Best Pore Minimizers

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

26 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
183 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best pore minimizers

Last Updated May 2019

Large pores can be a sign of excess oil or bacteria buildup, and they can also cause skin to appear less smooth. It's a pesky problem that affects millions of people, and unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to permanently shrink your pores because pore size is largely genetic. However, you can reduce the appearance of the size of your pores with a good pore minimizer.

These products work by cleaning out pores that may be clogged with dirt, oil, and bacteria and tightening the outer layer of the skin, making your pores look smaller. There are a number of different types of pore minimizers on the market, and some work better than others. If you want quick results, choose your pore minimizer carefully.

Here's a short guide to walk you through important factors to consider when choosing a pore minimizer best for your skin’s needs.

Be sure your makeup is non-comedogenic if you have trouble with large pores. This means it's water-based and won't clog your pores like oil-based products.

Key considerations

Skin type

Large pores are most common among those with oily skin, but anyone can have this issue. It's essential to keep your skin type in mind when choosing a pore minimizer — some are better suited to a particular skin type than others. For example, if you have oily skin, you may want to stay away from oil-based pore minimizers since they could make your skin appear even oilier than normal. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, an oil-based pore minimizer may not be an issue.

Pore minimizer type

Pore minimizers are available in a number of formats, including creams, serums, masks, cleansers, and strips. A cream is a great choice for applying underneath makeup, while serums and masks are a better option for applying right before you go to bed. Cleansers are face washes you can use multiple times a day, and they can help to minimize the appearance of your pores over time. Pore strips are primarily used for removing blackheads, but getting rid of these may also help to reduce the appearance of your pores. Think about which type of pore minimizer best suits your needs and goals, and let this guide your decision.

Ingredients

Here are some common ingredients to look for and avoid in pore minimizers:

  • Aloe vera: Aloe is known for soothing irritated skin and can reduce skin irritation and inflammation. It's also helpful for treating acne.

  • Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta-hydroxy acid (BHA): AHAs and BHAs work as exfoliants, removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores. Common AHAs are glycolic acid, malic acid, and lactic acid. Salicylic acid is a common BHA. BHAs are said to be gentler on skin than AHAs, so they are a better choice if you have sensitive skin.

  • Benzoyl peroxide: Benzoyl peroxide works to kill bacteria that may be lurking within your pores, but it can also strip your skin of its natural oils. For this reason, you should avoid products that contain benzoyl peroxide if you have naturally dry skin.

  • Green tea: Green tea works as an anti-aging ingredient, and it's also useful for unclogging pores and treating acne.

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E can help smooth skin, reducing the appearance of scars as well as pores. It can also help to moisturize and soften skin.

  • Retinol: Retinol is a form of vitamin A that smooths fine lines and wrinkles and can help give your skin a clearer, more youthful appearance.

  • Parabens: Parabens are controversial ingredients in beauty products these days, with some claiming they are harmful to your health. Many manufacturers no longer use them, and you may want to avoid products that do if you're concerned.

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): SLS is commonly found in shampoos and other beauty products and it can also strip away oils from skin, so individuals with dry skin should stay away from it.

  • Talc: Some believe talc can be harmful to the body and other countries have restricted its use in cosmetics. If this concerns you, choose a pore minimizer that doesn't include it.

Enjoy smoother, younger-looking skin

The SKINFOOD Egg White Pore Foam cleanser contains egg whites and a number of vitamins and minerals to help keep your skin healthy and nourished. A little goes a long way and it's gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. Skin feels clean after using it.

Features

Speed of results

Some pore minimizing products are designed to deliver results in a few minutes, while others are designed to gradually reduce the appearance of pores over time. Think about how quickly you want to see results and choose a product that suits your timeline.

Additional benefits

Many of the ingredients you'll find in pore minimizers perform additional functions, like reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles or helping to reduce breakouts. Consider the skincare issues you have and find a pore minimizer that can tackle these concerns as well. This could save you from having to buy other pricey skincare products.

Smell

This is a minor concern, but you may be less inclined to use the pore minimizer if it has an unpleasant smell. There's no way to know what you'll think of it until you buy the product, but if the scent is a common complaint for the pore minimizer you're interested in, you may want to consider investing in a different one.

DID YOU KNOW?

Pores are essentially hair follicles, and they can become enlarged when they're clogged with dirt or oil.

DID YOU KNOW?

Pore minimizers are most effective when used as a base underneath makeup.

DID YOU KNOW?

Smoking, poor nutrition, and dehydration can all contribute to larger pores.

Pore minimizer prices

Pore minimizers can cost over $40, but most fall in the $10 to $20 range.

With pore minimizers, as with all skincare products, you're better off evaluating their ingredients and effectiveness before their cost. If cost is an issue for you, compare pore minimizers based on the number of uses you expect to get from each.

This may be challenging if you're comparing a mask product to a cream, but it can be useful when comparing products of the same type. You can determine which offers the best value by figuring out which offers the lowest price per ounce. Divide the total cost by the number of ounces to figure out the price per ounce.

Reduce pore size and eliminate blackheads at the same time

The Anjou Blackhead Remover Pore Strips are simple to use and fit virtually every nose. They reach deep into pores to remove dirt, oil, and bacteria without being too harsh on skin. You may immediately notice visibly clearer, smoother skin.

Tips

  • Wash your face every morning and evening to prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria that can clog your pores and cause them to appear larger.

  • Always wear sunscreen on your face when outdoors for extended periods of time to reduce the appearance of your pores and protect your skin from the sun.

  • Read the manufacturer's instructions before using the pore minimizer so you know how to use it correctly.

  • If you have sensitive skin, test the pore minimizer on a small area first to be sure that it won't cause a reaction.

Other products we considered

Consider Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer if you're interested in a drugstore pore minimizer that still delivers effective results. This product is meant to be used as a primer under makeup, and a little goes a long way. It's surprisingly affordable, but it may not be your best option if you have especially oily skin. The texture is a bit like petroleum jelly, though it still helps to reduce the appearance of pores when makeup is applied over it.

InstaNatural Vitamin C Facial Toner is a lightweight, refreshing spray with antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients designed to keep your skin looking young and healthy. It's a great choice for sensitive, dry, and combination skin, and pores shrink after regularly applying this toner. There are no parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, or synthetic dyes, so it's worth considering if you're concerned about what you put on your skin.

For best results, use the pore minimizer as often as the manufacturer recommends.

FAQ

Q. What causes large pores?
A.
Several factors can cause large pores. Genetics play a big role, but things like age, gender, and skin type play a role as well. Men, older adults, and those with oily skin are more likely to have large pores.

Q. Do pore minimizers actually reduce pore size?
A.
No, your pore size is genetic, so there isn't any product that can actually reduce it. Pore minimizers can help to reduce the appearance of the size of your pores by tightening up your skin and keeping pores clean.

Q. Does one type of pore minimizer work better than another?
A.
Not necessarily. A mask may work just as well as a lotion or toner, but it all depends on your skin type and what you like the best. If you're not getting the results you want from one type of pore minimizer, try switching to another to see if you get different results.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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