As the saying goes, the greatest robber baron of all time is time itself. While it’s only natural for our skin to show signs of its passage, it’s less ‘abandon all hope ye who enter here’ and more about mitigating damage and finding the right ingredients that target what we view as our skin’s imperfections. We checked in with Dermstore’s medical director, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ashley Magovern, MD, on the go-to ingredients to treat some of the most common skin concerns: large pores, blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles and uneven texture, and loss of firmness.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t actually shrink pores (pore size is mostly genetic), but you can make them appear smaller by keeping them as clear as possible. Age can also play a factor; not only does skin lose elasticity over time, causing it to stretch and sag, making pores appear larger, but our skin also thickens as we age, which can cause a buildup of dead cells that can make pores appear bigger.
Treat with: AHAs & Retinoids
“Alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid are essential in any skin care regimen because they dissolve and remove the dead skin cells that not only clog pores, but contribute to dull, wrinkled skin,” says Dr. Magovern.
When it comes to retinoids, there’s little they can’t do. By promoting rapid cell turnover and elasticity, retinoids help unclog pores and make skin appear firmer, allowing pores to appear smaller.