– discover how to minimise their appearance and look fabulous
Open pores and oily skin can affect people of all ages.
Beauty columnist Elsa McAlonan finds out which products can help
She also shows the products she’s most excited about this week
Open pores, oily skin and spots are usually problems associated with teenagers – yet even women in their 50s frequently complain about an uneven complexion.
This is because as we age, we lose collagen – the building block of skin – which means more wrinkles and bigger, more visible pores. As a result, blemishes and blackheads can become a problem again.
Dr Anjali Mahto, a consultant dermatologist at Cadogan Cosmetics, explains: ‘Pores are the openings in our skin that release oil to moisturise and protect it. If they become enlarged or open, skin can appear irregular and dull.’
Open pores, oily skin and spots are usually problems associated with teenagers – yet everyone can struggle
According to dermatologist Dr Howard Murad, pore size is, unfortunately, primarily determined by genes. However, there are ways we can minimise their appearance . . .
DEEP CLEANSE AND STEAM
Sally Penford, of the International Dermal Institute, recommends double cleansing the face in the morning and evening. ‘Wash, rinse and repeat. Choose an acid-balanced cleanser and ensure there is no residue left on the skin, which can clog pores.
‘Focus on the nose area, as this is where congestion is most common.’
Lucy Ayles, spa director at Champneys, says: ‘Steaming treatments are also effective as they draw impurities out of the skin.’ The moisture from the steam softens the surface layer of skin, which helps to remove bacteria and dead skin cells.
GET OIL UNDER CONTROL
To minimise the appearance of open pores, use oil-absorbing products, such as clay-based cleansers and products with salicylic acid.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (£41.75, dermalogica.co.uk) is a scrub you can use every day.
Oil-controlling moisturisers and serums can also help skin maintain a matte appearance. Try Clarins Truly Matte Pore Minimizing Serum (£27, clarins.co.uk).
Using a mask regularly can help to unblock pores, too. Benefit’s new POREfessional Instant Wipeout (£24.50 for eight masks, benefit cosmetics.co.uk) includes mushroom extract to remove impurities. Or if you have sensitive skin, try Quick Fix Facials Calming Clay Mask (£4.99, Boots).
CORE PORE PRODUCTS
If excess oil is a problem, Institut Esthederm Pure System Pore Refiner Concentrate (£35.50, beautybay.com) will help to regulate sebum production.
I also love Japanese skincare brand DHC’s collection of pore-minimising products. It includes Pore Cleansing Oil (£25), Face Wash (£20), Pore Essence (£28), Pore Lotion (£28) and Pore Milk (£28, all dhcuk.co.uk).
Sun protection is vital in minimising pores. Marie Schmidt, of Clarins UK, recommends using it daily, underneath make-up. She says: ‘UV rays weaken the collagen that supports pores and keeps them tight, so sun damage can make them appear larger.’
Finally, this week, Witch Mattifying Pore Minimiser (£4.99) is launched at Superdrug. It features witch hazel as a natural antibacterial and targets oily areas.