Tricks of the Trade

Six ways to treat open pores and oily skin

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Hello, my name is Anum Em from Pakistan. I just want to ask about effective treatments for open pores.

My skin is oily and I have large open pores on my cheeks, nose, forehead and chin—in fact, my whole face. I never consulted any dermatologist. I pop pores with a pin and I often use mud mask on my face with no effective results. Please let me know of more effective treatments. Will chemical peels or laser be any good?

ANUM

Large pores and oily skin usually go hand in hand. If you have oily skin, you are more likely to have pronounced pores. Overactive sebaceous glands (or simply, oil glands) cause oil to constantly pass through the pores, and in some cases, clog them.

This may lead to skin’s loss of elasticity, which result in enlarged-looking pores. This condition varies from person to person, and can be triggered by hormonal changes like puberty, pregnancy and menopause. For some people, it can also be due to nutrition, stress or just plain genetics.

One thing you should know, though, is that you cannot will your pores to become smaller. You can minimize their appearance, but not actually affect their size.

Let me explain. When you apply a pore-minimizing or anti-aging cream, it is not the pores that shrink but the dermis of the skin that tightens. This means the diameter of each pore remains the same, but it looks and feels like the pores got smaller because underneath the skin it actually did.

It’s the same premise when using laser-resurfacing machines. The machine minimizes pores by destroying micro-columns of your dermis. The effect will be tightening of the skin and production of new collagen to make pores look smaller.

Try a a pore-minimizing or anti-aging cream. Look for one with ingredients like Vitamin A, tretinoin or retinoic acid. These are the most effective ingredients when it comes to firming and tightening skin.

Opt for a laser resurfacing treatment. Skin care machines really do wonders for our skin, especially this one. They change the structure of your skin from within in order for it to become tighter and firmer. In turn, pores look smaller as the skin underneath becomes tauter. But you need to consult a reputable dermatologist to know the best treatment for your condition.

Switch to a skin-care regimen for oily skin. Oily skin usually requires its own range of products. Most of these effectively reduce oil production within the day and keep pores clear of blockages that may lead to blackheads or pimples. Depending on the brand, the regimen may include a more powerful cleanser, a toner and oil-free moisturizer.

Blot away. Oil-control paper is your best friend. These oil-zapping sheets should kept be handy at all times, so you can quickly blot away the shine.

Powder your T-zone. Powder soaks up oil, so applying it on your face (especially your skin’s oiliest areas: forehead, nose and chin) will help lessen oiliness and shine. Just make sure you use the correct shade and look and a formula that’s non-comedogenic, or one that won’t clog your pores or cause pimples.

Apply a makeup primer or base. Though it may seem like another tedious step to add to your skincare/makeup routine, this is worth the extra minutes. It prepares your skin for makeup and creates a smooth, even surface for the makeup to adhere better. Most importantly, it keeps skin looking fresh and inhibits oil production, which in turn keeps makeup fresh for hours.

Got a beauty question? E-mail the author at ask.kellymisa@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter @kellymisa; visit www.kellymisa.com.

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  • frieda09

    skin gets dirty, not because of big o small pores, but because of pollution and dirty habits. The first rule is not to touch the skin directly. Always wash hands before touching the skin. Use facial tissue, not towels. Wash the face before sleeping at night with sulfur soap and warm water. Exfoliate every night by using a soft scrub and scrub the entire face, even the neck, no fail. Keep the hair away from the face. Bangs or flowing hair always brings dust and dirt on the face and clog the pores, causing blackheads.

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