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Pore Size: What can be done?

February 13, 2010

Pore size is genetically determined. One feat a toner, or any product, cannot perform, is to permanently make large pores smaller. What daily use of good products can do is to reduce the appearance of large pores. Regular use of a masque provides the most effective treatment. Consistent use of products that contain salicylic acid deep clean pores, and exfoliation and cleansing with AHA’s (glycolic acid in particular) help diminish the appearance of pores by removing oil and debris from the skin. “The term ‘large pores’ is truly subjective. Get anyone in front of a good mirror and a bright overhead light, and nine times out of ten he or she will recoil at the size of his or her pores. Patients always ask me if there is any way to shrink, decrease or just get rid of facial pores. We all want that baby skin look – smooth as porcelain without a pore in sight. The problem is, adults have bigger pores than babies, no matter what they do. At puberty, pores increase in size as sex hormones stimulate oil production and sebaceous glands develop. Pores also grow in size, or at least become more noticeable, when they hold oil and accumulate dead skin cells. Pulling, squeezing and tugging the skin also can increase pore size. Nothing will really change your pore size, which is often genetically determined. Large pores are also the result of anatomic variation. For example, the central face tends to have large pores while the sides of the face have smaller ones. Gentle exfoliation and the use of alpha hydroxy or salicylic acid cleansers and lotions can reduce the appearance of large pores. Retin-A can also help, especially if you have blackheads that make your pores look bigger. Use products that work gently over time for the best results.” From Barney J. Kenet, M.D.’s How to Wash Your Face (Simon and Schuster, 1999).

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