Dermal Health Science - Jan 2022
Improve enlarged pores
Mf it seems you’ve tried every pore minimiser out there and haven’t seen positive results for your enlarged pores, don’t give up hope! At Dermal Health, we take a research-backed approach to target the root causes of large pores.Enlarged pores are an aesthetic concern for men and women of all ages and many of us spend a lot of time and money on products that claim to shrink them. For every dermatologist-recommended treatment option, it seems that there are just as many myths and gimmicks that aren’t going to be very effective at all.Pores are the openings of hair follicles that contain oil glands (also called sebaceous glands) that lie below the skin’s surface. The T-zone area has more oil glands which is why most enlarged pore problems are concentrated around the nose, forehead and chin. The face has 400 to 800 pores/cm2 compared with 50 pores/cm2 on the arms and legs. Oily skin types are more likely to have enlarged pores.
Treatment objections to reduce pore size and improve their appearance:
Smooth skin surface with chemical exfoliation / peeling. Heaped up dead skin cells on the skin’s surface reflects light poorly. This emphasises the openings on the skin’s surface making them look larger. Smooth skin reflects light and helps conceal the pores. For this reason exfoliation with hydroxy acids may help improve the appearance of the pores. Using a salicylic acid cleanser or peel can help remove oil and debris from the pore which also helps the skin look smoother.
Increase Collagen production. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) can also help visibly improve stretched out, enlarged pores, but it works in a much different way than BHA. Niacinamide boosts skin’s natural repair processes to provide a "tightened-up" look. Research also demonstrates that Niacinamide has significant anti-aging properties, so your skin reaps both benefits at once.
Reduce the size of oil glands. Another way to minimise the appearance of large pores is to reduce the size of oil glands. Retinoids are effective. It is important to choose topical retinoids that are able to penetrate deeply enough to reach the oil glands. Eating foods rich in vitamin A, which is the precursor to retinoids, may help to reduce oil gland activity, thus reducing the appearance of large pores. However, consuming over 10,000 IUs of Vitamin A a day can lead to hair loss.
Decongest pores and keep it clean. Retinoids and Salicylic acid also help prevent the build-up of dead skin cells and oil inside the hair follicle that leads to dilation of the pores in the first place.When the hair follicle is clogged with dead cells and is not open to the surface, it is called a closed comedone or white head. When this worsens and gets bigger it is called a milia. When the dead skin cells clogged in the pore turn dark and the follicle is open at the surface, the lesion is called a blackhead or open comedone. Using antioxidants will prevent the dead skin cells inside the pores from turning black and becoming more visible. The darkness inside a clogged pore occurs when lipids in the oil (sebum) that is mixed with the dead skin cells becomes oxidised. Using an antioxidant can prevent this darkening making the pores look smaller.
What won't work:
Products that cause swelling within the skin deliver temporary improvement for large pores. This is how most “pore minimising” products work, and many of these rely on menthol, alcohol and eucalyptus. The frustrating part about “pore reducer” products, is that many of them actually make large pores worse. In particular, products with drying, harsh ingredients (like SD alcohol) or abrasive, jagged scrub particles can trigger an irritation response that jump-starts more oil production, leading to even more enlarged pores.Many women try to resurface their way to smaller pores with office-administered laser treatments. Anatomically, the base of the pore beneath the skin is actually larger than the pore on the surface, so resurfacing with lasers such as the Fraxel can actually make pores appear larger. Some people believe that washing the face with cold water “closes” pores but there is no scientific proof of this. Steaming the face or applying hot wet towels seems to open the pores and make it easier to extract the debris, but this has also not been proven in any scientific manner.