Can you actually shrink your pores?

I’ve used so many “pore shrinking products,” and I’ve never felt that my pores actually shrunk. I do feel like their appearance has been minimized in the short term (especially with Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More, which is a primer that has a little bit of a powder consistency..feels so nice!). I spoke with celeb aesthetician Joanna Czech to get her take on whether over-the-counter products can actually work and if there are any safe ways to actually get rid of pores. Spoiler alert – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Can you actually shrink your pores? 
No. I don’t even like referring to it as shrinking pores. I can, however, minimize the appearance of pores.
Can you get rid of them permanently? 
It’s possible to permanently get rid of pores by using lasers, but this is something that I do not practice, as it is extremely aggressive and can be terrible for many skin types and conditions. My  approach is all about supporting the skin and keeping it healthy so you can definitely minimize the appearance of pores.
What about all those products that claim to be pore shrinking? 
I would say they hide them. Some tightening masks and other tightening/pore shrinking products may work while they are on the skin, but the results are temporary at best.
Recommendations for minimizing the appearance of pores? 
There are several ways you can minimize the appearance of pores, my favorites are:
  • Mild exfoliation: some peels and Retin A speed up cellular turnover. These treatments will make your pores more shallow, which can reduce their appearance.
  • Red light LED therapy: it stimulates the production of elastin and collagen. By bringing elasticity back into collagen fibers in your skin, you can minimize the appearance of pores.
  • Collagen therapy:applying anti-aging products, proper serums and even icing the skin will temporarily reduce the appearance of pores.  I love using Cryo-Sticks by Biologique Recherché.
I would also avoid using face powders and instead use creams and oils for a little glow. An oily, dewy, shiny finish can also give the illusion of smaller pores.

Image: Vogue

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