Pores: Myths & Management
Are your pores the first thing you notice when you look in a mirror? Do you find that no matter what product you use, you can’t shift those blackheads?
As you’re going to discover, pores are a vital component in the health of your skin, but they also have the potential to make you look older than your years and create an uneven complexion. The key to improving the appearance of pores is to work with them, not against them.
But first, let’s explore what pores are and why we have them.
What are pores?
Pores are tiny openings in your skin that allow sweat to escape, helping us to regulate our internal temperature and preventing us from overheating. They also contain hair follicles, or in the case of facial pores, what you might call “peach fuzz”. These tiny hairs are connected to sebaceous glands beneath the skin’s surface, which are responsible for secreting sebum (oil) to keep your skin moisturised.
The natural oils your skin produces are incredibly important to its overall health. When in balance, the oil helps to keep skin supple and nourished and delays the signs of ageing. However, issues begin when these pores become clogged with dirt, sebum and dead skin cells.
Left untreated, clogged pores result in blackheads, whiteheads and other types of acne. Thankfully, there are plenty of proven ways to manage pores and keep them clean and healthy.
Why do some people have large pores?
If you’re self-conscious about your pores, blame your mother! Genetics is often the reason some people have larger pores than others. Other contributing factors are sun damage, naturally oily skin with an overproduction of sebum, and mature skin.
Aging causes a breakdown of collagen and the elastin fibres that hold our skin firm and plump. As these fibres degenerate and break down, our skin starts to relax. This sagging of the skin can cause the pores to appear larger and more noticeable. And, as sun damage leads to premature ageing, younger sun-seekers may experience collagen-related pore enlargement too.
How do you close your pores?
One of the biggest myths about pores is that you can use skincare products to make them close. They simply can’t do that, nor should they. As we’ve seen, their size is often genetic, and they have an important function that requires they stay open to allow sweat and oil to reach the skin’s surface.
We cannot reduce the size of our pores or force them to close – but we can change their appearance.
How do you improve the appearance of pores?
The tighter your pores appear, the smoother and plumper your skin will appear. You can give your pores a helping hand by preventing blockages using a gentle and effective cleanser and exfoliant.
Avoid harsh oil-stripping products, which will simply send your sebaceous glands into overdrive to replenish your skin’s surface. Instead, opt for a skin-specific cleanser and a targeted AHA or BHA exfoliant to break the bonds holding dead skin cells to your outer dermis.
A serum high in hyaluronic acid is also a great addition to any skincare routine, regardless of your skin type. Gently and deeply hydrating, it locks in moisture without impacting your natural oils.
You can also help prevent your pores from enlarging by using a daily SPF, staying hydrated and eating a diet rich in good-quality fats.
What treatments target pores?
There are some effective in-clinic professional treatments that will help improve the appearance of your pores. Our top recommendations for pore refining treatments are
These treatments target an increase of collagen production, improve skin structure and balance texture and tone.
To discuss these treatments further, please book a personalised consultation.