Lets talk about pores

best ways to minimize facial poresWhy should you care about the best ways to minimize facial pores? Do you even notice your pores? I’ll bet you do- especially if you use a magnifying mirror which most of us do (what are we- masochists?) as we get older and more far-sighted.

As you get older, you might be so focused on wrinkles  and maybe even sun damage repair that you neglect another area of your skin: the size of your pores.

Pore size does indeed increase with age and contributes to the “older skin” look- just what you are trying to avoid. Groan- yet another thing to “deal with?” Relax, the “dealing” helps the look of the pores, the fine lines and your overall skin texture.

And it’s not a big deal to, well, deal with, even just using the techniques and products you can use right at home, where you can actually check the results in your magnifying mirror. But, seriously- to feel the best about the results that you and others will see in “real life”, just look before and after in a regular mirror. If you want to get seriously scientific about it, you can have someone take a magnified set of snapshots of your skin. I promise you’ll see a visible improvement. You will even see some diminution in pigmentation, too. Next, let’s really “talk some pores.”

There are a number of misconceptions about pores out there. It’s truly a total myth that you can “open” them up with steam and “close” them with ice water. While you can’t really change the size of your pores, if they are something you feel self-conscious about, you can take some steps to make them look considerably less visible. By the way I have gotten a fair number of online doctor visit consults about pores! Yes, mostly from women but also from men-some of whom grow beards to disguise pores. I am not kidding you. So- here is “all about pores and what to do to minimize them.”

What Are Pores?

Pores are small openings on the surface of your skin. They contain oil glands and hair follicles. Oil is released onto the skin through the pores. In a perfect skin-world, the amount of oil the glands produce would be just enough, so that it spreads evenly on your skin, without making your skin look or feel oily.

What Makes Pores Larger?

The size of your pores is  determined by the location of the pores as well as your innate genetics. Some people just plain have larger, more noticeable pores than other people do. And some areas of the skin have larger pores than others, because the oil glands leading to the pores are larger. If the issues are genes or the size of the oil gland you can’t do as much to minimize them. (But everyone can benefit so don’t sigh and stop reading!) People who naturally have oily skin sometimes have larger pores, since the increased oil production increases the size of the pore.

Some external factors can make your pores larger as well. The breakdown of the skin’s building blocks; elastin and collagen, can enlarge pores. Yes, you “thought right”- just plain aging of the skin will make pores appear larger. The loss of collagen and elastin which occurs as we age, accelerated by sun exposure and smoking can indeed enlarge pores. Why? Because, as you age, the loss of collagen means that your skin and pores don’t have the support structure  to keep your pores their natural size.

Oh- not that you do this (yikes!) but going to sleep with your makeup on or not cleansing your skin properly can also make your pores look bigger. Oil builds up and combines with any dirt, makeup or even dead skin cells, clogging the pores and making them bigger. I use a clarisonic for the times (rare) that I use makeup. If you must use a liquid, the mineral powder based liquids are the best coverage for the cleanest feel and look, in my opinion. I use Bare Minerals. As we age, less is more when it comes to make-up.

So keep in mind that stimulating collagen and elastin, something I’ve talked about tons of times with articles about how to look younger, the best anti aging skin care regimen and much more (just search the blog) and keeping your hyaluronic acid content up is “the ticket.” Always remember that the age of your skin and your pores is first and foremost dictated by eating foods to help you look younger because health inside shows on the outside.

The best ways to minimize facial pores at home

While you can’t get rid of your pores (you need them) and you can’t open or close them, you can do some things to make them less visible. First, you might want to review the products you are using on your skin. Look for noncomedogenic makeup or moisturizing products, as they won’t clog your pores. It’s a good idea to avoid heavy, oily products such as petroleum jelly, at least on your face.

Exfoliation is a really crucial step in skin care I keep emphasizing and few people are really listening. Exfoliation is the most important step when it comes to minimizing the size of your pores, because it removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. There are a number of ways to exfoliate, including at home options and in-office options.

At home, you can first, make easy changes to your skincare routine by adding products which contains an alpha or beta hydroxy acid. I would suggest that, unless you have seriously oily skin, you do not use a topical product which contains both alpha and beta hydroxy acids or you’ll dry out the top layer of you skin. I recommend a beta hydroxy cleanser ( a great way to increase the removal of makeup, pollution and oil) and a, alpha hydroxy acid lotion or gel topical product.

A beta hydroxy acid, such as a good salicylic acid cleanser, cleans inside the pores and helps slough off dead skin cells.  Salicyic acid is a part of a class of medications called keratolytics. Keratolytics  soften the top layer of the skin (epidermis), making it easier to remove dead and shedding skin cells. Salicylic acid is also known to breaks down blackheads and whiteheads and other types of acne. It then prevents pores from clogging up again by constricting pore diameter, and creating room for new skin cell growth. Because of its fabulous effect on skin cells, salicylic acid is used in several shampoos to treat dandruff.

An alpha hydroxy acid, such as glycolic lotion, helps exfoliate the top layer of skin, making skin look smoother, with tighter appearing pores. Glycolic acid contains small molecules which easily penetrate your skin. Once it penetrates the surface it then loosens up the glue-ish substance that binds skin cells together and allows the skin to shed the old dead cells. Old skin cells make your skin look dull as well as making your pores look bigger. Once the skin is rid of the old cells it glows and looks less “pore-filled” giving you the easiest of all the ways to tighten skin.

If you use a glycolic lotion daily, you will notice your pores will appear smaller, you will have less acne and most types of acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles. Hyper-pigmentation will fade, and the overall texture of your skin will improve! There will be a noticeable improvement in not just appearance of facial pore size but the overall  texture and luminosity of your skin each week. Depending on how much pigmentation, fine lines, sun damage and acne scarring you have and how large your pores appear to be, most women see a huge difference in about 3 months.

Glycolic also acts as a water-binding agent, helping to plump the skin. Not to “beat the drum” unnecessarily about exfoliation, but using a glycolic lotion nightly as a part of your skincare regimen will help de-age your skin and all that glow we all love. While it is medically impossibly to shrink pores; pores do appear larger when your skin is not properly exfoliated. That’s because dead cells build up and clog the pore. When this happens, the pore (follicle) opens up by trying to “breathe” which makes it look larger.

When you use glycolic lotion, it acts as a constant, gentle exfoliant, allowing your pores to go back down to their original size. Also, when you remove the top layer of dead skin cells, other products in your skin care regimen are able to penetrate deeper. Other exfoliants I love are our Vitamin C mask and our kelzyme which both tighten your skin as they “de-pore” you.

how to shrink your pores

Recently parthenogenetic stem cell peptides, growth factors and cytokines which are a part of every top anti aging skin care regimen of the “stars” have been demonstrated to work wonders on “shrinking pores.”

And you get the added benefits of less lines, wrinkles, better skin texture and firmer skin while you’re at it! These Lifeline Proplus products have the honor of being called the Truth in Aging‘s best anti aging products 2016.

Here are some great before and after pics.

 What can be done by Medical experts?

Skin resurfacing can be performed by a facial plastic surgeon or esthetic dermatologist. How deep the exfoliation goes is dependent upon two things. The first is the treatment itself and the second is what you expect for results. One option is a chemical peel, which will exfoliate the top layers of skin, so that your pores look less noticeable. A chemical peel can provide a number of other benefits, too, including minimizing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and making your skin tone more even. If the increased size of your pores is related to a loss of collagen as you age, a treatment such as Fraxel laser skin resurfacing or a non invasive Ultherapy  skin regeneration treatment can help.

The heat and energy during a treatment session with Ultherapy helps stimulate the production of collagen beneath the surface of the skin. This in turn increases the support structure and can help your pores return to their original size. One of the benefits of microdermabrasion (done professionally) is that it is a great instant exfoliation and therefore pore-minimizing, skin-brightening procedure. If you are human growth hormone deficient you’ll get the side benefits of less wrinkles and smaller pores with the addition of that hormone to your regimen.

Now, you have an arsenal of the best ways to minimize facial pores. The easiest thing for you to do is to start exfoliating. Then consider adding some new products to your regimen. If you’re going to spend money in a professional office, opt for a good microdermabrasion first. And step away…..from the magnifying mirror!

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