The naked truth about pores
I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever put on a full face of makeup for date night, only to step into the ladies' room later on to find that her foundation has turned more flaky than fabulous. You know those super unflattering public bathroom mirrors that are definitely not your friend? Let's just say they didn't cushion the blow, in my case. White, dandruff-like flakes lined the sides of my nose where I'd painstakingly applied makeup just hours before, and large clogged pores scatted all over my cheeks and let's not forget my forehead which reflected a sheen that could've given the bathroom lights a run for their money.
That was when I realised I had to crack down on my skincare regimen. Sure, I was washing and moisturising my face, but with my skin type, I probably needed to incorporate a few other steps into my daily routine to achieve the complexion I desperately wanted.
When dealing with skin issues such as large pores, uneven texture, and blemishes, it’s important to know and understand what works best for your skin type. Plastering on makeup without executing proper skincare can exacerbate the appearance of pores, and draw further attention to unflattering skin texture.
Not to worry – regardless of your skin type, I'm about to share some simple solutions to minimise the appearance of your pores, so you can enjoy healthy and flawless skin.
1. FOR OILY SKIN
If you regularly experience T-zone shine, we're looking at you. Having naturally oily skin can lead to enlarged pores, which collect dirt and bacteria from the surface of your skin. As a result, you may experience frequent breakouts, some skin swelling, or other issues.
Washing your face twice per day with hot water is always a good place to start – typically once in the morning before makeup application, and once in the evening after makeup removal. Select a cleanser that's gentle on your skin, and specifically targets oily skin types.
You might also consider adding a good toner to your skincare regimen, which acts as an absorbing solution to balance your skin's pH and remove excess dirt and oil. A natural toner I recommend is distilled witch hazel, which acts as an astringent to minimise the appearance of pores while also reducing inflammation.
In addition, ensure you're exfoliating at least once per week, as doing so will remove dead skin and other buildup from your face to allow for the glow of healthy, radiant skin.
2. FOR SUN-DAMAGED SKIN
Repeated sun exposure can create the appearance of large pores, primarily because sun damage thickens skin and removes essential collagen and water.
Aside from regularly applying SPF to prevent further damage – which I recommend every day, in all weather – there are a few natural solutions that may help minimise pores enlarged by sun exposure.
Vitamin C serum provides natural antioxidants that will brighten your skin, and promotes collagen production (which is depleted without UVA protection). Vitamin E and Apple Cider Vinegar are also beneficial to skin health, and may improve overall complexion and appearance of your skin.
3. FOR VERY DRY SKIN
You may not have realised that dry skin can contribute to large-looking pores just as much as oily or combination skin. Dry skin especially needs more attention during the winter months, as cold, dry air doesn't do anything to help this skin type.
Dermatologist Noelani Gonzalez, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Mount Sinai West, recommends that people select moisturisers carefully, opting for heavier, creamier moisturisers and ointments the drier your skin is. As the seasons change, it may be necessary to switch from the heavier moisturiser you used during the winter months to a lighter one in the spring.
To prevent flaky buildup that often accompanies skin dryness, wash and exfoliate your face regularly, and use a toner that's geared specifically toward dry skin types – especially those that contain Vitamin E, glycerin, and chamomile, which are known for their soothing qualities – and always end by properly moisturising.
Not sure what your skin type is? Take our skin assessment test to find out!