Why your pores get larger as you age (and how to take control)

Pore refinement is one of the most sought after outcomes in Dr. Goldfaden’s practice. During the month of August we will embark on a full examination of how to achieve smaller pores, which products to choose and how to maintain.

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What are pores?

Pores are the tiny little openings in the skin where the body’s natural oil (called sebum) is produced in the sebaceous glands and are also the opening at the top of our hair follicles.

Why do we have them?

Pores allow oil to travel up to skin’s surface and lubricate it. Pores are also our hair follicles and are there for the hair to grow from.

Why can they appear large?

Large pores are genetic so you have your parents to thank, however abusing the skin can cause them to appear larger. Over time, especially if you’ve incurred a lot of sun exposure in the past—you start to lose the collagen and elastin that support the pores. Sun damage and aging also cause the skin to thicken that causes a thick rim around pores making them appear larger. This is where exfoliation comes into play and is crucial in shrinking the appearance of pore size.

Oily skin types tend to have larger pores and thus produce more oil in those pores. While this may be an annoyance during adolescence and young adulthood (due to breakouts and Acne), excess oil is beneficial as we age in keeping wrinkles and dry skin at bay.

A common question Dr. G is asked is ‘Can certain foods playing into the effect of large pores and oily skin?’. As mentioned earlier large pores are genetic but yes food can play a part in large pores. Glycation is the main enemy when it comes to the skin and the aging process of the body in general. The glycation process, which is basically, sugars (from food and alcohol) breaking down the collagen fibers in the skin and therefore speeding up the aging process. Foods that feed glycation and cause inflammation in the body and the skin are carbohydrates, fried foods, sugar, fatty meats and alcohol.

Steps to refine pores?

Exfoliation will help pore size, by removing dead dry skin cells and signs of sun damage the skin will appear smoother and less wrinkled.

Use Hyaluronic acid based products, which help to bind moisture to the skin and fill fine lines and wrinkles, making pores appear smaller.

Use products rich in Vitamin C and/or retinol, these stimulate cell renewal and collagen production, which will firm up the connective tissue around the pores.

Eat a clean diet of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and stay clear of fried foods, sugar and alcohol, which all cause glycation.


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