Fun fact: Pores are an integral structural layer of your skin and are required to help with the release of sebum and sweat. The size of your pores is actually predetermined by your genetics (thanks, Mum and Dad). However, due to your skin type, weather and age, they may appear larger. So while you cannot completely eliminate them, you can definitely make them look smaller. Here are some of the reasons your pores look enlarged and what you can do about it.
Skin Type: Pores literally exist to help in the release of sebum and sweat, and those with an oily skin type are likely to experience overproduction of sebum and hence their pores can look larger. If this sebum, along with dirt and makeup collect in the pore, it stretches the pores, making them look even larger. Even those who don’t have oily skin, but get oily around the T-zone, will notice some enlarged pores.
Solution: Gently cleansing two times a day will help rid the skin of impurities, while adding a toner or serum rich in a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) like salicylic acid will really help clean out the gunk in the pores. This chemical exfoliator is able to go deep within pores and dissolve sebum and dead skin so skin is clear and pores appear smaller.
Age: As we grow older, levels of collagen and elastin decline making the skin less elastic. As the collagen around the pores loosens, pores start looking bigger. As skin cell turnover slows with age, dead skin can also collect in the pores leading to clogged, enlarged pores.
Solution: Boost collagen production, exfoliate dead skin and speed up skin cell turnover.
Retinol is a vitamin A derivative proven to help boost the production of collagen, as well as skin cell turn over. Used regularly, a serum rich in retinol can help skin look plumper and pores smaller. In addition, physical scrubs or a serum or toner with Alpha Hydroxy Acid like glycolic acid will also help visibly shrink pores. Glycolic acid helps slough off dead skin, boost collagen production, boost skin cell turnover and even out skin tone. In-clinic laser and aesthetic treatments like Ulthera 360 or Ultraformer 3 that help boost production of collagen and elastin also help tighten, rejuvenate skin and make pores visibly smaller.
Dehydration: It’s almost always sunny in Singapore and prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause dehydration and breakdown of collagen. Together these can make your pores look bigger. When your skin is dehydrated, your skin gets tricked into thinking it needs to produce more sebum, and your pores dilate to accommodate release of this excess sebum. The sun also degrades collagen leading to larger pores.
Solution: Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, keeping the skin hydrated and moisturised with the right moisturiser for your skin type is essential as is regularly wearing sunscreen each time you’re exposed to UV rays—that includes sitting near a window as UV rays can penetrate glass. To remedy any existing damage, one of the options could be in-clinic peels. These are done by a professional and are more potent than over the counter AHA or BHA serums and work to instantly slough off the topmost layer of dead skin, but also go deeper to remove sebum, dead skin, impurities and debris thus making pores appear smaller. Plus, they brighten skin and restore radiance.
Not sure what’s causing your enlarged pores? Schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctors to find out more!