By Nateisha Scott
Dealing with clogged or enlarged pores? Then you need to understand how to treat them. No matter the age or skin concern, pores are a feature on everyone, but their appearance can be treated with 3 simple focuses in your routine.
WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW ARE THEY CAUSED?
Pores are small openings in the skin where our hair follicles grow and they serve as a vital function for balancing our skin’s natural oils (sebum). As problematic as they are as a skin concern, they are a structural part of our skin’s make up and are in fact needed to keep our skin hydrated and strong. Against popular belief pores cannot disappear, through treatments and routines, we can only reduce them in size. The size of our pores can be determined through genetics but also how we treat them, if oils, toxins, dirt or make up collects in the pores they can become weighed down and in fact stretch, revealing larger and visible pores.
With the regular build up of dirt and oil, your pores can easily become clogged, especially facing environmental pollution, make up and dead skin cells. It is important to have a regular and consistent skincare routine that involves cleansing, toning and moisturising however additional steps to your routine can help minimise your pores.
When your focus is to unclog your pores, regular exfoliation is key, skin that appears smooth and “poreless” is in fact well exfoliated. Regular exfoliation keeps your pores from building in the first place. When exfoliating you can either undergo physical exfoliation or chemical exfoliation, physical exfoliation works with face scrubs made of grains and crystals and chemical exfoliation is concentrated with acids. The strength of chemical exfoliation, whether using alpha hydroxyl acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxyl (BHAs), supercharges the transformation of your pores.
Chemical exfoliation sweeps away the natural build up that develops in the pores, revealing fresh and clean pores and the ingredients to source are AHAs and BHAs. Our experts advise that AHAs and BHAs breakdown the connection between the cells and the surface of the skin to essentially ‘unclog’ the pores. Both acids work to exfoliate the skin on a cellular level, AHAs work on the surface layer that brightens and smoothens the skin, whilst BHAs penetrate deeper to remove the dead skin cells that clog the pores, like blackheads and whiteheads.
Where it is clear that you can’t close or make your pores disappear you can certainly tighten them and minimise their appearance. Including Retinol in your routine works to tighten the pores, the result is based around the retinoid ability to increase your skin’s collagen production. By increasing your skin’s collagen, it strengthens and supports your skin’s walls which then keeps your pores rigid preventing them from becoming enlarged.
Regular use of SPF also promotes the tightening of pores, as sun damage and radiation breaks down the collagen and elastin, therefore encouraging the skin to produce more sebum to enhance the barrier function. With the over production of sebum, there is a greater risk of pores becoming clogged and expanding.
So remember to exfoliate your skin regularly, keep up your skincare routine and most importantly wear SPF on a daily basis. To enhance your focus on your pores then treatments like lasers can also work to minimise your pores by penetrating deep into the skin, working to exfoliate and smooth out your skin overall.