When searching for anti-aging skin care solutions, it’s important to consider the role your pores play in the look and feel of your skin.
Skin pores are openings on your skin that allow sebum (natural oils produced by the sebaceous glands) to reach the skin’s surface, which helps to keep skin healthy and hydrated—it’s this role that makes them essential for anti-aging skin care, because if sebum can’t reach the surface, your skin would be extremely dry and unhealthy.
Your pores are also where your hair follicles are housed; in other words, wherever you see a hair on your body, it’s coming from a pore. Everyone has millions of them all over their body, but it’s the skin pores on the face that cause the most grief. These are the ones that send people out in search of anti-aging skin care solutions to get rid of pores, because these are usually the most noticeable ones. This may also be because the pores from your neck up are the most active, since they’re stimulated most often—every time you touch your face, you’re impacting the function of those pores.
People with oily skin tend to have larger pores, since their skin is thicker and their bodies naturally produce more sebum that needs to reach the surface.
What Causes Large Pores?
The size of your pores is largely determined by genetics; some people naturally have tighter pores while others have larger ones. But regardless of what you inherit, the size of your pores can change as you age. Over time, skin naturally loses some of its elasticity, thanks to dipping collagen and elastin levels, which in turn can make pores appear larger and more clearly visible to the naked eye. Accumulated exposure can also contribute to more dilated pores as you get older. This being said, anti-aging skin care solutions can help. (we’ll get into greater detail about this later.)
Although your age impacts the size of your pores, that isn’t the only thing that can enlarge them. Going back to the basics of skin pores, keep in mind that these are openings on the skin, albeit tiny ones, but openings nonetheless. That means that without proper care, they can easily get clogged with oil, dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells—this blockage can expand the diameter of the pore, which can make them look bigger and lead to the formation of unsightly blackheads.
(Blackheads are caused by excess sebum that gets trapped in the pores, resulting in dark spots on the skin’s surface.) However, using effective anti-aging skin care solutions, such as using cleanser, toner, and moisturizer on a daily basis, can help get rid of large pores, or at least minimize their appearance for a smoother, healthier complexion.
Wearing makeup can also contribute to enlarging pores, especially if it’s not properly removed at the end of the day. Many women assume that one of the best skin care solutions for large pores is to try and cover them up. But face makeup can settle into pores, which will only highlight them further instead of hiding them. Makeup can also attract even more oil and dirt, which, again, will counteract your efforts to try and get rid of large pores.
How to Get Rid of Large Pores: Anti-Aging Skin Care Products
While you can’t physically make them smaller, you can certainly get rid of large pores by making them less visible. As mentioned earlier, using proper anti-aging skin care solutions can make a big difference. Here are a few items to include in your arsenal of anti-aging skin care products to get rid of large pores:
• Gentle cleanser: This is a critical step to get rid of large pores, because cleansing is what will help prevent dirt and debris from building up in the pores in the first place. Your anti-aging skin care routine should include cleansing twice a day. If you have oily skin (and subsequently, large pores) resist the urge to over-cleanse, which will strip your skin of its protective sebum layer and actually trigger more sebum production, therefore working against your efforts to get rid of large pores.
• Salicylic acid (BHA): This ingredient provides skin with a deep clean. Using an exfoliator with salicylic acid can help to remove dead skin cells from the surface and improve the shape of your pores, both of which can prevent buildup inside the pores. As an added bonus, salicylic acid can help improve the look of wrinkles by promoting collagen production.
• Moisturizer: This should be included in your anti-aging no matter what skin type or concern you have. With regards to how it helps get rid of large pores, ingredients are key. Stick to moisturizers that are labelled “oil-free,” “oil-absorbing,” or “non-comedogenic.” Also keep an eye out for ingredients that are tailored to either oily skin, or at least “all skin types.”
• Sunscreen: If you want to get rid of large pores, you can’t afford to skip this step in your anti-aging skin care routine. As mentioned earlier, sun exposure can expand pores, but sunscreen can help to prevent against further damage to pores.
• Retinol: This form of vitamin A is known as an effective treatment for acne, but many dermatologists and anti-aging skin care experts also praise its ability to make enlarged pores appear smaller. As mentioned earlier, you can’t shrink naturally large pores, but this would be a useful solution for pores that have enlarged due to age or sun exposure. Retinol works by communicating with receptor sites on your skin cells, including the cells along the pore lining, encouraging them to improve the way they function, which in time can restore pores to a more normal size. Retinol is usually fairly potent, so test a small area before applying it all over.
Cosmetic Procedures to Get Rid of Large Pores
If you’re looking for a more permanent, there are a few different cosmetic procedures that can help get rid of large pores:
• Intense pulsed light treatment: This procedure uses intense pulses of light in varying wavelengths that can painlessly penetrate through to the deeper layers of skin without damaging the surface. The process stimulates the production of collagen, which in turn improves the overall structure of skin—the more elasticity skin has, the better your pores will look. Like many other in-office skin care solutions, you are probably going to need multiple sessions in order to truly get rid of large pores.
• Laser treatments: Fractional photothermolysis, one type of laser treatment, was shown in a 2009 study to not only treat acne scars, but also reduce the size of enlarged pores. The procedure works by shedding the top layers of the skin to clear debris from the pores, thereby reducing the dilation that’s caused by the blockage. There’s also the fraxel laser treatment, which is a focused anti-aging skin care procedure that’s often used to treat wrinkles. It works with lasers that penetrate through the skin to create thermal damage below the surface, which prompts your skin to initiate its internal rejuvenation process to replace damaged cells with fresh new ones, resulting in smoother, healthier skin.
• Microdermabrasion: This anti-aging skin care solution involves spraying the skin with small, abrasive crystals that erode the outermost layers of your skin (the epidermis), along with all of the dirt, excess oil, and bacteria that’s on it. At the same time as the spray of crystals, these impurities are suctioned off, resulting in a fresh layer of skin that’s clean and healthy. This cleansing method is what helps to get rid of large pores as well.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Large Pores
If you prefer more natural means, here are a few home remedies for large pores:
• Steaming: Steaming opens up your pores and promote sweating, which helps to loosen, release, and clear away some of the trapped dirt, oil, and bacteria. The best time to steam to get rid of large pores is after cleansing.
• Apple cider vinegar: This ingredient works like a natural astringent to tighten and tone your skin, making it one of the best home remedies for large pores. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can further enhance skin health. Apple cider vinegar needs to be diluted, so mix it with equal parts water. After cleansing, dip a cotton ball in the skin care solution and dab it over your skin. Let it sit for a few minutes (you’ll feel your skin tighten) and then rinse.
• Egg whites: Egg whites work similarly to the vinegar, in that they have a tightening and toning effect. Plus, an egg white mask tops the list of home remedies for large pores because it can help draw out some of the excess oil on the skin’s surface. To make an easy egg white mask to help tighten and get rid of large pores, simply whisk the egg whites, apply a layer on your face, and then place thin layers of tissue paper over top. Once it’s completely dry, peel off the tissue and rinse. Your skin should feel tighter right away.
• Tomatoes: Tomatoes are often included in more than just home remedies for large pores, because they contain lycopene, a natural phytochemical that has been shown to protect cellular DNA from the harmful effects of UVB radiation when applied topically. Studies have also shown that lycopene may also be able to reduce skin inflammation and improve connectivity between skin cells to encourage healthy functioning. And as you know, the healthier your skin is beneath the surface, the better your pores will look. The lycopene in tomatoes may also inhibit the function of enzymes that would otherwise destroy and break down collagen, which could end up enlarging pores more. For a simple tomato toner, mix a few drops of lime juice into one tablespoon of fresh tomato paste. Use a cotton ball to apply it on the affected area and let it sit for five minutes. Then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Another home remedy for large pores is to lightly blend a tomato with cucumber, which has moisturizing properties, to create a paste. Apply the mask for an hour before rinsing.