Having flawless looking skin is so important to a beautiful face. Your skin is the blank canvas and the starting point for applying your make-up. Unfortunately we all weren’t born with perfect skin. We have different problems to deal with such as breakouts, oily/dry skin, redness and dry patches. Large pores can be one of the most frustrating skin problems. You can’t really get rid of them but with good skin care habits and the right products you can do a lot to make them less noticeable.
Pores are the small holes on your skin where your body’s natural oil (sebum) is produced in the sebaceous glands, then released to the surface of the skin to protect and moisturize it. Your pores also contain your hair follicles. Without pores our skin would be dry and cracked. Certain sebaceous glands such as those on the face, scalp, chest and back are more active at producing oil than on other parts of the body. Also, we all have different levels of sebum production and things such as hormones and stress can cause more sebum to be released.
What Causes Large Pores?
Genetics: Some people are genetically predisposed to larger pores. If your parents have large pores you are more likely to have them also.
Oily Skin: Those with oily skin generally have larger pores since they produce more sebum which collects dirt causing the pores to enlarge.
Sun Damage: also affects the appearance of pores especially as you age. It makes your skin thicken causing pores to stretch and become more apparent.
Problems arise when your pores get clogged with too much sebum or covered over with dead skin cells. This can lead to acne, whiteheads, blackheads or ingrown hairs.
What You Can Do To Keep Your Pores From Getting Clogged
1. Cleanse your face twice a day with the appropriate cleanser for your type of skin. If you have a problem with breakouts use one that contains salicylic acid which will clear out the pores and also help to slough off dead skin cells. Wash your face with warm, not hot water. Rinse with warm water and then a splash of cold to close the pores.
2. Don’t touch your face during the day. Touching your face will stimulate the sebaceous glands and also transfer germs and bacteria to your skin. Even resting your hand on your chin or pressing your cell phone against your face can cause problems.
3. Don’t pick at your blemishes or blackheads. I know this is a hard one, but you can permanently enlarge a pore or even leave a scar. If you must extract a pimple there are many medical/health sites on the web which explain the proper way to do this.
4. Exfoliate a least twice a week. This is important to keep your pores open and free of dead skin cells. A physical exfoliator such as a facial scrub or an over the counter micro dermabrasion kit, manually removes dead skin cells with the help of an abrasive ingredient. Chemical exfoliation dissolves or loosens the dead skin. Some common chemical exfoliants are alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy (BHA)-salicylic acid, and retinoids.
Good Ones to try:
Bliss Micro Magic A powerful yet gentle cream-based exfoliating treatment that removes dead skin cell buildup with fine volcanic pumice and soothing, nourishing ingredients.
Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads A daily hydroxy acid and peptide facial peel. Gently exfoliates skin to support natural cell turnover, while protecting skin from environmental damage and boosting moisture.
5. Wear sunscreen and avoid excessive tanning. Contrary to what many believe, the sun is not good for those with oily or acne prone skin. UV rays damage the skin, weakening it’s natural barrier and causing it to loose moisture. The skin tries to fix this by producing more oil. It leads to overproduction and overgrowth of the sebaceous glands, making your skin tougher and blackheads more likely to occur.
Unprocessed Oatmeal is good natural cleanser for your pores. It leaves a protective barrier that shields against elements such as dirt and pollution. It helps to balance your skin and keeps it from drying out. You can make a easy mask/cleanser with 2T of unprocessed oats, 2T of water and 1/2 T of raw honey.
Don’t forget diet plays a part in having healthy skin. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugar and carbs as much as possible.
How To Make Pores Appear Smaller
1. Before you apply any foundation or makeup products make sure to cleanse and moisturize your face. Some favorites are:
Toner: Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizer
Mask: Glam Glow Super Mud Clearing Treatment
Cleanser-SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser
Murad Daily Cleansing Foam
2. Use Primer before foundation. This is more important than which foundation you use. A good primer will
fill in holes and make a smooth surface for your foundation. Popular choices to try:
Benefit PoreFessional Balm
Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector (can be used over foundation)
Too Faced Primed and Poreless
Dr Brandt Pores No More Refiner
3. Know you skin type and use the right foundation for it. Don’t use too much foundation. Apply enough to evenly cover your face. Apply with a sponge or stippling brush to get a smooth finish.
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua- All skin types
Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Foundation-Oily skin
Make Up For Ever Face and Body Liquid Makeup- All skin types
4. Apply a loose powder that matches the color of your foundation.
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre
Nars Light Reflecting Setting Powder
Photos: Pic 1, 2, 5: Kelsey Rogers & Natasha Franken shot by Wendy Hope for Fashion Gone Rogue (exclusive) | Pic 3: Barbara Palvin for French Mag Madame Figaro shot by Nico