In the summer, when your pores seem to be holding onto excess sebum the way “Hoarders” subjects cling to newspapers, keeping blackheads at bay is its own special project. We caught up with cosmetic dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank to find out just how often we should exfoliate, which ingredients to use and avoid, and which in-office treatments will keep our pores tiny and clear.
Look For Cleansers With An AHA
Frank says face washes containing glycolic or salicylic acid prevent breakouts. “Retinoids, such as Retin A, also help reduce pores while helping build collagen to improve fine lines,” he says. If you have oily skin, Frank suggests looking for a physical exfoliator like a scrub or a cleansing brush like a Clarisonic. “If you have breakouts, use a chemical exfoliator to fight oil and acne from a deeper level in the skin — use products with salicylic, lactic, and glycolic ingredients because these will help unclog pores and improve the skins texture,” he says. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Frank recommends exfoliating two to three times a week.
BRAD BIOPHOTONIC UNIVERSAL CLEANSING GEL, ULTRA PEEL, PORE-TIGHTENING ELIXIR SERUM and ULTRA ELASTIN CREAM
Avoid Ingredients That Clog Pores
Lanolin, fragrance, D and C red pigments, and mineral oils can clog pores. “While lanolin is a known emollient with moisturizing properties, it can have skin-clogging capabilities, triggering the cycle of breakouts,” says Frank. Artificial fragrances can lead to acne infection, skin sensitization, and photosensitivity. D and C red pigments are coal tar derivatives that are used as dyes, and, according to Frank, have exhibited highly comedogenic and acnegenic properties. Last, mineral oil is an occlusive, something that physically blocks water loss in the stratum corneum. “It’s used in many products, however, and has been shown to cause and exacerbate acne.”