Health Journal 2016 VOL.4    Healthy Life, Happy Family
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Minimizing Pores and Making Skin Beautiful Minimize enlarged pores

A study shows that enlarged pores is the most common skin concern for women. While facial cleansing is the most popular way to reduce enlarged pores, it has to be complemented by an anti-aging regime. Here is some advice on how to clean clogged pores, as well as tightening them afterward

What is the most common skin concern amongst women today? According to a recent study, most women worry most about enlarged and/or clogged pores, which are the primary cause of blackheads and pimples. Based on a focus group research with 4,000 participants, large pores were voted as the most common skin problem, followed by dry skin, dead skin cells, lack of firmness, hyperpigmentation and freckles. Most woman wish “to have invisible pores,” but can’t understand or control why they dilate.

Aging and the excessive secretion of sebum the primary causes of pore dilation

Most Asian women have a combination skin. A combination skin type can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in other area, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Most women will experience increasing sebum secretion after puberty. In order for pores to get rid of this excess sebum, they dilate. In addition, although oil secretion may decrease once women enter 30s, skin will start to lose its firmness, and pores will lose their elasticity and dilate. Oil glands in face are larger than those in the other areas of the body, especially those around the forehead and nose. The sebaceous glands around the nose are particularly large, so anything that interferes with the normal oil secretion will clog pores. In this way, excessive sebum secretion serves as the primary reason for enlarged pores around forehead and nose.

Clogged pores are most evident around the nose. This is mainly due to dead skin cells that build up around the nose, causing blackheads even for people who do not even have acne-prone skin. For those that do not have an oily skin, aging is the primary cause for enlarged pores. When epidermis loses elasticity, it dilates pores and causes wrinkles. Thus, large pores around nostrils, forehead, and chin are caused primarily by aging. It is critical to keep your skin hydrated with facial masks or massage to combat aging. Facial masks with a moistur izing or firming effect will be the most effective for this measure. Masks smooth out skin complexion and increase elasticity, so minimizing pores and even reducing wrinkles.

3 methods to minimize pores
First, moisten pores and wash face thoroughly
Thoroughly clean your T-zone, where sebum secretion is most active. Use facial wash to give gentle massage in the morning and use both cleansing cream and facial wash at night for dual action cleansing. Routine wash will prevent dirt or dead skin cells from building up on epidermis. It is recommended that one with oily skin to use deep cleansing products once a week, and once every two weeks for combination or dry skin. One can use scrub or peeling products with oil based ingredients or exfoliants to dissolve dead skin cells.

After rinsing off cleansing cream, put a warm towel over your face to moisten your skin. The warmth and moisture will soften pores and extract sebum. Facial steaming helps as well, and adding herbs or essential oils will not only rejuvenate your skin but also help cure inflammation. Facial steaming should be kept under 10 minutes on average or 5-7 minutes for sensitive skin. Facial wash or facial mask after opening pores will more effectively remove built up dirt from your skin.

Second, tighten pores as much as possible to maintain skin fimness
If pores remain open after removing dirt, your skin will lose elasticity; therefore, it is critical to tighten pores afterwards. Apply ample amount of cold astringent on skin using a cotton pad. For blackheads, apply astringent on cotton swabs to dab it against pores. Then tighten pores again with an ice pack. After massaging your face with moisturizing cream, which will increase skin temperature, dip your face into the cold water. Blow bubbles in water so they can massage your skin. After repeating this exercise for 5-10 minutes, wipe moisturizing cream off or wash your face with cleanser.

Third, get rid of bad habits that enlarge pores
1. Make sure you remove makeup to prevent sebum from building up and clogging pores. This is the main cause for blackheads on nostrils.
2. Never squeeze pimples when your skin is dry. This will cause infl ammation and stimulate sebaceous glands to secrete even more sebum.
3. Sebaceous glands become more active when exposed to the sun as your body tries to maintain its body temperature by releasing more sebum. Thus, excessive sun exposure can cause pores to dilate even more.
4. When more hormones are released, sebum secretion increases as well. Therefore, more sebum is produced two weeks before the menstrual cycle because of progesterone. Stress causes hormonal imbalance and accelerate aging process, which degrades the skin elasticity.
5. Refrain yourself from picking or touching breakouts caused by clogged pores. It is best to leave breakouts alone until they harden or develop a yellow, pus-filled center. When it hardens, put a warm cotton pad over it until the pimple softens, pop it with cotton swabs, and then disinfect it with a proper medication. One should do so very gently, as it may leave acne scars.