Clients often ask me if they can shrink the size of their pores. The honest answer is “yes and no.” Pore size is something one inherits. It is part of your skin type, like having oily skin. This inherited characteristic is triggered by hormone changes, which is why pores are so much smaller in children, before they reach puberty. Your pores are going to be larger in oily areas and smaller in drier areas of your face. This is a good thing because if your pore size is too small for the amount of oil you are producing you are likely to get clogged pores, which can lead to breakouts.
As time marches on, pores can become larger due to sun damage and other free radical skin agers. The sun damages important collagen and elastin fibers that support skin around the pores, keeping pores firm and tight. With age the skin becomes lax and pores expand.
Using products that are too rich for your skin not only clogs your pores but stretches them out, making them appear larger. The bottom line is that even though you can’t really shrink pores to smaller than what you’ve inherited, you can influence changes in your environment to minimize pores that have been enlarged. Here are some simple steps to make them look smaller resulting in a smoother, younger looking complexion.
- Define your skin type. If you have oily skin you still need to moisturize to keep your skin well hydrated but choose “oil free” products to prevent oil accumulation that will stretch out the pores. Try Weightless by Elizabeth Renee Esthetics. This light weight moisturizer is oil free, die free and fragrance free. It does not feel sticky or get lodged in your pores.
- Never go to bed wearing makeup. Wash your face regularly, twice a day will help keep pores clean. Balance your skin by using a light weight milky cleanser that neither deposits too much oil nor over dries your skin. Click here to read more on cleanser choices for you skin type. Following cleansing one should always use a toner to remove the last traces of cleanser residue that sits in your pores.
- Good anti-aging techniques will minimize pore size. Use a mineral based SPF 30 Sunscreen every day. Sunscreens protect against the break down of fibers, keeping skin firm and pores tight. To help repair past sun damage and promote healthy new collagen and elastin fibers try a retinol based serum at night. Retinol has a proven anti-aging track record for over 30 years. Our favorite formula is Retinol Resurfacing Treatment which is gentler and more easily tolerated by most skin types.
- Instant gratification. Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Pore Perfecting Face Primer used under makeup transforms your skin by instantly evening out and smoothing skin’s texture. All of a sudden pores look smaller. Follow your primer with a powder foundation. Powders won’t settle in the pores and will absorb excess oil.
- Power Peel Perfection. Look at your skin close up and you will see peaks and valleys that make up the texture of your skin. A Microdermabrasion exfoliating treatment uses aluminum oxide crystals to “sand-blast” the surface of your skin. While this treatment is not as uncomfortable as it implies, the crystals wear down the peaks and stimulate repair to build up the valleys in your skin. The end result is a more even skin texture. The pores not only appear smaller, lines are softened and skin takes on a healthy, youthful glow.
- Have a deep pore cleansing facial. These facials focus on extractions of material trapped in pores that create blackheads and whiteheads. Pores that are kept clean cause less attention to irregular pore size and are more able to shrink back to their inherited size. My favorite deep pore cleansing facial is Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Phyto-Bubbles Facial. This facial uses plant enzymes in an bubbly effervescent mask to soften oil and clear pores deep down in the skin. This leaves skin texture looking smooth, fresh and clean.