Pores are the scapegoats of the ageing process. When I meet women to discuss their skin, those over 40 declare their enlarged pores to be the most maddening sign of age (we tend to be more zen about wrinkles and the odd pipe-cleaner-like chin hair). A similar degree of acceptance is required here.
Pores are more noticeable as we age (coinciding mercifully with failing eyesight), particularly during the menopause, and you simply won’t eradicate them completely. You should see some difference if you cleanse twice daily with a hot cloth, followed every other night with an acid-based exfoliant applied with cotton wool. Don’t be tempted to pile on cover-up – concealer corrects colour, not texture. But pore or “blur” balms (essentially wash-off skin Polyfilla), can work very well, albeit temporarily.
After applying your normal makeup, squeeze a blob on the side of your hand, picking up small doses with your fingertip and dabbing/stroking (don’t rub – the silicone will disintegrate messily and ruin your day) directly on to enlarged pores, usually around the nose and chin crease, to blur and fill them. The silicone is naturally matte, so no need to powder afterwards.
I discovered some excellent new balms while researching this column. Most unexpected was NYX Pore Filler (£12.50), which seemed too thick at first glance but proved easy and natural-looking. Lancôme La Base Pro (£28.50) is meant to be used underneath makeup, but I preferred it on top, where it worked perfectly. Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector (£23) has an unusually fine, wet texture that can be used comfortably all over, but still manages heavy-duty pore filling.
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Hair and makeup: Sharon Ive at Carol Hayes Management