Can you really shrink your pores?

New Delhi, June 12 (IANSlife) We’ve all come across serums and creams that promise tighter pores or even “poreless” skin. But can any serum, face mask, or pore strip truly shrink your pores to an invisible size?

As you might expect, the idea that topical products can shrink your pores is false. More importantly, you can never completely eliminate pores; they play an important role in maintaining skin health, and without them, we’d be doomed.

It is a myth that it is possible to have a poreless face. Pores are necessary for the normal structure and function of the skin.

Pores are simply hair follicle openings, and each pore contains its own sebaceous gland, which produces oil, or sebum. Your skin requires sebum for lubrication and protection, but an excess of sebum can cause breakouts, and a lack of sebum can cause dry skin.

We have no control over the size of our pores due to genetics. However, if you want your pores to appear smaller, Niketa Sonavane, Celebrity Dermatologist and founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai, shares some guide you can follow to help.

Q: Is it a bad thing to have large pores?

A: While large pores may appear frightening in a magnifying mirror, they generally pose no health risks.

Most people seek to reduce pore size for cosmetic reasons, as irregular-looking pores can make the skin appear textured, older, and damaged. Big pores, on the other hand, create an easy place for makeup to collect because they are more pronounced. As a result, makeup applied over the pores may have a cakey appearance, which can be distracting in photographs.

While large pores can be a cosmetic annoyance, they can also be beneficial in some cases. Large pores are not always bad for your health, and they may even be beneficial as you get older. Because larger pores produce more oil, this can be beneficial as we age and our skin becomes drier.

Q: How to Use Topical Treatments to Reduce the Appearance of Pores

A: While it may be cosmetically beneficial to reduce the appearance of pores, we cannot change the size of the pore itself. Instead, there are numerous methods for temporarily refining pores. These include using cosmetic products containing dimethicone, a silicone ingredient that sits on top of the skin and reduces the appearance of pores, such as sunscreen and foundation.

Some skin care products can also help to reduce the appearance of pores. Consider products with active ingredients that contain acids, particularly glycolic and salicylic acids, or retinol, as they work to unclog pores. These ingredients promote skin cell turnover, which aids in the unclogging of pores, making them appear smaller.

Last but not least, wearing sun protection every day can make a huge difference. Wearing SPF products on a regular basis helps reduce redness, irritation, and discolouration, all of which affect pore appearance. Not to mention that sun exposure ages skin and contributes to collagen breakdown, causing skin to lose elasticity, which dilates pores and makes them appear larger.

When it comes to SPF, I may sound like a broken record, but it is, without a doubt, the most important product in anyone’s regimen. It is the most effective tool we have for preventing collagen breakdown, which is one of the main reasons our pores appear larger.

Q: Does medical-grade procedures ensure more effective outcomes?

A: Although topical products can help clean pores and reduce their appearance, only medical-grade procedures can produce more visible results.

These include dermatologist-administered microneedling and laser treatments, which typically require no downtime and no recovery time.

There is no downtime with the Fraxel laser, and it can improve pigmentation, fine lines, and the appearance of pores.

Similarly, procedures involving the use of botulinum toxin are prohibited. Botox can be effective in reducing sebum production and pore size by acting directly on the sebaceous and other glands.

Consider skin polishing or microdermabrasion if you want something more effective than at-home cleansing but less drastic than an in-office treatment. It can be quite effective at minimising the appearance of pores.

(N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at