The condition of your pores says a lot about where your skin has been and where it's going. Let us give you some insight.
Repair Your Pores and Get the Skin You Have Always Wanted.
We hear 2 big complaints at ZENMED,
1) help me with my enlarged pores, or
2) help me unclog my pores.
In actual fact, the recommended treatment product for both of these is the same, but the causes are vastly different.
What are pores?
Pores are the necessary tiny openings in the skin that allow it to breath and stay moisturized and glowing; they are usually most noticeable across the nose.
Pores are also the openings in which acne (such as blackheads and whiteheads) form. When they become clogged at the surface, acne bacteria starts feeding on the oil inside of them and this leads to inflammation and what we call a "breakout".
What causes clogged pores?
Many external and internal forces are responsible for our clogged pores and, in turn, breakouts. Some of them are preventable with the right skin care routine but many are out of our control.
- Believe it or not, the wrong moisturizer is more likely to cause breakouts and clogged pores then foundations and other make-up. Why? Moisturizers are meant to be absorbed by the skin, through our pores, and can easily clog them. Makeup on the other hand is meant to sit on top of the skin. Although some foundation does get into our pores it is not drawn in to the extent that moisturizer is. However, moisturizers are also necessary in providing moisture to your skin to prevent long-term damage from dryness and can also temporarily reduce pore size by providing sufficient moisture. Other culprits are silica and talc, very fine particles found in face powders, that can burrow into the skin.
- One of the biggest culprits of clogged pores is our own sweat. Our pores are meant to take in moisture as well as flush it out (sweating). If we wear tight clothes or allow the sweat and oils to sit on our skin too long it can restrict our bodies ability to cycle through and the dormant oil will clog our pores.
- Think of your skin as an organ, because it is. Smoke reduces the amount of oxygen, blood, and nutrients to your organs, including your skin, and inhibits its ability to repair itself naturally.
How can you prevent/clear clogged pores?
The first, and most important, step to having clear skin is always removing your makeup and daily moisturizers. Use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to help dissolve oil and dirt and improve the skins appearance. the residual acid left behind after rinsing will penetrate into the skin to help balance pH.
Now lets talk about enlarged pores. Wearing sunscreen also plays a key role in the minimization of pores and breakouts. Sun damage causes collagen loss making the top layers of skin sag over time and making pores sag and appear enlarged. The suns rays can also lead to permanent sun damage and skin cancer (making pore size the least of your worries). It is wise to use a mineral sunscreen that is less likely to clog pores on its own and does not contain any harmful chemicals.
Lastly, laser resurfacing and hyaluronic acid injections can help rebuild the collagen under the surface to improve pore size and add visible plumping to the skin. However, these options are both invasive and expensive; they can often cause irritation on their own and cannot be performed on all skin types.
Now, some solutions for your clogged pore dilemmas:
- Keep skin hydrated by drinking ample water and keeping skin moisturized with a clearly marked "non-pore clogging" formulation.
- Gentle exfoliation daily: allow your pores to open up in a steamy bathroom and apply an exfoliator, like the ZENMED AHA/BHA Complex, in a circular pattern across the face. This will prevent dead skin, oil and dirt buildup that can cause the pores to become clogged in the first place. The key is to make your skin an uninviting as possible to acne-causing bacteria.
- Another option for opening your pores is to fill a large mixing bowl with hot water, adding lemon, and putting a towel over your head and the bowl to trap in the moisture.
- Avoid using any products with mineral oils if you suffer from acne prone skin. And NO EXTRACTIONS EVER.
Now for some pore shrinking:
Firstly, using circular motions when applying foundation with a brush instantly helps cover up the appearance of enlarged pores.
- Splash your face with cold water: Remember learning that hot air expands and cold air shrinks, the same goes for your skin. When it is hot outside your pores open up to take in the heat but when it is cold out your pores contract to keep in the heat. Splashing cold water on your face warrants this same reaction. Why cold water? Because damp skin allows for skin care products to penetrate the skin more deeply and get to the root cause of the problem.
- Use a toner after washing your face: the astringent quality of a pH balanced toner will cause the skin to swell slightly and reduce the appearance of pores. ZENMED AHA/BHA Complex is formulated to adjust pH and help tighten pores with a non-alcohol astringent formulation. Always follow up with a moisturizer to hold in moisture and the body’s essential oils.
- Using products with high Vitamin C like the ZENMED Support Serum and AVT Cream helps build collagen levels from underneath, helping to plump and tone the skin therefore minimizing enlarged pores.
In conclusion, your pore health is vital to the appearance of your face. So it makes sense to treat their health specifically and maintain good pore health. Happy pores = happy skin!
Some ingredients that we recommend for skin health while in-between the uses of our own natural and doctor-formulated ZENMED products are:
- Cucumber and tomato are great natural ingredients that you can use to reduce large pores.
- Bananas, avocados, wheat germ and egg yolk are natural ways to help moisturize dry skin.
- Garlic can help treat acne prone skin