Some of the main things you notice when your checking out your complexion in the mirror are what your over all tone is, how supple it feels and how even your texturing is. Me, personally when I look in the mirror and see my pores are enlarged my first thought is that my skin looks mal-nourished and unloved. Our skin is our biggest organ so were in it for the long haul here. Lets talk about what our skin considers as TLC and why.

Each of your pores are actually the openings of hair follicles. In each follicle there lives a sebaceous gland which is where your skins oils are created. Areas like your nose and forehead where sebaceous glands are bigger are more prone to noticeable pores. A key component of pore size has to do with how much overtime your sebaceous glands are putting in during the work week as well. Also people with darker or olive skin are typical to have larger pore sizes.

When dead skin and your skins oils get trapped in your pores pimples form and make pores appear more enlarged. Also as we age the collagen loss we deal with can increase the appearance of pore size. So every time we pop one of those pesky pimples that we happen to get we cause trauma to our skin, which could permanently make our poor pores enlarged forever. Not good for this long term relationship.

Warm water and steam are a great way to get your pores to open up to you about their feelings and let you cleanse their souls. Pores when in warm water don’t necessarily “open up” to you since they don’t have a muscle component but the heat of warm water and steam help loosen the dirt and oils trapped in your pores. Thus cleansing out the things that clog your pores, making them less noticeable. Regular cleansing and exfolations help keep them clean and healthy. One way of exfoliation is using a high quality facial brush like the Clarisonic (made by the people who make those amazing sonicare toothbrushes) to wash your face. Manual yet gentle exfoliation done by tools like the Clarisonic help slough off extra dead skin your face is carrying around. Without that extra weight your skin tone over all appears healthier and your beautiful glow forever radiant. On top of keeping your skin clean another key component of keeping your skin happy is balancing our your pH levels. Toner is an amazing way to even out your skins natural pH levels. pH refers to the balance of acid and alkali levels in your skin. Normal skin pH is said to be mildly acidic and in the range of 4.2. to 5.6 and it varies from one part of the body to another. A mild toner is great for all skin types and also avoiding using products with alcohol are ways to balance out your skins pH levels as well.

For people with heavily acne prone skin there is a doctor prescribed prescription called Accutane which works by shrinking the sebaceous glands and helping stop the clogged pores that cause acne. For people with calmer skin tones there are medical and cosmetic treatments that can help reduce the looks of large pores. Many of which can aid in the upkeep of all skin types.

Chemical peels work by gently chemically removing the top layers of skin so the newer healthier skin cells can surface. During that process imperfections like pigmentation issues and acne blemishes and scars are literally peeled away. Glycolic peels are the mildest and most common. That’s largely because glycolic acid is considered to be au’ natural. It comes from sugar cane and belongs to a family of acids called alpha-hydroxy acids which cause the exfoliation process to happen. There are also products that have the amazing alph-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids in them for daily exfoliation on an even milder level. SkinMedica has a great one that works on daily smoothing and exfoliating your skin which also brings back a healthy tone. Another standard for great skin is retin a. In the skin world retin a is the golden egg that has proven to be FDA approved to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and help with overall surfacing issues that many people deal with, one being large pores. Retin a helps with the skin cell turnover process and keeps new skin growth going while revealing fresher newer skin.

A more invasive procedure which helps with tone and texturing of your pores is a dermal roller. A dermal roller is a tool that uses the idea of skin needling. It involves using a sterile roller comprised of a series of fine, sharp needles to puncture the skin. By doing so it stimulates collagen growth which help the skin look younger and also works out scarring imperfections that can create the illusion of enlarged pores. Laser treatments are also a great way to show some love to your your canvas and minimize imperfections. One way laser treatments help is by resurfacing the skin to reduce the qualities that make our skin look neglected. The Fraxel laser treatment is one that penetrates the top layers of your skin and sends light energy into your skin to stimulate collagen and resurface the top skin layer. The Fraxels main target is pigmentation and blood which also help with the coloration of your skin which sometimes can make pores seem larger than needed.

Routine exfoliation and keeping your face clean is a great beginning to your pore size shrinking journey. But there are many affordable and realistic ways to get back to your childhood skin. Routinely wearing sunscreen also protects your skin from environmental elements that cause unnecessary wear and tear. Not only is the skin our biggest organ, it is our most exposed. And a temperamental one at that. With keeping a conscience mind as to what is good for our skin and bad for our skin, the love will go on.

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Dr. Timothy Jochen Medical Director, Contour Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center
Dr. Jochen specializes in Mohs Surgery for skin cancer removal, facial rejuvenation including cosmetic laser technology, Botox® and facial fillers, soft tissue augmentation, leg and facial vein treatment, tumescent liposuction and hair restoration/transplants.

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