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Are you obsessed with the size of your pores?
You are not alone. Far from it.
A survey of nearly 2,000 women by L’Oreal Paris found that 45% of women would change the size of their pores if they could, and almost a third say they’re more worried about pore size than wrinkles.
It’s called Porexia and if these numbers are right, it’s something of an epidemic.
“Porexia is the term for an unusual concern over pore size,” explains Christopher W Robb, MD, PhD a Nashville, Tenn-dermatologist.“Pore enlargement is not a disease, it’s a cosmetic concern.” Pores tend to appear bigger when they become clogged with dirt, oil and bacteria.
Some women are so hyper-consumed with their pore size that they would give up their favorite cocktails (23 percent), social media (17 percent), dessert (16 percent), and shaving their legs (11 percent) for an entire year, all for smaller pores.
The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice your champagne cocktail or Insta obsession for smaller pores, Robb says.
Sciton’s HALO is the first laser to treat the skin’s inner and outer layers at the same time. “It is my go to for resurfacing and shrinking pores,” Dr. Robb says. HALO promises fractional ablative results with nonablative downtime by applying both wavelengths in a single pass. (Ablative lasers work on the surface, removing the outermost layers of skin, while non-ablative lasers pass through the skin’s upper layers to heat the deeper tissues and promote collagen production.)
“Results vary, but some people will see as much as a 70 percent reduction in the appearance of pore size after one treatment,” he says. Dr. Robb typically recommends a series of two treatments and regular maintenance with topical retinoids to keep pores in check.
“HALO can be used on all skin types, and the downtime is minimal,” he says. “You can wear makeup the following day, but skin may appear red, slightly swollen, and tender for several days,” he says. “Patient satisfaction is very high.”
Here’s the deal: Our pores get stretched out of shape when they become clogged with dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria. “The right skin care regimen can make a big difference,” he says. “I recommend starting with an over-the-counter Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) wash to exfoliate the skin and a topical retinol cream to unclog the pores, making them appear smaller,” he says. Treatment only works if you stick with it, he says. Beauty in the Bag recommends NeoStrata’s Resurface Foaming Glycolic Wash ($40) or Glytone Mild Gel Cleanser ($22). We also love the ZO® Skin Health Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment ($51) to daily target dirt and oil.
Prescription-strength retinoids (Tretinoin for example) are stronger than their OTC counterparts, so when used regularly, they can have a more dramatic effect on pore size appearance, Dr. Robb says. Try SkinMedica Retinol Complex that comes in three strengths, 0.25, 0.50 and 1.0 ($62-93). A good pore-controlling plan also includes a primer underneath your makeup to smooth and tighten. Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer ($45) is a perennial favorite, and the new Pore Vanishing Stick ($28) comes in a handy stick to throw in your bag for reapplying as needed.