You may find that your pores appear increasingly larger and more visible if you have an oilier skin type that experiences congestion from excess oil and dead skin cells.
These will set up shop in your pores and continue to expand their size, eventually leading to blackheads and breakouts if you don’t take any action.
Likewise, prolonged sun damage thickens your skin and this also makes your pores appear larger because the suns rays break down the supportive structures like collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid that hold your pores in place and intact. Once this scaffolding and tissue recedes, it stretches your pores and causes them to appear more enlarged.
Even though pores play such a vital role in our skin health, their ability to take a sometimes bothersome role in how our skin looks always amazes me. Before I tackle what you can do about large pores, it’s important to know that your pores – the tiny opening at top of our hair follicles – play a really important role in allowing our skin to produce naturally moisturising oil that nourishes and protects the epidermis. Without our pores, our skin would be dry and shrivelled. Not a good look!
Genetics and natural ageing will play a role in how big or small your pores are, so sadly whilst you can’t change your pore size, there are things you can do to minimise their appearance.
So my suggestion would be to look at introducing a salicylic acid into your daily skincare routine as it does a fantastic job working deep within your pores to clear oil deposits – I particularly like Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant (£28) which is a leave on product you apply after cleansing to keep both oil and your pores in check.
Likewise, gentle exfoliating will also address the texture of your skin helping to keep it smooth, radiant and prevent dead skin cells from clogging your pores. I always recommend alpha hydroxy acid based exfoliators as they are excellent in breaking down the glue that holds dead skin cells together on the surface of the skin.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Serum (£32) contains both glycolic acid and niacinamide to reduce the appearance of blemishes and visibly tighten your pores! The bonus is that your skin is also smoother with continued use!
One of my failsafe methods of shrinking my pores especially when I have a big event is to use a face mask and I would recommend you do the same once a week to really draw out oil from deep within the pores. It instantly makes your skin appear pore-less and shine-free. REN Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask (£30) is well suited to this task with Kaolin Clay – a natural skin purifier that decongests but also refines texture.
Don’t forget, even black skin gets sun damage, so remember to keep up top of your sunscreen too because that’s one of the best ways to prevent collagen being damaged.