If you were to make a list of the most common skin problems and complaints, you’d probably find “enlarged pores” on there somewhere. Pores are the small openings in the skin that let oil and sweat out to the surface. You need your pores, so closing them off isn’t exactly an option. But you don’t have to put up with seeing enlarged pores on your face every time you look in the mirror.
So what causes enlarged pores? What you can do to “shrink” them or make them look less visible? Let’s take a look.
What Causes Large Pores?
Several factors can influence the size of your pores. Some people just genetically have larger pores than others. Often, people with darker complexions have larger pores than people with light skin.
How dry or oily your skin is can also influence the size of your pores. People with oily skin tend to have larger or more visible pores. When skin is very dry, it can look almost pore-less. While that might seem desirable, remember that having very dry skin has its own set of problems, including flakiness and more obvious wrinkling.
Pores can also look bigger as you get older. As your skin ages, it loses collagen and elastin. That loss of collagen and elastin can mean that your skin doesn’t “snap back” as easily and that pores can become stretched out and more visible on the surface of the skin.
5 Ways to Shrink Your Pores
One thing that’s important to understand about your pores is that their size is influenced by your genes. That means that if you naturally have larger pores than the average person, you can’t really “shrink” your pores. If your enlarged pores are because of a buildup of oil and debris on the skin or because of a loss of collagen or elastin, however, there are things you can do to minimize their appearance. Here are five options for reducing visible pores.
- Cleanse your skin. Sometimes, a good cleaning is all you need to make your pores look smaller. If you don’t currently wash your face in the morning and again before bed, it’s a good idea to get in the habit. When you don’t cleanse your skin regularly, you’re giving oil, bacteria and other debris a chance to make themselves at home in your pores, potentially stretching the pores out and making them look bigger. Not cleansing regularly also makes you more likely to experience breakouts and pimples as a result of the blockage in your pores. If you wear makeup, it’s particularly important to wash it all off before you head to bed.
- Exfoliate. As you get older, your skin’s cell turnover slows down. That can cause dead skin cells to build up on your skin, making pores look bigger. Exfoliation can be done in several ways. You might try using a brush such as the Clarisonic to gently remove dirt and dead skin cells, revealing fresher, healthier skin below, and giving your pores a chance to breathe. Keep in mind that it is possible to go overboard when it comes to exfoliation. Start out exfoliating once a week. If you experience irritation, cut back.
- Try a Chemical Peel. Chemical peels can help to minimize the appearance of pores as well. A form of exfoliation, a chemical peel helps to remove the top layers of dead skin cells, revealing more youthful, healthier skin beneath. Peels vary in strength from mild to deep. The potency that’s right for you depends on the overall condition of your skin and what your aesthetician recommends. Mild peels usually have the shortest recovery time but also provide the least dramatic results.
- Try a Laser Treatment. Similar to a chemical peel, a laser treatment such as Fraxel can help to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. The treatment works by making several “micro-injuries” beneath the surface of the skin. The exterior layer is left intact, so recovery isn’t very long. The “micro-injuries” help to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, which can help your pores to become more youthful and elastic.
- Wear Sunscreen. While wearing sunscreen might not help to shrink or minimize existing pores, it can help to keep them from getting bigger. Sun exposure speeds up the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Slowing down that exposure can help to slow down the hands of time, keeping your skin looking youthful for longer.
Which option for minimizing your pores is right for you? For a complexion analysis and consultation, call 281-810-9083 to schedule an appointment at Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique in Houston, Texas, today.