Ask DermLetter: Advice on Anti-aging & Large Pores

We’ve been receiving a few questions from our readers about anti-aging and the appearance of pores on the face, keep reading for our advice on these skin problems. If you have a question, or an article you'd like us to write about, let us know.

How do I shrink my large pores?

You can't shrink your pores, but there are ways to help minimize the appearance of them. A pore is the little opening in the skin where the oil gland and tiny hair comes out. Those with larger pores tend to have oily to combination skin or normal skin. Think of these pores as the texture of an orange peel. Larger pores can cause the skin to look less smooth.

A simple way to reduce the appearance of large pores is to exfoliate. Exfoliating will help remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that clogs your pores, making the pores look smaller. Remember to not exfoliate too often--no more than a few times a week. Another option is to use a retinol (vitamin A) cream. Your dermatologist can prescribe a vitamin A cream, and over time, it can help smooth out the skin, making the pores look smaller and less noticeable.

Dr. Shannon Humphrey explains what pores are, why they tend to be undesirable and offers some treatment suggestions.

How young is too young to start using anti-aging products?

There isn’t an exact age when you should start using anti-aging products. The best anti-aging product that we recommend to everyone is a broad spectrum sunscreen. Early Prevention of skin damage is the key to anti-aging. The damage caused by UVA and UVB are not always seen right away when you are young because of the cell’s regenerative capabilities, but the damage will catch up to you and become more visible with age. By then you’re in the mode of trying to reverse it with anti-aging products such as retinol creams, and skin lighteners. Be sun smart at an early age and this habit will stick with you and your skin will thank you in the long run.

How do I stop premature wrinkles from starting when I’m still in my early 20s?

The speed, and the way that you age is very individual, and is guided in no small part by genetics. Some people will appear younger or older than their actual age, and it’s important to remember that skin aging is not necessarily linear. Some people show little signs of aging for a long time, and then appear to make sudden changes that make them look much older in a short time span.

Other factors such as smoking and large amounts of alcohol consumption can age your skin more quickly. Smoking breaks down the collagen in the skin due to the increased production of an enzyme causing wrinkles and the skin to look dull and sallow. Drinking lots of alcohol dehydrates the skin and with time causes damage too.

When it comes to prevention, sunscreen is your friend. It is the single most important environmental factor that will change the course and velocity at which your skin will show signs of aging.

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