Do you see all those tiny dots on your skin? Well, each one represents an opening in the skin called a pore. Each one also contains a hair follicle. They are home to sebaceous glands, tiny glands under the skin that produce oils. Sebaceous glands on the face are usually bigger than on other parts of the body, therefore they are more noticeable.
People with fair skin tend to have smaller pores than those of darker-skinned people. In addition, pores on people with dry skin are barely noticeable, while those of people with oily skin tend to be magnified.
There are several factors that can influence pore size:
For one, dead skin cells can mix with sebum, the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands, and clog the pore forming a pimple. The clogged pore can stretch, making them appear even larger.
Also, UV rays can weaken the collagen that supports the tissue surrounding the pores, causing them to expand. Collagen loss can also occur naturally as you age, making the pores bigger, and using tweezers to get rid of pimples can cause permanent damage.
Tried-and-True Ways to Reduce Pore Size
[easyazon_link identifier=”B00VGWX2J2″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”freshfaceclub-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]Retinol[/easyazon_link], a derivative of Vitamin A and renowned for its anti-aging and acne fighting capabilities, has been known to make pores appear smaller. Retinoids work by accelerating cell production, dispelling the clog, making them less apparent.
The best way to minimize pores and make them less visible is to keep them clean. If you use makeup, use non-comedogenic makeup and moisturizers; avoid bulky applications that contain petrolatum and mineral which can aggravate the condition, and before going to bed, use a gentle cleanser to wash away dirt and makeup that, left unattended, can clog pores.
It is also a good idea to cleanse your skin after workouts (perspiration can attract dirt and dust like a magnet and clog the pores!)
Of course, the operative word in all of these remedies is appear smaller. But, is there any way to actually minimize pores?
Well, sort of.
Prescription strength Accutane, a medicine used in severe acne cases, has been known to shrink the size of pores, but only for the time the medication is in use. When you stop using Accutane, the pores can return to their normal size.
However, there are some more drastic measures that can be used to decrease pore size permanently using non-ablative laser treatments. Med lite, Genesis, Multiple Fraxel Sessions work by shrinking collagen while at the same time speeding up collagen production.
Exfoliating regularly can go a long way in diminishing the appearance of large pores since the process removes dead skin cells before they’ve had a chance to clog up the pores. If possible, [easyazon_link identifier=”B00X80VDIC” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”freshfaceclub-20″ cart=”y” cloak=”y” localize=”y” popups=”y”]gently exfoliate[/easyazon_link] every day, but if you have sensitive skin, reduce that number to 2-3 times a week. A simple over-the counter application will do, but choose one with proven sloughing ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, retinol or fruit enzymes.
If you have sensitive skin, use a lotion that contains salicylic acid instead. But remember, if you do decide to exfoliate daily, you’ll want to use an SPF product every day; removing dead skin cells tend to make it more susceptible to UV rays’ harmful effects.
Solutions for Stubborn Pores
For stubborn pores, your dermatologist may have to prescribe a more powerful exfoliant like Retin-A Micro. Ambulatory visits for treatments like glycolic and salicylic acid peels are another good way to keep pores organic matter free. You’ll probably need at least three treatments to attain the desired results.
The process is quick, lasting only about 20 minutes. More importantly, it increases collagen. The extra collagen will help tighten and minimize pores. Although you could notice results after a single treatment, most people need 2-3 sessions before any substantial change.