In the same week, two viewers asked questions about whether enlarged pores can be made worse by skincare products. The first asked if water resistant products like water resistant foundation, clog pores. The other asked if she tries to hide her enlarged pores every day by filling them in with a primer or a foundation, will that be counterproductive in terms of preventing those pores from shrinking over time with exfoliation? She then finished her question by asking if she should avoid using makeup on pores that have just been emptied.
To answer these questions, first I’ll remind you that enlarged pores have many causes, but the three most important ones are… First, excess oil production. Second, incomplete shedding and clumping of the dead cells that line the pores. And third… well actually, the two questions I just mentioned concern the third cause of enlarged pores… third, is products you apply to your skin that further clog the opening of your pores.
The skincare products that do this are products that are either oil-based, or products that are comedogenic. So whether it’s a water resistant foundation, or a primer, or any foundation, as long as it’s oil free OR non-comedogenic, it shouldn’t further clog and thereby aggravate the appearance of enlarged pores.
Just as a reminder, about that fancy word “non-comedogenic”… A comedone is a black head or a whitehead and a product that causes blackheads or whiteheads is “comedogenic”. So if a product is labeled “non-comedogenic”, that’s a technical way to say that it’s been tested and shown to not clog pores, which is exactly what you always want, but especially if you have enlarged pores.
And by the way, don’t forget about the second cause of enlarged pores that I mentioned: clumping of dead cells that line the pores. This is just another reason to make sure that you exfoliate every day, to help to remove these clumps - which is one of the important reasons why I recommend using a gentle but effective glycolic exfoliating product regularly.