One of the top Googled acne questions this year was “How can I minimize the look of facial pores?”
Dr. Marcie Ulmer, a Vancouver dermatologist and spokesperson for the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada, shares skincare tips and treatment ideas to help minimize the look of facial pores.
“The first step in minimizing the appearance of pores is regular cleansing. By simply cleaning your face twice daily you can thoroughly cleanse the pores and help eliminate the build up of debris (think dirt, pollution, make-up), dead skin cells and excess oil.
Using facial products containing ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid helps prevent accumulation of substances in the pores and helps clean out congested pores.
People often confuse large pores and hair follicles with blackheads. Prominent pores do not necessarily mean blackheads-so no squeezing or extractions please as aggressive extractions can cause breaks in the skin, inflammation and scarring. Similarly, harsh scrubbing and gritty exfoliants can make things worse so keep cleansing gentle.
Over the counter retinols and prescription retinoids are also helpful in preventing sticky cells and oils from clogging the pores in addition to stimulating some collagen production.
It is important to note that there is no way to completely or permanently shrink your pores but you can help prevent your pores from getting larger by protecting your skin from the sun. The sun damages collagen in your skin which contributes to your pores becoming larger. There is a misconception that sunscreen clogs pores so a person might be avoiding it when they should actually be applying sunscreen daily for various benefits including helping to prevent further pore enlargement.
There are some laser treatments and professional-grade peels that are useful in minimizing the appearance of pores but there is no ‘forever fix’ treatment for this problem which is important to understand when considering elective therapies.
For temporary improvement a good make-up primer and foundation can do a great job to cover imperfections and help the skin appear smoother and healthier.”
Dr. Marcie Ulmer is a dermatologist at Pacific Derm in Vancouver and spokesperson for the Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada. She is a Clinical Instructor at the University of British Columbia.