[By Tania Hui]
No matter how well you take care of your face, if you have ever looked too closely at yourself in the mirror, you might have noticed your enlarged pores. When it comes to skin pore size, the rule of thumb is ‘the smaller the better’. Light reflects better when your pores are tighter and this makes your skin look younger.
What are they?
Pores are small openings that cover all of the skin on your body. For every strand of hair on the body, there is a corresponding skin pore which functions to regulate your body temperature. Midway up the dermal layer of your skin, the sebaceous oil gland also empties into the hair follicle and both sebum and the hair breach the surface through this tiny aperture we call a pore.
What causes large pores?
Although your genes are the greatest determining factor in your pore size, aging and sun damage also play a part. As you get older, you skin loses its elasticity, which can cause your pores to look bigger. Sun damage can also thicken your skin, causing skin cells to gather around your pores, making them look bigger.
In general, men also tend to have larger pores than women, but women might experience larger pores during hormonal changes such as menstruation and pregnancy.
People who have naturally oily skin tend to have larger pores and when the pores are clogged with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria (ie blackheads), they become even more noticeable. Pores of the face are largely found around the T-zone region as there is the greatest concentration of sebaceous glands in that area.
What can be done?
It is important to know that you can’t actually physically change the structure of your pores by making them smaller as they are nothing but small openings in the skin. However, to help you look more pore-less, you can target the key factors that cause enlarged pores such as reduce excessive oiliness, unclog them and increase collagen proliferation and skin elasticity to minimize their appearance.
Choose skin care products which contain ingredients such as AHA, BHA, and tea tree oil to reduce excessive oiliness. You should also exfoliate weekly with a gentle scrub to get rid of the build up of excess oils and dead skin in the pores.
To unclog those pores, you can choose from chemical peels and microdermabrasion, which help to clean pores and smooth out the appearance of your skin.
Laser Peel, a major breakthrough in skin rejuvenation, is also useful for decreasing pore size and refining skin texture. Apart from minimizing pore size and improving your skin tone as it renews sun-damaged skin, it can also help to regulate oiliness and control blemishes.
However, if you wish for a more dramatic result and do not mind a little flushing of the skin post procedure, you may want to go for a resurfacing laser treatment like Fraxel light. ‘Apart from effectively targeting surface imperfections such as pores, lines and rough dull skin, it can also help to erase stubborn pigmentation,’ adds Dr Kenneth Lee from SW1 Clinic.
Remember, you don’t have to live with large pores. Let’s get Pore-fect today!