How to: Make Enlarged Pores Smaller

shutterstock_141183598Enlarged pores are a very common skin concern for many people. The skin’s texture can have a rough appearance, and makeup wearers might not be happy with the way makeup settles into pores.  It’s a common misconception that pores can be shrunk or made smaller.  While it is impossible to shrink pores, there are many ways to make pores appear smaller.

Pores can become enlarged due to different environmental factors, heredity, aging, as well as excess oil and congestion. Excessive sun exposure or regular use of tanning beds can be the culprit of making pores appear larger. Over exposure of UV rays causes damage to skin cells and ages it by causing collagen to break down at a faster rate than normal. When collagen breaks down, the skin’s elasticity suffers. As skin loses its elasticity, pores appear larger. Regular use of sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds will keep your skin looking healthy and your pores will remain less visible. Ingredients like retinoids and Alpha Hydroxy Acids also help to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores by helping to accelerate the natural exfoliation of skin cells and promoting smoother skin.

In very oily skin, enlarged pores is very common.  When pores are impacted with dirt and oil, they tend to appear larger. Dead skin cells can accumulate in the pore along with the dirt and oil, and cause blackheads and congestion. Exfoliation and oil control can greatly reduce the appearance of large pores; ingredients like retinoids and Beta Hydroxy Acids can do just that. Salicylic acid is the only Beta Hydroxy Acid and works by dissolving the bonds that holds dead skin cells together; it can also penetrate deep into the pore wall to sweep away debris from within the pore. Once the pores are free of debris, they will appear less visible. Because retinoids increase cell turnover and boost collagen and elastin, it is also an excellent ingredient for addressing enlarged pores.

Other effective treatments for enlarged pores are facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments.

Getting regular facial treatments can reduce the appearance of pores, as the esthetician will perform extractions to remove blackheads and debris in the pores and also exfoliate dead skin cells that cause pores to appear larger. Book your facials 3-4 weeks apart for faster and better results.

Chemical peels consist of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids at much higher concentrations than an at home AHA or BHA product. Only a licensed esthetician or physician can administer a chemical peel. These are usually performed in a series and spaced out 3-4 weeks apart. Chemical peels dissolve the bonds that hold your dead skin cells together, allowing for a more thorough exfoliation and faster cell renewal. As the skin cells renew faster, smoother more vibrant skin replaces dull lack-luster skin. Depending on the strength of the peel, you may require some downtime, as the peel may leave your skin reddened and flaky.

Microdermabrasion works very similar to a chemical peel by exfoliating away dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. Unlike a chemical peel however, microdermabrasion uses a physical exfoliating action by either using crystals or an abrasive tip, wand, or paddle. This exfoliation process will also reveal brighter, smoother skin, and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, as well as promoting new collagen growth.

A laser treatment such as Laser Genesis by Cutera, will also reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, will stimulate collagen, and renew damaged skin. Because it is a non-ablative laser, there is no downtime required, and it is an excellent treatment when paired with a series of microdermabrasions.

All of these procedures will give you that smoother, flawless skin you desire. Some procedures are best suited for certain skin types or skin concerns, and not all results will be the same for everyone. Call our office to schedule a complimentary skincare consultation to determine which procedure will be best for you.