Most of us who have oily or combination skin grapple with a ton of problems like acne and skin dullness. Add to that blackheads and enlarged pores and you complete the misery circle.
Enlarged pores give the skin a rough, coarse look and make you look older and the face unclean.
It is important when treating large pores to understand what causes enlarged pores in the first place.
1. Genetics: people with oily skin which is hereditary tend to have larger looking pores.
2. Sun damage which accelerates photo-aging.
3. Aging makes our skin thicker. The rims of cells tend to collect around single pores, making them look bigger than they actually are, as dead cell shedding slows down. As you age, you also lose collagen. In other words, your skin loses elasticity and the size of your pores increases (since there is not enough collagen to keep them tight)
4. Poor skin hygiene leads to sebum and dirt to collect around the edges of pores, creating the visual illusion that they are larger than they really are
5. Blackheads (or clogged pores) tend to expand pores or simply draw attention to them. Left untreated, blackheads can stretch pores to such a large extent that they become permanently enlarged
6. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake
Camouflage make –up tips
1. You can camouflage large pores by using a good illuminating lotion or powder. These products contain tiny shimmer particles that reflect light to give the skin a beautiful glow that deflects attention from large pores. Pores look enlarged because there is poor light reflection within the pores, thus making them appear dark and obvious. These fine particles catch the light and reflect it back more evenly to create a smoother and poreless complexion. Try Revlon’s skin illuminating lotion with spf 15.
2. Consider using a primer as make up base. Primers are basically products that help create a smooth base for the make-up to go on. They help minimize the appearance of pores and absorb excess oil. Follow up with powder foundation. Maybelline offers good affordable primers.
Over the counter Treatment
1. Using a Vitamin A based retinoid cream can help aging, sun damaged skin. This helps accelerate the exfoliation process and helps clean out pores, thereby minimizing them.
2. Hydroxyl acid products are a boon to people with oily skin as AHAs and BHAs as not only are they effective in preventing enlargement of the pores as they exfoliate the skin and unclog pores and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and provide smoother, brighter-looking skin, AHAs such as Salicylic Acid also prevent acne. The Ponds Age Miracle Range combines both retinoid and AHA.
3. Vichy Labs has a few pore minimizing treatments in the NORMADERM range that are said to be quite effective.
1. Almond mask: soak 3-4 almonds overnight in rose water and make a paste the next morning. Apply to nose and cheeks and scrub for 20 minutes before washing off. This helps remove and reduce blackheads, that may be causing enlarged pores
2. Oil Cleansing Method: based on the principle of oil dissolves oil, this method entails cleaning the face with cream cleansers instead of soap. Use a mixture of castor and sesame/almond oil and rub into the skin for 20 minutes before wiping off with a towel soaked in warm water. The oil penetrates the pores and disssolves the harded sebum and dead skin that is blocking and keeping the pore open. This allows the pore to clean, heal & go back to it's original size.
3. Curd face pack: Apply a mixture of curd and honey to gently exfoliate and tighten pores. This is rich in lactic acid - an AHA that helps reduce pore size
4. Homemade toner to reduce oiliness: Mix equal parts of tomatoes and cucumber juice and apply to the face as a refreshing toner daily
1. Monthly clean-ups and exfoliating treatments will help keep the pores clean and prevent future blackheads.
2. Use a good quality cleanser with gentle exfoliating beads
3. Use sun protection – minimum spf 15 – daily. Applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the sun, and by avoiding the sun's rays when they're strongest -- between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. -- you will be able to protect your skin from ultraviolet ray damage that contributes to dilated pores. Use a scarf or cap to protect the face from strong rays of the sun
4. Avoid alcohol based toners and products – they just excessively dry out the skin and can make oily skin worse
However at the end of the day do maintain a sense of perspective. Humans have pores to allow hair growth, as well as sweating and natural oil release. Many of us dislike the sweat and oil because they can cause pimples or dilated pores, but it's a way for the body to regulate its temperature and protect itself from infection. So pores are not your enemies.
Do speak to a dermatologist if you're uncertain about a particular product or procedure