IGNORE What You Heard About Pores, This Is What You Need To Know
It’s a truth universally acknowledged fact of life that we all have pores – thank goodness because these tiny dots keep our skin moisturized and healthy – yay! Ok, we won’t lie; there are times we hold the mirror a lil’ too close – especially when we’re glammed up – and notice that they’re kinda causing our makeup to settle in weird ways. That’s when we reach for pore-minimizing primers and HD powders in hopes of softening and blurring them out. If that’s something you’ve done too, it’s time for a one-on-one consultation with skincare expert and NY-based dermatologist Dr. Doris Day, who gave us the real facts on pores. Here’s the DL:
What exactly are pores?
“Each pore is actually the opening of a hair follicle. On the face, the follicles are tiny or sometimes even invisible, but there are oil glands that live at the base of the follicle and these can over-grow making your pores bigger and more noticeable. This often starts at puberty, and feels like it never stops!” Dr. Day explains.
Why do some people have bigger pores?
More often than not, the size of your pores is mostly due to genetics and hormones. Thankfully Dr. Day says that “Although you have no control over your genetics, there’s a lot you can do to help manage your pores to make them look as small as possible.”
Is it possible to get rid of pores?
No product can permanently shrink pores, but there are some very effective products that do a great job of making them look smaller. Dr. Day says, “The best topical agent for making pores look better is the nightly use of topical retinoids or retinol, which are forms of vitamin A (a natural ingredient). Retinoids do two things: it increases skin cell turnover, which helps improve the overall thickness of the skin, and they increase the purging of oily plugs from the pores – the less packed the pores are, the smaller they look. Salicylic acid is also an excellent ingredient as it exfoliates deep into the pores, which gets rid of dead skin cells that can make the pores appear larger.”
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Do genetics cause large pores?
“Partly, but there are still many measures you can take to help them appear smaller and to prevent them from getting bigger. The most important thing you can do is use sun protection every day. Sun dehydrates your skin and makes the oil glands over-grow, making the pores look bigger. Some people get a tan because they feel it masks the pores and makes them look smaller, but this is a temporary effect, and in the not-so-long-run, it will make the pores bigger, as well as making blackheads and whiteheads worse from the excess oil that plugs the skin.” Dr. Day advises.
Will balancing oil production improve the appearance of pores?
“Ingredients like salicylic acid, niacinamide, caffeine, and retinol can have an excellent impact on the size of your pores. Taking antioxidant supplements like niacinamide, zinc, copper, and folic acid by mouth can also be very helpful as they have powerful antioxidant and wound healing effects.” Dr. Day suggests, and to add to that, they also soften fine lines and wrinkles – who doesn’t want that?!
Do natural DIYs actually have any effect?
Dr. Day tells us that while DIY masks can have a pore-minimizing effect, the temporary tightening won’t be long-lasting and that “Using egg white masks and yogurt masks, combined with honey can be beneficial for tightening pores. Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and it doesn’t clog pores.”
Try: “A gentle steam can hydrate the skin and make the pores more receptive to products you apply. Once your skin is soft and hydrated, you can apply a mask of yogurt and honey or egg white and honey for 5 minutes, rinse off, and then apply 1-2% salicylic acid lotion to help exfoliate deep into the pores. Top it off with a hyaluronic acid moisturizer as this will offer maximum hydration without clogging your pores. The result will be radiant, smooth skin.” Well, we’re definitely going to try that!
“I also get a lot of questions about the use of alcohol wipes for the treatment of acne and pores, but this does nothing to kill the bacteria that causes acne, it does nothing for the pores, and it only serves to dry out and irritate the skin.” Dr. Day insists. Good to know!
Are there any treatments for reducing pores?
“The Clear and Brilliant laser is an excellent and gentle option for an in-office treatment to help reduce the appearance of pores and improve skin texture. I also find it to be safer than other lasers for my patients with skin of color.”
Now that you know the truth about them, we hope you feel better about the pores on your skin. Basically, there are ingredients you can use to blur the appearance of pores, and by using a thorough cleansing routine and non-comedogenic products (products that don’t block pores), you can help to soften the appearance of pores. What’s important to remember is that we spend a lot of time holding mirrors up to our faces; so there’s a high chance that your “large” pores may only seem so to you! Aaaand yes, most of the “pores-less” images you see online and in magazines have all been airbrushed – celebs have pores too, hunny. Celebrate them!