Though for some they may be small and unnoticeable, a significant number of people have pores that are large and visible enough to make them self-conscious about the way their skin looks. In fact, cosmetic doctors say clients’ requests for smaller pores have escalated to such an extent that they have dubbed the fixation ‘porexia’.
But first things first, who is affected by enlarged pores and is there anything that can be done to prevent them?
Pores naturally increase in size around the time of puberty as higher hormone levels trigger the production of more sebum, and the pore has to expand to accommodate this boost of oil.
Dead skin cells and sebum can also stick inside the openings of pores and cause them to expand and look larger. People who are acne-prone produce more pore-clogging sebum, so they’re more likely to have blackheads and enlarged pores.
Genetics are another factor that contributes to pore size. Generally, people with naturally oily skin have larger pores since they produce more oily sebum. People with drier skin usually have pores that are discrete and smaller in size since they don’t create as much sebum.
So, what’s the best way to tackle problem pores?
“Keep pores under control by limiting exposure to the sun, pollution, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, pesticides and stress – they all contribute to skin damage,” advises skincare maverick Dr Howard Murad.
“Look for products that contain glycolic and salicylic acid to clear pores and remove imperfections, retinol to stimulate cell turnover and help boost collagen production as well as antioxidants to defend against skin damaging free radicals.
“And try eating foods like eggs, beans and seeds which are collagen boosters, pomegranates which fight off free radical damage and walnuts and avocado which are good fats.” “These foods will help your pores keep their shape by encouraging collagen production,” he adds.