If only it were as easy as asking Alexa to solve our skin problems!! Everyone desires the “poreless,” flawless skin we see in beauty magazines, across Instagram and on TV. Newsflash: that isn’t reality and people do have pores, but there are some things you could be incorporating into your routine to help soften and diminish their appearance. It is important to keep in mind that things like genetics, skin type, exposure to sun, as well as age all make up part of the equation. We’re here to weed out the clutter and give you real advice that will give you lasting results all year round.
What are pores?
Pores are those tiny openings you see on the surface of your skin, in fact they are actually the openings of hair follicles. Each one contains a sebaceous gland, which produces the skins oils. (Pores are more noticeable on certain parts of the face such as the forehead and the nose, where the sebaceous glands are bigger.) The size of your pores depends primarily on your genes. Typically, fair-skinned people have pores on the smaller side; those with olive or darker skin have larger pores. Different varieties of skin type can play a role as well. Naturally dry skin tends to appear poreless, while oily skin often has more visible pores.
Professional Treatments to Consider
Below are a few treatments we recommend to our clients looking to substantially decrease the appearance of their pores.
Fight back with a Chemical Peel
A chemical peel cannot change the size of your pores, it can, however, make them less noticeable. A professional grade chemical peel is a great solution to tighten pores. In-office Glycolic or Salicylic acid peels are a good way to keep pores clear. You’ll probably need at least three treatments to see a noticeable change. The procedure is quick, taking only about 20 minutes, and is designed to increase collagen which tightens pores and has lasting results.
Collagen Induction Therapy (also known as Microneedling)
Microneedling or “CIT” is a safe and effective method for reducing the appearance of enlarged pores and the main reasons many seek out this treatment. The micro injuries to the skin caused by microneedling trigger the skin’s own wound healing response. This causes the skin to naturally produce new collagen and elastin. Collagen creates the appearance of smaller pores and tighter skin, as well as building healthy supple skin. Unlike many other treatments, microneedling has virtually no side effects.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) therapy stimulates collagen to shrink pores. The cells in the body use light and convert it into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), -this is the fuel that powers life at a cellular level. This cellular fuel is used to carry out healing and rejuvenation in the treated area bringing balance to the skin. This therapy restores normalcy to overly dry or very oily skin, amongst other things. It corrects damage on the surface of the skin and improves the overall tone and texture. LED has many other benefits including: erasing fine lines and wrinkles, correcting sun damage, and speeding up collagen and elastin production that gives the skin a more youthful appearance.
At Home Therapies to Tackle the Appearance of Enlarged Pores
Daily cleansing and regular exfoliation are the best ways to keep pores clean. Pores without the buildup of dirty oil and debris are going to be much harder to spot. We recommend cleansing twice a day- if you are very low maintenance type we recommend committing to at least cleansing at night before going to sleep. Cleansing your skin is a simple step that will really pay off on reducing the appearance of pores. Look for a facial pore cleanser with Salicylic Acid. The beta hydroxy acid in Salicylic Acid has increased solubility in oil and can travel deep within pores.
Scrub Em’ Clean
Incorporating a scrub into your skincare regimen is very beneficial to reducing the appearance of pores. Exfoliating is the key to removing dead skin cells and build up. It is important to look for a mild scrub and exfoliate your skin gently- over doing it can cause irritation and even increase the appearance of pore size!
Use a Retinoid Cream
Retinoid cream will help boost skin cell turnover, which makes for happier pores! You’ll see noticeably smaller looking pores in a matter of weeks. Retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, is the golden child in the skincare world: it slows signs of aging, prevents breakouts, and keeps your pores open and healthy. Start using a Retinoid at night 2-3 times a week and work into nightly use as your skin adjusts.
Salicylic Acid, a Best Kept Secret!
Salicylic acid is oil soluble, meaning it’s able to get inside pores to gently push out dead skin, bacteria, sebum, and any other pore-clogging debris. By removing that debris from your pores, they will appear smaller and less noticeable. A nighttime application of Salicylic acid simultaneously reduces oiliness, unclogs pores, brightens skin color, and improves fine lines and skin texture.
Use a Clay Mask to Unclog your Pores
Clay masks are another secret weapon for how to minimize pores because they work to quickly unclog pores by wicking out all the oil. Oil build up can make your pores look up to five times larger — so clearing out the gunk is essential.
Avoid Oil-Based Creams
Lathering on heavy oils or oil-based creams (that includes natural oils like coconut and olive) is a recipe for clogged pores, even if you have dry skin. These oils will mix with your dead skin cells and congest the pores. It’s best to avoid all this by choosing water-based products instead.
SPF “All Day Err Day”
If the fact that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime doesn’t make you want to slather on the sunscreen (we hope it does!) maybe the fact that sunscreen has pore-minimizing effects will persuade you. Did you know the sun breaks down your skin’s collagen, which is responsible for keeping your face firm and elasticized, leaving you with larger pores and less elastic skin? Apply a minimum of SPF 30 every single morning (Keep in mind to reapply every 2 hours when in direct sun exposure) and sorry, your foundation with SPF doesn’t cut it!
Products to Avoid
Avoid pore-clogging ingredients like heavy oils and look for non-comedogenic makeup and skincare brands that are specially formulated. You will be much less likely to experience build up or get clogged pores, causing less irritation, or leading to future breakouts.
We hope this overview of pore size was helpful for you! Feel free to leave a comment or question, or get in touch with us with any lingering concerns you may have.
-The Face of Jules Team