a necessary part of skin!
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SQUEEZE PORES ON NOSE
For most people, squeezing blackheads is a habit that can be controlled. Yet for some, it can quickly become a compulsion. Michelle Henry, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Medical College states that “Every time they do it, they release a little bit of dopamine and that’s the same kind of neurotransmitter that’s released with many, many addictive behaviors,”
Does squeezing nose pores make them bigger?
The reason why it’s bad to squeeze clogged nose pores is because any kind of picking, squeezing, or pulling stretches the elastin around the pores which can enlarge pores. With constant squeezing, the pore can remain more stretched and enlarged over time without the ability to bounce back.
Squeezing nose pores can also cause damage to the surrounding tissue leading to scarring, and the enlarged pores can make sebaceous filaments appear even larger.
WHAT ARE NOSE PORES?
Nose pores are the openings to the hair follicles on your skin. There are actually 2 types of pores: there’s one that releases our body’s natural oil which is the sebum , and there’s the other one that contains the sweat glands to release sweat.
Pores come in different sizes and nose pores are naturally larger than the pores that are located in other areas or parts of your skin. “Pores allow the skin to breathe, and are the passageway between the inside of the body and the outside,” says dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, M.D.
Pores serve as the pathway for dirt and other unwanted and unnecessary substances to exit the body.
However, it can also serve as an entrance for foreign molecules to enter sensitive areas of the skin which lead to pimples, acne, and blackheads which we try to avoid.
WHAT CAUSES NOSE PORES TO APPEAR LARGER
Nose pores are inherently larger. If the pores on your nose get clogged, this can become more noticeable. Clogged nose pores typically consist of a combination of sebum and dead skin cells that get stock in the hair follicles beneath. This creates “plugs” that can then harden and enlarge the follicle walls. In turn, this can make the pores more noticeable.
Another factor of having enlarged pores would be age – our skin’s elasticity starts pulling back and losing the speed at which it renews which can make pores appear larger.
There are 3 major causes of enlarged facial pores which is 1. high sebum excretion, 2. decreased elasticity around pores and 3. increased hair follicle volume.
Here are other causes of enlarged nose pores:
- Lack of exfoliation
- Sun exposure without applying sunscreen
- Hormone fluctuations
- Extreme stress
- Poor skin care habits
- Oily skin
WHAT ARE SEBACEOUS FILAMENTS?
A sebaceous filament is that slightly translucent white stuff coming out of your pores every time you squeeze it. This filament is made up of sebum and dead skin cells. This substance typically collects in pores around your nose and chin. That’s because the pores here tend to be bigger, and the oil remains in the pore until its extracted.
Sebaceous filaments are quite similar in appearance with the blackheads, but usually they aren’t dark. The purpose of these filaments is to direct the oil flow. You can’t get rid of these filaments as they are part of your skin, but you can minimize their appearances.
Sebaceous filaments and blackheads may look very similar, but they work very differently. When too much sebum is produced, and mixes with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria and get exposed to air — that clogged pore can lead to the formation of a blackhead.
People often confuse sebaceous filaments with blackheads. Blackheads are a form of acne, while sebaceous filaments are not.
Is it bad to squeeze sebaceous filaments?
When a person extracts a blackhead, the dark plug may come off. Beneath it, there may be white or yellow sebum and skin cells.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association strongly advises againstextracting or squeezing out the sebaceous filaments as trying to do so can injure the skin and cause scarring. Moreover, it can also damage and stretch the pore, making it look bigger.
What can I do about sebaceous filaments?
The proper way to deal with sebaceous filaments is with regular exfoliation and cleansing.
Here are few tips for a face cleaning routine to help improve the appearance of sebaceous filaments, as suggested by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology):
- Wash face twice a day and after sweating.
- Avoid scrubbing your face but wash it gently.
- Deep clean your pores with a mask that draws out plugs like a clay mask
- Exfoliate with AHA or BHA to remove dead skin cells
HOW TO CLEAN AND UNCLOG NOSE PORES
The first step to resolving nose pores is to make sure they’re clean. Oil, dirt, cosmetic product, and makeup can lead to clogged nose pores.
If you’re wondering how to shrink enlarged pores, here are 8 effective ways:
- Wash face both morning and evening
- Choose gel-based or foaming cleansers
- Exfoliate regularly
- Moisturize daily
- Apply a clay mask to remove excess oils
- Always thoroughly remove makeup at night, double cleansing is recommended
- Wear sunscreen
Cleansing removes any leftover makeup, as well as oil, dirt, and bacteria from your pores. Ideally, you should do this twice a day. You might need to cleanse again during the day after you work out, too. This helps pores remain less visible and keeps them from being too enlarged.
Choose gel based cleansers– A moisturizing cleanser may leave residue in the pores and increase oiliness. A gel based cleanser helps to clear oil from the pores, reducing their appearance. You may use the BANISH All Clear Mint Cleanser for clearing the oil from your pores and reduce the appearance of large pores. Try to avoid using a cleanser that gives your skin a very dry feeling so your skin won’t produce excess oil.
How to use the Banish All Clear Mint Cleanser:
- Apply a small amount of cleanser to damp face
- Massage on face for 30 to 60 seconds then rinse off with water
Exfoliate– Exfoliating once or twice a week could be another effective way to get rid of large pores as it deeply removes debris from the pores that block them, including dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil. Use the BANISH Pumpkin Enzyme Masque to exfoliate your skin at least 2 times a week.
How to use the Banish Pumpkin Enzyme Masque:
- Spread a thin layer on the face and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Wash off thoroughly (Note that you may experience a mild tingling sensation within the first minute or two).
Moisturize Daily–The idea of moisturizing oily skin sounds counterintuitive to some but the rght moisturizer helps minimize pores over time. Moisturizers hydrate and soften our skin and allow the sebum to flow through the pores easily instead of plugging up the pore. You may go with the BANISH Serum or the BANISH Vitamin C Crème to help moisturize your skin.
A person should first wash and pat the skin dry, then gently apply a moisturizer to help hydrate and soften the skin.
Apply A Clay Mask– It is advisable to do this on a different day than exfoliating, as over treating the skin may cause irritation. Irritation can cause pores to appear enlarged and can lead to blemishes.
Using a clay mask once or twice a week can help to remove excess oil from the pores. This can prevent pores from becoming enlarged, and reduce their appearance.
Always Remove Makeup At Night–Sleeping in makeup overnight can cause the pores to become blocked due to a buildup of makeup, oil, and bacteria.
Wear Sunscreen–It is crucial to care for the skin when in the sun. Sun exposure can damage collagen, the structure of skin, making pores appear larger. Many moisturizers contain sunscreen. People should choose one with an SPF of 30 or over.
We recommend the Defender sunscreen because it also contains peptides which can increase collagen in skin.
Not to mention, you may also use microneedling treatments (a non-invasive skin treatment). Piercing the surface of the skin causes micro-injuries, which activates the skin’s healing response to create more collagen and elastin fibers. This can reduce the appearance of large pores if they’re caused by loss of elastin.
MYTHS ABOUT PORES
“As the skin around a pore loses its firmness when we age, the pore may appear larger because of the lack of support from the surrounding tissue,” says Evans.
Did you know that there are certain myths we believed were true about our pores? Such as steaming them so that they would open? Here are common myths about pores:
- Pores open and close
- The black in ‘blackheads’ is dirt
- You can get rid of pores
Let’s debunk each of these myths about pores.
Myth: Pores open and close.
Pores actually don’t have muscles around their opening that allows them to open and close, but pores can stretch and tighten slightly.
If you tighten the muscles around your pores with cold temperatures for example, then the pores in that area can look smaller because the muscles surrounding it are getting constricted from the cold. You can apply an ice cube on your skin in the morning to reduce the appearance of pores temporarily.
Myth: The black in ‘blackheads’ is dirt. Those black things we see across our noses or face are actually the results of oxidation, and doesn’t have anything to do with dirt.
Blackheads are usually made of the dead skin cells, oils, and sebum produced in the pore that gets exposed to air. This triggers an oxidation process, so the debris in the pore oxidizes to a black color.
Prevent new blackheads from forming by getting into a regular exfoliating regimen. Use an exfoliating cleanser and look for ingredients such as salicylic acid, which helps clear out blackheads.
Myth: You can get rid of pores – Says who? Pores are an essential part of skin. We can’t banish pores completely but rather we can make them less noticeable if we practice proper skincare for our skin type.