Move over, wrinkles: According to new research conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of L'Oréal Paris, nearly one in three women find pore size to be a bigger cause of concern. The study turned up other surprising results, including: Nearly four in ten women (38%) feel their pores are too big; nearly half of US women (47%) would give up something in exchange for smaller pores; and more than one in ten women (13%) have avoided taking selfies because they are self-conscious of their pore size. The obsession that some women have with pore size has led dermatologists to coin the term, "porexia."
While it's a bit disheartening to think that such a large number of women are so negatively focused on their pores, it's also clear that pore size is a skin care concern of great importance to many, and one that deserves to be addressed.
Pore size is determined by genetics, so we can't actually change the size of large pores; however, it is possible to minimize their appearance with healthy skin care habits and targeted skin care products. Pores can become clogged with oil, dirt and dead skin cells, making them appear enlarged and leading to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. Here at Truth In Aging, we have found that the best approach to reducing pore size is a five-step regimen: Cleansing, toning and exfoliating will keep pores clean and unclogged; moisturizing will hydrate and plump your skin and prevent it from producing excess oil; and applying weekly treatments such as masks and peels will tighten, tone and encourage cell turnover.
Here are some of the most effective skin care products we've found for minimizing pores.
1. Face Cleansers for Large Pores
suki exfoliate foaming cleanser is a deep cleansing alpha hydroxy acid complexion rejuvenator that resurfaces skin, unclogs pores, exfoliates dead cells and smoothes skin.
La Vie Celeste Exfoliating Mother of Pearl Cleanser ($40) is a unique cleanser that uses Mother of Pearl and pink and white clays to gently cleanse and exfoliate. Free of soap, detergent, oils, fragrance and toxic chemicals, this non-foaming cleanser is designed to leave skin soft, silky and hydrated.
BRAD Biophotonic Sea Minerals Purify Healing Detoxifying Gel Cleanser ($45 in the shop) is a restorative facial cleanser designed for dry, blemished, and sensitive skin that treats discoloration, irritation, scarring, and redness.
2. Toners for Large Pores
Sweetsation C*Bella Organic Brightening Toner ($24) fights against free radicals and sun damage while lightening discoloration for a more even complexion. This toner contains vitamin C, fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids to gently exfoliate skin, close pores, balance skin's pH and remove any traces of dirt.
SW Basics Toner ($24) evens skin tone and balances pH to eliminate oiliness and dryness with just five simple ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, witch hazel and essential oils of sage and sandalwood.
Stemulation AHA Herbal Balancing Toner ($38) is packed with antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids. It removes any final traces of make-up and environmental pollutants left after cleansing while maintaining skin's essential moisture.
3. Exfoliators for Large Pores
Arcona Golden Grain Gommage ($44) is an exfoliating cleanser with natural yellow corn and oatmeal to help even out uneven skin tone. This refining scrub also clarifies pores with retinol and glycolic acid and strengths skin's natural protective barrier with aloe and vitamin E.
Your Best Face Prep ($80 in the shop) is a creamy microdermabrasion treatment that infuses skin with botanicals that brighten and soothe, vitamins and antioxidants that heal and protect, and peptides that smooth existing wrinkles and help prevent new ones.
Ultra Clear Facial Cleansing System by Truth In Aging is a powerful yet very gentle power facial brush that can be used with your facial cleanser of choice. Brushes help remove dead skin cells, dirt, keep pores unclogged and breakouts at bay. Powered brushes work more effectively than a normal brush as the head rotates, and daily use will help skin look and feel better and respond well to cleansers and serums.
4. Moisturizers for Large Pores
Sevani Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Creme ($68 in the shop) is a multitasking moisturizer, skin brightener and pore-closer that uses natural, organic extracts and oils. It is excellent for the t-zone area and is especially helpful for oily, normal or combination skin.
Lumavera Glycolic Night Cream ($80) refines pores, firms skin and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles by exfoliating but without damaging delicate skin. This lightweight, nighttime treatment contains glycolic acid, peptides and plant stem cells to refine skin's texture, along with grapefruit and tangerine extracts to even out skin tone.
Skin Nutrition Night Cream ($75) is a rich, hydrating night cream that is effective at fading stubborn wrinkles, evening out skin tone and reducing the appearance of pores. It combines a proprietary blend of super-berry extracts as well as vitamins A, C and E for superior levels of antioxidant therapy overnight during the skin's restoration period.
5. Masks and Peels for Large Pores
Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask ($42) provides powerful purification of skin's pores and surface with tea tree oil and bioactive components to prevent and treat excessive oiliness and blemishes. Recommended for problematic, oily and acne-prone skin.
Michael Todd True Organic Pumpkin Mask ($34) combines pumpkin enzymes with glycolic acid to dissolve skin's impurities, remove dead skin and unclog pores. This brightening mask significantly helps improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for radiant skin.
PureCeuticals Multi-Enzyme Pumpkin Peel ($44) is an exfoliating peel treatment with pumpkin, pineapple and papaya enzymes designed to improve skin's clarity and texture. This peel is rich in amino acids and antioxidants and encourages healthy cell turnover and clear pores.
suki renewal bio-resurfacing facial peel is an exfoliating glycolic mask that uses fruit enzymes to remove dead skin cells, minimize the appearance of pores, even skin tone and accelerate collagen production. This unique gel can also be used as a spot treatment for blemishes.