Dr Karen Soh, medical director of Prive Aesthetics, explains how enlarged pores come about, and what you can do about them.
QI am in my early 30s and use a poreminimising primer to conceal my enlarged pores every day. Is there a better, longterm solution to this? – Mirabelle Cheng
APore minimisers work temporarily. In the long term, you need to manage your skincare and lifestyle. Keep your face clean, and never go to bed with makeup on. Pores look larger when they’re clogged with dirt and oil. Exfoliate regularly.
Avoid makeup that has comedogenic ingredients such as acetylated lanolin, benzaldehyde, algae extract, lauric acid and stearic acid. And choose water-based products over oil-based ones. It also helps to exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated.
Aesthetic treatments which may improve enlarged pores include chemical and laser peels, and fractional CO2 laser resurfacing. The Fotona 4D laser peel is designed to improve the appearance of the skin and reduce imperfections. The laser is adjusted to give an extremely controlled light peel without thermal effects, for a more precise treatment and less downtime.
Botulinum toxin treatments like Dysport Dermalift, combined with Skinbooster with Micro Botox, can also help. A doctor can recommend the best one for your skin.
QAre my enlarged pores the result of having oily skin? Would using beauty products for oily skin and those that promise poreminimising effects help them look smaller? – Janice Tay
AWhen oil and dirt build up on skin, it swells, making pores look larger. So if you have oily skin, you’re likely to have enlarged pores as well, because of the excess sebum.
But your enlarged pores may not be due solely to oily skin. Pore size is also determined by your genes. Ageing, too, is a factor: Less supple skin causes a reduction in elasticity around the pores, so they look bigger. And UV exposure, trapped sebum and dead skin cells can affect pore appearance.
To get around this, retoinoids such as adapalene and roaccutane help reduce sebum in skin, so pore size is reduced. The Fotona acne laser treatment can also help to reduce the activity of the glands, which could reduce oiliness and apparent pore size.
You can try Omega Light Facetherapy ($98), a customised facial that uses four different photo dynamic LED lights to treat dull skin, acne, sensitive skin, acne scars and pigmentation. It also suppresses the sebaceous glands.