I asked my pal Christopher Young, regional education manager for Clinique
, for advice for this ELLE reader. Here's what he says:
"However tempting it may be, a good rule is 'never pick.' The redness caused by picking causes inflammation which can, in fact, stretch the pore wall.
"Clogging, too, can cause your pores to appear enlarged; however, sun damage is the real culprit behind permanently enlarging your pores and causing wrinkles and fine lines. The good news is there is help out there for the blackheads, and better yet, the only thing that can permanently enlarge your pores or cause wrinkles is sun damage. Always protect your skin with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
"If you're concerned with blackheads, it's important to think about what is causing them --the pore is clogged with dead skin and oil and it's black because it's on the surface of the skin, being touched by the air. In order to get rid of them, think oil-control and exfoliation. Look for a gentle facial scrub with perfectly rounded beads, such as Clinique's 7-Day Scrub Rinse-Off Formula -- this will be great daily maintenance. In addition, you'll want to help absorb surface oil by using a mattifying, oil-free moisturizer, such as Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.
"For a weekly treat (and to help keep those blackheads at bay), try warming the skin to liquefy the clogging with a water-activated scrub like Clinique's Pore Minimizer Thermal Active Skin Refiner."
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