Everyone has pores. Those angst inducing little holes on our face are actually hair follicles and, since we have fine hair all over our body (with the exception of the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet), there is no avoiding them.
Pores are a case when size does matter. In order to figure out the best way to minimize enlarged pores, it’s important to understand why you have them, so let’s start there.
Causes of Enlarged Pores
When dirt and bacteria collect in the pores it can increase the pores diameter. Even if you’re diligent about washing your makeup off at night, if you’re not practicing the proper regimen, dirt and bacteria can accumulate.
Our pores, like our ears and nose, get bigger as we age. There are two theories about how aging plays a part in pore size. The first is that the loss of collagen around the pores making them less constricted and more noticeable.
The second is that our skin thickens causing an accumulation of cells around the edges of the pores which make them look larger. These are both important to consider when determining how to shrink large pores.
To a certain extent it’s the luck of the draw. Some people using the same skin regimen and treatments, will simply have larger pores than others. It’s just a fact of life and we have to work with what we’re given but, regardless of our genetic predisposition, we don’t have to take it lying down.
Let’s talk about some ways to battle these pesky pores.
7 Ways to Prevent Large Pores
Prevention is always the best remedy! Not to sound cliché but this is absolutely true when it comes to enlarged pores. Following this simple skincare regimen can save you a whole lot of aggravation in the future and actually help minimize large pores that already exist.
1) Learn the word ‘Noncomedogenic’
‘Noncomedogenic‘ means that it won’t clog your pores. My mom taught me that word the moment I started using skin creams.
Make sure that you only use products that say ‘noncomedogenic’ on the package otherwise you’re going to all the trouble of cleaning your pores only to fill them up again.
2) Cleanse with Salicylic Acid
Cleanse with Salicylic Acid to help reduce the dead skin cells that get stuck in the pores. Having combination skin, I was afraid that Salicylic Acid products would dry out my skin.
I’ve found a few products that I like and rotate between them regularly: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Dermadoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Medicated AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser, and the Murad Clarifying Cleanser.
3) Daily Exfoliation
Exfoliating is huge. If you make it a habit to remove the dead skin cells before they have a chance to stretch out your pores then you’re a step ahead. The simplest way to exfoliate your skin is by using the Clarisonic Sonic Facial Cleansing device in your morning and nightly rituals.
The Clarisonic removes 30x more pollutants than manual cleansing – pollutants that clog your pores making them appear large and your skin to look ruddy.
4) Biweekly Clay Masks
Apply a clay mask at least every couple of weeks. The clay is great for going into your pores, grabbing onto dirt and bacteria, then taking it away when it’s rinsed off. There are two I especially like, and trust me I’ve tried a hundred. The Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, which uses activated charcoal to suck out all the impurities, and my ‘go to’ which I’ll probably be using until the day I die, the SkinCeuticals Clarifying Clay Mask.
5) Add Retinol to Your Skincare Regimen
I’m not talking about the hard core stuff you get from your dermatoligist for wrinkles, that makes your face all red and flaky. I’m talking about the over the counter version, Retinol.
It has the same cell renewing effect that the big boys have but, for the sole purpose of keeping the pores clean, the Roc Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Restoring Night Cream mixed in a bit with your normal night cream can do the job wonderfully.
6) Microdermabrasion Treatments
Microdermabrasion is a procedure that uses a spray of microcrystals to remove dry skin cells. It costs about as much as a facial but there are also home units that you can try like the PMD Personal Microderm Unit. Think about it like sandblasting your pores.
7) Deep Pore Facials
A deep pore facial is a facial where the aesthetician uses steam to open your pores then gloved fingers, or sometimes a pore extraction tool, to squeeze out those nasty blackheads.
As we age we tend to use creamier products which can sometimes accumulate and clog our pores. I’ve found that a quarterly deep pore facial is a great addition way to shrink large pores.
Use primer to camouflage your pores and create a matte, airbrush finish. I prefer the Monistat Chafing Gel as opposed to all those designer brand primers any day of the week!
SkinTreatments for Large Pores
So, let’s say you do all these things but are still not happy with the look of your pores. The good news is there are treatments that can help! Here are the ones I recommend.
1) Clear + Brilliant Permea Treatment
The first thing to try is the Clear + Brilliant Permea Treatment. The folks who brought us the Thermage and Fraxel lasers came up with a product that uses the innovative fractional technology to smooth skin and shrink pores but without all the downtime.
It’s called the Clear + Brilliant is being marketed as the ‘natural, next step in the skincare continuum’ and was designed to fit into a persons busy lifestyle. It takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
First your face will be numbed, then the technician will glide the treatment head over your skin for approximately 15 minutes. Afterwards they will apply a topical antioxidant serum and your on your way. It runs at about $300 – $500 depending where you live and when you’re done you should notice a reduction in the appearance of pores.
2) Intradermal Botox
Intradermal Botox treatment uses small injections of Botox in the fine muscles in the skin that control pore size. By weakening the sweat and oil glands as well as the arrector pili muscles you see a more matte surface and a tightening of the pores.
This is super exciting and, although specialized, physicians have been providing this treatment for a couple of years not people know about it so spread the word!
3) Microneedling with Belotero Balance
Microneedling is the shallow puncturing of the skin surface which triggers a healing response that promotes the growth of collagen, which you know, if your paying any attention at all, promotes tightness in the skin.
This is a great treatment in itself but with the Aquagold Fine Touch doctors can take microneedling to a whole other level.
The Aquagold Fine Touch is a glass vial topped with 20 hair thin needles allowing the introduction of product under the skin during the microneedling process. Some savvy dermatologists are filling the vial with a low viscous hyaluronic acid called Belotero Balance.
Hyaluronic acids, or dermal fillers, have historically been used to fill the creases in our skin, make our cheekbones more prominent or make our lips Angelina Joliesque, but now you can also fill in those pores. Pure genius!
We are so fortunate to have the technology that we have at our fingertips to deal with such pressing issues as large pores. 🙂 But seriously, our mom’s didn’t have this stuff around! I hope this was helpful!