If you deal with acne or similar skin issues on a regular basis, chances are you’ve heard a lot about pores. Pores are a natural part of the skin that can’t be removed despite the ads you may have seen for masks or magic erasers, and they have a big effect on the way your skin looks.
At the offices of Steven Jepson MD, we’re here to tell you that while you can’t remove your pores, you can still have a big impact on them. Through various methods, including the laser facial and other laser treatments, there are ways you can shrink your pores’ appearance and remove their stretching to improve your appearance.
Acids and Pores
The primary reason for enlarged pores is stretching that takes place over time due to debris from make-up, skin oils, dirt, etc. inside your pores. Your best combatant against this is a couple forms of acid. Don’t worry – these aren’t acids that will burn the skin or hurt in any way, but rather those that help penetrate the pores and clean them out so they aren’t at risk of stretching. There are two primary acid types to keep in mind:
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs): AHAs operate on the skin’s surface, brightening and smoothing it while unclogging pores at this level.
Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs): BHAs penetrate into lower levels of the skin removing dead skin that might be clogged in pores (what you know as blackheads).
Another method for decreasing the size of pores is “tightening” them, which can be accomplished by using a retinoid cream with vitamin-A as an active ingredient. Retinol helps smooth wrinkles and brighten dark spots on the surface of skin, but also goes deeper and increases your collagen production while decreasing oil production – this combination leads to fewer breakouts, smoother skin, and thigher pores.
Know that retinol can be irritating for a week or so, and may lead to flaky skin at first. But don’t give up – use a gentle cream to begin with, applying it every other day opposite to the days where you apply your AHA and BHA. If you have very dry skin naturally, you might want to start at just once a week while you build up the skin’s tolerance. We recommend using SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex starting at the 0.5% concentration. You can purchase this product at our office without a prescription
There are several laser treatments that can help with shrinking pores, including our QX Max laser facial. This treatment uses several laser passes at different settings to first vaporize the unwanted debris inside your pores and then to stimulate new collagen production which further helps shrink your pore size. Ask our pros about which of our laser treatments might be best for your pores.
For more on ways to shrink your pores, or to learn about any of our medical spa services, speak to the staff at the offices of Dr. Steven Jepson today.