The Regimen

How to Minimize the Appearance of Pores

Asian young woman looking at a mirror. Pink room with plants on the background.

Are you pore-obsessed? Do you look in the mirror and see nothing but enlarged follicles? Are you convinced your life would be drastically improved if you could shrink your pores? Do you edit your selfies to pore-fection? You might be just a little pore-anoid.

You, fixated friend, are not alone. In a 2014 Harris research poll, nearly half the women questioned said they would trade something they enjoy for smaller pores. Twenty-three percent were willing to forgo alcohol for a year, 17% are ready to ditch social media for a year, 11% would give up shaving their legs. Seventy-three percent of women say they have not found a product that effectively shrinks their pore size.

What all this points to is a fundamental misconception about the very nature of pores. What are they? How do they work? Can you shrink them? Let’s clear the myths and mine the facts.

Pores don’t open and close. They are not muscles. They are the tiny holes in your skin that allow sweat and oil to reach the surface. The oil pores do double duty as hair follicles. These are the pores you can see. Sweat pores, on the other hand, are much smaller and don’t get blocked the way oil pores do and therefore, are not to blame for pimples or other skin woes. We’re going to focus on oil pores.

As much as you may dislike them, your oil pores are essential to healthy skin. They are the conduit for oil generated by the sebaceous glands to reach the surface and maintain the skin’s natural moisture factor. It’s when pores get clogged that they become a problem.

Aside from creating the perfect conditions for pimples to form, a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells causes the pore to stretch. That stretching is what makes them appear larger, more prominent, and darker. Keeping your skin free of dead skin cells, pore-clogging cosmetics, sweat, and excess oil helps to minimize the appearance of pores.

You may notice that your pores become more visible as the day wears on. That’s because your skin is producing oil and the pores are filling up. If you wear heavy makeup, it can settle in and around pores, making them look even more pronounced. Instead, use a light mineral powder. You can mix it with Vivant’s Day Treatment Lotion SPF 15 to create a light foundation that will provide sun protection without clogging pores. 

Age plays a role in how prominent your pores appear as well. As skin loses elasticity, the pores can becomes slightly more visible. Plump, firm, elastic skin tends to hide the follicle openings.

To minimize the appearance of pores, cleanse morning and night and after physical activity to remove sweat, sunscreen, makeup, and oil. Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser is an alpha hydroxy formula that gently exfoliates and controls acne bacteria in all skin types. For oilier skin, try BP 3% Exfoliating Cleanser with benzoyl peroxide to flush out impurities, refine pores, and accelerate cell turnover. 

Get a refining and balancing boost from a toner like Normalizing Tonic with witch hazel and glycolic acid to dissolve oil, slough off dead skin cells, minimize the appearance of pores, and restore skin’s natural pH level. Or try clarifying and nourishing Daily Repair Pads with salicylic acid and mandelic acid for effortless refinement.

Banish impurities and impactions with a detoxifying mask. Vivant’s Sulfur Clay Mask draws out dirt, removes excess oil, accelerates cell turnover, and improves circulation. Sulfur is a natural exfoliant and anti-bacterial agent.

Boost your cell turnover with vitamin A therapy to minimize the appearance of pores and keep skin clear. Skin cells are formed and shed off naturally every thirty to 45 days, depending on your age. Vitamin A propionate accelerates that renewal cycle to between 10 and 15 days, keeping pores free of debris, and looking their most refined and unobtrusive. Start with Derm-A-Gel® and move up to Exfol-A when skin becomes acclimated.

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