Pore-fect skin Part 1: Dealing with Enlarged Pores

Pore-fect skin Part 1: Dealing with Enlarged Pores

Pores. We've all got them and they're one of the most misunderstood aspects of skincare. Plus our beauty standards confirm to an idealised view of the skin appearing 'pore-less' - hence the portrayal of skin in modern media that makes liberal use of makeup, foundation, photoshop, filters, and lighting to convince us that the normal human face has near invisible pores.

The reality is that, when we look in the mirror our pores will be right there. Their appearance and size will differ depending on age, lifestyle, genetic and health factors - but for all of us the natural state of the skin will never stack up to that false ideal of porcelain, smooth, flawless beauty. 

In fact, it's impossible to permanently shrink your pores. 

But this doesn't mean that you can't still improve the appearance of your pores - it's just important to work with and be happy with what you've got. 

In this comprehensive 2 part guide, we'll delve into the world of your pores starting with their appearance, exploring what can cause enlarged or more visible pores, effective treatments, and prevention strategies to help you achieve smoother, more refined skin. 

What causes enlarged pores

Understanding the causes of enlarged pores is crucial for effective skincare. While genetics play a significant role, several other factors contribute to their appearance:

  • Excess oil production: Overactive sebaceous glands can lead to more oil in the pores, causing them to appear larger.
  • Aging: As we age, the skin's collagen and elastin levels decrease, leading to loss of elasticity and firmness, which can result in enlarged pores.
  • Hormonal fluctuations: Changes in hormone levels, such as during puberty or menstruation, can increase oil production and contribute to pore enlargement.
  • Environmental damage: Sun exposure, pollution, and smoking can damage the skin's structure and lead to pore enlargement over time.
  • Dehydration: When the skin is dehydrated it will naturally produce more oil and cause the pores to dilate.

Some of these factors we can control, some others we can't - but by addressing many of these underlying causes you can preserve the skin's health and prevent further enlargement of the pores.

Prevention strategies for enlarged pores

While treatments can help minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, prevention is key to maintaining more refined pores. Preventing enlarged pores requires a proactive approach to skincare and lifestyle habits. By adopting the following strategies, you can minimize pore enlargement over time and maintain healthier-looking skin:

  1. Focus on hydration and maintaining a healthy skin barrier: Dehydrated skin will overproduce sebum and cause your pores to dilate. Keeping your self well hydrated by drinking plenty of water, using regular hydrating skincare and humectants is key - but you also need to focus on your skin barrier. Avoid skincare routines that can damage the skin barrier - such as excessive cleansing, use of too many actives at once, drying toners, exfoliating too frequently and anti-bacterial products.

  2. Regular, GENTLE cleansing tor regulate your sebum levels: We can't stress enough how important it is to find the right balance in cleansing your skin. You need to stop your skin from over-producing its natural oil - sebum. Excess oil can clog your pores and cause them to dilate over time. There are a number. Cleansing daily to remove makeup, stale oil and the build up of dead skin cells helps with this - but you need to also protect your skin's natural oils and avoid over-stripping the skin. We recommend an oil cleanser as your go to daily cleanser, with occasional use of a secondary cleanser if needed (i.e to remove heavy makeup)

  3. Occasional exfoliation: Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells, promotes collagen generation and keeps pores clear - but as mentioned above - too much of a good thing can cause harm to the skin barrier. We would recommend exfoliating no more than once or twice weekly. Choose exfoliants containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) or a very gently physical exfoliant (Kaolin Clay) to promote skin renewal without disrupting the skin barrier.
  4. Use Sun Protection: Sun exposure is a massive contributor to accelerated aging, break down of elastin and collagen and pore enlargement. And it's often damage from years ago that only becomes apparent as you age - so wearing sunscreen is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Protect your skin from sun damage by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily. .
  5. Maintain a Balanced Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants to support skin health and minimize inflammation. Avoid excessive consumption of processed foods, sugar, and dairy, which can exacerbate skin issues and contribute to pore enlargement.
  6. Manage Stress: Practice stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to reduce cortisol levels and minimize stress-related skin issues. Chronic stress can exacerbate oil production and inflammation, leading to pore enlargement.

Skincare strategies for enlarged pores

In building a skincare routine to target your pores - your primary focus should be on the above preventative steps and then support with products that help protect the skin, brighten it's appearance, stimulate collagen production and promote cell turnover. 

  • Incorporate Vitamin C: Incorporate skincare products containing vitamin C, to promote collagen synthesis and brighten the complexion.
  • Boost Vitamin A: Use retinoid-based products - or our favourite natural alternative 'Bakuchiol' to stimulate collagen production, improve skin texture, and reduce signs of aging.
  • Use effective humectants: Hydrate and plump the skin with products that attract moisture to the skin and support collagen synthesis.
  • Antioxidants: Include antioxidant-rich ingredients in your skincare regimen to protect against collagen degradation and environmental damage.
  • Use a skin-barrier friendly exfoliant: Look for a natural AHA and/ or gentle physical exfoliant to incorporate into your routine 1-2 weekly.

We factor these into all of our Goodieco routines which have been carefully formulated to target pore concerns and promote holistically healthy skin. If you'd like to get started with a routine for yourself we recommend:

The Nourishing Trio - For Dry & Sensitive Skin Types

The Supercharged Trio - For Oily & Combination Skin Types

By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide and incorporating Goodieco products into your skincare routine, you can minimize pore concerns, improve skin texture, and achieve a radiant complexion that glows with health and vitality. Remember, skincare is a journey, so be patient and consistent in your efforts. 

Ultimately however, it's essential to remember that pores are a natural part of the skin's structure and play a vital role in maintaining its health and function. Rather than viewing pores as flaws to be corrected, embrace them as part of what makes your skin unique.