How to minimise pores: The products and treatments to look for
Some of us do just have large pores. Or pores that are much more visible than you’d like them to be. The size and appearance of your pores depends on several factors – things like genetics, skin type, sun exposure, and age are all part of the equation. And regardless of their size, they serve quite an important purpose – our pores allow the skin to breathe and are the passageway between the inside of the body and the outside.
Whilst pores are necessary for our skin, there are things that we can do to make them less noticeable.
Why do we get large pores?
Your genes largely determine the size of your pores, and if you feel that they’re on the larger side, particularly over your nose, chin and forehead, it’s usually because you have oilier skin. If the sebum, the oil that your skin produces to help keep itself lubricated, becomes blocked inside a pore, it’ll oxidise into a black plug known as a blackhead, and that’s when pores can become visible.
They can also worsen with age, as the skin becomes less proactive about making collagen, leading to a loss of volume and elasticity. This slight slackening means that pores dilate a fraction and appear more prominent.
Is it possible to shrink them?
Since pore size is genetically determined, you can’t actually shrink them. However, some skincare ingredients and treatments can help to minimise the appearance of pores, making them appear more refined. Pore-minimising products work by minimising oil production and stimulating and plumping the collagen that surrounds pores.
Managing large pores
Exfoliation is vital to get rid of the dead skin cells that clutter the skin’s surface. We recommend using a chemical exfoliator at least three times a week with a product based on glycolic or salicylic acid. These acids aren’t as harsh as you might expect. Glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), a water-soluble acid that gently dissolves the bonds that old dead skin cells hold onto on the skin’s surface.
One effective way to reduce oil production is to use a retinol-based product. As well as slowing down the oil output, retinol will also speed up sluggish cell turnover in older skin, improve collagen production, and encourage newer, stronger skin cells on the surface.
Kick-start collagen production
Both chemical exfoliants and retinol will help boost collagen production within the skin, but to take things to the next level, you can try some in-clinic treatments.
Microneedling, chemical peels, and Profound RF (a combination of microneedling and radio-frequency energy) will each help to give an immediate improvement to the complexion from the slight shrinking of collagen that the treatment causes. This is followed by further improvements over the following months as new collagen is formed deep in the skin due to the trauma that’s been produced. As a result, you can expect to see smaller, neater, less noticeable pores and a more radiant complexion overall.
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Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.