Why do we hardly see the pores on babies but our pores seem to get more visible as we age? Although some of us have been genetically engineered with bigger pores, there are 2 main reasons why our pores enlarge over time. Read on to find out how to minimise pores.
The 2 main reasons why our pores enlarge
1) Clogged Pores
Dirt, sebum, dead skin cells get trapped in our pores and temporarily stretches them, making them more visible. For those of us who unfortunately have acne, especially cystic acne, when the pores become permanently enlarged, it becomes a scar.
2) Aging and sun damage
As we age, our skin around the pores loses collagen and its firmness. With the lack of support from the surrounding tissues, pores become dilated and bigger. This aging / pore enlarging process can begin as early as our twenties. Gasp! Sun(UV rays) damages our skin and accelerates aging and pore enlargement process. Essentially, the firmer the skin, the less visible the pores.
5 permanent ways to minimise pores
1) Use Exfoliants.
Look out for ingredients ending with acids, such as salicylic acid, lactic acid, etc. Salicylic acid (BHA), is oil-soluble, and is able to penetrate into the pores and clear them from the inside. Lactic acid (AHA), naturally found on our skin, helps in gentle exfoliation. Personally, I prefer chemical exfoliants(acids) to physical exfoliants(scrubs). As we age, our skin renewal cycle slows down, thus with gentle exfoliation, it helps to give your skin a healthy glow and minimise pores. Be careful not to over-exfoliate as that will cause more problems like sensitive and dry skin. You need your natural protection layer on your skin. Over-exfoliating destroys your skin’s protective layer. Skinlycious Anti-Acne Wash and Anti-Acne Solution contain acids to help in exfoliation and dissolving the clogs in pores. These two products are more suited for acne, acne-prone and oily skin though.
2) Use Anti-aging serums ; Retinoids.
However, don’t bother applying collagen directly on your skin. Collagen molecules are too big to penetrate into the skin, the dermis to be exact. You can read more about my opinions of collagen creams and drinks here. Here’s a scientifically proven option for you : Skinlycious Firm & Lift serum uses Genistein, a potent soy isoflavone, proven to stimulate collagen from within and at the same time slowing down the breakdown of existing collagen. As shown on the right, using a human skin model, there was a 53% increase production of new collagen.
As I have been using this product consistently every day, I can’t see any obvious difference. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my hubby’s pores shrunk visibly after using Skinlycious Firm & Lift Serum. His complexion became brighter as well. Highly recommended for all skin types. A potent anti-aging serum as I want the best for myself.
Another favourite anti-aging and anti-acne product of mine is retinoids. There are many types of retinoids though. Retinoic acid (Tretinoin), available only via prescription, is the one I like. It’s non-expensive and has been extensively studied and proven efficacious for its anti-aging and anti-acne properties. Retinols, used by many skin care companies are the weaker “cousins” of retinoic acid, and often much pricier. I have used both brands Stieva-A and Retin-A at different concentrations, prescribed by different doctors. My dermatologist and I find that 0.025% is the best concentration. The higher concentrations caused me to develop photo-sensitivity and sensitive skin. 0.025% retinoid acid combined with Skinlycious products helped solve my long standing acne woes. With it’s anti-aging benefits, retinoic acid helps to minimise pores too.
*Important note : Retinoic acid can only be used at night. Those who are planning to conceive or pregnant must not use this product.
3) Use broad spectrum sunscreen or makeup.
Choose broad spectrum sunscreen or makeup with SPF above 30 and PA protection. You can read more about sunscreens in this post. Sun protection is a must to prevent pigmentation, acceleration of the skin aging process, and skin cancer. It does not minimise pores directly, but it certainly helps to slow down the rate of your pores becoming larger. Prevention is always much cheaper and efficient than trying to rectify skin problem. Even if you have clogged pores and acne, it’s important to use sun protection.
Mastic, the key active ingredient in Skinlycious Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, has been scientifically tested and proven to refine, reduce and minimise pores. Below, you can see my one-month-apart before and after picture. See how much less oily my skin became and how my pores became more refined. Testing and be convinced of my products’ effectiveness is an essential process before I launch any products into Skinlycious. Actually, I was taken aback by how much my pores have minimised. Try it and take your own high resolution before and after photos to see the difference. This product is recommended more for oily, acne-prone skin, as it helps to control sebum production and reduces shine.
Examples of aesthetic procedures are microdermabrasion, diamond peel, and lasers, etc are available to minimise pores. However, those with active, inflamed acne should avoid microdermabrasion/diamond peel, as that will probably make your acne condition worse. I had first hand experience where microdermabrasion made my breakout worse. Use Skinlycious anti-acne products to clear your active acne first before you start on procedures. My favourite is still microdermabrasion as it doesn’t have down time. I also take pleasure knowing that it vacuums out the strands of gunk from my pores. Say goodbye to painful extractions. Furthermore, extractions may cause scarring and more acne if not done by a skilled professional. Do these procedures only with certified aesthetic doctors or dermatologists. Consult an aesthetic doctor.
The 2 temporary / fake ways of vanishing your pores
1) By using photo apps and filters to edit your photos, you can have flawless complexion. Hey, I did say fake, right. : P
2) Makeup – Dermacos Camouflage Cream. This is a cream base foundation that fills into your pores, acne scars even, to give you a flawless complexion. It also
covers redness very well. My bellydance teacher, Joey, recommended this foundation for our stage makeup. With her professional makeup artist background, she also taught us stage makeup skills.
When I first used it, I was amazed by how poreless my complexion is. Even after perspiring from all the dancing on stage, this foundation covers and stays. After trying so many foundations, none can achieve such flawless complexion like this cream foundation. Because it’s coverage is so good, I don’t think using this everyday is a good idea. Make sure that you cleanse thoroughly after using this foundation. Use Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – specially formulated for acne and acne-prone skin. 9 months of formulating and testing to come up with a makeup remover that doesn’t make my acne-prone skin oily.
I no longer use this foundation as I do not perform anymore. I don’t have the ingredient list for this foundation but if you manage to get the ingredient list, you can check it against here to see if there’s any comedogenic ingredients.
If you have any other foundations that you have tried / using that gives good coverage, share in the comments below.
About the author : Jasmine Kang
Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.