The Secrets to Flawless Skin

Smooth and even skin is a coveted asset for many, but various factors can lead to textured skin. These
skin concerns can affect anyone, regardless of age or skin type, fortunately, advancements in skincare
technologies and products offer effective solutions to improve and smooth uneven skin. We investigate
the reasons behind these skin concerns and look into the latest innovations and skincare products
designed to help you achieve a radiant complexion.

By Anje Hill

THE CULPRITS BEHIND BUMPY SKIN AND PORE PROBLEMS
Irregular skin tone is a broad term including various forms of skin discolouration, such as sunspots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It can also encompass irregular skin texture, including dry patches, the collection of dead skin cells, fine lines, or blotchiness. Durban-based medical practitioner, Dr Jihada Cassim says,“Uneven skin texture and enlarged pores can be attributed to a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.”

Ageing
The initial appearance of visible signs of ageing can be disconcerting for many. For most ageing starts to manifest in their twenties and can be amplified by a blend of internal and external influences. “As we age, our skin naturally loses collagen and elastin, which can lead to a loss of skin elasticity, resulting in
larger-looking pores and uneven texture,” she explains.

Excessive Sun Exposure
Overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres, leading to premature ageing and uneven texture. Sun damage can also make pores appear larger.

Genetics and Gender
Your genetics plays a significant role in determining your skin’s texture and pore size. If your parents have large pores or textured skin, you may be more prone to these concerns. Men have been reported to have more pores, higher sebum production and larger pore size than women.

Poor Skincare Habits
“Using harsh, pore-clogging products, or not following a proper skincare routine, can exacerbate textural irregularities and pore size. To pinpoint the specific causes of uneven skin texture and enlarged pores in your case, it is best to consult an aesthetic doctor or a dermatologist. They can perform a comprehensive skin analysis and provide personalised recommendations,” explains Dr Cassim.

Oily Skin
Excess sebum production can cause the skin to become oily and prone to clogged pores. These clogged pores can appear enlarged and give the skin a rough texture.

Acne and Scarring
Acne breakouts can lead to inflammation, scarring, and textural irregularities on the skin’s surface. Pockmarks and acne scars can make the skin appear uneven.

Environmental Factors
Pollution and environmental toxins can accumulate on the skin’s surface, contributing to dullness and roughness.

Pigmentation
“Uneven skin tone generally occurs when you find pigmentation developing,” says medical practitioner and owner of Skin Solutions Dr. Parushinee Naidoo. “The most common causes of pigmentation and
uneven skin tone are sun damage and hormonal issues. You need to discern whether it’s mild pigmentation or hyperpigmentation. Hormonal pigmentation such as Melasma can be stimulated when you go through different hormonal phases of pregnancy, menopause or chronic hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Other causes of uneven skin tone can be inflammatory, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation conditions such as acne, eczema or even rosacea,” she explains.

TEXTURE TROUBLES? TACKLE THEM WITH PROVEN SOLUTIONS!


Assessing the Root Causes. Before embarking on a journey to improve your skin’s appearance, it’s vital to identify the underlying factors responsible for these issues. Addressing the root cause is crucial for effective treatment. For instance, if acne scarring and hyperpigmentation are at the core of your skin concerns, it’s wise to seek professional guidance to address the primary causes of acne. If you’re dealing with conditions like eczema or dry, irritated skin, consider factors such as microbiome disruption, harsh household products, or environmental imbalances that might be triggering these texture related
problems.

Exfoliation for a Smoother Surface. The removal of dead skin cells is a key step in achieving smoother skin. Regular exfoliation, whether through dedicated scrubs, sonic cleaning brushes, or chemical exfoliants, can help target areas with texture. It’s important to be cautious with physical exfoliation products, ensuring they are not too abrasive or used too frequently, as this can lead to overproduction of oil and skin damage. Opt for formulas with spherical particles and adhere to a twice-a-week exfoliation routine. Alternatively, chemical exfoliants are a gentler option that can deliver consistent results.

Sun Protection Matters. Sun exposure is a known culprit behind uneven skin texture.
Dr Naidoo says, “When it comes to skincare habits that can help you prevent enlarged pores and
pigmentation the most important thing you can do for prevention has to be sun protection SPF or sunscreen. Not only does sunscreen help protect you from skin cancer, but it also helps suppress the Melanin stimulation that happens in response to UV exposure. Sunscreen also helps limit the ageing process or the oxidative effect of the sun on the skin thereby helping prevent elastin and collagen breakdown from the sun. So SPF is the number one product you can add to your skincare routine to help you prevent both pigmentation, uneven skin tone and the appearance of large pores.”

Harnessing Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a multifaceted ingredient that not only helps even out skin tone but also smooths skin. This potent antioxidant provides both reparative and protective benefits against environmental damage. Defending your skin against further damage is essential to prevent future texture issues, while the restorative properties of Vitamin C can enhance skin suppleness and reduce
pigmentation, scar tissue, and age spots.

The Power of Peels. As we age, the natural shedding of dead skin cells becomes less efficient, leading to
dullness and uneven texture. Chemical peels offer an effective way to remove the top layer of skin, but it’s advisable to consult a professional for in-office treatments to avoid mishaps. For a more cost-effective
approach, consider using at-home peel masks, ensuring they are gentle and non-abrasive to protect your skin.

Addressing Scars and Scarring. To combat uneven skin texture effectively, it’s imperative to address existing scars, especially those with raised or discoloured textures. Achieving visible results requires
patience and consistency. Utilise products specifically designed for scar treatment, following their instructions diligently to witness improvements over several months.

Incorporate a Retinoid. Many dermatologists recommend the inclusion of topical retinoids and retinol in skincare routines to address uneven skin texture. These vitamin A derivatives are potent agents for
promoting collagen production and enhancing epidermal turnover. As a result, they can significantly improve skin texture, and tone, and reduce hyperpigmentation. While retinols are available in over-the-counter products, stronger retinoids necessitate a prescription for use.

Micro-needling for Quick Results.
Micro-needling has gained popularity for its ability to produce rapid and noticeable improvements in scarring and uneven texture. This process involves using small needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, prompting the skin to initiate a repair response. “When it comes to treating enlarged pores the best treatment treating this condition is micro-needling and I find the SkinPen is the best micro-needling device for giving you the maximum collagen stimulation and guaranteed results”, says Dr Naidoo with practices in Ballito and Umhlanga. Mirco-needling boosts collagen production and reduces the
appearance of pores, acne scars, and fine lines, resulting in a smoother overall texture.

Exploring Laser Resurfacing. For individuals dealing with persistent texture issues, laser treatments offer promising results, although they tend to be more aggressive and expensive. Like micro-needling, laser treatments trigger the body’s natural healing process by creating micro-wounds in the skin. This process can minimise the appearance of scars, reduce hyperpigmentation, eliminate sun damage, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, and tighten loose skin.

Achieving smooth and even textured skin is a common skincare goal, and with the latest innovations in skincare technologies and products, it’s more attainable than ever. While genetics and ageing play a role in skin texture, addressing the causes and implementing an effective skincare routine can lead to significant improvements. Whether you opt for retinoids, chemical peels, microneedling, or other treatments, it’s essential to consult a skincare professional to determine the best approach for your unique needs. With dedication and the right tools, you can enjoy the benefits of smoother, more
radiant skin.

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