Holy t-zone! Does it seem like your pores get bigger and bigger every time you catch your reflection?
Go ahead and blame your enlarged pores on the number of candles on your cake (and your magnifying mirror). But, like wrinkles and gray hair, pore size is genetic too.
While pores can't be banished permanently, you can minimize their appearance with a gentle chemical peel. We turn to our squad of skin smoothing experts and report back with the two most gentle, yet effective, peels to tighten enlarged pores and improve your overall texture and tone.
Glycolic Acid: A Fruity Fix
One of the most popular chemical peels on the block, glycolic acid is derived from alpha hydroxy acid-a common ingredient in exfoliating products as well as lotions and face washes. Glycolic acid is extracted from plants like sugar beets and melon, and is typically used to treat clogged pores, dull skin and puffed up pores.
As Dr. George Lefkovits of Park Plaza Plastic Surgery confirms, "I prefer using glycolic acid because it is a natural product…and you can return to work immediately."
Because there are no known techniques that permanently reduce the size of enlarged pores, ongoing treatments are required to maintain small-pored skin. Explains New York City dermatologist Dr. Nelson Novick: "A series of four to six peels spaced at two to four week intervals provides the most satisfactory results."
TCA Peel: The Gentle Giant
TCA (it stands for trichloroacetic acid) is normally used as a medium-strength chemical peel, but the solution can easily be diluted to address less serious concerns-like your pores. A TCA peel with a 15 percent concentration is ideal, says Dr. Robert Strimling, Las Vegas's top dermatologist. As with glycolic peels, a series of four to six sessions is recommended.
When committing to any dermatological procedure, remember that it's important to work with a board certified physician. TCA peels can contain up to 50 percent acidity, a level strong enough to rub off a tattoo. (Ouch!)
We've heard from the experts. Now, we want to hear from you! Have you ever gotten a chemical peel to shrink your pores? (Glamorous, we know.) Share your experience here.