Are You Suffering From Pore Size Obsession?

Are You Suffering From Pore Size Obsession?

Are You Suffering From Pore Size Obsession?


Some of us fret about fine lines and sun damage, some can’t stand the wiggle of our wattle, some look for ways to combat laugh lines and crow’s feet, and yet others are fixated on the size of their pores. While there exists a wide spectrum of skin care concerns, an obsession with pore size may be the latest condition crippling skin care perfectionists around the world. If you’re spending hours with a magnifying mirror carefully examining your t-zone for any noticeable change in pore size reduction, you may be suffering from a condition called“porexia”. (Is this starting to sound like a Viagra advertisement?)

Well, ladies. The truth is….unlike ED, the cure for porexia can’t be found in a miracle drug, and, truth be told, there is no known method of reducing pore size. While it’s impossible to shrink them, you can, fortunately, make them appear smaller.

The facts: Different parts of your face have different sized pores. It should come as no surprise that the ones on your nose are the largest (ugh!)- followed by your forehead and then your chin. Pores on the cheeks are even smaller, and the ones on the outer face are the truly teeny. Generally speaking, blondes and redheads have smaller pores than brunettes.  

So, what dictates your overall pore size?

  • Genetics-When it comes to your skin, it seems that your genetics are always either a blessing or a curse.
  • Whatever is trapped inside of them must come out! Debris trapped in pores becomes hard and can stretch the pore making it appear larger.(Hooray! Something we can work with!)

Whatever size pores you were dealt in the genetic lottery sets the foundation for your face. As we age, our pores become clogged; dead skin cells, dirt, and oil accumulate; pores begin to stretch out …and that’s when the obsession sets in.

If you suffer from acne, it can even get worse! In our readers’ monthly Ask An Aesthetician Series, we covered how dead skin cells in acneic skin are unable to exfoliate properly. Instead of eventually shedding these old cells, acne sufferers endure the ill effects of additional gunk clogging and stretching their pores.

So, what’s a girl (or guy!) to do? If you’re suffering from pore size obsession, follow these five methods to minimize the look of your pores:

  1. Use products that exfoliate. Check the ingredient list for alpha & beta hydroxy acids, retinols, and retinoids. We recommend tnt’s Refining Micro Buff, Lighten Up 8 and Lighten Up 15 Clarifying Serums, Face Editor Daily Corrective Pads, and Vit A serum.
  2. Microdermabrasion. This in-office treatment is worth every penny and should ideally be done every 4-6 weeks. By removing the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells, you rid pores of the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that can stretch them and make them look larger.
  3. Lasers. If you want the most bang for your buck, head to your aesthetician for a laser treatment. For refining pore size, I recommend the Pixel. (My in-office patient rave about it!) You’ll get the best results with the least amount of downtime, so it comes with a steeper price tag. Laser sessions can range from $700 to $1000 depending on the area treated and duration of treatment.  
  4. Peels. Whether your aesthetician recommends an alpha hydroxy acid, beta hydroxy acid, or trichloroacetic acid, the improvement depends on the strength of the peel. Just like over the counter products that exfoliate, peels employs these same active ingredients -but for longer durations and in greater concentration.
  5. Primers. Looking for a quick fix? Apply a primer before your makeup to minimize the appearance of pores. Yes, this is a temporary remedy, but when paired with at home products and clinical treatments, you can end up with truly transformative results!

And before I sign off, I’ll leave you with two last points:

  • I can’t stress it enough. Wear sunblock every day! Sun damage weakens the collagen and elastin fibers which act as the structural support of your skin. When the structural support is weakened, your pores begin to sag and look even larger. Yikes!
  • I know that, right now, the struggle is REAL. No matter how flawless your skin, you’ll always find something to obsess over. Try not to waste too much of your precious time worrying about the size of your pores. If that’s your biggest concern, consider yourself lucky! Beauty truly is more than skin deep.

Science. Truth. Results.

Jane Marie