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Flawless skin right this way.

I once visited a dermatologist who gave me this analogy about my pores. “Think of your pores as rubber bands” he said. “While their baseline size is genetic, they can expand”. The takeaway message is that once they’ve stretched (from age, clogged pores, and too much prodding—don’t pick your face!) and have lost their spring, you might find yourself wanting to step in with a reliable backup pore plan. Luckily, these doctor-approved methods work and will help make them *look* smaller.

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pink-hearts-hiExfoliate

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When dead skin cells pile up, they can creep into pores, making them look more pronounced. Exfoliation is the easiest way to slough them off. People with huge pores are also breakout prone. If you fall into this category, try a beta hydroxy acid which dissolves oil and dead skin cell and oil buildup. AHA and BHA can come in the form of a cleanser for daily use, especially if you have an active lifestyle, and are prone to sweating and oil production on your face.

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They can also come in the form of in-clinic peels for those who want a deeper monthly pore-tox. We like beta peel add-ons to our regular facials as well as a dedicated full face peel treatment such as Glamour Peel. The newer peels are gentler on the skin and don’t cause as much visible sloughing or photosensitivity after, which are more suited for busy urban dwellers who desire smaller pores rather than walking around like a flaking ‘lizard man’ for a few days.

For regular use, gentler alpha hydroxy acids in the form of an essence are super gentle on skins and work cleverly to break up the bonds that hold cells together, so flaky, dead skin can be smoothed away.

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pink-hearts-hiReduce Oil

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The sebum that is produced by our sebaceous glands is funneled through the pores to the surface of our skin where it resembles mini oil slicks. If sebum production is at an all-time high, suffice to say that the pores will expand to meet the increase output. To successfully reduce the size of pores, target the root cause of the problem by reducing sebum production.

One new innovative way to mop up surface oil is to use an oil-dissolving mask such as Oxygen Facial. This self-foaming, oil-clearing mask does double duty with releasing oxygen into the skin to activate a natural skin glow. It is preferred over the traditional clay masks as it does not over-strip the skin of natural oils; the latter can be counter-productive as it causes the oil glands to react by producing more oil.

If you’re into Botox, listen up: When it’s injected into the top layers of skin, it has been shown to help decrease sebum production and reduce pore size.

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pink-hearts-hiBoost Collagen

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The skin-plumping protein breaks down over time—a problem, since “collagen strengthens the walls of your pores, making them look tighter,” says Dr. Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic. That is also  of the skin why lasers which stimulate fibroblasts proliferation and trigger a cascade of reactions that result in healthy collagen production will also benefit the pores.

Tellingly, BB Aquatouch, a Thulium based laser found in their aptly named Baby Skin program is one such therapy. The trick is to achieving more refined pores is to employ a laser whose target chromophore is near the surface where the pores reside. Too deep, and the pores miss out. Too superficial or too gentle, and there isn’t enough collagen stimulation to make a difference.

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Consistent retinoid use in your skin care can also make a difference, says Dr Low. And skinbooster fillers, the sort that improves the complexion such as Revitalift without added volume are ideal for improving the pore size as they have a pore-shrinking benefit that remains after the filler has metabolized.

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