We can all get a little bit obsessed with our pores – are they too big? Too obvious? Are they blocked? We can’t get rid of our pores – our skin needs them for hydrating and protecting our skin, but that doesn’t mean we want to see them. Pores are a subject that I’m very frequently asked about, and the truth is they’re normal! We all have them, and there’s nothing we can do to get rid of them altogether, but there are things we can do to minimise their appearance. From quality skincare to high-tech devices, here are a few of my favourites.
What actually are pores?
Pores cover the surface of our whole body – not just our face. They’re tiny hair follicles that contain a sebaceous gland which produces sebum (oil) on the surface of the skin, to protect it from external aggressors. But sometimes, they produce too much oil, leading to pores becoming larger or more visible.
What causes large pores?
If you’re noticing large pores on your face, it’s probably because you’ve got oily skin. As oil builds up inside the pore, it stretches it, causing it to get bigger. The other unfortunate thing about pores is if you think your pores are getting more prominent with age: they are. As our skin loses its elasticity, it starts to stretch and sag, making pores appear larger. Sometimes, how they look comes down to genetics, but large pores tend to be the result of several other factors: diet, age, hormonal imbalance, or a history of skin damage can all play a part.
Start with skincare
When it comes to minimising the appearance of pores, I always recommend that people start with skincare, and I’d look for one particular ingredient – salicylic acid. This is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) which can dissolve in oil, allowing it to weasel its way down into the pores and clean them out from the inside. Another excellent ingredient for pores is retinol, which strengthens the skin and removes dead skin cells to make the pores appear smaller. Retinol also stimulates collagen production, which helps the skin stay smooth, plump and taut.
The goal with skincare is to minimise oil production and prevent it from building up inside the pores, so cleanse twice a day thoroughly, utilise these active ingredients but don’t go overboard. If you completely strip the skin of oil, this will only increase the sebum flow, resulting in the skin producing even more oil to defend itself.
What can treatments do?
There’s a lot you can do with tweakments for pores. Look for anything that is stimulating collagen growth in the skin, for example microneedling or fractional radiofrequency to resurface the skin. Venus Viva uses tiny pins that safely deliver radiofrequency energy through the skin’s surface. This creates tiny wounds which initiate a natural healing process and accelerate the formation of new, healthy tissue. The result is an improved skin tone and texture, with tighter, more refined pores and a radiant complexion overall.
You could also look into skin peels which really penetrate deep down into the pores and clear them out, reducing the oiliness of the skin to keep the pores clear.
If you’d like to discuss the options, click here to enquire or to book a consultation.