A women applying make up to just above her eye

What does makeup do to your pores?

Whether it’s a layer of foundation, a few dabs of concealer or several coats of mascara, applying makeup is part of most women's daily routine. But how exactly are the products you're using affecting your pores?

What are pores?

Those tiny openings you see on the surface of your skin are called pores and they contain hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum which lubricates your skin and hair keeping them healthy. Due to a lack of oil, those with dry skin usually find it harder to see their pores. In contrast, those with combination or oily skin tend to have clearly visible or enlarged pores.

What causes blocked pores?

Dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and makeup can stick to the sebum as your glands continue to produce oil. This can cause a build-up which clogs and congests pores leading to pimples, blackheads and acne. Although this can affect any skin type, this happens more often in oily skin and on areas where sebaceous glands are larger like the chest and back.

Can makeup clog pores?

Although makeup is not the only culprit, products like foundation, powder and blush can contribute to blocked pores. This is especially the case on oily skin, if the ingredients irritate sensitive skin or if the products are too oily or heavy. This can be avoided with a careful skincare routine or by switching to non-comedogenic or water-based makeup which may be less likely to clog pores.

Looking after your pores

Taking care to remove makeup thoroughly is key. Along with proper cleansing, this will help make sure there isn’t any leftover residue to cause clogging. Every night before bed, use a makeup remover to take off any cosmetics. Finish by massaging a suitable cleanser into your skin before rinsing off for squeaky clean skin. An exfoliator once a week will also help keep your pores clog-free.

Skincare