Lab notes
Which ingredients are best for treating enlarged pores?

Which ingredients are best for treating enlarged pores?

What causes enlarged pores and your best recipe for treating them

What causes enlarged pores?

Pore size is genetic and unfortunately there is nothing we can do to physically shrink the size of our pores. However, sometimes pores can appear enlarged as a result of a build-up of sebum produced by overactive sebaceous glands. This sebum mixes with dead skin or keratin and blocks the pore. As the sebum builds up inside the pore, it stretches, making it appear visibly enlarged. Occasionally, the enlarged pore will turn into a blackhead when oxygen reacts with the sebum and oxidises causing a blackhead inside an enlarged pore. 


What are the best ingredients for minimising enlarged pores?

BHA (aka salicylic acid), when used as a liquid exfoliant works to dissolve oils and sebum in the skin as well as dead skin (keratin) build up. When a pore is clear and clean it visibly reduces back to a normal size.

A clay mask will detox and decongest  the skin causing the sebum to be minimised by the clay absorbing the excess sebum. This will minimise the appearance of pores and control the shine.

• Retinol is a cell rejuvenating skin care marvel that encourages your old skin cells to turn over or slough off faster, revealing a smoother skin texture with pore size minimized. Studies also show that once retinol has reached the middle layer of the skin can actually help regulate sebum production.This regulation of sebum will in turn make skin less oily and pores will not stretch.

• Niacinamide or vitamin B3 is on everybody’s skincare radar right now, because let’s face it there isn't really anything it can’t do. Niacinamide  helps control sebum production and as a bonus works well with BHA and retinol even when used together! Niacinamide is great for sensitive skin types and can actually help your skin accept active ingredients without the drying side effects that often accompany them.  

• Wear SPF daily even on cloudy, rainy snowy days! The protection you get from using SPF protects your skin from accelerated ageing caused by damage from the sun. This damage breaks down the collagen and elastin which in turn causes the skin to become lax. When the skin is lax the pores will become loose and enlarged as these proteins are giving our skin structure and strength.

What ingredients to avoid if you have enlarged pores?

Make-up can sometimes contain waxes and oils to give a certain finish to the skin once applied but can build up on the skin and contribute to enlarged pores. Thoroughly cleansing your skin 2x daily AM and PM will help keep your pores clear and refined.

• Alcohol in products (and in beverages) can cause dehydration of the skin which can also lead to enlarged pores. If skin is dehydrated, it starts to produce more sebum to counteract. This sebum can collect in the pore, which then begins to stretch. Be sure to avoid alcohol in products, limit the beverages that contain alcohol and DRINK water to save your pores!

• Heavy moisturisers that are not suitable for oily skin will contribute to the sebum production. Always choose a moisturiser that is suitable for your skin type. When in doubt, you can receive free personalised skincare recommendations by completing our online consultation with the option to add on a video call with one of our licensed skincare experts who can help guide you for the exact moisturiser for your skin.

Remember - refined skin takes time

A great skincare routine is a fabulous place to start when tackling enlarged pores. A routine gives your skin consistency which is the key to results with skincare. We often get frustrated and give up at the 4 week mark or sooner, when in reality it can take 8-12 to see  a change in the skin. So, have patience and keep up your beautifully curated routine - your refined healthy skin will thank you!