For this week’s edition of Beauty Myths, we spoke with Ny dermatologist and author of “Skin Rules” Dr. Debra Jaliman to obtain clarification on all things pores.
“Certain items that have retinol [a derivative of vit a and well-known fighter and anti-ager] could make pores appear smaller,” says Dr. Jaliman. “The way they work, just like other prescription strength retinoids, is to increase cell turnover so that they unclog the pores, making them appear smaller.”
The important language here is that they “appear smaller,” but is there anything you can perform to physically make sure they are smaller? “Prescription Accutane [which targets severe acne] shrinks pores when you take presctiption the medication, as it shrinks the oil gland and dries your skin out,” says Dr. Jaliman. “When you quit taking Accutane, often the pore goes back towards the original size. You can shrink pores permanently with non-ablative laser treatments such as Medlite and Genesis and multiple Fraxel sessions, which shrinks collagen while also increasing collagen production.”
Now that we’re more clear on what’s realistic in terms of shrinking pores, we’re curious to understand if there’s anything we’re doing to exacerbate pore size. “Pores can rise in size from sun damage, since you damage the collagen and elastic tissue the structural support for that skin,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Without the support, the pore expands.”
We’ll also admit to popping a pimple here and there, but exactly how bad is that for pore size? “If you pop a pimple or blackhead incorrectly you are able to damage the pore and enlarge it. Better to do it with a sterile needle after steaming, clean with alcohol before and employ a comedone extractor with even pressure. Then apply a topical antibiotic.”
Conclusion: Items that contain retinol can unclog pores making them look smaller. Prescription Accutane shrinks the oil gland, physically making the pore smaller. It’ll go back to its original size once you set off the medication. In-office laser light treatments permanently shrink pores.
For Beauty Myths, we’ve enlisted the help of pros to help debunk and demystify some of the most popular advice available. Have you got a myth you’d like us to research? Let us know in the comments below.
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