Enlarged pores: Causes and the best ways to treat them
Pores are small openings in the skin that release oils and sweat. They're also connected to the hair follicles. The sebum which is produced and secreted by these glands helps in maintaining hydration, and in shielding the skin’s protective barrier. Pores are almost invisible on dry skin, but not on combination and oily skins. Pores that are visible to the naked eye are called “dilated pores”. Large pores are usually located on oily areas of the face like the T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and on the cheeks. In general, men are more prone to have dilated pores, due to androgen hormones which stimulate sebum production during puberty.
The more dilated the pores are, the more impurities and dirt will settle in, resulting in the appearance of blackheads, acne and other imperfections.
What are the main causes of enlarged pores?
- Heredity: in most cases, people who have enlarged pores tend to share this skin characteristic with other family members.
- Hormonal imbalance: especially during puberty, menopause or during pregnancy. Dilated pores can develop following significant hormonal stimulation of the sebaceous glands caused by male androgens (male hormones), which stimulate this production.
- Skin dehydration: dehydrated skin is usually more prone to the appearance of dilated pores.
- An unhealthy lifestyle: a diet rich in fat can contribute to the development of oily skin. In addition, nicotine found in cigarettes will negatively affect the presence of hyaluronic acid, which main role is hydration.
- Some makeup products can also clog pores, especially if makeup removal and skin cleansing are not done properly.
- The sun and UV rays: after prolonged sun exposure, the skin thickens and retains sebum more easily. Later on, it will thin out and evacuate excess sebum, causing the appearance of dilated pores.
How to get rid of enlarged pores?
At helwé, we developed a three-step layering routine that will take care of dilated pores:
1- Double gentle cleansing
2- Gentle exfoliation
3- Regeneration, neutralization of UV, and skin hydration
1- Gentle skin cleansing
In order to tighten dilated pores, you need to start by thoroughly cleaning your skin with gentle products. By using an oil-based make-up remover, you give your combination to oily skin what it needs: active ingredients that will regulate sebum production and eliminate the fatty substances secreted by the skin. The oil-based make-up remover will not harm your skin.
The Prodige démaquillant hydratant is moisturizing and is composed of non-comedogenic moisturizing organic vegetable oils. The next step is to spray a mist: Brume perfection, which contains aloe Vera and astringent plants (myrtle, cistus ladaniferous, true lavender), all of which help tighten the pores, and better prepare your skin for the following stages: exfoliation, regeneration and hydration.
2- Gentle skin exfoliation
A chemical exfoliation is less aggressive to the skin than a mechanical exfoliation or peeling, which if done too harshly can alter the hydrolipidic film that protects the epidermis.
helwé’s exfoliation products contain glycolic acid (AHA) and salicylic acid (BHA), both of which gently eliminate dead cells and prevent pores from clogging.
The two exfoliating lotions recommended for dilated pores are the Lotion exfoliante peau parfaite (1% salicylic acid and 10% AHA) to be used at night. You can also alternate it with the Lotion peau nette, which is made of 2% salicylic acid.
You can also exfoliate with a mask. A daily care routine is essential to reduce the appearance of pores and blackheads, but sometimes our face needs a little extra boost, hence the use of facial masks.
You can opt for a stronger exfoliation, three times a week with an exfoliating and regenerating mask, the Masque Clarté, which contains fruit acids and bakuchiol. We recommend the use of this mask in the evening because products composed of fruit acids should not be used if you plan to be exposed to the sun, as they tend to sensitize your skin
You can combine the masks exfoliation with skin regenerating products by using the Masque éternel. This mask is composed of an Asian plant, centella asiatica also known as tiger grass, along with yellow clay and zinc oxide. This mask will deeply cleanse and decongest pores, and remove excess sebum and blackheads, helping in regenerating your skin, and making it look healthy skin. The Masque éternel can be used in the morning or in the evening, and has no side effects with sun exposure, as the Centella asiatica is an antioxidant.
3- Regenerating, neutralizing UV rays and hydrating skin
In the evening: regenerate your skin with the Sérum perfection. This serum is composed of three ingredients that are essential in the treatment of enlarged pores:
The combination of Bakuchiol and Retinol in this serum promotes cell renewal.
Niacin amide (also known as vitamin B3) helps reduce large pores, and improves uneven and dull skin tone.
In the morning, neutralize the harmful effects of pore-damaging free radicals with antioxidants like vitamin C, ferulic acid and vitamin E found in Sérum radieux.
Remember to moisturize your skin morning and night. Hydration is essential, and oily skin needs to be well-hydrated, and you can choose one of helwé’s moisturizing creams or serums of your liking, which you can use after the Perfection or Radieux serums.
In short, the three following helwé’s products are must-haves for the treatment of dilated pores.
1. The Double Cleansing Set: prodige démaquillant et brume perfection
2. The Trio Pores: lotion exfoliante, sérum perfection, sérum radieux
3. A bundle of hydratation including one cream and one serum of your choice:
A- Moisturizing Emulsions (morning and night)
1. Emulsion Active: is an emulsion containing two oils that help regulate sebum production. Nigella and jojoba oil are combined with hyaluronic acid to moisturize the skin. It is a very light emulsion. To be used in the morning and night after the serums.
2. Crème Eternelle: made of jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica. A very potent trio that boosts skin hydration and regulates sebum. To be used at night after the perfection serum.
3. Crème Jeunesse: made of bakuchiol, this cream hydrates and regenerates the skin. To be used in the morning after the vitamin C serum (Sérum radieux)
B- Hydrating serums (If you prefer to use a serum instead of a cream)
1. Sérum Hydratation Intense: an aqueous serum based on two types of hyaluronic acid.
3. Sérums Nuit Essentielle: sea buckthorn oil is antioxidant and it regulates sebum production. It works effectively on dilated pores and skin with imperfections.