It’s very common for pores to seem more visible as we age. Our body releases oil through or pores, so when we produce more oil – like during hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy – the skin adapts and expands the openings. That’s also why people who have naturally oily skin tend to have larger pores, and why pores tend to be more visible in areas where the sebaceous glands are bigger like the forehead and nose. Pores also look bigger when they become clogged with dead skin cells or oil.
Another factor is collagen loss. As our skin loses elasticity, our pores will look bigger as our skin starts to sag. That’s why babies seem to have perfectly tight, invisible pores while mature adults seem to have very prominent pores.
Given this, what is our skin strategy to minimizing pore size and appearance? The first step is to keep the pores clear of dead skin cells and oils. Look for a toner or chemical exfoliator with ingredients that dissolve the skin cells from the upper layer: glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acids. For example, The Skin Pharmacy’s Serum No. 5 has this powerful combination of AHAs to encourage exfoliation and artichoke, cinnamon, ginger and burnet extracts to further refine the skin. Twice a week, you can use a physical exfoliator such as a face scrub, or a clay mask to draw out oil in congested pores.
Complete your pore-refining beauty regimen with a gentle cleanser, creams and sunscreens that won’t clog pores, and non-comedogenic makeup. Avoid anything with petrolatum and mineral oil, which can irritate the skin and make pores look bigger. If you have oily skin, look for skincare products that can help control oil. If you have naturally prominent pores, or a family history of them, start your anti-aging regimen earlier.
Makeup primers that contain silicone can also temporarily fill in pores or blur their appearance, however in the long run using these products can lead to pore-clogging issues especially if you have a history of acne-prone skin.
Through a good skincare regimen, your skin can appear smooth and refined even if your pores seem larger than they used to be.
Mei Hui - Managing Director/Pharmacist