How to Treat Facial Pores According to Your Skin Type
Pores can seem pretty straightforward: They’re either clogged or clear, large or small. Easy, right? Not exactly. Not all pores are created equal — in fact, facial pores can come in all shapes and sizes, and therefore need to be tended to in different ways depending on your skin type. They need to be treated with targeted ingredients and formulas in order to stay tight, clear, and as close to invisible as possible. Whether you have extremely dry skin or are dealing with breakouts, NYC-based dermatologist, Hadley King, MD, walks us through the various skin types and how to effectively treat each pore below.
If you have dry skin:
While those with drier skin often deal with flaking and sometimes itchiness, they tend to have smaller facial pores than other skin types. Of course, moisturizing is key when it comes to hydrating parched skin, but Dr. King also recommends using alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) on dry skin, too. “Gentle use of AHAs can help to chemically exfoliate the outermost layers of skin, leaving the surface looking polished,” says Dr. King. “Over time, AHAs can increase collagen and thicken the skin.” Our Pineapple-C Bright Serum contains 22% pineapple juice, a natural AHA that helps to brighten, smooth, and hydrate the skin.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin:
If you’re someone with oily skin, you’ve likely already experienced the struggle of trying to shrink the appearance of your very visible pores — as those with oily and acne-prone skin often have larger pores with active oil glands. For that reason, oily-skin facial pores have a tendency to become clogged. “Salicylic acid is an excellent comedolytic, as it’s oil-soluble and able to penetrate into pores to exfoliate and remove excess sebum,” says Dr. King. They basically take out clogs both before and after they form.
Additionally, “topical retinoids also help because they increase cell turnover and decrease the tendency of dead skin cells to clump together and clog up pores,” she says. If large pores sounds all too familiar to you, we recommend swiping on the new Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Pore-Tight Toner twice a day, and the Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask at night. (The retinol is encapsulated, so you don’t have to worry about irritation.)
If you have aging skin:
You might think — since our skin gets drier as we age, that pores in aging skin would appear smaller — but according to Dr. King, that’s not that case. “As our skin ages, collagen and elastin decrease, and laxity increases,” says Dr. King. “This can make pores appear larger because they’re not as well supported by the framework of collagen and elastin.” Translation: They sag.
To treat sagging pores, Dr. King recommends trying AHAs, topical retinoids, and of course, sunscreen. “Alpha hydroxy acids gently exfoliate the outer layer of skin and, over time, can help to stimulate collagen and make the skin thicker,” she explains. She also recommends incorporating topical retinoids here, too, as they help by stimulating collagen production and increasing cell turnover. Slather on the Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask at night and wake up to tighter-looking pores.
If you have combination skin:
Those with combination skin usually experience oiliness in the T-zone, where facial pores are therefore often the largest. Dr. King recommends treating combo skin similar to how you’d treat pores on oily and acne-prone skin — salicylic acid toner for the oily T-zone area, and topical retinoids for the whole face, as tolerated. (Our Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask has encapsulated retinol to deliver it gently and without irritation.) Salicylic acid and retinoids can work together to exfoliate dead skin cells while stimulating collagen production for less visible pores. Also, look for formulas that offer both moisture (for dry areas) and gentle exfoliation (for that oily T-zone): You can find hydrating hyaluronic acid and watermelon — which quickly plump up cell walls — paired with AHAs in the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask.
To get the nitty-gritty on your pores, keep reading:
- What Causes Sagging Pores and How to Treat Them
- What Are Blackheads and How Can You Treat Them?
- 4 Ways to Use Toner Based on How Your Skin Is Feeling
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