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When I think of Benefit Cosmetics, a few things instantly come to mind: pink (if you've ever been to one of their wax studios), brows, and the iconic blue-fitted woman on the packaging of its Porefessional primer.
The skin smoothing primer was my first introduction to the makeup prep category and remained in rotation in my collection over the years. It's safe to say that the Porefessional primer had earned itself cult status for good reasons. For starters, it's smoothing, mattifying, and creates a seemingly "poreless" surface for makeup. Over the years, it has worked wonders on my combination skin, creating the perfect blurred base before applying concealer or foundation.
So, it made sense that the brand returned to its pore-smoothing roots when ideating its first-ever skincare collection, Pore Care. I got the chance to travel to Whistler, British Columbia, with the brand to learn about the skincare range, complete with six products (and one tool) dedicated to pores. Read all the details ahead.
Pore Care is a curated skincare wardrobe that you can tailor to your needs. The Good Cleanup Foam Cleanser ($29) is a gel-textured formula that lathers to buff away dirt and debris from the day. Perhaps the most innovative star of the show is the Tight N' Toned Foaming Toner ($34), a bubbly AHA and PHA formula meant to exfoliate and slough off dull skin gently.
The collection also includes the Get Unblocked Oil Cleanser ($39), meant to melt away makeup while nourishing the skin simultaneously; two face masks: Deep Retreat Mask ($39) to deeply clean and mattify and Speedy Smooth Pore Mask ($39), a five-minute express mask to smooth and detoxify quickly. To round things out is the Smooth Sip ($44). According to Jared Bailey, Benefit's global brow expert, tapping into pore care was a natural next step for the brand, which has already solidified itself as a leader in the makeup category.
Weeks before its launch, I tested the new skincare collection in the frigid Canadian weather to see how it stacked against my sometimes oily (sometimes dry) pores. While I was excited to try the Pore Care collection, I did have reservations. Notoriously, products catered to "clogged" or "oily" pores have been super drying and harsh, sometimes sending my skin to the other extreme of being super dry and parched. Because this line is packed with acids (like AHAs and PHAs), I was prepared for my skin to feel raw with continued use. Surprisingly, though, my complexion
I started with the oil cleanser, which pumps out clear and has a relaxing scent. In addition to wiping away makeup, it made my skin feel extra hydrated, which was nice in the frigid climate. Once my makeup was melted off, I used a generous pump of the cleanser to wash my face and neck, and my skin felt super clean but not stripped of its natural moisture.
Onto the masks. I've used the Deep Retreat and Speedy Smooth masks and found that the deep retreat (a thicker, clay-like formula) works best on my problem areas like my nose, chin, and forehead. Speedy Smooth goes on like a balm or cream that brightens and buffs the entire face without making my skin feel taut or dry.
I'm not a dedicated toner user, and I have only ever tried liquid formulas. My first assumption of the foaming innovation was that it would feel sticky or tacky on my skin. I was glad when this one melted into my complexion and left my face supple. It's become a regular part of my skincare routine, and it's super easy to pump, apply, and go.
Finally, the Smooth Sip moisturizer is the most universal product in the collection. It's a gel-like formula that seeps nicely into dry skin without making it feel tacky or greasy. Depending on your skin type or concern, you may prefer a thicker moisturizer, but this one is a great option if you lean towards lightweight formulas or even during warmer months.
The Pore Care collection is designed to work together, but I love that each product thrives independently. You can pick and choose the products that work for you and use them together or as part of your current routine. Although the skincare market is inundated with new releases, this glow alone makes Pore Care 100% worth a shot.