What Can You Do About Large Pores?
I’m amazed at all that I read about pores and how you can get rid of them. Making readers believe that there is magic cream to banish or instantly tighten pores is sadly a myth!
But all is not lost, there definitely are things that you can do to improve the appearance of pores but few are instant and not my choice of words: ”improve” not eradicate.
What are pores?
Pores are small holes in the skin through which hair, oil and debris (e.g. dead skin cells) can pass from the deeper layers of the skin to the surface. You can have pores in areas where you don’t have significant hair (such as the forehead) – these are places where once we would have had hair but have lost as humans have evolved. Though there may be no significant hair here, there will still be oil glands hence why we get acne there (see my previous blogs on acne and how it comes about)
Why do I have large pores?
A large part of what determines the size of your pores is genetic. Research in 2015 looking at women from different parts of the world found that there were large differences in the size and number of pores. Indian women had the most and largest pores, Caucasian women not too far behind but Chinese women were way down the bottom of the chart by a long way.
There is another reason you may have large pores…. You’re looking too closely in a magnifying mirror in your bathroom! No one else looks at your skin this closely and if you looked at their skin that closely, you’d see how large theirs looked too!
What makes pores change in size?
Pores allow oil and dead cells to pass through them. If you have a large amount of oil with clumps of cells mixed in, these can hold the pore open. If you don’t clear this obstruction, a pimple can form.
Pores get larger as we get older until the age of 50 or so. Think of the deep layer of skin as carpet underlay. As we age, this layer gets weaker as the underlay wears meaning that the over lying carpet (in this case our skin) doesn’t have such a flat and sturdy base which affects texture. This reduction in the density and quality of collagen and elastin allows the pores to enlarge.
Can I make my pores smaller?
The good news is yes, there certainly are ways to help with pores.
Okay, so this is the boring bit that we don’t often want to hear but it’s true, prevention is always better than cure! We can minimise the damage to our skin by not doing things that we know add to the problem such as sun exposure (natural or sunbeds), smoking etc.
Good exfoliation and oil control will minimise the amount of material that holds your pores open. Think about ZO TE Pads, £44.50 for 60 – yes, I’ve spoken about these before but they are my absolute favourite and great value for money. If I could l would have EVERY client use these, I (and they) would be very happy!
Products containing retinol (a member of the Vitamin A family) are great for this but go carefully, until your skin has built up tolerance, you can get redness, dryness and general irritation. Think about Medki8 3TR Retinol Serum (just £31) for an introduction or ZO Retamax (£126.50) for the connoisseurs looking for potency.
Professional peels such as our Peel Me Boosters or more advanced 30% Salicylic acid peels are great for oil control and exfoliation. These treatments help to tackle the problem of oil and debris but are not big players when it comes to anti-ageing. Stronger peels such as the ZO 3 Step peel will have a bigger impact on boosting collagen and elastin.
You can save £700 off a course of 5 factional laser treatments purchased in November.
Of course, you can try to just cover the pores up with makeup. The downside to this is that you effectively block the pores which hinders the flow of oil and can lead to congestion and outbreaks. Although quick and easy, the quick fix isn’t always the best one. It’s worth being patient and spending the time to do the job properly. Not only will you improve the appearance of your pores but of your skin as a whole.
You can book a free skin consultation with an ASKINOLOGY therapist or a more detailed paid for consultation with Dr Askari or Dr Rimi by clicking here or by calling 0207 0432233.
Dr Askari Townshend is a GMC registered doctor, qualified in 2002, and Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England. He is founder and Medical Director of ASKINOLOGY in the City of London and has been practising aesthetic medicine full time since 2008.