We all have pores and these pores are connected to sebaceous (oil) glands. These glands produce sebum (oil) which moves to the surface of the skin to help keep the skin moisturized. This oil within a pore is called a sebaceous filament and help facilitate oil secretion from the gland to the skin. They tend to be gray or yellow in color and are harmless. These filaments can be more noticeable on those that have larger pores or more oily skin types.
Blackheads are actually black in color. They occur when sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria clog the pore. The oil will oxidize when exposed to air and turn black.
Pore size is genetic so that is a fixed characteristic. If a product states it can shrink your pores or completely get rid of them, please, do not believe this. Nothing will physically alter the size of your pore. Pores with regular oil production are important to keep your skin moisturized.
Pores can look larger if there is skin texture or they are clogged. Also, as we age and accumulate more sun damage, the skin around the pore become weak causing the pore wall to be lax and can make them larger. This is another reason to always wear sunscreen!
One of the biggest misconception is that pores can “open” and “close.” This is not true. There is not a surrounding muscle that would cause them to open or close.
There are ways to help pores appear smaller:
Ingredients such as salicylic acid and/or retinol can help prevent clogged pores.
Regular facials with extractions from a reputable licensed esthetician to keep pores clean.
Exfoliating can help reduce the texture of skin around the pores.
Certain masks can assist with unclogging pores, oil control, and improve the skins overall appearance.
Wearing sunscreen every day to help reduce sun damage