Large pores are unpleasant to live with. They made me want to hide from mirrors and cameras, they made me feel ashamed at the dreaded parents’ nights at school when my kids’ friends compared me with their parents, and they made me feel old. I decided to research and test pore minimizers about two years ago, and I have not looked back. My pores are now invisible, my skin is less shiny, and it is so soft and smooth that my husband cannot stop touching it. I will tell you how I did it, together with the scientific research to prove that it works.
Why Pores Enlarge
The two top layers of your skin are called the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the surface of your skin that you can touch. The dermis is the layer below it that contains your hair follicles, sweat glands, and oil glands, among other things. Between the two, there are openings, or pores, for your hair, sweat, and oil to pass through to your skin’s surface.
There are several reasons why pores stretch:
- Your dermis contains protein tissue called collagen and elastin. Collagen is a strong substance that gives your skin its strength. Elastin is an elastic substance that allows your skin to stretch. If collagen or elastin is damaged, your pores can stretch. This is exactly the same process that gives rise to wrinkles except that, where wrinkles are literally little tears in your skin caused by your skin’s inability to stretch, enlarged pores are openings that broaden because your skin cannot stretch around them to keep them the same size. These tissues that support your skin’s structure can be damaged by sunburn, large pimples, dryness, cuts, and during normal ageing.
- If you squeeze pimples, you leave a wound that your skin must repair. If it is unable to do so, you have permanently damaged the supportive tissue in your dermis. It is also possible to damage only the pore to the extent that your skin is unable to close it.
- Oily skin can cause stretched pores when the oil becomes stuck inside the pores instead of flowing smoothly through to your skin’s surface. When the oil clogs your pores, your skin enlarges the pores to try to facilitate better oil flow.
- Dead skin cells shed by your dermis can get trapped in the pores as well, which also triggers your skin to enlarge them to try to clear the jam.
- Bacteria, and specifically propionibacterium acnes bacteria that cause acne, tend to join oil and dead skin cells inside pores to block them.
- When there is oil, dead cells, and bacteria inside your pores, your immune system responds with inflammatory chemicals that cause swelling and injury to pores that can damage and stretch them.
This means that a good pore minimizer should:
- Prevent damage to skin cells, primarily via antioxidants.
- Prevent ultraviolet sun damage to skin.
- Promote firmness of the skin by triggering the building of collagen and elastin.
- Moisturize the skin.
- Facilitate deep penetration of cream ingredients to the dermis.
- Clear oil from pores.
- Clear dead skin cells from pores.
- Combat bacteria.
- Neutralize inflammatory substances.
The Best Pore Minimizing Cream
After trying many of the bigger brands and spending over $1000 in the process, I stumbled onto Revitol Pore Minimizer.
The problem with pore minimizers is that so few cosmetics manufacturers declare their products’ ingredients on the labels. They tried to coast on their brand names alone. Revitol is scrupulously honest about the contents of the products, which makes it easy for scientists like me to study the claims and separate the plausible from the inflated.
Revitol’s Pore Minimizer is packed with ingredients that have been particularly well tested to perform the functions listed above.
Ultraviolet sun damage. Alpha-lipoic acid protects your skin from sun damage and the lauric acid in coconut oil, included in polysorbate 20, has a sun protection factor of approximately eight for moderate protection, so long as you don’t spend hours in sunlight while the sun is directly overhead.
Collagen and elastin production. Here dimethyl MEA (DMAE) is in a class of its own with its ability to firm and tighten the skin to the point where it reduces wrinkles. Copper gluconate is equally helpful in building collagen and elastin, firming your skin, and minimizing wrinkles
Moisturizers. Polysorbate 20, made from coconut oil, is able to moisturize your skin beautifully
Deep penetration. Polysorbate 20 is the substance that enables the cream to penetrate your skin all the way down to your dermis. This guides the other ingredients all the way through your pores for a deep cleanse as well as to the dermis to support your skin structural protein tissues.
Oil removal. Zinc gluconate is the specialist oil remover in Revitol’s Pore Minimizer. Once it has done its job, your pores are oil free and only the appropriate amount of oil is left on your skin.
Dead cell removal. Salicylic acid helps your skin to shed its dead cells properly from its dermis, through the pores, to the surface of the skin where you can wash them off.
The benefits do not end there. Dimethyl MEA improves skin tone and copper gluconate minimizes dark spots and scars. That is why my skin looks so much better these days. It is brighter, healthier-looking, evenly toned, and less shiny with appropriately sized pores.
Other Pore Minimizers
I tried products by some of the large cosmetics brands like Clinique, Estée Lauder, GoodSkin Labs, and Tarte, but was unimpressed with the result, horrified by the price, and annoyed by the lack of information about the ingredients.
They all charge between $20 and $40 for a month’s supply and their pore size reduction effects lasted between two and three hours. At that price, I cannot reapply it every three hours.
Moreover, the only way for consumers to assess the effectiveness of a product is to know something about its ingredients so we can investigate whether there is independent scientific research that supports it. It is also the only way to know whether potentially carcinogenic chemicals are included.
Lastly, I disapprove of the testing of cosmetics on animals, something all these large cosmetic companies do. Cosmetics are not essential lifesavers, and making animals suffer just to make ourselves look more attractive does not sit comfortably with me.
If you are considering a visit to your dermatologist to shrink your pores, you will probably be given a laser treatment. The problems with mechanically restructuring your pores are numerous. If they are too small to accommodate your skin’s oil flow, you will suffer from acne breakouts. If your pores are enlarged because of structural problems in your dermis, the expensive laser treatment will not even work for long before your pores stretch again.
Do everything possible to keep your pores open and to protect your skin from damage.
- Wash off your make-up every night.
- Wash your face twice a day with a water-based cleanser and mildly abrasive cloth. Oil-based cleansers and soaps can clog your pores and excessive washing with harsh materials can cause dryness. This will prompt your skin to secrete too much oil to compensate.
Leave pimples, blackheads, cuts, and wounds alone. A good product with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties will heal them. Chemical peels and dermabrasion treatments are aimed at removing the top layer of your skin to clear your pores, and the potential damage to your skin is incalculable. If your immune system is not strong and skilled enough to replace the skin, you can have damaged collagen, injured pores, and scars.
- Steer clear of direct sunlight on the sensitive skin on your face.
- Avoid oil-based moisturizers, except if the oils are included in the product that contains other ingredients that keep your pores open.
- Exfoliate your skin with a good scrub once or twice a week.
To reduce the size of your pores, a treatment must address all the causes of stretched pores. I am happy that I have found a cream that does this. The company has been in business since 2002, it is completely transparent about its products’ ingredients, the ingredients have been scientifically tested to work, it is cost-effective, and its customers love its products. If you can find another product that meets all these requirements, please let me know so that I can research it.