One of the main questions we get asked by our Jersey Beauty customers is how to deal with open and enlarged pores. There are some skincare products that boast the ability to shrink pores but how possible is this? Understanding what causes enlarged pores, why they are open and what makes them more visible is key to knowing what you can do to treat your pores.
All Pores Are Open
The first thing to say is that all pores are open. This is really important for healthy functioning skin. Your pores allow sebum produced by the sebaceous glands to leave the skin to form the lipid barrier. In fact when your pores are clogged up or blocked this can cause issues.
So it isn’t open pores that are the issue. It is when some pores are larger or more visible than others. Why does this happen?
To find out in more detail what causes enlarged pores, read our earlier blog:
There are two main reasons as to why your pores size changes as your skin ages.
Firstly, your cell turnover slows down. When you are younger, your skin cells renew themselves roughly every thirty days. This is a process call demasquation. As you get older, this process naturally slows down, meaning it takes longer to get rid of dead skin cells. This can result in pores getting clogged up more easily with oil and dead skin cells. This can enlarge pores and also make them more visible, with more blackheads.
Secondly, as you age your collagen and elastin levels naturally decrease. Collagen is what keeps your face looking plump and elstain is what keeps your skin taut. When these decrease due to a slower turnover of cells, your skin can start to sag and look hollow. This can make pores look larger and more visible.
What can I do about my visible, enlarged pores?
At Jersey Beauty we are all about healthy, happy skin. When it comes to pores, there are some steps you can take to treat open, enlarged pores. They will not only help to reduce the visibility of pores but will also help your skin to be healthier.
Here are our seven steps to treating open pores:
1. Exfoliate Daily
As you age and your cell turnover rate decreases naturally, your skin needs some help with resurfacing. This is the process of shedding dead skin cells, oil and debris and encouraging renewal.
Depending on your unique skin, you may want to use a daily exfoliator - like Dermalogica Daily Superfoliantwhich has activated binchotan charcoal to draw junk out of the pores.
AGE Smart® Daily Superfoliant Exfoliatorresurfacing, anti-pollution powder exfoliantSkincare57g: £41.30
For a leave on exfoliant, Dermalogica Daily Resurfacerhas a powerful combination of beta hydroxy acid Salicylic Acid, to resurface the skin by exfoliating surface stratum corneum cells and alpha hydroxy acids Apple Fruit Extract and Sugar Cane Extract, to stimulate cell renewal and turnover while gently helping to slough surface cells.
2. Try Using Steam
Steam can be a really effective tool for your skin but only if you know how to use it right, and what its purpose is! A lot of us wrongly think that steam opens up pores - actually it works to loosen dirt in your pores. Which can be great for open pores that have gathered dirt.
How do you steam right?
Here are three key steps:
Cleanse first - you should steam skin that has already been cleansed to get maximum benefit. Remove any makeup and surface dirt with your regular cleanser before steaming.
Only steam once a week for five to ten minutes - you can over-steam, which can dry out the skin. So use this method once a week after cleansing to loosen dirt in the pores.
can use steam to open your pores to extract dirt and then follow with cold water to seal.
RInse with cold water - this helps to remove the dirt that has been lifted from your pores and also the cool water will help to seal the skin again to avoid any water loss.
3. Cleanse thoroughly
Do you wish you had a healthy skin glow? You need to make sure you’re cleansing properly. Radiant skin is a sign of skin health, dull skin, on the other hand, is often a sign of ineffective cleansing.
Why not try the Double Cleanse challenge? At Jersey Beauty we are big fans of double cleansing - that’s using a first cleanser to get rid of surface dirt and to remove makeup then using a second cleanser to get into the pores and really clean the skin, treating your specific skin concerns. For a great first cleanse, try Dermalogica PreCleanse:
When it comes to living with enlarged pores that may seem visible to you, using a primer can be a brilliant way of disguising open pores and making your complexion look more even.
Dermalogica HydraBlur Primercan be used either underneath makeup or as an alternative to foundation if you don’t often wear makeup or want a lighter look. It has a micro-encapsulated tint which provides an even coverage to every skin tone, like an Instagram filter in a tube, and also has mushroom extract, a natural astringent which can help pores appear less visible.
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5. Don’t pick spots
It can be really tempting… when you have breakouts… to squeeze or pick spots. But this can cause lasting damage to the skin and can also push the bacteria inside the pore further into the skin. Instead of squeezing, try a targeted treatment - like Dermalogica Clear Start Breakout Clearing Booster, which has a combination of salicylic acid, which helps to clear out the infected area, and Thymol and Terpineoil (TT) Complex and Phytoplankton Extract, which works with the skin’s natural microbiome to reduce breakout-causing bacteria while preserving ‘good’ bacteria.
If you have been tempted to squeeze spots in the past and have been left with inflammation marks and deeper inflammation, using a product with Vitamin C can help to reduce the visibility of open pores.
One of the problems with Vitamin C is that it isn’t the most stable active ingredient and can start to destabilise as soon as it is exposed to the air. This can make it hard to get enough of the goodness from Vitamin C for your skin. Dermalogica Biolumin C Serum has a ultra stable form of Vitamin C at 4.7% , making it a really potent source of this skin healing and protecting ingredient.
AGE Smart® BioLumin-C Serumbrightening vitamin c serumSkincare30ml: £57.40
7. Moisturise every day
When it comes to open pores, one of the mistakes a lot of us make is to skip moisturiser. We can wrongly think that this will clog pores and make the problem worse. But the thing is - a great moisturiser is a key to skin health. It’s all about choosing the right one for your unique skin.
If you have open, enlarged pores you need a lightweight moisturiser that is brilliant at hydrating your skin. This will make it appear glowing, by feeding it with nutrients. If you continually skip this step, over time your skin’s structure will begin to deteriorate. Open pores and sagging skin are one of the results of deteriorating skin.
When it comes to treating open pores, it is really important to first understand what causes your pores to enlarge and the best ways to treat your skin. Whilst some beauty companies offer ‘miracle’ solutions to what is actually a natural occurrence, we believe that the most important thing is to have happy, healthy skin. Your pores may be enlarged but they don’t need to be full of gunk or causing breakouts. You can have remarkable skin whatever your age and skin concerns, once you know how to treat your unique skin!
Learn more about your skin by downloading our free Ultimate Guide to Skincare - with sections for every age and skin concerns, you’ll find answers to your questions and great product recommendations.