This is a common issue I hear from many of my clients and it
seems no matter where I go, when someone finds out what I do for a living, questions
such as this come up. “My pores are so big, I’m always washing my face, what
can I do to make them smaller? Well,
there are some steps you can take to minimize the look of pores and there are
some professional services you can get to shrink the pores back to their original
size. Please note, I state “original size” because genetic pore size cannot be
changed however our lifestyle plays a very important role in whether pores
(especially on the nose and chin) get mis-shapen and enlarged over time. Enlarged
pores leads to blackheads and uneven looking texture. Below are common at home
steps you can take and professional treatment recommendations you can get for
smoother more refined skin.
“A clean pore always looks smaller than a dirty one” so in
that respect, using cleansing products that aid in softening sebum (oil) and
dead skin cells that get trapped in the pores is the first step. Most cleansers
are not equipped to do this job. I
recommend using a cleanser that contains two main ingredients: glycolic acid
and salicylic acid. These two ingredients, in small percentages, get the job
done without irritating the skin or causing excessive dryness. Glycolic acid
breaks down dead skin cells allowing them to be removed from the surface of the
skin easily while salicylic acid (an oil-loving acid) softens the oils trapped
in pores (saponification) for effective unclogging.
Some cleansers that fit this bill are: CELLective AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, Gly/Sal 10-2 Cleanser, Glytone Acne Clearing Cleanser
After we have effectively cleansed the skin removing dead
skin cells and oil, it’s time to tighten down the pores on a temporary daily
basis, this requires a toner. Toners can have many jobs such as pH rebalancing,
shrinking pores or further exfoliation. In the spirit of this discussion, we
want to focus on a toner that has ingredients that shrink pore size.
Toners that fit this bill are: GlyDerm Solution Plus 12%, Glytone Acne Cleansing Toner, CELLective Skin Vitality Toner, Obagi Nu-Derm Toner, PCA Smoothing Toner
Finally, using a tinted moisturizer (subtle coverage) or
liquid foundation fills in and smooths over the pores for a “finished” look.
Men can get away with using a tinted moisturizer that does not leave a “makeup”
look to the skin but effectively hydrates and protects the skin. Women are
inclined to use either one. For those of you out there that are thinking “I use
a mineral powder” unfortunately this does nothing for enlarged pores. If you
want to use a tinted moisturizer and then your mineral powder over it, that
works! There are tinted moisturizers and foundations out there that also have
built-in sunscreen which will make your dermatologist very happy too.
Tinted Moisturizers and Liquid Foundations that fit this
bill are: EltaMD UV Clear 46 Tinted (acne/rosacea prone skin), EltaMD UV Daily 40 Tinted (normal/dry skin), IntelliShade SPF 45 Sheer Foundation (color
corrects itself), IntelliShade Matte SPF 45 Foundation (color corrects itself), EltaMD UV Physical 41 Tinted
or Image Prevention+ Daily Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30
Now, on to some professional treatments that take reducing
pore size to the next level. This level permanently reduces enlarged pores down
to their original size. I recommend a series of low dose chemical peels
followed by a subsequent peel every three months. In between your chemical
peels, adding in a microdermabrasion improves the skin further. Professional facials on a regular basis also helps keep the pores clean. Extractions done by
a Skin Care Professional safely cleans the pores without damaging or enlarging
them further. Squeezing blackheads at home is the #1 culprit of enlarged pores.
If you suffer from enlarged pores AND acne scarring, MicroNeedling is the
perfect treatment for your needs.
I hope this information helps clear up the “large pores”
question so many of you may have.