Is it possible to shrink pores? A few weeks ago, we asked our social-media followers for their skin-care questions to settle them once and for all. To help us out, we have skin-care expert Rianna Loving, the founder of natural-beauty brand Organic to Green and a California-licensed esthetician. She shares the secrets behind shrinking pores, treating acne, and preventing aging like a pro.
Skin-care Advice From Esthetician Rianna Loving
But seriously, is it really possible to shrink pores?Yes, I do think it’s possible to minimize pores. Keep in mind, your skin naturally changes on its own. Depending on your genes, your pores will change over time. Also, pores become more prevalent during your adolescent years. If you had large pores then, you might see your pores naturally diminish as oil production decreases in your late 20s and 30s. On the other hand, if you have larger pores well into adulthood, I find that there are products and treatments to help diminish pore size. If you’re actively trying to work on reducing pore size, I highly recommend monthly microdermabrasion treatments with a skin expert to help reduce oil production along with a weekly gentle exfoliating scrub.
Does skin build a tolerance to skin-care products?I’m less concerned about building a tolerance to product, and more concerned with changing your routine based on the season or other lifestyle factors. For example, what your skin needs in summer might differ from what it needs in winter—or if you’re under extra stress, become pregnant, have an allergic reaction, etc. Aside from adjusting to these circumstances, if something works in your regimen, you should continue to use it. Too much change can cause irritations and reactions, making it harder to pin down the root cause. If you do change products, change them one at a time. That way if there is a negative reaction, you have a better chance to pinpoint it.
What can I do to avoid wrinkles?Prevention is better than repairing. Some tips:
- Use a sunblock with UVA and UB protection, and reapply often.
- Exfoliate using acids or gentle scrubs. Exfoliation is important since you want to encourage cell turnover and remove dead skin cells.
- Nighttime moisturizers are important at any age.
- I recommend using products high in hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
What skin-care tips do you have for acne? Is it okay to pop?With acne, there’s a misconception that you want to dry out the skin with harsh cleansers and treatments. However, it’s actually better to treat acne like sensitive skin and keep it hydrated to remove as many irritants as possible. In regards to popping, I recommend seeing a skin expert for a facial so they can properly perform extractions without causing damage to your skin.
How can we minimize and prevent dark spots?This type of hyperpigmentation is usually caused by sun damage. Again, as with wrinkles, prevention is the key. Wearing a hat and using sunblock will help. Some of us are naturally prone to dark spots due to genes. To minimize hyperpigmentation, be sure to exfoliate. If you have significant brown spots, I recommend microdermabrasion, peels, or even lasers. If you’re in the early stages of spotting, you may be able to prevent hyperpigmentation with brightening vitamin C products and gentle exfoliators.
product application during a facial feels so relaxing. Are there any techniques we can replicate to get this experience at home?First, it helps to pretend it’s not your own face so you’ll be more gentle. Then, always use upward strokes. Self-facial massages are great for improving circulation and also relieving tense muscles. One of my favorite at-home treatments is spending more time with a hydrating mask. With these, I apply the largest amounts around the eyes while taking a bath and allow the steam to open pores.
How often should we exfoliate and what’s the best method?It really depends on your skin type, but once a week at minimum. If you’re not as sensitive, you can exfoliate two to three times per week. My favorite exfoliants are products with oatmeal, sugar, and lactic-acid bases.
Which Organic to Green products do you use on a daily basis?I’m usually in such a rush, so having one product that does it all is key. My favorites are the coco oils. I use them as a makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer. They’re good for sensitive skin, non-greasy, and don’t clog pores. We have six different coco oils for different needs. I love using Lemon in the shower to cleanse my body and underarms. Ginger also contains some aloe and is great after the sun to heal sunburns and redness. At nighttime, I like to mix our Rose coco oil with the ARCTIC shea moisturizing balm, which helps diminish wrinkles and repair acne scars. I also use our Rainforest Sugar Scrub twice a week to keep my skin clean, rejuvenated, and healthy.
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