enlarged pores

I am prone to the odd open pore and, like most of us, can become obsessed with treating them and even (I know, I know….) squeezing them. Recently, I had an epiphany and it has led me to find successful solutions to minimize, refine and even obliterate open pores without jabbing at them with pincered fingernails.

The term pore refers to the openings of adnexa at the skin surface. Open pores are associated with sweat secretion and oily skin. I do think that the open pores on my nose qualify as oil/sebum related. There is also the clogged pore issue. As sebum is produced by the skin’s oil glands it cannot reach the surface and starts accumulating inside the pore, expanding its diameter. Dead skin cells, oils, and bacteria pool in this follicular opening, often leading to the formation of blackheads.

However, the activity of the sebaceous glands diminishes with age whereas the number of visible pores appears to increase with age. So something else must be going on. The open pore or two smack in the middle of my cheek where the skin is dryish did not look to be the result of oil, no amount of exfoliation helped and my fingers twitched every time I looked in the mirror. Then I reflected on another cause of open pores.

The theory is that the pore walls are slackening due to decline of the matrix (elastin and collagen). And, according to the Silab (a laboratory that has developed an ingredient called p-Refinyl based on lentil extract), dilated pores are also caused by an abnormally accelerated keratinization process, leading to the accumulation of nucleated cells around the pores.

So based on all of this, there are three types of problematic pores and, therefore, they require different solutions:

Oil and Sebum-Related Open Pores

An excellent new find is Arcona AM Acne Lotion. When I tested this on my nose, it immediately improved the open pore situation and within a week had closed them nicely. I was even able to reduce use to every few days for maintenance. I also found that AM Lotion worked really well on an errant pimple, as well as the bane of my life, whiteheads on the back of my shoulders and sometimes cleavage.

Clary is a herb that can restrain excessively oily skin and it is featured in the ever popular Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($34 in the shop) serum. I also like to use, just where needed, Sevani Rapid Renewal Resurfacing Crème ($68 in the shop) with alpha hydroxy acids.

Clogged Pores

Nordihydroguaiaretic acid is an interesting ingredient that corrects the abnormal shedding of skin cells (hyperkeratinization) that cause skin pores to clog.  It is in Skinfinite Platinum PM Cream 1% Retinol ($79 in the shop).

Our Ultra Clear Cleansing System ($86) is excellent for ridding the skin of the dead cells and dirt that can block pores and Your Best Face Prep Microdermabrasion ($80 in the shop) is as good as a doctor’s treatment for refining the complexion.

Sagging Pores

I’ve only ever come across p-Refinyl in a product by Murad. But there are two other approaches that are very successful: growth factors and Relistase. As our reviewer Denise noted when testing ReLuma Skin Illuminating Serum ($145), this powerful growth factor serum dealt with fine lines and wrinkles with the added bonus of shrinking pores. E’shee Cellular Repair Serum ($179 in the shop) with FGF1 growth factor and the E’shee KI Therapy ($189 in the shop) has FGF1 and Far Infrared Ceramic Powder, which boosts the efficacy of some growth factors. Relistase is a peptide that boosts type 1 collagen giving the skin tensile strength and, according to the manufacturer, the ability to resist stretching. Relistase isn’t in a huge number of products, but notably is in the above mentioned YBF Prep ($80 in the shop) and in YBF Control serum ($160 in the shop).