Can You Actually Shrink Your Pores? A Dermatologist Answers The Age Old Question

There are so many beauty myths that I've learned about over the years, but one that's always stood out to me is the assumption that with the right products and the right amount of exfoliation, you can make your pores smaller. It sounds like a dream come true, right? But how can you know if it's true? Can you actually shrink your pores? I turned to the experts to find out.

Dr. Jeremy Fenton of Schweiger Dermatology answered the question for me. And sorry y'all, but it looks like shrinking your pores is a myth. You can use products to help, but "the actual pore itself remains the same size," Dr. Fenton says. So what's the reason that pores seem larger sometimes? Pores appear bigger when the collagen that supports them breaks down, as it does as we age," Dr. Fenton says. "Pores can also dilate and get bigger when they get clogged up. Sometimes this dilation is permanent."

But, there are things you can do to help. The key is simple: collagen. "If you can stimulate collagen production, it can make pores appear smaller by compressing them," Fenton says. The other key? Exfoliation.

Here are four methods Fenton recommends for making your pores appear smaller.

1. Laser Procedures

SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

One of the more expensive options, but people swear by, is laser treatments. A good laser peel can totally restart collagen production and make your pores appear smaller.

2. Collagen Creams

Collagen Creme, $29.50, hsn.com

Dr. Fenton says that topical collagen creams are another great option if you're looking for something a little milder.

3. Retinoids

Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol, $32, paulaschoice.com

A topical retinoid is a chemical exfoliant, and exfoliating the top layer of your skin is a good way to make pores appear smaller.

4. Chemical Peels

Another somewhat harsh option, chemical peels can be a great way to treat the top layer of your skin and help your skin appear fresh and taut.

So although there's no way to actually shrink your pores, these tips will help them appear smaller.

Images: Fusciabay/Pixabay; Fotolia