Although there are no medical reasons why you should be worried about enlarged pores, many feel their appearance would be improved with less noticeable pores. If you have large pores affecting the way you view and feel about yourself, here are some tips to help shrink your pores.
What are the Causes of Enlarged Pores?
Pores are a normal part of our skin. They are the openings around our hair follicles and oil glands. Our oil glands are responsible for secreting sebum (our body’s natural oils) which helps to keep our skin moisturized. The sebum reaches our skin’s surface via our pores.
Our pore size is in part determined by our genetics. However, pores can become enlarged when they are clogged with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. As we age, our skin also loses elasticity and begins to sag, contributing to the appearance of enlarged pores. Sun exposure and UV damage accelerate the loss of tissue elasticity, further contributing to the perception of enlarged pores.
What Treatments are Available for Enlarged Pores?
- Clean Your Skin
Pores become enlarged when they are clogged with oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. Washing your face daily to twice daily can help remove the unwanted debris which can clog your pores.
- Exfoliate Your Skin
Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. There are two types of at-home exfoliants: physical exfoliators and chemical exfoliators. Physical exfoliation involves using a scrub or sponge to buff or slough off the dead skin cells. Chemical exfoliation involves the use of alpha or beta hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid to gently dissolve the dead skin cells.
- Choose the Right Products For Your Skin
When choosing a skin care product, it is important to select one which will not clog your pores. Look for skin care products with the label: non-comedogenic.
- Consider a Night Time Retinoid
Topical retinoids are vitamin A derived compounds that help increase cell turnover and shedding, thereby unclogging pores. They are often used to treat acne but can also lead to the appearance of smaller pore size.
- Protect Your Skin
Sunscreen is a must! While we are unable to stop the natural aging process, unprotected sun exposure and UV radiation can further accelerate the loss of collagen and elastin, leading to the appearance of enlarged pores. Dermatologists recommend applying broad spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher.
Visit Your Dermatologist
A visit to your local dermatologist can also help identify in-office procedures which can be done to decrease the appearance of enlarged pores. Examples include: chemical peels, microdermabrasion, microneedling, and laser treatment.