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You don’t need an Insta filter for flawless skin. Adding a pore minimizer to your routine will help you get that au naturel look without layers of foundation.
Whether it’s a mask, gel, face wash or primer—pore minimizers are a must have—especially around the T-zone. The products typically use gentle acids to shrink the appearance of pores by temporarily cleaning out large clogged pores that tend to make the skin look oilier. Many are serums or toners that can be applied right after washing your skin (or mixed directly with your moisturizer) to increase cell turnover, while others are primers that smooth out skin to serve as the perfect canvas for foundation. Any way you choose to use them, they are bound to give your skin that much-appreciated boost.
Best Overall: Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector
Applying foundation can feel like a hassle at times. Luckily, the folks at Kiehl’s understand. Enter the micro-blur skin perfector which uses bark extract, lentil extract, and lipo hydroxy acid to make makeup optional. Use it over a moisturizer to smooth out skin and blur pores without the need to add color.
Best Budget: Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer
We all know how satisfying the brand’s pore strips can be when it comes to stripping off dirt. But there’s now an option we love even more. Biore’s pore minimizing face wash and scrub uses charcoal to draw gunk out of clogged pores and micro-crystals to polish your face while tightening skin. Work the face wash into a lather and apply to your face for 30 seconds for a quick fix (FYI: avoid using daily to keep skin from drying out).
Best Cleanser: Neutrogena Pore Refining Cleanser
With micro-beads and alpha hydroxy acids, this drugstore fave helps you scrub off dead skin cells for a clean complexion that keeps breakouts at bay. The outcome? After washing your face in the morning, pores are less noticeable and oily skin is under control without drying out. Use the face wash more often during the summer months or after a workout class when skin tends to be oilier.
Best Serum: La Roche Posay Effaclar Pore-Refining and Anti-Aging Face Serum
The serum from this French pharmacy favorite tightens skin with alpha hydroxy acids by preventing buildup from dead skin cells and clearing out clogged pores. Use a few drops on clean skin before you moisturize to help minimize the appearance of large pores. Follow up with moisturizer and plenty of SPF since acids can make skin more sensitive to UV rays.
Best Mask: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner Pore Purifying Mask
The newest cooling mask from the derm-lead skincare line uses salicylic acid, vitamin A and zinc to unclog pores and make them look smaller in 10 minutes flat. It’s powerful enough to create the pore-less look but gentle enough to keep skin from drying. Slip it into your schedule before a night out or during a Netflix marathon.
Best Primer: Nars Pore & Shine Control Primer
High-fashion makeup artist, Francois Nars, knows a thing or two about making sure makeup stays on. The secret? It’s all about what you apply underneath. In this case, the primer keeps your pores and oily skin in check with soft-focus powders. Wear the primer under your favorite powder or foundation to boost your makeup’s staying power throughout the day.
Best Toner: Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion
The L.A.-based beauty food maker has entered the skincare game – and the products are worth the buzz. Moon Juice’s toner uses exfoliating ingredients including glycolic and lactic acid to gently resurface skin and provide cell turnover. While adaptogenic reishi mushroom helps boost the skin’s natural barrier. The result is minimized pores without redness or irritation. Tip: Add the toner to your moisturizer to shorten your morning routine.
Best Innovation: Skinfood’s Egg White Perfect Pore Cleansing Foam
Egg whites aren’t just for omelets anymore—they can help shrink your pores. The all-natural face wash uses fertilized egg extract to draw out impurities from your pores without the need to wait for a face mask to dry. The face wash uses concentrated egg yolk, albumin and spring water in its formula to reduce large pores and help you battle annoying blackheads.
Our writers spent 10 hours researching the most popular pore minimizers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different pore minimizers overall, screened options from 40 different brands and manufacturers, read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 20 of the pore minimizers themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.