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5 Questions About Pores Answered

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Pores. They are the lungs of your skin, ground-zero for acne, a daily obsession, and for many, tiny mines of confusion. To clear up some of the misconceptions about this defining detail of your skin, we answer the most common questions about pores.


Do pores open and close?

At one point or another, you probably heard that washing in hot water would open pores and aid in cleaning, and rinsing in cold water would shut them tight and make them look smaller. If only this were true. The fact is, pores are not a muscle. They don’t open and close. What they do is stretch when they get full of sebum and dead skin cells, and that makes them appear larger and more prominent. Rinsing with cold water will not make pores close. It may however slightly constrict blood vessels and produce a tightening of the skin that could make it as if your pores have closed. The best way to remove sebum and dead skin cells from pores is with the beta-hydroxy salicylic acid, which exfoliates both inside the pore and on the surface of the skin to unclog pores. Use it in a regimen with benzoyl peroxide, which releases oxygen in the pore to kill bacteria.


Why is steam used on pores during a facial?

If it doesn’t open the pores, why do it? Good question. The steam loosens and releases the sebum and dead skin cells that build up inside pores, aiding the next steps in the facial. Extractions are made easier and less painful. Corrective products are more readily absorbed by the skin.


Is it possible to shrink pores?

The size of pores is determined by genetics. They tend to be more prominent in dark or oily skin. While it’s not possible to shrink them, it is possible to make them appear smaller. The condition of your skin makes all the difference. The buildup of dead skin cells and sebum clog and stretch pores. Heavy makeup can also settle in pores and highlight rather than hide them. Keeping your skin free of dead skin cells, cosmetics, and excess oil will help to minimize the appearance of pores. Cleansing, toning, and exfoliating are essential for this mission.


What else makes pores look bigger?

You know picking and squeezing pimples can spread bacteria and lead to scarring. But you probably didn’t realize the prodding and poking can cause inflammation that will make pores appear more visible. If you needed another reason not to pick at your skin, this is it. Instead, try running an ice cube over pimples for a few minutes a day. Not only will it give you the hands-on satisfaction you’re looking for, but it will also reduce inflammation to speed healing of the impactions, and the cold will constrict blood vessels making pores appear smaller.


Do pores get bigger with age?

Collagen provides firmness and structure to the skin. As collagen decreases, looser skin can make pores appear larger. With age, dead cells can accumulate further increasing pore visibility. A vitamin A serum will encourage collagen production to help keep skin firm and pores minimized. It also accelerates cell turnover, helping to peel out impactions and keep skin clear and smooth. Use a vitamin A therapy daily for nearly invisible pores and clear skin. Vivant’s Derm-A-Renew combines vitamin A with peptides in the ultimate formula for boosting cell turnover and collagen production.