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Expert Advice | Time to shrink those pores

Two of the most persistent and difficult skin problems to treat are blackheads and enlarged pores. Most skincare products or treatments do provide a temporary improvement, but they only make your skincare problems worse in the long run. Here you can read some tips on how to treat blackheads and enlarged pores effectively and with a lasting result.

 What causes enlarged pores?

When your sebaceous glands produce excessive sebum that mixes with the dead skin cells in your pores, your pores can become blocked. The sebum cannot discharge freely from the pores, resulting in your pores becoming wider and more clearly visible. This can also cause blackheads.

What should I not do:

  1. Stop using skincare products that block your pores or that make your skin produce excessive sebum, such as oily creams with a very creamy texture or makeup products containing dehydrating and irritating ingredients such as alcohol and fragrances.  I would recommend using Algologie matt plus range as the ingredients are naturally sourced so does not irritate the skin and is light weight in texture so does not clog the pores. I also love Jane Iredale mineral makeup for providing coverage but not clogging any pores and is all natural mineral ingredients.
  2. Look out for products containing niacinamide. Niacinamide ( also known as vitamin B3) stands out because of its versatility for almost any skin care concerns. It can help minimise enlarged pores and tighten the pores.
  3. Protect your skin from sunlight everyday. UV rays in sunlight damage your skin cells so they don’t function as well as they should. This distorts the pores, so that it is more difficult to discharge the sebum and they become enlarged.  I recommend using Heliocare SPF as its great for acne prone skin and its gel consistency does not block your pores.
  4. Use an exfoliant with salicylic acid (BHA) in gel or liquid form, without any irritating ingredients. It will enable you to remove excess skin cells from the surface of the skin as well as in the pores. Sebum can then no longer accumulate and the pore will return to its normal size. I would recommend the Environ sebulac washsebulac oil and sebulac lotion or mesoesethic acne one cream for doing exactly this.
  5. Absorb the excess sebum. Clay face masks absorb sebum and have a positive effect. I would recommend Algologie Clay Mask as a great option.
  6. Only use a mild, water- soluble facial cleanser and never use a solid bar of soap. The ingredients used to give soap its solid form can block pores and unbalance the skin’s protective barrier.
  7. Improving your cell rejuvenation will also make your pores function better. I recommend retinol for this, and take a marathon not a sprint approach as the slower you take this the better the longer term benefits will be.

Give these tips a try

If the specific recommendations and products above do not produce the desired result, then give these more general tips a try:

  1. Remove blackheads using a comedome extractor. By gently pressing it down, you limit the damage to your skin and pores. If you don’t remove blackheads, the pressure and swelling will increase and your pores will sometimes permanently enlarge and / or spots will appear.
  2. Go to a specialist aesthetics practitioner – they will be able to remove the blackheads without damaging your skin.
  3. Consider a professional cosmetic treatment. A high concentration AHA or BHA peel, microdermabrasion or laser treatment can visibly improve blackheads and milia for all skin types. Take note: these treatments only work on the skin surface and do not improve the condition of the pores. A good daily skincare routine is important as well.
  4. Select your makeup with care and clean your skin thoroughly before going to before going to bed. Thick, heavy makeup used to mask red blemishes or uneven skin tones blocks the pores.

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