Look, you can't see a single pore on the lady's face! That's Rachel Weisz for you. Photo: Getty
If you’ve ever suffered from breakouts or oily skin, there’s a good chance you also battle enlarged pores. While genetics are key in determining pore size, other factors such as UV damage, trapped sebum and dead skin cell build-up are essentially what causes them to stretch and become more visible. So, rather than curse your family tree, here are a few important pore-perfecting pointers worth considering.
Don’t dismiss SPF Just like fine lines, UV exposure weakens the collagen fibres that are responsible for maintaining firmness in the skin and pores. If you’re concerned about breakouts, Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Oil Free Matte SPF 30, $64, (below) also works overtime to absorb excess oil as you wear it.
Double your cleansing power
Regardless of how fabulous a cleanser claims to be, skin can always benefit from a double cleanse. As a general guide, the first cleanse is essential to break down makeup and dirt, while the second is needed to remove oil build-up before it settles in the pores.
Experiment with your exfoliation
Although manual exfoliants do a stellar job at leaving the skin feeling smooth and soft, when it comes to tackling serious congestion, the humble face scrub tends to be way out of its league. For near immediate results, make the switch to a gentle AHA or salicylic acid-based product that’s designed to be absorbed into the skin for a deep exfoliation. Try Priori Advanced AHA Gentle Facial Cleanser with LCA Complex, $80, (below).
Whatever you do, don’t squeeze
Squeeze, and you’re not only asking for permanent scarring, you also run the risk of stretching the pore. Instead, book in for a consultation with a skincare technician, such as a dermatologist or skin therapist, who can analyse your current skin and makeup routine to help identify the cause of the congestion as well as a suitable treatment plan.
Master your makeup
Learn how to play your makeup cards right, and you can have pore-less looking skin in next to no time. The secret is to start by tweaking the product textures to suit the specific zones on the face. As a general rule, anything glittery or dewy will only exaggerate imperfections, so stick with matte, velvety-looking finishes along the t-zone and cheeks and save the sparkly stuff for the eyes, lips and nails.
For a quick fix, you can’t go wrong with a mattifying primer. Our vote goes to the oil-free Benefit POREfessional, $53, which dries feeling weightless on, making it perfect for reapplying over foundation throughout the day.