What are enlarged pores? And what causes them? To start with, pores are the openings of the hair follicles that contain sebaceous glands (in other words, wherever there is hair there are pores). Thanks to these sebaceous glands, our skin is able to get rid of excess oil and sweat. Pores cover our whole body, but the most noticeable ones are found on the nose, forehead and chin. Whereas the sweat producing pores are very small in size and often go unnoticed.
If you suffer from enlarged pores on your face, you are not alone. But in order to treat something, we ought to dig deeper to get to the root of it. Enlarged pores (and blackheads) can be caused by any of the following:
- Oily skin: Excess sebum, oil and dead skin accumulating inside the pores and stretching them out give them their large appearance.
- Sun exposure and aging: Exposure to ultraviolet rays unleash the free radical molecules that destroy elastin and collagen.
- Makeup: Known to be a magnet for dirt and oils, excessive use of makeup accompanied by a bad cleansing routine can cause the accumulation of residual makeup in the pores, which consequently gives them their large appearance.
- Aging: After the age of 40, we start to naturally lose 1% of the skin’s collagen every year. As collagen and elastin production decreases, the cell renewal activity slows down and weakens the pore’s closure participating in the increased visibility of the pores.
- Genetics & hormonal changes
There is no permanent solution to get rid of large pores, however, there are many ways by which their visibility could be decreased.
Lets start with a two simple rules:
RULE ONE : Balanced diet has a lot to do with how healthy your skin looks and feels! So keep away from fried foods and simple carbohydrates (which include refined sugar, white bread and soda). To ultimately break down these carbohydrates, your body produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, this causes your skin to sag and wrinkle (Surprise, surprise!!).
RULE TWO: Moreover, a skincare regimen (even a simple one) can do miracles to your skin. I would personally suggest a 3-step daily regimen:
Cleanse- Start with a mild cleansing soap or facewash that does not affect your skin’s natural pH level. The pH level is the power of hydrogen of your skin which ranges from 1 -14. An ideal pH level would be around 5.5 (To learn more about pH please check our blog posts)
Tone-Using a high quality toner with witch hazel or tea tree oil (without any harmful chemicals, of course) is efficient at removing excess oil and work as astringents. This step helps clean the pores and shrink in size, so as to not let the dirt settle in or create blackheads further. You can either tone with a cotton ball or even spray your face with it and let it air dry.
Moisturize-Choosing the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type is key (don’t forget to read the label and look out for any nasty chemicals!). For dry skin a cream-based moisturizer is advised, whereas a gel-based moisturizes might be better suited for oily/acne prone skin, Try to moisturize on a damp face as it helps in absorbing the moisture better into the skin.
A few more tips!
- Once a week, use a Labothécaire clay mask to tighten your pores in addition to exfoliate and brighten your skin.
- Protect your skin from the sun with a high-quality sunblock (reapply every two hours).
- At night use a retinoid-based serum or ask your doctor to prescribe a retin- A cream or gel.
- Ask your doctor about gentle fruit acid peels as they plump up the skin, giving it a lift and decreasing the appearance of large pores.
- Exfoliate your skin not more than 2 times per week.
- And last but not the least, do not forget to keep your body well-hydrated!