Ask and you Shall Receive: Big Pores

Mary wrote:

"I've noticed since getting higher into my thirties that my pores really seem huge and what I was once able to cover with a dusting of powder now needs foundation. Is there anything you could recommend for minimizing pores and evening skintone before make-up application? Do electrical facials work? What about freckle/sunspots on the face, is there such a thing as a bleaching cream to lessen their appearance as well?"

Right, well that's a lot stuff to cover, so first things first!

Apparently it's actually not possible for pores to open or close under their own steam per se - what causes them to seem larger is due to a build up of gunk in them. Once the gunk is gone, they can seem smaller. Pores can look bigger in hot weather too, due to oils being brought to the surface of the skin. So the first thing to do is to make sure your pores are clean and clear. Shiseido have a fab range of products to do just this. Their Pureness Pore Purifying Warming Scrub and Pureness Pore Minimizing Cooling Essence are part of their Pureness range and have been developed to tackle this problem. Shiseido products aren't cheap - but they're really really good, so it could be well worth it. The good news is that our favourite muckers Strawberrynet have both of these products for sale right now. Yay!

Unfortunately once the pores are cleaned, they can still look enlarged. I think we all have an element of this - I have open pores on the skin either side of my nose and what I use to minimise them is Benefit's Dr Feelgood. This is a mattifying balm (because excess oil makes open pores even more noticeable) and according to Benefit "This colorless, weightless balm goes on bare skin or glides over makeup to reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores while soaking up excess oil. Enriched with Vitamins A, C and E, dr. feelgood is just what the doctor ordered for beautiful, healthy skin". Order it direct from Benefit for $26.


To even out your skintone, I'd suggest you invest in a good primer and then use No7 Intelligent Colour Foundation which cleverly adjusts to your skin tone. You'll get this in any Boots store, and lots of chemists carry No7 as well. Primer is used before foundation and helps you achieve a flawless finish. A product to try is Anna Sui Foundation Primer (€18.50). If the foundation alone isn't cutting it for you, most beauty brands do products to even out redness or yellowy skin tones, and you apply these before foundation. Recently I've been impressed by La Roche Posay's offerings but I can't find info on-line about them. Any decent chemist stocks this range, so have a look for yourself.

This brings me nicely to another one of your questions. As we age, the skin is prone to excess pigmentation, leading to blemishes and freckles. La Prairie have a product called Swiss Cellular White Whitening Primer which will roll two of your jobs into one - it'll help reduce excess pigmentation and give you a smooth base onto which you can then apply your foundation. It's mega pricey though - think €87.50, and that's with a 10% discount. Skin Doctors also do a product called Dermabrite. It claims to reduce pigmentation such as sunspots, liver spots and freckles and it'll gradually brighten your complexion. It's suitable for all skin types and colours and costs €35. You can buy it online, or from Hickey's Pharmacies.

Electrical facials are touted as a scalpel free face lift, and fans swear that they really work. So, for the benefit of the un-initiated, how do they work, and what do they do for you? Well, when you have a facial using this technique, low frequency electrical currents are actually passed through the skin (eek), and this stimulates the facial tissue. Results include the toning of sagging muscles and an improvement in the appearance of the upper layers of the skin, including the smoothing away of fine lines and wrinkles. Sounds pretty good!

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