Skin

Enlarged pores can be one of the most tricky skin related problems to treat, and most people who feel they have tried everything, end up using products or treatments that end up making the problem far worse.

While the size of our pores is largely determined by hereditary factors, some pores on our faces tend to be larger than others due of the size of the hair follicle and oil gland. Barely visible on those prone to drier skin, individuals with oily, thicker skin tend to have larger looking, more noticeable pores. Sun damage is another cause. As we age, one of the ways sun damage affects the skin is through the enlargement of the pores.

There are many factors that worsen the problem, including poor exfoliation, sun damage, ageing, poor hygiene as dirt, oil and dead skin cells can build up making pores look bigger as well as eating an unhealthy inflammatory diet.

Using alcohol based products may make pores look temporarily smaller, however in the long term this will actually encourage oil glands to over-produce oil, leading to an increase in the size of pores.

There are many lifestyle adjustments you can make to reduce the risks of open pores, and here are a few

Use a good sun protection cream ( at least 30SPF)

Pores can increase in size due to sun damage. When you expose yourself to the harmful UV rays of the sun, it wreaks havoc to your collagen and elastin – the important structural components of the skin. When this gets damaged, it makes the skin more lax causing your pores to appear larger.

Don’t pop your pimples

But as much as it is tempting to just pop it, you will only be doing your pores more damage. If you get rid of a pimple or blackheads the wrong way, you only cause your pores to get enlarged.

Avoid products that contain drying and irritating ingredients

There are products, like soap, which can be particularly drying and irritating to the skin. This can increase pore size because as a restorative action of the skin, it increases oil production as a response to the dryness. Rid your beauty arsenal of harsh ingredients and go for ones that have a lighter texture and a moisturizing action, as well.

Salicylic Acid Exfoliant

Products that contain low concentrations of salicylic acid are effective measures to remove dead skin cells from the surface. It also helps cleanse inside the pores allowing your natural oils to have a more natural flow as opposed to having them build up causing the pores to look enlarged.

Retinol based products

Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and it can effectively help pores to appear smaller. It increases cell turnover, which helps unclog pores making them appear smaller. You can find retinol formulated in creams or certain cleansers. You have to be careful when using a product like this because if ever you get your skin exposed to the sun, it can cause hyperpigmentation.

Low Inflammatory Diet

Most of us have food sensitivities. Whilst we can discover these by an elimination diet, this can prove very difficult and often wrong results. At 23MD, we utilize a blood testing system know as ALCAT, to check and manage your food sensitivities, the results of which lets you know what to eat, instead of what not to eat.

Chemical Peels

A chemical Peel treatment uses different solutions of varying strengths to create controlled damage to the outer layer of skin. This eventually causes it to peel off, removing with it some excess oil and dirt.  For a safer and more reliable treatment, it is best that you get this professionally done under the care of a reputable clinic or doctor because certain chemicals require very careful handling.

Dermapen® Microneedling

This is a treatment where miniature crystals are sprayed all over the skin to buff it up from dried skin cells that can get lodged within the pores making it appear enlarged. A vacuum suction will then remove the dead skin cells, oils and other particles on the skin that have been sloughed off. Regular sessions will eventually result in finer pores and a more rejuvenated complexion.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

This treatment involves the use of light energy emitted on a safe level that reaches deep into the skin to stimulate the production of collagen. IPL is able to penetrate the deep layers of the skin while sparing the outer layers. This painless treatment usually lasts within 15-30 minutes and requires about three to five sessions.

Laser

This is a non-ablative laser that improves the appearance of enlarged pores by giving the skin a resurfacing action. This treatment creates tiny microscopic wounds or holes to the surface of the skin. This stimulates a healing process where the production of collagen is stimulated to help tighten the skin and minimize pore size.