Sunday, 20 April 2014

Pore Problems

Anyone that owns a magnifying mirror will tell you of that unforgettable moment when they got up close and personal with their pores and discovered whiteheads, blackheads, or in my case both!  If you are anything like me you sit there and poke and prod at them until you think you have removed them all.  The satisfaction of removing blackheads is pretty magic, what is not so magic is the red inflamed mess left behind,  it's not a pretty sight and quite often your skin is left worse off than if you never touched them in the first place.

There is a huge selection of skincare products out there that claim to do everything from fighting blackheads to decreasing the size of your pores and even making both disappear!  With this in mind,  I have gone an a fact finding mission to see if there is such a way to minimise the size of your pores and also if there is a way to reduce or completely remove blackheads and whiteheads.

What are pores?
Pores are the openings of hair follicles.  Each follicle contains a sebaceous gland which is a tiny gland that produces your skins oil.  On certain parts of your face like your t-zone your pores are more noticeable as the sebaceous glands are bigger.

What makes pores larger?
Pores take on a larger appearance when they are clogged with oil, dirt or dead skin cells, they also get larger if you, like me squeeze your blackheads/whiteheads or pimples.  Pore size is generally determined by two things; your genes, and skin condition.  Fair skinned people tend to have smaller pores while people with darker skin tones have larger pores.  People with dry skin tend to have much smaller pores than those with oily skin.

What is a blackhead/whitehead?
A blackhead is an overactive oil gland that has become clogged up with oil, dead skin cells, tiny hair strands and sometimes bacteria, that combine to make a plug. When light and air come into contact with the opening of the pore it oxidises it turning it black.  Whiteheads are very similar however they do not turn black as they have only a small microscopic hole in the skin- as air and light don't come into contact with the contents within the pore it can not oxidise.

Can I permanently reduce my pore size?  Laser treatment seems to be the only option here, the procedure is designed to increase collagen which tightens pores.

What can I do to diminish my pores and stop blackhead appearing?
The most effective and natural way to diminish pore size is to keep them clear!  It makes sense really, the less dirt/oil/dead skin in your pores the smaller they will be!  .

I am by no means a skincare expert, however from all that I have read it appears that natural products are the way to go and being scrupulous with your skincare regime.  It is also very important to follow a healthy diet low in fatty and oily foods, drink plenty of water and exercise frequently! 

I am going to be testing out a few Skinfood products, they will be listed below.  As Skinfood does not make a toner I will be sticking with my usual holy grail toner - Dermalogica Age Smart Antioxidant Hydromist - Its pretty fair to say I am addicted to this product.  It is amazing!


Cleanse - Every morning and night, cleanse cleanse cleanse! 

If you are going to the gym or doing any sort of activity where you are likely to sweat more than normal cleanse your face before and after.  Sweat can carry dirt/makeup further into your pores, a quick and easy option here would be to carry some cleansing wipes in your workout bag!

What I'm using:  Skinfood Cleans All - Purchased from for $13.99

Exfoliate - A gentle exfoliant that you can really work into your skin is the best option here.

Massage your problem areas to remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil.  If you have normal skin exfoliate daily, people with more sensitive skin 3-4 times per week.  Removing dead skin cells makes your skin more sensitive to UV light - remember to apply sunscreen!

What I'm using:  Skinfood Exfoliating Scrub - Purchased from for $13.99

Tone - Choose a toner that is free from alcohol or peroxide and these can really dry your skin out. 

A toner is generally used to clean away anything that your cleanser left behind, as I am going to be cleansing and exfoliating each day I prefer to use a toner rich in antioxidants that is hydrating as well as having anti aging ingredients.

What I'm using:  Dermalogica Age Smart Antioxidant Hydramist 150mls - Purchased from for $91

Mask - Masks that contain clay/mud are great for drawing out oil from the skin.

How it works:  As the water in the mask evaporates the clay pulls away from your skin and takes dead skin cells and debris that clog pores with it.  I will be applying this mask twice a week after steam cleansing. 

What I'm using:  Skinfood Mud Masque - Purchased from for $13.99

Moisturise - Choose a moisturiser that is light and contains natural products. 

If you wear makeup on a regular basis always moisturise your face first as this acts as a barrier between your skin and your makeup. Moisturisers that contain ingredients such as retinol increase cell turnover so they unclog the pores, making them appear smaller! 

What I'm using:  Skinfood Light Moisturiser - Purchased from for $13.99

Steam Cleanse - This is something I usually do when I am congested but will give it a go if it will help clear up my skin, you boil a pot of water on the stove, take it off the heat and place on a heat resistant surface.  Then grab a towel and place over your head creating your own little facial steam room!  This will aid in opening up the pores to release all those nasties trapped under the skin!  I will be doing this twice a week before I apply my face mask.

Over the next few weeks I am going to be religiously sticking to the above skincare routine in a bid to reduce my pore size and get rid of my whiteheads.  Check back in a few weeks for an update of how I am going.

No comments:

Post a Comment