Pores – what you can do to reduce them

What is a pore?

Pores are essentially tiny holes which are a structural part of our skin; some produce sweat, and some produce a natural oil called sebum. Oil releasing pores can become enlarged. The larger your pores, the more visible they are and when they become clogged with excess dirt or sebum, you may find yourself with acne, whiteheads or blackheads.

Why do I have large pores?

If you have large pores, it’s not your fault! There are only three known determining factors of pore size:

1. Genetics. If you have large pores, they have likely been passed down through the genetic line. People with fair and dry skin tend to have smaller pores.

2. Oily Skin. People who have naturally oily skin have larger pores. The more you stimulate your sebaceous glands, the more oil is produced, and the pores enlarge to expel this oil. Clogged pores also have the same effect

3. Age. As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity. This means it can no longer spring back to its earlier state after being filled with dead skin cells or sebum.

What can I do about large pores?

While you cannot get rid of naturally large pores, or shrink pores that have been enlarged by excess dirt and oil. You can visibly reduce the appearance of pores, and take preventative measures to stop them getting any larger.

My suggestions are:

1. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including diet, exercise and water intake ensuring your skin is getting the right balance of nutrients and hydration.

2. Avoid touching your face (unless you’re applying skin care products or you’re cleansing). Bacteria on your fingers can transfer into pores and help clog them, we don’t want this!

3. Washing the face both morning and evening, and after exercise.

4. Choosing water-based creams. Using oil-based creams (including natural oils such as coconut oil) can mix with dead skin cells and clog up pores. You should be moisturising daily.

5. Choosing gel-based or oil-based cleansers. Slightly different to the above point in terms of oil, but face oil actually dissolved better in oil than in water, so this is why.

6. Exfoliating regularly at home – once to twice per week. It is important not to exfoliate more than twice a week, however. Although exfoliation keeps the pores unclogged, they can look bigger if the skin becomes too dry.

7. Applying a clay mask once to twice per week to help unclog pores

8. Always removing makeup before sleeping, or when exercising

9. Changing your pillowcase regularly – a trap for bacteria and makeup and products left on our faces!

10. Wearing sunscreen/ using SPF daily (even in the winter!) UV and pollution cause free radicals that break down the collagen and elastin in skin, making the skin less tight and pores therefore look larger. Some SPFs can be shiny and this can make pores appear more prominent, therefore using a primer that contains SPF, or foundation (if you wear it) containing SPF are good options

11. Using a cream containing retinoid – retinoid cream helps boost cell turnover, including collagen and visible results can be seen in a few weeks. This is due to it’s ability to increase skin’s collagen production while also decreasing it’s oil production.

12. Using products with salicylic acid – Salicylic acid (a BHA) is oil soluble, meaning it’s able to get inside pores to gently push out dead skin, bacteria, sebum, and any other pore-clogging debris. Glycolic acid – glycolic acid (an AHA) does the same thing but not as deep. Lactic acid also works in the same way as glycolic acid but is slightly weaker. You can find products that contain both BHAs and AHAs.

13. Dermaplaning (an exfoliation treatment which also removes ‘peach fuzz’ hair – known to trap dirt and oil). Dermaplaning can be booked on our website.

14. Microneedling – This is a non-invasive skin treatment to pierce the surface of the skin causing controlled micro-injuries, which prompt the skin’s healing response. This can reduce the appearance of large pores. Microneedling also allows better penetration of skincare products, which means what I’ve mentioned above (such as acids and retinoid products) will work more effectively! A double whammy!Microneedling can be booked on our website (under dermarolling).

15. The million dollar facial – includes both dermaplaning and microneedling in one treatment, alongside a hyaluronic acid mask and lymphatic drainage massage. A treat for your face! You can book this via our website.

16. Chemical peels – an in-office treatment which improves the appearance of pores and skin overall, over time. Chemical peels can be booked via our website.

17. “Botox” – Recent studies have shown that “botox” can help reduce the size of pores. The term ‘Poretox’ was created for this treatment and is starting to become more widely used and heard. “Botox” reduces sebum production by around 30 per cent, which can reduce the appearance of pores by around 18 per cent. Consultation is required to decide whether this would be suitable for you first, and other treatments may be recommended as preparation before “Botox”. Consultations can be booked online via our website.

18. Laser treatment – This stimulates the skin’s deepest layers to smooth and plump complexion. Consult a dermatologist for these treatments.