Dermat-approved ways to minimise pores before your wedding

From enriching treatments to consistent routines, everything you can do to reduce the size of your pores.

Most brides wish to have a radiant, flawless skin during their wedding festivities. They have skincare routines, healthy diets and the works in place, but no matter how diligently you follow this, there are a lot of factors that contribute to your skin acting up. One of these major concerns is large visible pores, especially for those with oily, acne-prone skin. Though it's not possible to get rid of large pores altogether, you can minimise their appearance for a smooth, flawless skin. But before we delve into ways to minimise your pores, let's understand what causes it.

What causes large pores?

Large or dilated facial pores are visible topographic features on the surface of your skin. These are enlarged openings of pilosebaceous follicles, which pose a significant cosmetic concern. The causes for these could be endogenous—sex and hormones, genetics, ageing, recurrent acne, and excessive sebum secretion—or exogenous—chronic sun exposure, using products that irritate your skin, and improper cleansing habits.

Treatments to opt for minimising large pores

When it comes to treating dilated pores, retinoids are your best friend (if you are 25 or older). Depending on the severity of your condition, you can choose to use retinoids topically or orally (prescribed by a dermat or skin specialist). Retinol-based products help reduce the amount of oil secreted, thereby reducing the appearance of large pores. Retinoids are, however, considered to be a category X drug and should be avoided by people trying to get pregnant.

Other topical modalities available include 2 per cent niacinamide and L carnitine. You could also opt for chemical exfoliation with beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid, lactic acid, and mandelic acid, which have also proven to be effective.

Apart from topical treatments, you should also incorporate everyday skincare products that cater to large pores. Oily skin cleansers with simple solutions of surfactants, no oils, waxes, or fatty agents, and moisturisers and sunscreens with non-occlusive, non-comedogenic, and oil-free agents are a must.

In addition to the above, skincare treatments like LED light therapy and lasers—micro-needling radiofrequency, fractional carbon dioxide lasers, micro-needling with derma pen, carbon peel, and gold toning—have all proven to be useful. You can also opt for in-clinic procedures like platelet-rich plasma therapy, peptides, and skin boosters. Other modalities include intradermal botulinum toxin, intense pulse light, photodynamic therapies, 1440nm diode lasers, and nonablative radiofrequency. If your dilated pores are caused by thick facial hair, it is wise to go for laser hair reduction.

It is important to remember that all pre-wedding skincare treatments should be initiated about three to six months prior to your wedding day. Brides and grooms are advised to never start any new treatment or products days before their wedding to avoid unexpected skin traumas.

The skincare regime to follow

Your daily skincare routine is of utmost importance when it comes to wedding skin prep. And if you want clear skin with minimised pores, be sure to adopt a complete and wholesome skincare regimen with mild cleansing, exfoliation, hydration, and UV protection.

Begin your routine with a mild cleanser to remove any excess oil, debris, and make-up. Avoid strong cleansers that might dry out your skin's natural oils; this stimulates enlarged pores causing more oil production.

Sun protection is a crucial component of one's daily skincare routine and must be incorporated religiously especially when prepping your skin for important events like weddings, engagements, etc. Moreover, sunscreen must be used every single day, regardless of the weather conditions. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 50 SPF for optimal protection against skin problems like uneven skin texture, enlarged pores, and premature ageing.

Cleansing is mandatory

Cleansing your face twice a day is important to stir away from clogged pores. No matter how lazy or tired you are, always cleanse your face thoroughly before snoozing off. If you're wearing make-up, be sure to go in with an oil cleanser first to remove any and every trace of make-up from your face, eyes, and lips. 

Exfoliation extravaganza

Exfoliation is important to slough off dead skin cells making way for cell regeneration. However, over-exfoliation and physical exfoliants can aggravate the skin. Instead, use chemical exfoliants like BHAs (salicylic acid) or AHAs (glycolic acid) and limit the frequency to two two three times a week to prevent irritation. Always follow up with a hydrating serum or moisturiser to maintain the skin's softness and reduce the visibility of pores.

Moisturisation is key

Like all your skincare products, ensure you use a lightweight but moisturising and non-comedogenic moisturiser to keep your skin plump and hydrated further reducing the visibility of pores.

Masking mania

If you have oily, acne-prone skin with large, visible pores, then clay masks are your best friend. These are like natural magnets that suck away all the dirt and excess oil, diminishing the size of your pores. Apply the mask one to two times a week for a pre-wedding pore-refining boost. 

At the end of the day, remember, achieving flawless skin for the D-day is a marathon, not a sprint. Understand the power of consistency and adhere to multifaceted strategies that ensure your are radiant and glowing on your special day.

Inputs by Dr Raghavendra Rao, Professor & Head, Dept of Dermatology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal; Dr Rishabh Raj Sharma, MD, Dermatology, Senior Resident at Noida International Institute of Medical Sciences and Hospital, Noida International University; Dr Meghna Mour, Aesthetic Dermatologist-Cosmetologist-Trichologist-Laser Specialist & Founder of Skuccii Supercliniq; and Dr Chytra Anand, Dermatologist & Founder, SkinQ & Kosmoderma Clinics.


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