We are diving into another Q&A session today. We get asked all the time about everything related to pores from size and shape to how to unclog them. Since this is such a hot topic, we thought it was worth exploring this question for our readers: how can I minimize my pores (especially on my nose)? We did some research and spoke with several doctors about it. Here’s what we came up with.
What is a pore?
I know what you’re thinking. It’s those little holes on my face, duh! Contrary to popular belief this is a bit more complicated that one would think. But before we can create a solution, we must look at the problem. According to Dermatologist Dr. Amy Paul, “pores are just openings for the hair follicle to come out of and have a sebaceous gland (oil producing) sideways into the channel to provide lubrication to the hair and skin.” Now that we have that figured out, why do they get bigger?
A study in pore size
A study published in 2015 by the National Institutes of Health studied over 2,500 women ranging in age from 18 to 69 looking at pore size and why it changes. Of interest in the study were the facts that all women from ages 18-40 saw an increase in pore size. The study continued to follow these same women and they reported a decrease in the appearance of pore size later in life. So what is causing this? When presented with this information Dr. Paul, a respected dermatologist, explained, “they might be more noticeable at younger ages because of hormones, but the actual size of pores does not change. It becomes more noticeable with age sometimes due to loss of collagen or chronic inflammation from severe acne or rosacea.” We now know that pore size can appear to be larger due to hormones, collagen, and some skin issues, but it’s good to know that the actual size of the pores on your face do not change.
How to reduce my pore size (in the meantime)
Now that we’ve established why it happens, let’s look at how to deal with it. To reduce the size of your pores, we need to regenerate new collagen around the pores themselves. By essentially tightening the skin around the pore, the perception of its size will diminish. It’s important to remember that by doing this you are reducing the appearance of pore size, not literally changing the pore size (as discussed earlier the sizes of pores do not actually change).
If you are concerned with the look of your pore size and are not already on a skincare regimen with retinol, let’s have “the talk.” Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and has been used for the last 30+ years in one form or another to treat everything from acne to anti-aging. Retinol communicates to your skin cells to turnover and produce new collagen. The trick to retinol is to be careful on retinol starting out-- if you haven’t used it before go easy and start with a low dose. This is something you shouldn’t rush as it will take at least 90 days to see results. Putting more on your face than directed will slow the process down.
Another very popular way to tighten skin around your pores is to use microneedling. This is a simple procedure where the practitioner will “stamp” a number of microscopic needles into the skin. As a result, these small openings will cause your body to begin producing new collagen to pull the skin back together. The results can be great but it’s suggested doing three or more treatments 30 days apart.
The other option you have is to get an ablative laser treatment. CO2, erbium, and some radio frequency treatments will vaporize small portions of your skin. It sounds scary, but has been in use for decades and is perfectly safe.
Where to go
When you look at an ablative laser or microneedling make sure you are seeing a licensed practitioner or physician. Don’t cut yourself short seeing anyone else. Medical spas, dermatology, and plastic surgery offices are great for this sort of thing. On the skincare front we can help ease you into the retinol game. It’s important that you start with a low dose and build up over a period of time. Take our skin care quiz to see how it can be easily done and shipped directly to you. Please let us know your experience and what other questions you may have.
To reducing the appearance of your pore size,
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