Confessions of a porexic

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Confessions of a porexic

Porexia. Okay, so it’s a little made up, but it’s the only word that can even begin to describe the complete and utter obsession that I have with my pores. I think cosmonauts can see them from space. I’m convinced the eyes of friends and strangers are drawn magnetically to their sheer massiveness. I know I’m being irrational – but I can’t help it.

So let’s just say that, in my eternal search for pore perfection, I’ve learnt a few things – and been suckered in by many myths. Got a pore obsession of your own? Learn from my mistakes…

Pores don’t open or close 

Annoying, but true. Pores are just pouches of skin into which oil glands pump sebum; they have no muscle attachments to squeeze them open or shut. So what’s with the cold splashes and steaming? Cold water can inhibit oil production; warmth can stimulate it. Myth busted.

You can’t shrink, but you can tighten 

Devastatingly, there’s no magic potion to make fat pores microscopic, but, because they look larger when oil-logged and clogged, keeping your pores clear can help them appear smaller. Purging excess oil and build-up with a clay mask (I love Alpha-H Purifying Clay Mask with Vitamin A and Bloom’s Clean with Envy Green Clay Mask) is crucial.

Exfoliation is essential

Dead cells snag in pores like hair in your favourite lip gloss, so AHAs are important and BHAs (like salicylic acid) are your best friends. I clock up my sloughing time with Garnier Fresh Clean Feel Wash and MD Formulations Face & Body Scrub.

Blame the sun, then mum

Some of your pore size is genetically programmed and oil overload in adolescence doesn’t help, but sun exposure kills off the collagen that supports your skin structure, causing pores to sag (this is also why pores can look larger with age). Moral: search out vitamin A- and retinol-soaked skincare (met SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 yet?) to boost your collagen stores and never skimp on sunscreen.

Still porexic? It might be time to check in with the dermatologist. “Laser used in conjunction with skincare will help to stimulate collagen to achieve a good result,” Dr Gabrielle Caswell from the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australia tells me. But then it’s down to crater-camouflaging primers and ‘fillers’, I’m afraid. Completely poreless is a pipe dream.

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