What Causes Enlarged Pores: Unravelling the Underlying Factors and Their Treatment

Have you ever closely examined your skin and been astounded by the visibility of enlarged pores? As the largest organ of the body, there are millions of pores covering the entire surface of the skin. Each of these small openings on the skin contains hair follicles along with sebaceous glands that secrete sebum. Several factors contribute to the excessive production of sebum, causing the pores to appear larger and thus giving your skin a dull and unhealthy appearance.

Enlarged pores, truth be told, are actually common, affecting both genders across all ages. The common misconception is that people always gravitate towards the ideal solution by seeking “how to get rid of pores” or even “how to permanently close pores.” However, in actuality, you can only minimise their prominence. So, what truly causes enlarged pores? Discover the underlying factors and treatments for enlarged pores.

What Causes Large Pores?

Genetics

The size and number of pores are predominantly influenced by genetics. Hence, if your parents possess enlarged pores, you are most likely to inherit them as well. Similar to height and eye colour, this polygenic trait is governed by a certain sequence of interlinked genes.

Based on a published journal article, although the genetic inheritance of the majority of skin traits has been determined, the understanding of the exact genes and mutations within those genes that differentiate us is actually limited, particularly in relation to pore size. However, beyond the predetermined trait, a comprehensive skincare routine and treatment are equally imperative to prevent the clogging of your pores, which can worsen the condition.

Increased Sebum Production

The primary factor that causes enlarged pores is the increase in sebum production. It is important to note that our genetics and the size of the pores somewhat dictate how active the sebaceous glands are. As mentioned earlier, each of the pores feature sebaceous oil glands that secrete sebum. However, if sebum is produced excessively, it can cause oily skin, especially on your nose and chin, which tend to be oilier than other areas. When combined with dead skin cells, these pores can become clogged, causing them to appear larger than normal. Additionally, clogged pores can also lead to various skin conditions, including acne.

Loss of Skin Elasticity due to Age

As we age, the skin will begin to lose its elasticity due to the breakdown of collagen production, resulting in skin sagginess and a loss of firmness. Although this process is inevitable, it actually causes the pores to dilate. Coupled with the natural thinning of the skin as we grow older, it triggers minuscule skin cells to accumulate around your pores, leading to enlarged pores.

Sun Damage

Never underestimate the substantial effect of prolonged sun exposure on your skin. Harmful UV rays are notorious for their ability to affect collagen production, elastin, and the water level in the skin, heralding the signs of ageing. Aside from thinning the skin, sun exposure also shrinks the skin tissue, extending the outer edges of your pores, making them look bigger. As collagen is intertwined with skin firmness, the lack of elasticity can result in enlarged pores.

Large Hair Follicles

According to a research journal article published in 2016, an increase in hair follicle volume is one of the factors that causes enlarged pores. This happens when the pores located near the end of the hair follicles become clogged. Since each of these pores contain hair follicles, their size affects the size of the pores.

The List of Aesthetic Treatments to Minimise Enlarged Pores

Meso Botox 

Meso Botox is an aesthetic treatment used to minimise enlarged pores. Meso Botox and traditional Botox differ in terms of procedure and benefits. Unlike traditional Botox, Meso Botox involves the superficial injection of Botox all over the face. This injectable treatment doesn’t affect facial muscles or facial expressions, as it doesn’t target muscles directly. On the other hand, traditional Botox is directly injected into muscles to weaken them and reduce wrinkles.

During the Meso Botox procedure, small amounts of Botox are injected into the skin’s uppermost layers, specifically targeting areas prone to sebum production, acne, and facial redness. Apart from regulating oil secretion, Meso Botox offers several benefits, including minimising enlarged pores, reducing facial redness, diminishing scarring, and enhancing complexion radiance. This procedure is known to prevent recurring acne breakouts and tighten pores for a healthier complexion.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) skin boosters 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) skin boosters are designed to deeply hydrate and smoothen the skin. These boosters primarily feature hyaluronic acid as their main ingredient. When utilised for treating enlarged pores, they increase hydration levels, which reduces excess oiliness – a major contributor to this skin condition. Targeted administration can also address wrinkles and fine lines.

HA skin boosters offer comprehensive benefits, including enhanced hydration, stimulation of fibroblast activity, improved skin elasticity, delivery of antioxidants, sustained moisture retention, and promotion of collagen and elastin formation.

Laser Treatments 

Various laser procedures, such as 3D Pico Glow, Q Switch Laser, Pico Laser, CO2 Laser, and Erbium Laser, are employed to treat enlarged pores. These procedures emit long wavelengths, penetrating deep into the skin to minimise pore appearance through the application of heat and energy. Laser treatments also facilitate the removal of dead skin cells, accelerating collagen production and pore shrinkage.

Each laser procedure differs in functionality, features, and benefits. Your doctor will recommend the suitable procedure based on your condition and desired results. Before the laser treatment, a numbing cream will be applied to minimise discomfort. While you might experience slight tingling, it’s generally tolerable with minimal downtime.

Collagen Stimulating Skin Boosters (PDLLA) 

In addition to HA skin boosters, the treatment plan for enlarged pores includes collagen stimulating skin boosters (PDLLA). This procedure focuses on promoting skin elasticity and collagen production by injecting collagen, a protein fibre that imparts a firm appearance to the skin. Aligning with ageing concerns, collagen-stimulating skin boosters work in harmony with skin tissues and structure, enhancing collagen production and fortifying the skin’s natural ability to repair damaged tissue.

These boosters offer benefits like increased skin elasticity, reduced pigmentation and scarring, replenished dry skin, and addressing signs of ageing. The results of a combination of HA skin boosters and collagen stimulating skin boosters (PDLLA) can last up to a year, depending on individual metabolism. Results are noticeable after the first session, with minimal downtime.

Gold Plated Micro-needle RF 

The Gold Plated Micro-Needle RF treatment employs Secret RF microneedles to exert microtraumas while emitting radiofrequency energy for skin penetration. This treatment stimulates and restructures collagen through tissue coagulation and haemostasis technology. Gold needles facilitate direct pulse administration to subcutaneous tissues upon contact with the skin. Subsequently, Bipolar RF energy enhances collagen renewal and elastic production by denaturalizing skin tissues.

The Gold Plated Micro-Needle RF treatment treats various skin conditions, including pore tightening, uneven skin tone, sunspots, acne scars, and cellulite. The procedure typically consists of four to six sessions, spaced three to four weeks apart, each lasting around 30 minutes with minimal downtime.

Medical Grade Facial

Doctors may recommend a medical grade facial to address enlarged pores. Unlike regular spa facials, medical grade facials involve several steps and the use of medical-grade products, ingredients, and devices. This rejuvenating treatment targets deeper skin layers for lasting results, addressing issues beneath the skin’s surface. Medical grade facials, such as the Hydra Facial, involve deep cleansing, exfoliating, skin firming, and hydrating steps to minimise enlarged pores.

Chemical peels employ acid-based ingredients like salicylic acid and beta hydroxy to gently remove upper skin layers, effectively treating concerns like ageing, scarring, pigmentation, and enlarged pores. This treatment can also be combined with other enlarged pore treatments.

How to Minimise Large Pores?

Choosing Water-Based Products

The key to minimising the appearance of enlarged pores is through a rigorous beauty routine. It all starts with using the right products that suit your skin type, specifically incorporating water-based products that are packed with humectants. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), people with an oily skin type, which is often prone to enlarged pores, should prioritise oil-free products.

The rule of thumb is to look for beauty products labelled as “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic.” While oil-based ingredients such as coconut oil and petroleum are known for their hydrating properties, they tend to clog the pores and eventually cause enlarged pores.

Cleansing the Face Twice a Day

As the first step in your daily skincare ritual, washing your face with a cleanser is pivotal to achieving a clearer and healthier-looking complexion. This step is crucial for deeply cleansing the skin from excess sebum, impurities, and dirt, which over time can clog the pores.

It is recommended that you cleanse your face twice a day, in the morning and at night, and by using a gentle cleanser that is free from irritating ingredients like alcohol. Most importantly, it is essential to wash your face after sports to remove sweat and grime. Start by wetting your face with lukewarm water and using your fingertips to gently cleanse the face in a circular motion. Do not scrub your skin harshly. Then pat your face dry with a clean towel before proceeding with the next skincare step.

Moisturising Daily

A common mistake that people with oily skin make is refraining from using any moisturiser. While it might seem strange to some, your skin still requires a boost of hydration to replenish and nourish it, thereby preventing the risk of both dry and oily skin. You should prioritise an oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturiser, which works wonders to prevent clogged pores and minimise the appearance of large pores. Alternatively, you can also select a suitable moisturiser designed for your skin type. For extra benefits, the moisturiser should contain essential ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid. After cleansing, you can follow up with a toner before diligently applying moisturiser all over your face.

Exfoliating

Similar to cleansing your face, exfoliating is a surefire way to minimise the appearance of large pores. It gently removes the buildup of dead skin cells, impurities, and excess sebum, ensuring a brighter and smoother skin texture. You can choose to exfoliate your face up to twice a week. However, it is important not to overdo it, as it can dry out your skin, leading to an increase in oil production to compensate. Moreover, over-exfoliation can also compromise the lipid barrier, making the skin susceptible to dehydration and irritation.

If you ever find yourself in such a condition, you can either reduce the frequency of exfoliation per week or choose a gentler type of face exfoliator. Regardless of the type of exfoliator you choose, whether physical or chemical, it is recommended that it is formulated with beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), or mandelic acid for optimal results.

Choosing Gel-Based Cleansers

You should opt for a gel-based cleanser as it can deeply cleanse the pores, thereby minimising their appearance. It is pivotal to steer away from using any oil or alcohol-based cleansers. Not only do they leave greasy residues, but they can also irritate your skin.

Applying Clay Masks

So, how can you truly minimise these unsightly large pores on your face? A weekly pampering session involving clay masks is one of the best solutions to reduce their appearance. This wonder ingredient is renowned for its ability to draw out impurities, excess sebum, and dead skin cells. With its purifying properties, it can absorb sebum and unclog the pores, making them appear less visible. You can do this at least twice per week, whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up.

Always Removing Makeup Before Bed

If you often sleep with your makeup on, it’s time to put an end to this bad habit. While it might seem harmless, sleeping in makeup can actually lead to clogged pores, resulting from the combination of makeup, excess sebum, and bacteria. For a deeply cleansed face, the double cleansing method is the best option to thoroughly clean your face from makeup. However, if you’re in a hurry, another alternative option is to use cleansing wipes.

Putting on Sunscreen

Sun exposure is the primary culprit for various skin issues, including wrinkles, pigmentation, dryness, and skin cancer. As it affects collagen production, it causes the skin to lose its firmness and eventually enlarges pores. Therefore, it’s important to shield your skin from these harmful UV rays using sunscreen whenever you step out the door. If you’re concerned about acne breakouts, opt for a sunscreen that features zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Additionally, the sunscreen should have at least SPF 30 for ultimate protection, and make sure to reapply it every hour when you’re outdoors.

Conclusion

If you’re battling enlarged pores, you might have tried home remedies with varying degrees of success. While these DIY solutions have their merits, they often don’t deliver lasting changes. That’s where aesthetic treatments really come into their own.

From oil-controlling Meso Botox to hydration-boosting HA skin boosters, these treatments are designed to tackle this issue effectively. Options also include laser treatments like Q-switch, Pico, CO2, and Erbium lasers for skin exfoliation and collagen stimulation, along with pore-tightening techniques like Microneedle RF. When home solutions aren’t giving you the results you want, seeking medical advice could be your next logical step for a skincare plan that’s finely tuned to your needs.

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