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Visible pores are the bugbear of hundreds of thousands of people all around the world. In fact, almost one third of women polled on the matter by L'Oreal Paris reported feeling even more concerned about pore size than wrinkles.
When we say 'pores', we are actually referring to 2 separate types: our oil pores and our sweat pores. (Oil pores are also our hair follicles, which is why hair becomes oily at the root.) Both kinds of pore play a vital role in skin health, although, when it comes to beauty - they can cause havoc on a complexion.
Sadly though, it is a myth that you can permanently make pores physically smaller. Although don't despair just yet; with regular maintenance, unsightly pores can be well and truly conquered. All it takes is a little know-how…
Putting your complaints in the hands of the professionals
Essentially there is no such thing as an 'open' pore - all pores are technically open, functioning as small channels to rid the body of both perspiration and toxins. There are, however, large pores and small pores.
When it comes to actual pore size, unfortunately, this is static and there is no way of reducing the size of your pores permanently. (This is usually genetic and passed on through generations in a similar way to hair colour, height, etc.) Although we cannot alter their size, there are things we can do to make them appear smaller. This is because their visibility is amplified by a things such as blockage and buildup of dirt, debris, makeup and other environmental pollutants.
Pores often become more prominent in our later years as certain biological responses slow down. One of these responses is our production of collagen and elastin fibres. As these fibres deplete and become weaker, our skin loses its tightness and begins to sag, tugging too on the pores.This means that the pores start to stretch and appear larger.
Pore visibility can be made worse by: Excessively heavy foundations and concealers, sun damage, general ageing, bacterial growth, pollutants in the atmosphere which can clog the pores and lead to blackheads, pimple popping and over-picking the skin (which can often lead to inflammation and later, scarring).
You are more likely to have large pores if: You are also an acne sufferer, you frequently or exclusively use products which are comedogenic (pore-clogging) such as various oils like avocado and coconut; or you are genetically predisposed (you have parents/family members who also have large pores.)
Sufferers should avoid: Oily or greasy moisturisers, picking at the face, dirty pillowcases and makeup brushes, smoking - a process proven to accelerate ageing and break collagen fibres known for keeping the pores elastic, and most importantly: using conflicting chemicals on the face which will upset the skin's delicate oil balance.
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Whilst we cannot permanently make pores smaller, there are steps we can take to make them far more discreet. This is because things such as blackheads, sebum and oil buildup will make pores far more noticeable than they really need to be, and by treating these symptoms directly, we can drastically improve both the complexion and the appearance of the pores.
The best course of skincare for clogged or prominent pores tends to be a cycle of glycolic-based cleansing and gentle exfoliation, combined with toning and moisturising. This regime may vary slightly depending on skin type - however, all pores respond fantastically to treatments such as Chemical Peels, Dermaroller and Facials (in particular the Hydrafacial - the most thorough and cleansing of them all.)
In addition to diligent skincare, Mineral Makeup is a fantastic blurring tool, succeeding where conventional makeup often fails. This is because the fine pigment particles instead adhere to the natural oils in the skin, instead of sinking and exaggerating the pores like many other types of cosmetic coverage. Ask us about your coverage options next time you find yourself at the Harley Street Skin Clinic - we would be happy to show you just how miraculously airbrushed it can make those pores appear!
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