Most of you have probably sat in front of a mirror and analyzed your pores at one point. Clogging and enlarged pores are often frequent complaints, interestingly, many factors involved are of genetic origin.
Why do we see pores?
Pores are consumer slang for pilosebaceous follicle. Their purpose is to dilate in order to accomodate the amount of sebum (oil) passing through the follicle to the skin's surface, the amount of sebum one produces is usually genetic, along with size and number of sebaceous glands. If you tend to have dry skin, it will produce less sebum and the pores will appear smaller because there is less oil passing through. Therefore, oily skin or oily areas of the skin have larger pores, and dry skin has smaller pores.
What causes clogged pores?
Clogged pores are follicles impacted with a combination of skin cells and oil buildup that soldified. This is how all "breakouts" begin, there are many different levels of impaction but they all start here. Sebum fills the follicle, solidifies, and oxidizes, this creates the dark head on the impaction aka open comedone or blackhead. These can be easily and safely extracted by an experienced Aesthetician, and usually take several months to develop.
Can you really shrink your pores?
In short, no. However, pore APPEARANCE can be MINIMIZED over a period of several months by using continual home use of daily AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid). This removes cell buildup on the follicle walls, pore elasticity improves and the follicle walls retract. If there is scar tissue or sun damage pores may always look big no matter what the treatment, the reason being when the skin is damaged it can lose collagen and elastin resulting in large pores.
What is the best treatment to control clogging?
Skin care treatments by a professional Aesthetican can help remove visibile clogged pores but they cannot stop the formation of them entirely. A good regimen is to see a spa professional on occassion but make sure you are taking care of your skin at home on a daily basis. Daily application of AHA gels or creams break up the dead cell accumulation, and after a professional removes them it can help prevent them from reoccuring. Do not make the mistake of stopping use once your skin is clear, cell buildup is an ongoing genetic issue and needs to be cared for daily. So talk to your Aesthetician and they can help prescribe a regimen and product that works best for your skin.