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Can celery seed extract “shrink” your pores? More claims.

In the pursuit of novelty, the skin care industry looks at the unusual and exotic, but also seeks ingredients in my soup. The claims for these very usual veggies can be very unusual.

INCI Name:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Sorbitan Trioleate (and) Apium Graveolens (Celery) Seed Extract (and) Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract

Let’s look at celery and the chemicals it contains. Is there any chemical/s that can shrink the pores? But before getting onto that, the very first thing to know is that celery and UV SHOULD NEVER go together. Why? Bergapten in combination with UV light may cause photodermatitis. Apart from bergapten, there are some chemicals that tend to be allergenic, including Api g 2 and Api g 4, which can lead to anaphylactic reactions in some individuals. Celery is also reported to be infected with the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum that causes dermatitis in sensitive people. Why bother then to add celery to “skin care products”. I see no chemicals in celery seeds that could help with pore size.

Why do pores get larger as we age?

From my book:

What are pores? Why do we have them? Pore is the common name given to the pilosebaceous unit, a part of normal skin anatomy and different from the pores involved in sweating (which are much smaller and not often a cause of complaint). The pilosebaceous unit consists of hair, hair follicle, muscle, and the sebaceous gland.

Sebaceous glands connect to the hair follicle and deposit sebum on the hair, which brings the sebum to the skin surface along the hair shaft. In our less-evolved primate cousins, sebum protects and waterproofs hair and skin. For us, sebum still can help our skin with some anti-aging effects because the sebum waterproofs our skin, preventing moisture loss over time. Besides this relatively small benefit, sebum is mostly a leftover product of evolution, and how much we make and have is more up to genetics than it is to what we do to our skin. In any case, pores—and sebum—are here to stay for a few hundred thousand years, so we have to learn to live with them. 

Why do we have larger pores than babies? Our pores get larger and more visible during adolescence when sex hormones increase sebum secretion. Men and women produce androgens and estrogens, but starting before puberty, the concentrations of sex hormones in the blood are different for boys and girls. They will affect the skin metabolism through specific receptors to which they bind. As androgen production increases, sebum secretion increases too, pores get bigger, and comedones and acne start to appear. Men and women have both estrogens and androgens, so unless the receptors for androgens are missing (a relatively rare condition), most of us are likely to get comedones and acne, whether male or female. 

Is there anything nice we can say about pores? Yes: within the pores, you will find multipotent stem cells responsible for maintaining skin structure throughout our life. When we hurt our skin in everyday life, these stem cells, abundant in the bulge region of the hair follicles (in the basal layer of the epidermis), will be activated and do the all-important repair and regeneration of the skin or start a new cycle of hair growth. Remember that these stem cells have your DNA and the genetic information required to repair your skin. You cannot replace them with apple stem cells or anything else, whatever advertisers may say. 

The higher androgen level in men is probably responsible for the thicker skin they have on practically all of the body, not just the face, and maybe the reason men’s skin seems to age more slowly than women’s.

Another critical factor is that estrogens, which affect the synthesis of hyaluronic acid and other dermis macromolecules, decrease sharply in women after menopause, while in men, the decline is slower.

This is what works:

SAS Collagen Serum, used in conjunction with our Vitamin A Cream (or our Acne Control Cream, which also contains Vitamin A) will help with acne scars, including red marks and hyperpigmentation. This remarkable duo will also help diminish pores’ size by decreasing sebum secretion and promoting synthesis of structural skin components that will build up at the pore’s edge.

As long as you continue using the Vitamin A Cream, you will not need strong exfoliators because Vitamin A will keep your skin cells renewing. The Collagen Serum will provide nutrition to make skin renewal possible. Though your pores will never be again as small as they were before adolescence, and your skin can never be as smooth as a baby’s, this pair of products will help normalize the shedding of external skin layers.

If you live in a polluted city, our Cleansing Oil will remove makeup and clean the skin, pores included. Our Vitamin A Cream will exfoliate slowly; you will not see the exfoliation – as it is chemical and slow instead of physical and fast, but it will happen. The pores will remain unclogged, healthy, and free of infection.

Makeup and Photoshop can help maintain the illusion of no-pores. Some inert ingredients help reflect light in such a way that hides the pores. There is no reason why this type of makeup should cause any problems but pay attention, as you may be allergic to some ingredients. Remember to remove makeup because it will promote the acne bacteria’s growth if it clogs the pores.

Short-term solutions can be skin killers. For example, avoid products containing alcohol like many toners. They may promise to shrink your pores, but the way they do so is by dehydrating the skin. Alcohol will also dissolve and remove valuable lipids from your skin, and in the long term, it will dry the skin, and then sebum secretion may increase.


Al-Asmari AK, Athar MT, Kadasah SG. (2017) An Updated Phytopharmacological Review on Medicinal Plant of Arab Region: Apium graveolens Linn. Pharmacogn Rev. 11:13-18. doi: 10.4103/phrev.phrev_35_16. PMID: 28503047; PMCID: PMC5414449.

Mitchell, John; Rook, Arthur (1979). Botanical Dermatology: Plants and Plant Products Injurious to the Skin. Vancouver: Greengrass. pp. 692–699.


Claims on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.