Problem: Pores of Plenty
Before you get true wrinkles, you might notice your skin starting to look blah because your pores are getting bigger. "Pores sag because of UV damage - the collagen walls start to crumble," says Fields. Makeup, pollution, and your skin's natural oil can stretch out your pores over the years beyond the point where they can shrink back - and, according to Gross, folks with oily skin are even more prone to stretched pores because their skin produces more ... gunk.
- Baby-step solution: Clean out and tighten your pores so they can't hold as much. Peptide creams and serums strengthen and firm the skin, salicylic acid products dissolve the oil in your pores, and face scrubs with round beads smooth away surface dullness - just steer clear of scrubs that contain ground seeds or pits because jagged edges can microscopically tear skin, making the problem worse in the long run.
- Serious fix: Enzyme facials are great for jump-starting a pore-minimizing regimen. Hit up Bergdorf Goodman or Nordstrom for the Elemis Modern Skin Facial - designed for 20-something skin, it uses papaya enzymes to gently coax crud out of the pores. For a more drastic approach, Isolaz is a no-downtime laser procedure that literally vacuums out your pores and kills bacteria, which also makes it great for getting rid of pore-stretching acne - a condition that many women don't outgrow until their 40s.
Originally published September 16, 2010