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We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here it is: Regardless of how many miracle-boasting products you massage into your face every day, there’s no one offering that’s going to erase your pores overnight. But don’t freak out just yet—there's good news where that came from. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there's a lot that can be done to reduce the appearance of pores so they're virtually invisible, including exfoliating regularly, wearing sunscreen daily, and applying a retinol. Long story short: There are plenty of formulas on the market that can seriously help shrink the look of pores, and with time, majorly improve the texture of your skin.
Below, we rounded up the best pore minimizers that really work.
Best Overall: Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
Post-moisturizer and pre-makeup, smooth a dollop of this super-smooth primer across your face for quick (and noticeable) shine control. Dr. Brandt’s formula is loaded with tea-tree and flaxseed oils, which not only keep your makeup intact all day but also create a pore-protecting barrier against product buildup.
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.
Best Drugstore: La Roche Posay Effaclar Pore-Refining and Anti-Aging Face Serum
The serum from this French pharmacy favorite La Roche-Posay 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 the skin more sensitive to UV rays.
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 Mask: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner Pore Purifying Mask
This cooling mask 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: Perricone MD No:Rinse Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner
The hero ingredient in Dr. Perricone’s pore treatment is alpha-lipoic acid, which not only exfoliates skin and zaps excess oil but also plumps and firms fine lines. You can apply the minimizer up to two times a day (morning and night) on clean skin, following with a moisturizer.
Best Exfoliator: Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment with 2% BHA
If you aren’t using a BHA treatment already, it’s time to start. This gentle liquid exfoliant works to smooth skin texture and majorly reduce pore size. After cleansing and toning, soak a cotton pad and smooth this over your entire face.
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.
Best Sunscreen: Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen
Regardless of how many times our mothers and dermatologists have screamed at us to wear sunscreen regularly, it’s hard to find a formula that fits into your daily skincare and makeup routine. Enter Tatcha’s formula. The silky, non-greasy option creates an ideal canvas for makeup while the zinc oxide and octisalate tighten pores. Plus, total sun protection is key for minimizing pores.