“My pores are huge.” - Regina George, Mean Girls
While we hate to be the bearers of bad news, Regina, but the size of our pores is one of those genetic things that we can’t actually change. It is not all bad news, though! There are certain factors that make our pores appear larger which means there are steps you can take to minimise the appearance of your pores!
If you’re feeling like your pores are looking a little larger than usual, you can pretty much guarantee that congestion is the culprit. That’s where a killer skincare routine steps in to save the day.
Ageing also makes our pores appear larger due to a loss in skin elasticity. While we can’t stop aging (trust us, we’ve tried), we can adopt a skincare routine packed with products that helps tighten pores.
Reduce Congestion to Minimise Pores’ Appearance
Clogged pores (also known as congestion) make them appear larger which is a big ‘no thanks’. Congestion occurs thanks to pores being clogged with sebum and dead skin cells, hardening and making those pores more visible. The longer pores stay clogged, the higher the chance they will stay stretched out and make the problem worse, so you’re going to want to get started on that decongesting skincare routine, stat!
Start with a gentle cleanser. As it happens, we know the perfect one! Our Uncomplicated Cleanser will remove the day’s grime and oil so they don’t clog your pores.
Then it’s exfoliation time to remove those dead skin cells and reduce the texture brought about by those clogged pores. A physical exfoliator will slough away dead skin while a chemical exfoliation will dissolve the debris. It just so happens our Gentle-Foliants have a healthy mix of both!
As long as you don’t have super sensitive skin, incorporating one of our Encapsulated Retinol products into your routine will dramatically help to minimise the appearance of large pores. Our retinol products are encapsulated, which means they can penetrate deep into the skin before all of those killer benefits are released. Just start really gently and slowly work your way up to a more concentrated product.
Staying hydrated is so key. Dryer skin means pores open wider which is not at all a vibe. Hydrating products, such as our Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum will work wonders to keep those pores in check.
Here’s the key: don’t strip the skin as that will just tell it to produce more oil and then we’ve got the same problem! Use gentle, but effective ingredients.
Key Ingredients to Tighten Pores
There are a few ingredients to look out for when curating your pore tightening skincare routine. Think of this as your little black book of pore minimising.
Exfoliating enzymes will help to keep congestion in check by getting rid of dead skin cells trapped in the pores. That keeps them from stretching and looking larger than ideal. Our Fresh Sea and Salty Sand Gentle-Foliant is ideal for oily skin with large pores prone to congestion and breakouts. It uses papaya enzymes and Polynesian sand to gently exfoliate your skin. It is an acne-prone skin’s best friend!
Retinoid shrinks pores by increasing skin’s collagen production and decreasing oil which all leads to tighter pores. If we can offer a word of warning, only use a very small amount (we’re talking a couple of drops) and start with a gentle version, like our Encapsulated Retinol 0.25%. Topical retinoid is used to treat acne because it prevents pore blockage by restricting the clumping of cells.
Hyaluronic acid is such a favourite ingredient for us. We’ve already mentioned our Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum but we’re going to give it another shout out because it is that good. “Keeping skin hydrated can play a role in reducing the appearance of enlarged pores,” says Dr Winnie Uchendu. It also helps to tighten the skin which is just another added bonus.
An ingredient you might be surprised to find here is caffeine. When topically applied, it can dehydrate fat cells, making the skin look smoother and firmer. Both of which means those pores are looking snatched.
Other Considerations for Minimising Pores
Back your skincare routine up with a few other pore-minimising tricks: limit sun exposure, watch your diet, and drink plenty of water.
Here’s a little esmi secret you may not know: we’re big advocates of sunscreen. Okay, okay, it’s not a secret, we’ll tell anyone who listens. Sunscreen also actually has pore minimising effects (is there anything it can’t do?). Rachel Nazarian, dermatologist M.D says, “the sun breaks down your skin’s collagen, responsible for keeping your face firm and elasticised, so you’re left with larger pores and stretchier skin after repeat exposure.” Time to lather on that sunscreen! Sorry, but that SPF 15 isn’t going to cut it, you’re going to need SPF 30+ at least!
There are a few foods that contribute to congested pores which, if you’ve gotten this far, you’ll know makes your pores appear larger. Those foods include refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta (noooooo!), as well as refined sugars.
If you’re reading this, grab a big glass of water and get it into you. Don’t worry, we’ll wait. Water keeps your skin hydrated and nice and plump, which helps to reduce the appearance of pores. It also promotes natural detoxification, helping to prevent those pores from clogging.
If you’d like to know more about how to make your pores appear smaller, we’ve got your back! Head to our website to chat to one of our knowledgeable skin consultants.