The best pore minimizers can provide you with the optimal care you need if you have been dealing with enlarged pores lately. While you can’t make your pores disappear, pore minimizers can help you clean them and prevent them from becoming too visible.
Licensed esthetician Terry Absher Kochman explains, “The real reason pores can look larger is that debris, sweat, dirt, and makeup can get trapped in the pore and expand the pore itself, making it larger. We have seen buildup in pores that are enlarged where it is obvious that it has been that way for years. Pore minimizers function by exfoliating the dead skin and buildup, so your pores are no longer stretched out and noticeably larger. There are several options available from retail products to professional treatments.”
Listed below are the top 15 pore minimizers on the market. Check them out!
In This Article
15 Best Pore Minimizers For All Skin Types
1. Best Natural Formula: Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay
The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is a 100% natural calcium bentonite clay sourced from Death Valley, California. It soaks up dirt and excess sebum from the pores to minimize their appearance. The clay mask makes your skin look smooth and fresh. The healing properties of this mask make it great for facials, body wraps, clay baths, hair masks, foot soaks, chilled clay knee packs, and even insect bites.
Key Ingredients: Calcium bentonite clay
- 100% natural
- No additives
- Artificial fragrance-free
- No animal ingredients
- May cause redness and dryness
- May not suit sensitive skin
2. Best Non-Comedogenic: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
This lightweight Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer by Maybelline New York smoothens the skin and sits perfectly under makeup. It creates a blurry effect to improve the appearance of enlarged pores and keeps your skin moisturized all day long. This primer is suitable for all skin types. If you want to know more about the results after using the product, take a look at this makeup enthusiast’s review on YouTube.
Key Ingredients: Bitter cherry extract
- Goes on smooth
3. Best Non-Greasy Formula: RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream
Retinol helps minimize signs of aging and refines the skin pores. The ROC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream has a non-greasy and non-comedogenic formula that helps reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles up to 50%. It penetrates deep into the skin to lift, tighten, and smoothen it. The night cream is gentle and can be used daily. Using it for 12 weeks can show a visible improvement in the appearance of wrinkles and pores.
Dr. Kaveri Karhade, MD, and a San Francisco-based dermatologist says, “Retinol-containing products, such as this one, can help clean out pores by reducing whiteheads and blackheads. In addition, retinol may help stimulate cell turnover and minimize the overall appearance of pores.” You can check this brief YouTube video for more information on this pore minimizing cream.
Note: If you are using retinol for the first time, it may cause purging.
Key Ingredients: Retinol
- Clinically proven
- Contains parabens
4. Best Vegan Formula: Teami Detox Mask Green Tea Blend
The Teami Detox Mask Green Tea Blend helps to reveal the natural glow of your skin. The formula is enriched with organic matcha green tea to combat free radicals and soothe inflammation. It also contains lemongrass to keep your skin moisturized, bentonite and kaolin clays to detoxify your skin, and aloe vera to hydrate your skin and keep it glowing. This detox mask is suitable for all skin types and keeps your skin soft and refreshed. If you want to find out more about this mask and its usage as a pore minimizing product, make sure to check this review out on YouTube.
Key Ingredients: Lemongrass, Organic matcha green tea, Bentonite and Kaolin clays
- Artificial color-free
5. Best Lightweight Formula: Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner
The Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner is developed with an exclusive Fluidactiv™ patented complex that reduces excess sebum production and deep cleanses the pores. The complex is a blend of ingredients like silica powder and anti-reflection particles to reduce shine and mattify the face, salicylic acid to exfoliate and restore radiance, and agaric acid (an astringent) to refine the pores.
Key Ingredients: Agaric acid and Salicylic acid
6. Best Gentle Formula: Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam
The Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam is a skin-friendly gentle cleanser that refines enlarged pores. The formula is enriched with egg albumin protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B2, selenium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and amino acids. The egg white stimulates the growth of collagen cells and improves skin elasticity and resilience. The cleanser also removes the dead skin layer, leaving your skin feeling refreshed, soft, and smooth. It is suitable for oily and combination skin types.
Key Ingredients: Egg albumin protein, Vitamins B2, and B3, Selenium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Amino acids
- Pleasant fragrance
- Foams well
- May cause allergic reactions
- Contains alcohol denat
7. Best Cruelty-Free: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is formulated with gentle exfoliants like lactic acid and fruit enzymes (derived from papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin). It gently exfoliates the skin to remove excess oil and debris and minimize the appearance of pores. This exfoliating treatment also contains salicylic acid that decongests pores; rosewood and cinnamon extracts to minimize fine lines and wrinkles; and aloe vera, honey, and vitamin E to soften your skin. Using this treatment twice a week improves skin texture.
Key Ingredients: Lactic acid and Fruit enzymes
- A little goes a long way
- Clinically tested
8. Best For Dull Skin: Avene Retinal 0.1 Intensive Cream
The Avene Retinal 0.1 Intensive Cream is formulated with powerful antioxidants that protect the skin from harmful free radicals. The key ingredients are vitamin A, peptides, and vitamin E.
Dr. Shaaira Nasir, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI, MRCPUK (Derm), and a UK-based dermatologist says, “This product contains Retinaldehyde, which is better than retinol in terms of efficacy. It reduces oil production and increases cell turnover. It’s great for reducing pore appearance, reducing oily skin, preventing and treating acne and is an anti-aging treatment.”
This non-greasy skin moisturizer improves the appearance of pores, skin texture, reduces fine lines, and makes the skin firm and bright. It is non-comedogenic and helps restore the skin’s youthful appearance by rehydrating dull skin.
Key Ingredients: Vitamin A, Peptides, and Vitamin E
9. Best For Oily Skin: Meditime Pore Tightening Corset Pack
The Meditime Pore Tightening Corset Pack helps clean excess sebum without drying out the skin. It contains natural ingredients like bentonite clay, kaolin clay, and red bean powder to refine enlarged pores. The mask also contains biosaccharide gum and lotus extract that absorb micro skin wastes and dead skin cells to refine the skin texture and improve radiance.
Key Ingredients: Bentonite and Kaolin clays
- Artificial color-free
- Mineral oil-free
10. Best Mattifying Effect: Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum
Using a pore tightening serum can make a huge difference to the appearance of your skin. The Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum is lightweight and enriched with Japanese wine (sake) and peach extract. It minimizes the appearance of pores and reduces excess sebum. The serum also contains soybean, Centella asiatica, licorice root, and chamomile extracts and keeps the skin smooth, oil-free, and soft all day long.
Key Ingredients: Sake and Peach extract
- Pleasant fragrance
- Mattifying effect
- Easy to apply
- Expensive for the quantity
11. Best For Acne-Prone Skin: Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
The Therapeutic Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask contains maximum OTC strength sulfur (10%), a potent ingredient that clears acne, absorbs excess oil, and cleanses the pores. This medicated mask also contains kaolin and bentonite clays that soak excess sebum and prevent acne. Aloe vera in the formula soothes and rehydrates the skin. The mask helps refresh and rejuvenate the skin, minimizes the appearance of blemishes and scars, and makes the skin look smooth. It is suitable for oily and combination skin types.
Key Ingredients: 10% Sulfur, Kaolin and Bentonite clays, and Aloe vera
- Easy to use
- A little goes a long way
- Contains parabens
12. Best For Improving Skin Texture: Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher
If you want to splurge on a face serum that works wonders, try the Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher. It contains melanase – an enzyme that reduces melanin and skin pigmentation. This serum also contains a high concentration of glucosamine, grapefruit, chestnut seed, green tea leaf, and wheat germ extracts to minimize pores and fine lines and improve skin texture and overall skin tone.
Key Ingredients: Glucosamine, Grapefruit, Chestnut seed, Green tea leaf, and Wheatgerm extracts
- Matte finish
13. Best Exfoliating Formula: Perricone MD No: Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner
The Perricone MD No: Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner refines the skin pores and makes them less visible. It is formulated with DMAE, salicylic acid, and a copper complex and visibly firms, hydrates, and energizes the skin. The toner gently exfoliates the dead skin layer, improves skin texture, and gives it a smoother appearance. The bilberry and turmeric extracts in this product impart a healthy glow and remove excess oil and shine to keep the skin fresh and look even-toned. This toner is suitable for oily skin.
Key Ingredients: DMAE, Salicylic acid, Copper complex, Bilberry, and Turmeric extracts
- Easy to apply
- Pleasant fragrance
- Contains alcohol
14. Best Anti-Aging: Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA
The Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA is a unique, non-abrasive, leave-on gentle exfoliant. Salicylic acid in the formula exfoliates dead skin cells and clears pores, hyaluronic acid visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and the antioxidants and anti-aging peptides help reduce the appearance of pores, wrinkles, and fine lines. It can be used daily and suits all skin types.
Dr. Shaaira Nasir, MB BCh BAO, MRCPI, MRCPUK,(Derm), and a UK-based dermatologist says, “Pores that are clogged up will look larger. Salicylic acid is a great acid for removing pore contents. It is oil soluble, so it gets deep into pores to remove oil and dead skin cells. As this is a leave-on product, those with dry or combination skin types may want to start slowly with one or two applications a week as it can irritate if used too frequently.”
Key Ingredients: Salicylic acid, Hyaluronic acid, and Peptides
15. Best For All Skin Types: Mary Kay Timewise Pore Minimizer
The Mary Kay Timewise Pore Minimizer is a lightweight and fast-absorbing serum that works effectively to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. The formula is infused with Persian Silk tree bark extract (Native to Asia, also called the “sleeping tree”) and soybean extract that helps keep the skin taut and visibly smooth. This serum works for all skin types and tones.
Key Ingredients: Persian Silk tree bark extract and Soybean extract
- Gets absorbed fast
Keep reading to learn more about improving the appearance of pores.
What Are Pores?
Pores are the small openings in the skin through which oil and sweat reach the skin surface. There are two different types of pores:
- Oil Pores: They are connected to the oil glands and spread over the skin surface, except the skin on the palms and the soles. They produce natural oils and sebum to keep the skin moisturized.
- Sweat Pores: They are spread all over the skin surface and are invisible to the naked eye. They produce sweat and help regulate the body temperature.
Oil pores are visible and get congested easily as the oil, dirt, and impurities get trapped. That is why you need pore minimizers to clear them. Let’s understand how they work.
How Do Pore Minimizers Work?
Pore minimizers or pore-minimizing products remove the dirt and oil from the pores and decongest them. As a result, the pores appear smaller and refined.
The list contains a mix of product types that may suit different skin types. They work in different ways and contain a mix of different ingredients. Before you pick any of them, consider the following points.
Things To Check Before Buying Pore Minimizer
- Skin Type: Choose a pore minimizing product based on your skin type. For example, if you have dry skin, any product with salicylic acid or alcohol can be too drying. If you have oily skin, steer clear of oil-based products, especially creams.
- Ingredients: Check the label to look for ingredients that you are allergic to. Also, avoid products with parabens, artificial dyes and fragrances, talc, and sulfates.
- Product Type: Pore minimizing products come in different forms – masks, toners, serums, creams, cleansers, and exfoliants. Include them in your skin care regimen depending on the product type and your skin’s needs. Use exfoliants and masks once or twice a week and serums and toners twice a day. Use a cleanser and moisturizer as a part of your skin care routine twice a day.
Following a strict skin care routine and using appropriate products will not help unless you break away from habits that may ruin your pores and skin.
Bad Habits That Can Clog Your Pores
- Not washing your face every night before going off to bed
- Not exfoliating your face properly to remove dead skin cells
- Not showering after a workout session
- Touching your face too often
- Not washing your bedsheets and pillow covers frequently
- Sleeping with makeup on
- Not cleaning your makeup brushes
- Sunbathing or tanning
- Picking at blemishes
Licensed esthetician Terry Absher Kochman says, “Depending on what pore minimizer you choose, take into consideration your skin type. If your skin is sensitive, easily irritated, or has acne problems, using the correct product is super important. Use a gentle charcoal mask once a week after washing your face, or use a gentle hydrating micro exfoliant weekly. A micro exfoliant can be applied on top of a wash or as a second step. If your skin does well a few times a week and looks clearer, and the pores look more refined, you are on the right track. It’s always a good idea to test products on your skin.”
Apart from using store-bought pore minimizing products, here are a few skin care tips to help reduce the appearance of pores.
Tips To Minimize The Appearance Of Pores At Home
- Wash your face at least twice a day with ice water or cold water.
- Use a gentle cleanser and apply it with your fingertips in a circular motion.
- Use a toner every day after washing your face.
- Use a warm towel wrap to dislodge the dirt and sebum from the pores before applying an exfoliant.
- Use products that have a pH of 5.5 to maintain the skin microbiome.
- Rub ice on your face before applying a pore minimizing serum.
- Use a water-based moisturizer.
Board-certified dermatologist Jennifer Haley says, “To help with enlarged skin pores, you can incorporate pore minimizes into your skincare regime gradually. You should be looking for products that reduce inflammation, gently exfoliate the pores and moisturize the skin. Pore minimizers that contain glycolic acid will help do the double job of exfoliating and moisturizing your skin, reducing the size of your pores, and giving you a healthier glow.”
Large, open pores can make your skin prone to bacterial infections, acne, and scarring. Resist that itch to squeeze and clean the clogged pores and go for pore minimizers. If you are looking for an affordable product, try the Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner. However, if you want an overnight pore minimizing and anti-aging treatment, the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Night Cream will be the best pick. For daily use, switch your regular cleanser with the Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam. Use the pore-minimizing products for at least four weeks, and you will start seeing visible results.
Why Trust StyleCraze?
The author Oyendrila Kanjilal is a certified skincare coach. She has conducted hours of research on different branded pore minimizers to help her readers pick the best and most effective products. The above list includes her top picks that are suitable for all skin types. These products exfoliate dead skin cells and dirt from the open pores and prevent them from becoming too visible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pore minimizers bad for your skin?
No, pore minimizers are not bad for your skin. However, check for allergens and chemicals in the ingredients before buying a product.
How fast will I notice results when using a pore minimizer?
It will take a minimum of 4 weeks before you notice visible results.
Does a pore minimizer physically reduce the size of pores?
No. The pore size is constant. A pore minimizer can either clear the gunk or cover the pores to make them appear smaller.
Does drinking water reduce pore size?
No. Nothing can reduce the pore size. However, drinking water plumps the skin, and as a result, the pores may temporarily appear smaller.
When should you apply a pore minimizer?
Pore minimizers can be masks, cleansers, serums, and overnight treatments. Use them depending on the type of the product.
How often should you use a pore minimizer?
Depending on the product type and your skin needs, you can use a pore minimizer daily or 2-3 times a week.
Can you get rid of blackheads and whiteheads by using pore minimizers?
Yes, you can get rid of blackheads and whiteheads using pore minimizers. Use gentle pore minimizers with salicylic acid that penetrates deep to soak up dirt, debris, and sebum.
What is the best pore minimizer for Asian skin tone?
One of the best pore minimizers for Asian skin tone is the Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam. This moisturizing Korean formula shrinks large pores and has an array of vitamins, minerals, and collagen-boosting properties.
Can you use a pore minimizer serum in place of moisturizer?
No, you cannot use a pore minimizer serum in place of moisturizer. Both pore minimizer serum and moisturizer have different parts to play in a skin care regime. While the main job of pore minimizer serums is to cater to your pores, blackheads, and whiteheads, moisturizers mainly protect your skin from friction and improve hydration.
Is it appropriate for teens to use a pore minimizer?
While it is not recommended, teens can use pore minimizers with gentle ingredients. However, teens can also minimize pores by washing their faces daily and using a salicylic acid cleanser after consulting a dermatologist.
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