Incredible Shrinking Pores

Large pores: how can  something so small be such a big deal? Probably because enlarged pores make it difficult to have smooth, firm, tight, youthful-looking skin. Correcting large pores can be a challenge, and it’s even harder for men who tend to have larger pores and more oil glands than women.

Here are a few do’s:

  1. Make sure that you use the right cleanser. Use  one designed for oily skin—look for ingredients like salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acid, and make sure that you use it for one full minute—it takes that long to break down sebum. Even if you think you have “normal” skin, we recommend a cleanser for oily skin, like ZO’s Exfoliating Cleanser. That’s the first part of the regimen, twice a day—morning and night.
  2. Exfoliate! Once a day is not too much. You need to get rid of the dead surface skin cells so that the younger, healthier, living ones can emerge. If you don’t exfoliate regularly, your skin will appear dull and dry. We like a good scrub, like ZO’s Exfoliating Polish. It has round magnesium crystals so won’t irritate the skin. And scrub diligently—what you really want to do is to stimulate your skin cells, keeping them alive and active!
  3. Deep cleanse your pores with TE pads—they’re soaked  in a combination of salicylic and glycolic acid to exfoliate the skin, thus speeding  up skin renewal.
  4. Retinoids (like Retin-A) or high potency  retinol products (like ZO’s Radical Night Repair Plus) may reduce pore size because they help decrease the activity of the oil glands. Active Vitamin A treatment doesn’t reduce pore size for everyone, but many people are successful with it.
  5. Try a quick fix at home. Egg white masks (combine two egg whites and a few drops of lemon juice) can provide a quick, albeit temporary, fix.
  6. Microdermabrasion administered by a professional aesthetician will help exfoliate the skin and provide temporary improvement, but it, too, not a permanent solution.

And a few don’ts:

  1. Don’t get overzealous. Avoid the use of harsh astringents and toners, as they can exacerbate the problem.
  2. Don’t overuse moisturizers. They compact dead cells and decrease cellular turnover. When your  pores get clogged and skin isn’t allowed to exfoliate normally, you increase the probability that pores will be enlarged.
  3. Don’t try to cover up the problem with foundation or powders, it won’t work and will only irritate the pores.

Bottom line, when treating large pores, work with the basics—a cleanser and an exfoliant—daily.