Any close facial examination will reveal enlarged pores and they are a concern for many women. Recent research found that almost 50% of women said their skin suffered from pore enlargement and a third said it bothered them more than than wrinkles.
Pores are vital for the healthy secretion of sweat and sebum, both of which provide our natural barrier against external factors of wind, rain and pollution and to keep the skin supple. But excess oil production causes the pores to enlarge to allow the sebum to flow. Any restriction can mean pores can become clogged up backing up with oil, dirt and dead skin cells. At this point the pores become both visible and unsightly. In extreme cases when the clogged pore is exposed to the air oxidation takes place and a blackhead will form.
Pores are most noticeable in people with oily and/or congestion prone skin. But very dry skin can also cause pores to flatten out so they appear bigger.
Pore enlargement is also very much part of the ageing process: collagen levels deplete with age and skin becomes less firm and loses its natural youthful plumpness. As part of this process beginning in your twenties your pores will start to open and appear bigger. As with many conditions there is a genetic element: if your parents had enlarged pores then the chances are you will too.
You can’t shrink a pore that has already been stretched there are steps you can take to bring things back under control.
According to Puraglow’s Lesley Wall you need to follow a regime of gentle cleansing and exfoliation: “There is no reason why people should need to undergo laser treatment or potentially harmful UV to deal with enlarged pores. Good home care practices are highly effective.
“The golden rule for healthy skin is never to sleep in make up. Makeup residues will get pushed into your pores at your face comes into contact with the pillow, clogging pores and causing them to expand further. Removing makeup at night gives your skin chance to refresh and self cleanse.
“You then need to gently cleanse twice a day, particularly if your skin is oily and/or acne prone — dealing with enlarged pores is a problem where double cleansing can bring immediate visible benefits.”
How to Double Cleanse
Water based ingredients won’t clear oil and spirit based ingredients will damage the skin so cleansing well is always a two stage process we call double cleansing:
Always carry out your first cleanse with a solid oil-based cleanser. The aim of this cleanse is to break down heavy make up, sunscreen and remove the dirt and grime that has settled on your skin during the day.
Follow this up with a cream cleanser which you deeply massage into your skin to really penetrate your pores. Your cream cleanser should be gentle, water soluble and soap free.
Lesley adds that backing up your cleansing regime with regular exfoliation to remove dead skin cells is also key and can have additional benefits: “Puraglow’s exfoliators all have natural anti-microbial properties which target and remove the harmful bacteria which build up in the pores causing them to expand and which can lead to blackheads” says Lesley. “Removing dead skin cells and clearing harmful bacteria means the natural flow is reinstated and a visibly healthy skin is the result.”
Back up your cleansing regime with moisturiser
Whatever your skin type it’s vital you moisturise: many people have both dehydrated skin and enlarged pores caused by excess oil – dehydration is a lack of moisture content which can be present in any skin type, oily or dry.
“You can avoid having dehydrated skin and deal with excess oil by using light moisturisers” says Lesley. “Aloe vera is a great option because it contains natural salucylic acid at a very low level and also has properties that can limit penetration of facial pores, making it ideal for use after cleansing.”
Use a face mask
Clay, charcoal and mud masks that are great for absorbing oil, removing blemishes and impurities and and making skin fresher.
Puraglow will shortly be introducing a new range of mask but we also have lots of recipes for detoxifying face masks in our DIY skin care recipe collection.Tags: enlarged pores