How To Minimise The Appearance Of Pores

Pores are integral to our skin’s epidermis, linking oil glands to the surface to hydrate and protect – but too many on show is rarely a good thing. The encouraging news is there are things you can do to minimise their appearance, be it through using quality skincare or artfully applied make-up. Here, the pros explain how…
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Know What Pores Are

You have pores all over your body – not just your face – and they’re actually tiny hair follicles that contain a sebaceous gland. These glands then produce sebum (oil) on the surface of the skin, which protects skin from external aggressors, but can also become clogged with too much oil, which sometimes leads to pores becoming more visible. Sometimes their appearance can come down to your DNA, but open pores tend to be the result of several factors. Lifestyle, diet, hormonal imbalance or a history of skin damage all play a part. It’s also been reported that between the ages of 25-50, pores can double in size due to environmental factors and further UV exposure.

Build A Great Routine

Though you can’t change the size of your pores, a good skincare routine can help minimise the appearance of them. “First, it’s really important to cleanse your skin thoroughly, especially after wearing make-up, as this can settle in pores if not cleansed properly and can lead to clogged and congested skin,” explains professional make-up artist Nilofar Musa. “It’s also crucial to exfoliate a couple of times a week to remove any dead skin cells, sebum and debris that collects on the surface of the skin to keep the pores clean and prevent them from getting any larger. My favourites are the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser and Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant.” 

Focus On Pore Minimisers

If you really want to focus on minimising the appearance of pores, the pros will tell you to focus on the types of products you use. “Use pore minimising products into your daily skincare routine both in the evening and the morning,” says professional make-up artist Jessica Kell. “Try the hydrating foaming cleanser from Indeed Labs, which leaves behind a perfect base. A great glycolic toner will also lessen their appearance – I love the Beauty Pie Dr Glycolic Pore Purifying Glow Toner which uses glycolic acids and niacinamide to leave skin looking glowing. A great clay mask is an essential, too. The Beauty Pie Super Pore Detox Purifying Black Clay Mask works to deep clean your pores and uses glycolic and salicylic acid to exfoliate at the same time.” Nilofar agrees: “Opt for chemical exfoliants – AHAs, BHAs, glycolic acids, salicylic acids – while retinoids are also fantastic to strengthen the collagen in the skin, resulting in a stronger skin barrier that is less likely to stretch.”

Go Easy On The Moisturiser & Primer

“The most common mistakes people make when trying to minimise the appearance of pores is to overload the skin with heavy moisturisers, primers or drying foundations,” says Jess. “All of these things will enhance your pores and skin texture, which is never the desired effect. Instead, focus on products that reduce pore texture but also keep your skin hydrated, like the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner, which keeps skin matte but still creates a great surface for your make-up to sit on.”

Skip The At-Home Treatments

“It’s common to see people misuse home microneedle rollers (which create tiny punctures in the skin and aid the reproduction of collagen and elasticity) in the hopes that this will shrink open pores,” warns Nilofar. “Though the treatment does yield some good results, it can really damage the skin if not done properly. For best results, book in with a certified dermatologist when you can.”

Prep Your Complexion For Make-Up

There are a few more ways you can follow to help blur the appearance of pores before you get into make-up. “Try a lightweight blurring primer to really smooth out the skin's surface,” advises Jess. “Hylamide HA Blur is perfect for this because it uses hyaluronic acid to even out texture, so your skin is hydrated but never oily.”

Choose Your Foundation Wisely

According to beauty insiders, it’s important to ensure your foundation is hydrating and not too heavy, otherwise it can sit in the pores and make them look more enlarged or even cakey. “Try going for a foundation with good coverage but one which is still light in texture,” agrees Jess. “Nars’ All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is great to even out your skin tone, while still staying luminous and fresh.” While finding the right product is paramount, technique is also key. “It’s just as important to look at the way you are applying the foundation,” explains Jess. “If you’re trying to get a really smooth finish, use a round buffing brush and apply the product in a circular motion. This will ensure you completely cover the pores without letting it gather or sit on top of the skin.”

Try A Blurring Effect

Once your foundation has settled, there are a few more make-up tricks Nilofar recommends those with larger pores try. “Texture loves shine, so apply a very light layer of translucent powder over the top of your make-up where open pores are visible,” she says. “This will take down any excess shine on the surface of the skin and diffuse the light, thus creating a ‘blur’ effect. Open pores tend to be more prominent on the inner cheek area – the fatty pad close to the nose – so keep this more matte. Also, direct your highlighter to the highest part of the cheekbone – below the outer corners of the eyes – to balance the overall texture of the skin and bring some glow back.”


The pore-blurring products the insiders swear by…

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