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We Open Up About Pores

June 22, 2018

Enlarged pores, clogged pores, pores that show through makeup. The discontent that some of our patients have with their pores is perfectly understandable. While we may not like the appearance of the little holes, they help our skin to breathe, release natural moisturising oils and excrete dead skin cells, so they need some love and looking-after.

What makes pores look large and coarse?

There are a few reasons why pores become enlarged or coarse. For some people, it’s just genes, but in many cases, pores dilate when they’re clogged, when our skin becomes imbalanced or as part of the ageing process.

Pores can become clogged by makeup, oil or general build-up from pollution in the air. Regular cleansing will clear the surface of your skin, but it may not always clear the minute amount of debris that gets into your pores. When your pores have even a minor blockage, the sebaceous glands have a difficult time excreting the excess sebum and dead cells, which makes the clog worse, and makes the pores look enlarged. Clogging also allows bacteria to thrive, which can lead to blackheads and pimples.

Ironically, dry skin can cause the pores to clog, too. When your skin becomes dehydrated, your sebaceous glands can overcompensate their oil production and unwittingly clog your pores, leaving them enlarged and pimple-prone as well. Like many things in life, balance is key, so cleanse and moisturise together.

Pores can also appear larger as we age. Over the years, our skin loses elasticity as less collagen is produced. This can cause the skin around the pores to become lax, so the pores look larger as they sag.

Can you make pores smaller?

There are products and treatments that can shrink the appearance of pores, but they vary between people and depend on the cause of pores enlarging in the first place.

If clogging is the culprit, then cleansing is essential. To prevent build-up, it’s important to exfoliate to remove any dead skin cells that might stick to pores and cleanse regularly. Cleansers that contain alpha-hydroxy acids help remove dead skin cells while charcoal is perfect for removing impurities. Be sure to moisturise after cleansing to prevent the sebaceous glands from overcompensating any moisture lost in the process.

HydraFacial acne treatment
HydraFacial: exfoliating, decongesting, extracting and hydrating

As mentioned above, cleansing doesn’t always get right into the pores, so some extraction can be your best friend. HydraFacial is a method named by Byrdie.com as one of seven pore treatments “that will change your life.” In addition to cleansing and exfoliation, Hydrafacial treatments involve a suction device that extracts all the debris from your pores. You can see it collected in a small container afterwards, which is gross, but oh-so satisfying.

If your pores are enlarged due to ageing or natural toughness in the skin, you might try treatments that help skin to rebuild. Skincare products with vitamins A and C help the skin cells rebuild and repair, which can reduce the appearance of pores, along with other anti-aging benefits. Vitamin A can sometimes cause a bit of redness at first, so it’s a good idea to pair it with a soothing vitamin B.

RF Needling treatments use radiofrequency energy, along with percutaneous needling to stimulate a micro-healing response in your skin. The healing response induces rebuilding of collagen, which can result in smaller-looking pores.

You can’t fight pores the same way as might fight conditions like acne. They are part of our skin, so we must take a cleansing and rebuilding approach.

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