By The Book: Porexia

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Porexia: An obsession with the size of one’s pores.

“I hate my pores.” It’s a seemingly constant complaint among women over 30. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found that 45% of women wish they could change the size of their pores, and almost 30% are more concerned about their pore size than they are about wrinkles.

Dermatologists have begun to use the term “porexia” to describe patients who are so fixated on their pores that they continually study them in a 10x magnified mirror. While a 10x mirror may do wonders for eyebrow-plucking accuracy, when it comes to pores, it can distort reality and not only warp the way you see yourself, but also the way you perceive the world sees you. At that magnification, even regular pores can look like blackheads.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot make your pores bigger or smaller. Their size is genetic and unalterable. What is manageable is the appearance of your pore size. Excess oil production and the accumulation of dead skin cells can make pores appear enlarged at any age. As skin matures, the collagen fiber supporting your pores slacken, making them appear even larger.

The good news is that advances in skincare science can help to make your pores appear smaller in multiple ways. Retinoids and peptides can increase collagen production, helping to fortify the pore structure and keep them looking smaller. Clay masks can help absorb excess oil production, and hydroxy acids can help clear pores of unwanted dead skin cells.

While you can’t wave a magic wand to shrink the size of your pores, starting on an at-home pore-focused routine can make a big difference in the appearance of pore size and help keep your skin looking youthful for years to come … no magnification necessary.

How do you feel about your pores? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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  1. Very interesting!! I certainly will share the “no changing of the pore size” but you can manage the appearance of them… 🙂

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