Pores are always a hot topic in beauty, mainly because they’re universally known for being too big/clogged/bumpy—especially the much-lamented large pores on the nose. “Almost every day, patients come into my office complaining about their pore size. In fact, it is one of the top three skincare concerns I hear from women,” says L’Oréal Paris Consulting Dermatologist Dr. Gervaise Gerstner.
According to Howard Murad, M.D, FAAD, pores get bigger for a number of reasons. Oils, dirt and bacteria can accumulate inside the pore and expand the diameter, and overactive oil glands can make them appear larger. Sun exposure damages the skin and can lead to larger pores over time. Finally, as you age, your skin loses elasticity and pores’ natural support structure becomes weaker, which allows more dirt and debris to collect. As gravity pulls on the skin, it thins and pores begin to dilate making them more visible.
“The truth is, pore size is largely determined by genes and, aside from very invasive treatments which do not always work, the actual size of a person’s pores cannot be changed,” says Dr. Murad. “With that said, we can minimize the appearance of pores.”
In a recent L’Oréal Paris survey, 23 percent of women would give up alcohol for a year in exchange for smaller pores. Ladies, be reasonable! Drastic times to NOT call for drastic measures—simply check out the latest batch of hi-tech pore minimizers.
1BB/CC Creams, Primers & Blurs
Get an airbrushed finish.
Olay Total Effects Pore Minimizing CC Cream, $20: Niacinamide, a tried-and-true anti-aging derivative of B3, helps firm the skin around slacking pores.
Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, $35: Light-reflectors even out bumpiness while botanical ingredients strengthen pores (so they can appear smaller) over time.
L’Oréal Paris Youth Code Pore Vanisher, $25: Absorbs excess oil throughout the day and micro-exfoliates to smooth rough pores.
When you need a surge of pore-purge.
Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Mask, $35 for box of five: The freaky-looking sheet mask uses charcoal, sulfur and lava clay to draw out impurities.
GlamGlow Powermud Dual Cleanse Treatment, $69: Detox with this cool mud-to-oil formula, which dissolves gunk and leaves your pores velvety smooth.
Eraclea Firming Lifting Mask, $50: This hyaluronic acid-based gel mask fights gravity and collagen-degradation, both of which makes pores get bigger with age.
Demand more from what sits on your face.
Julep Glow Pore-Minimizing Blush in Peach Bellini, $24 and
Julep Glow Pore-Minimizing Bronzer in Light Golden Bronze, $28: Light-diffusing diamond powder blurs the look of pores, rosehip seed oil and green coffee bean oil strengthens skin.
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Perfectly Nude Makeup, $39: Soy lipid technology works on skin texture to reduce the look of pores in four weeks.
You need hydration, but keep it light and breathable.
Dior Hydra Life Close-Up, $75: Regulates water-to-oil ratio and stimulates collagen to plump skin around dilated pores.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet, $22: The whipped-gel texture is ultra-lightweight and refreshing.
Ahava Time to Hydrate Active Moisture Gel Cream, $40: Dead Sea Water locks in moisture and protects against environmental aggressors.
Why target one skin issue thing when you can hit several at once?
Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA, $23: Hit acne, pores and fine lines with this powerful salicylic acid toner.
LiftLab Lift + Protect Total Rejuvenation, $250: One powerful cream restructures pores, brightens spots, plumps sagginess, prevents wrinkles, and moisturizes.
Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector, $69: Targets pores, wrinkles and uneven skintone in just four weeks.
Exfoliating pore-clogging gunk away is super-important.
Goldfaden Doctor’s Scrub Advanced, $98: Many a beauty editor is devoted to original Doctor’s Scrub—the new advanced version has a higher concentration of ruby crystals for an even deeper clean.
Bliss Micro Magic Microdermabrasion Treatment, $48: Volcanic pumice plus vitamin E makes this twice-a-week treatment a spa treatment at home.
Murad Skin Smoothing Polish, $30: Micro-exfoliating beads target clogs and blackheads, witch hazel balances oil production.
When you need to push the reset button on your skin.
Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa Pore-Fection Treatment, $180: The new facial at the NYC and Philadelphia spa uses cult-favorite French skincare Biologique Recherche and the specially trained hands of the spa therapists to gently but beyond-effectively deep clean pores. At home, use the new plant-based serums to control shine, purify the skin, and smooth texture, without pulverizing your pores to death and drying them out (which only makes things worse in the long run). Biologique Recherche Sérum Dermopore, $69, is for large pores, and Biologique Recherche Sérum Erythros, $85, works wonders on rosacea.
Bluemercury SkinCeuticals Summer Repair Facial, $95, available until the end of August: Using the derm-favorite skincare, this facial uses fruit acids to clean out pores and protect it against future damage. At home, SkinCeuticals Retexturizing Activator, $73, exfoliates and hydrates stressed pores.
Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, $90: A new cleansing brush gadget! The tilted head of two different strengths of bristles means you can really get into the nooks and crannies of your clogged nose.