If those minute openings on your skin seem more prominent than they should, Dr Lisa Chan suggests a few remedies.
A well-lit mirror can sometimes act as a cruel magnifying glass. You gaze into it and see the pores of your face reflected with stark clarity, appearing much larger and more visible than they should.
Don’t resent those facial pores: they have some useful jobs to perform. They allow us to let out sweat to keep us cool and remove toxins from the body, and they release sebum, the oil naturally produced by the body that moisturises our skin.
Usually, facial pores are all but invisible to the naked eye, but they can become more prominent when the body is out of balance for some reason or when sebum, dead skin cells and dirt build up on the skin. They’re also a trait that can be inherited in our DNA.
A healthy lifestyle and a good skincare regime can reduce their size and visibility.
To avoid clogged pores, try to choose non-comedogenic and oil-free skincare products for your face. Retinoids can also help unclog pores and minimise their appearance, increasing skin cell turnover and replacing dead skin cells with younger, healthier ones.
Other existing and longer-established treatments for enlarged facial pores include chemical peels, laser and light therapies and micro needling.
Chemical peel is deep exfoliation skin treatment that removes oil, dead skin cells and dirt that cause pore enlargement.
Laser and intense pulsed light therapies can treat acne scars and sun damage by improving the appearance of pores and restoring the skin’s youthfulness.
Microneedling involves pricking tiny holes in the skin’s surface to stimulate collagen and elastin proteins that make the skin firmer, smoother and more elastic.
Recently, there are ongoing studies on the potential indication of diluted botulinum toxin for pores, acne vulgaris and rosacea. “Microtoxin” is an adaptation of the injection of botulinum toxin, which is already widely used to treat fine lines and wrinkles and now ranks as one of the most widely used cosmetic treatments in the world. Although it’s a relatively new treatment, its potential appears highly promising – and some people with pronounced facial pores that negatively affect their looks and self-confidence are turning to this “microtoxin” trial.
It was discovered by a happy accident. People realised their pores were less noticeable after having botulinum toxin injected to eliminate lines and wrinkles, and it works by inhibiting sebum production and giving our pores a break, allowing them to shrink in size.
The process for microtoxin is broadly the same, though – unlike traditional botulinum injections – it targets the skin rather than the muscles. Most patients see subtle changes within a few days and a noticeable improvement with smaller pores and smoother skin appearance. The effects last for a few months, so you’ll need to top it up every three to six months to maintain that glowing look.
With any treatments of these kinds, you should always consult your doctor first to find out what option best suits you.
Learn more about Dr Lisa Chan and her services here.