Will Retinol Minimize Pores | Kosmoderma

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Pores are tiny openings at your skin’s surface that allow the skin to breathe. Pores are the opening of your hair follicles on the skin. Oil or sebum is carried from the deeper layer of the skin to the surface by ducts and opens onto the skin through the pores. In normal skin, your pores are tightly bound, leaving your skin youthful, firm and healthy. As we grow old, there is only shedding of our skin cells and the dead skin, debris and sebum present on the surface gets trapped inside the pores. As a result, the skin expands, the pores open, and they appear enlarged (more than their actual size).

These pores need to be minimised when they become enlarged and visible because they cause the skin texture and appearance to dull and dry. Clogged pores also affect collagen production, leading to skin elasticity loss, making the skin look aged, wrinkled, and sheenless.

Many treatments are available for minimising the pores to their normal size, like intense pulsed light, exfoliation, chemical peels, laser, retinol, etc., but retinol is one of the effective products that helps in minimising the pore size.

First and foremost, let’s talk about Retinol.

What is Retinol And How Does it Work?

Retinol is the commercial name for retinoid – a class of drugs formed from Vitamin A. In short, retinol is the formulation of Vitamin A. Retinol is known to decrease acne, reverse skin damage caused by the sun, decrease hyperpigmentation, and also play an important role in reducing or minimising the size of the pores.  Retinol works by:

  • Increase collagen production– All forms of Vitamin A act on the collagen and increase its production. This makes your skin look smooth, glowing, youthful and supple.
  • Increases the cell turnover– Retinol acts on the clogged skin cells and unclogs them- thereby getting rid of the dead skin cells and the debris that had accumulated at a faster rate. This leads to the unclogging of ducts and the free flow of oil/sebum from the sebaceous glands to the skin surface.

Through its action, Retinol reduces the blemishes on the skin surfaces and makes the skin plump and healthy.

Does Retinol Minimise or Shrink Pores?

Retinol has the capacity to tighten the pores on the skin. This makes the enlarged pores appear smaller and look like they have shrunk. 

Our pores regulate the skin’s temperature (by producing sweat to cool off when it is hot), keep the skin’s surface moist (by producing oil/sebum from sebaceous glands) and protect us against external bacteria and allergens.

The pores on our skin are lined by a protein, keratin (present in the skin, nails and hair) that helps to bind the cells together. If keratin production increases inside the skin (hyper keratinisation) due to any reasons (hormonal changes, improper cleaning of the skin, use of products that are harmful to the skin, etc.), the normal shedding of the skin is interrupted due to the excess keratin.

As a result, the excess keratin combines with the sebum, causing the skin cells to coalesce together, forming a keratin plug (contains oil, keratin and debris) – as a result, there is clogging of the pores, leading to enlargement of the pores.

Retinol acts on the clogged pores and increases the speed of cell turnover (making your pores appear smaller by increasing collagen production, thereby making your skin thicker). Retinol by its exfoliation action on the skin improves your skin’s texture and tone.

Using Retinol

Retinol is generally safe to use and has very few side effects. You can start using it when you are 20 years old or during puberty (as per the advice of your dermatologist). Retinol comes in the form of creams, lotions, and serums. You can start using it for your pores 2 to 3 times a week and then make it a part of your daily evening routine use. This should be done after consulting with your dermatologist.

Side Effects of Retinol

As with every product, Retinol has its side effects, which are present initially – dry and irritated skin, redness, itching and peeling. These will disappear after continuous use. If the irritation persists, then it is advised to consult your dermatologist.

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