Genetics play a significant role in determining an individual’s pore size. Those with a family history of larger pores are more likely to have them as well. Genetic factors influence the amount of oil produced by the skin, the elasticity of the skin, and the structure of the pores themselves.
Excess Sebum Production
Sebaceous glands in the skin produce sebum, an oily substance that lubricates and protects the skin. In some cases, the sebaceous glands can become overactive, producing an excessive amount of sebum. The excess oil can mix with dead skin cells and become trapped within the pores, causing them to stretch and appear larger. The use of a retinoid can manage excess sebum production, therefore making it a simple and attractive use-at-home treatment for enlarged pores, as an adjunct to in-clinic treatments. However, some of us with naturally sensitive skin may not tolerate retinoids due to its drying effects, and will likely benefit more from clinical treatments.
Aging and Reduced Elasticity
As we age, the skin’s elasticity naturally decreases. This loss of elasticity can cause the skin to sag and pores to appear larger. Additionally, as collagen and elastin levels decline with age, the support structure around the pores weakens, contributing to their apparent enlargement. Using non-invasive energy-based devices such as Thermage can tackle this aspect effectively.
Sun Damage and Collagen Breakdown
Excessive sun exposure can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin. Collagen is responsible for maintaining skin’s firmness, while elastin provides elasticity. When these fibers degrade, the skin’s support structure weakens, leading to pores that appear larger. As with the prevention of numerous other skin conditions, application of a broad spectrum sunscreen is essential in maintaining skin health.
Clogging of Pores
When pores become clogged with a combination of excess sebum, dead skin cells, and environmental debris, they can stretch and become more noticeable. The clogging can also cause inflammation, further exacerbating the appearance of enlarged pores. Facial acids such as low- concentration AHAs and BHAs can be helpful in unclogging pores, making it an easy solution for home-based maintenance therapy.
Poor Skincare Habits
Using harsh skincare products or over-cleansing the skin can strip it of its natural oils. In response, the skin may produce even more sebum to compensate, leading to clogged pores and an exaggerated appearance of pore size. A professional can advise on a suitable skincare regime to help to reduce the contribution of improper skincare habits to the formation of large pores.
Hydration and Moisture Balance
Maintaining proper hydration is essential for skin health. When the skin is dehydrated, it can produce more sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture. This excess sebum can contribute to clogged pores and enlarged appearance. Skin boosters are perfect for restoring and maintaining hydration in the skin.