The problems with pores are always on the forefront of discussions about beauty and skin care. Unlike acne or wrinkles, everyone has pores. Whether or not they become a problem is determined by a mixture of genetics, skin type, and daily skin care habits.
Even though you can’t change your genetics, once you understand why pores enlarge, you can choose good products and practices to keep yours as small and clean as possible.
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This article will examine several important questions about pores and pore care, including:
Pores are openings on the skin that are the exit point for two main types of glands:
- Sebaceous glands — Secrete oil (also known as sebum) to keep the skin lubricated and waterproof.
- Sweat glands — Produce sweat to help regulate body temperature.
The most pores per square inch anywhere on the body are found on the face, especially the nose and forehead area. Most breakouts occur in these areas because of the high density of oil-producing glands found there. Many people want to reduce their pore size. Unfortunately, this isn’t really possible because the size of your pores is largely determined by genetics.
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However, it is possible to reduce the appearance of pores and control external factors that enlarge them. Through a combination of conscientious daily skin care and carefully chosen products, you can keep pores clean and keep them looking as small as your genetics will allow.
To understand how to treat your pores, you need to know why some pores start looking bigger in the first place.
Since pore size is determined by genetics, some people naturally have small pore and others large pores. However, there are factors that influence whether your pores stay the size they started or whether they enlarge. People with oily skin tend to have larger pores. Their more active sebaceous glands need a bigger opening through which to release oil. Also, many people’s pores get bigger during puberty when the body starts naturally producing more oil.
Other factors that enlarge and draw attention to pores include:
- Blackheads – The buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil, that both clogs and stretches the pores. When the clog is exposed to air, it oxidizes, becoming darker in color and more obvious.
- Blemishes — Each acne blemish stretches the pore, and many cause scarring that can draw more attention to the pore.
- Sun damage — This causes a flare up of cells that surround the pores; the thickening of these cells makes a rim-like appearance and makes pores look bigger.
- Loss of elasticity — As skin ages, the collagen and elastin that give it is shape weaken. This can cause the wall of the pore to lose its structure, partially collapsing and enlarging.
Alpha Lipoic Acid: A Solution?
Dr. Perricone suggests his Advanced Face Firming Activator for those looking to refine pores, because it is formulated with high levels of Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA). There’s even a Perricone discount for it.
ALA is a very powerful anti-aging, antioxidant compound with the ability to help minimize enlarged pores. The Advanced Face Firming Activator works to reduce puffiness and refines skin texture while simultaneously decreasing wrinkles and pore size.
Gentle exfoliants like glycolic and salicylic acids are also great for sweeping away dead skin cells before they can contribute to blackheads and blemishes. These ingredients can be found in Dr. Perricone’s Skin Clear Cleanser and Skin Clear Toner.
Adult acne treatment starts with preventing pores from enlarging in the first place.
There are some things you can do every day to help maintain clean, firm pores:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser or facial wash, but not too frequently. Even if you have oily skin, resist the urge to wash excessively. This can strip too much natural oil from the skin and cause it to produce more oil to compensate. Washing the face cleans the pores of dirt and oil, which prevents clogging, darkening, and stretching.
- Wear sunscreen. This reduce the risk of sun damage, which not only makes pores look bigger, but also causes skin damage like wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, and sagging.
- Use non-comedogenic makeup and sunscreens and be sure off every night before you go to bed. Leaving these products on for extended periods contributes to clogged pores.
- Don’t touch your face, especially if it’s to pick at blemishes. This just creates and spreads more oil while simultaneously irritating the blemishes and preventing them from healing properly.
- Choose skin care products with active ingredients to exfoliate, firm, and refine both skin texture.
Even though your genetics aren’t under your control, good skin care habits and a routine targeted to refine pores can effectively keep pores at their smallest natural size and minimize their appearance.