Are you bothered by your skin texture? Do you feel your skin looks rough with enlarged pores and not at all as smooth and radiant as you would like it to be? Find out why you may experience this condition and what kinds of aesthetic treatments that may help.
What is skin texture?
Skin texture describes the look and feel of the skin surface. When the surface is smooth, that is when we are fortunate to have an even skin texture, the skin reflects light well and simply looks healthy.
When the skin surface is rough with enlarged pores, we have an uneven skin texture that cannot reflect light so well. Instead, our skin may look dull and dry without that healthy glow most of us aspire to. The skin can also feel rough when we touch it.
Sometimes, the skin is rough in specific areas, such as on the cheeks or around the nose. It’s the same with enlarged pores. We often have enlarged pores in specific areas like around the nose.
Does the skin become more uneven as we get older?
We can be bothered by an uneven skin texture at any age. Some aspects may actually get better with time. Most of us can for example look forward to a decreased number of visible pores as we get older.1
In general, however, the texture of our skin becomes more uneven with age. For example, the skin becomes drier and flakier with age, which makes it more rough and uneven.2
Why do some of us have an uneven skin texture?
There are a number of reasons why we could have an uneven skin texture. Let’s have a look at some common causes.
Skin pores that we can see with our eyes, without magnifying glasses, are not pores in the “true” sense of the word. True pores that secrete sweat or sebum (oils) are much smaller.1
So, the pores that we can see are instead slight depressions on the skin surface. Each one of these depressions can contain many microscopic true pores.1
Nevertheless, most of us still call these depressions pores, and it’s these “fake” pores that can make our skin uneven-looking.
Skin pores (or depressions) vary with ethnicity. Chinese women are the lucky ones with few and small-sized pores. The rest of us are not that lucky. Our pores tend to get worse (in size and amount) between the ages of 18 to 49. After that, they tend to plateau and both size and amount may decrease somewhat as we get older.1
People with smooth skin shed dead skin cells in an orderly fashion, with cells being shed in small groups that are not visible on the skin surface.2
When we have rough skin, this orderly shedding process is affected for some reason. Dead skin cells appear in clumps that are visible on the skin surface as flakes, and this makes the skin look rough.2
A common reason why the skin shedding process is affected is because our skin is dry. “Normal” skin tissue contains more than 10 percent water.2 With skin tissue we mean not just the skin surface but also the deeper layers of the skin.
Aesthetic treatments that can help improve the skin texture
If you’ve been bothered by your skin texture for some time, you’ve likely already tried out options that you can do at home, such as moisturizers and gentle exfoliators.
Most of us are also aware that we should protect our skin from too much sun exposure, as that can cause premature aging (with drier and more rough skin).
If we want to take a step further, we can seek professional help. There are several aesthetic treatments that can make the skin surface smoother. Some of them are rejuvenation treatments and are perhaps best suited when we’re not that young (chemical peels, lasers, IPL, radiofrequency). Other treatments can be performed at any age (skinboosters).
Let’s have a look at these different aesthetic treatments:
Chemical peels are much more hard-core treatments than our conventional at-home exfoliators. Depending on how strong they are, they ablate (remove) part of, or the whole skin surface (to a certain depth). What happens is actually a controlled damage of the skin, and the skin then starts its healing process.3
This healing process rejuvenates the skin and makes it smoother. The greater the damage done, the more effective the treatment will be, but there is also a risk for infections and scarring.3
Lasers, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and radiofrequency
Similar to chemical peels, these kinds of technologies also work by causing controlled damage to the skin. Instead of chemical substances, they use light with specific frequencies (lasers, IPL) or electromagnetic radiation (radiofrequency). The light or radiation heat up the tissues and destroy certain skin cells.3
Some laser and radiofrequency treatments are gentler to the skin as they do not treat the whole skin but small points on the skin surface. They are therefore called fractionated treatments.
Just as with chemical peels, the greater the damage done, the more rejuvenating effect, but the treatment will also be riskier.3
Skinboosters are injectable treatments that contain hyaluronic acid, a natural water-binding substance. Skinboosters are most known for their ability to make the skin more hydrated with a “glow” from within4, but they also make the skin texture smoother.5-10
Skinboosters do not affect the skin surface, except for small pricks with a needle. Instead, they treat deeper layers of the skin directly. So, the treatment is quite different from chemical peels, lasers, IPL and radiofrequency as the purpose of skinboosters is to provide deep skin hydration, not to cause skin damage.
There are several skinboosters on the market. Consult with your healthcare practitioner so you get a treatment that does the job you want. For example, Restylane® Skinoosters™
have been proven to reduce enlarged pores and to improve skin texture.5-10
Consult your healthcare practitioner
There are pros and cons with every treatment. A qualified healthcare practitioner can help guide you to the treatment that will help you the most.
Don’t rush into an appointment. All aesthetic treatments should be performed first after careful consideration.
1. Flament F., Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2015 Feb 16;8:85-93.; 2. Madison K.C., Invest Dermatol. 2003 Aug;121(2):231-41; 3. Ganceviciene R. et al, Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):308–319; 4. Dierickx C et al. Dermatol Surg 2018; 44 Suppl 1: S104–S18.; 5. Kim J. Arch Aesthetic Plast Surg 2014; 20(2): 97–103.; 6. Gubanova E et al. J Drugs Dermatol 2015; 14(3): 288–299.; 7. Kerscher M et al. Dermatol Surg 2008; 34(5): 720–726.; 8. Lee B et al. Arch Plast Surg 2015; 42(3): 282–287.; 9. Williams S et al. J Cosmet Dermatol 2009;8(3): 216–225.; 10. Wu Y et al. J Cosmet Dermatol 2020; 19(7): 1627–1635.