Bye-Bye, Pores: How to Get a Flawless Complexion

BY Silvana Lezama · May 16, 2017

dark-haired woman smiling

Large pores seem to be the facial characteristic so many of us just can’t get rid of. You’ve probably tried cleansing, rejuvenating and covering up your skin to minimize or mask the appearance of your pores—but they just won’t shrink. Well, to help minimize your pores, you first need to understand what they are, what purpose they serve and what causes them to appear larger. Here’s a brief overview of pores and some top-rated product recommendations to help you get a flawless complexion.

So, What Are Pores, Exactly?

The word “pore” literally means an opening in a surface where microscopic particles can pass. More specific to our bodies, pores are also the opening at the top of our hair follicles. It is also where the sebum (our body’s natural oils) is released to the surface to help our skin be naturally moisturized. Though their appearance can be frustrating, in actuality, when all aspects of our anatomy work in perfect harmony, pores are helpful for maintaining healthy skin.

Understanding a few details about pores can help you deal with them in a healthy manner and can help you avoid potentially harming your skin with unnecessary products. Here are five important things to know about pores:

  1. They are actually hair follicles
  2. Their appearance is largely determined by genetics
  3. Environmental factors, aging, dry skin, oil and acne can all make your pores look bigger
  4. Regular cleansing can help minimize the appearance of pores
  5. Too much cleansing can actually cause your pores to produce more oil

Tips and Recommendations for Minimizing Large Pores

Unfortunately, pores will never permanently shrink—meaning they’re not going to get smaller than they appear in their normal, healthy state. This is because pore size is largely dependent on genetics, and pores serve an important function when it comes to healthy skin. You can, however, take steps to keep your pores clean and healthy to minimize their appearance. Some important tips to consider include:

  • Keep your skin clean (cleanse once or twice per day) to remove makeup, oil, dirt and debris
  • Apply sunscreen year-round (sun damage breaks down collagen, which can lead to saggy pores)
  • Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores (but be gentle and don’t overdo it; 1–3 times max per week is enough)
  • Choose the right products for your skin type (non-comedogenic products that won’t clog pores are best)

With the last point in mind, it’s so important to be strategic about what you’re putting on your face. Below, you’ll find Dermstore’s recommendations for products to clean, shrink or lessen the appearance of your pores.

Pore-Reducing Face Masks

Berry Refreshing Facial

Berries aren’t just delicious fruits; they have a ton of beneficial properties when it comes to helping the skin. Functioning as both astringents and antioxidants, berries like blueberries and blackberries can help tighten the skin, minimize pores, moisturize and hydrate. This Eminence Organics masque contains not only berries to do all of the above, but honey and a unique natural formula to soothe and strengthen your skin.

Try: Eminence Organics Raspberry Pore Refining Masque

Pore Shrinker and Gentle Acne Fighter in One

This Credentials mask contains sulfur, which is naturally capable of keeping your complexion clear, absorbing excess oil, controlling acne breakouts and minimizing the appearance of large pores. Fans of this product have called it “the best absolute pore shrinker and mask.”

Try: Credentials Camphor Pore-Minimizing Masque

Pore-Clearing Cleansers and Toners

Deep-Cleaning, Toning and Purifying Treatment

Powered by 2% salicylic acid and glycerin, this treatment can help clear, refresh and balance your skin. It’s created by Obagi, which is known for their focus on high-quality, potent ingredients to restore and maintain skin health. One reviewer praised the fast-acting and refreshing effects, saying, “Literally rid me of clogged pores within a week. Best ‘toner’ I have ever used. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean.”

Try: Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy

The Super Cleanser: Purifying,
Strengthening and Brightening

Don’t let the natural, simplistic nature of this cleanser fool you. Thanks to ingredients like pearl extract, African whitewood and rose quartz, this cleanser packs quite the gentle punch. It’s designed to dig deep into your pores to minimize, clean and brighten your complexion.

Try: Sjal Balans Deep Pore Cleanser

Pore-Refining Primer

The Double-Duty Pore Refiner

Many primers are designed just to create a smoother base for applying foundation. This one by Dr. Brandt does that and much more. In addition to helping you achieve an ideal texture, the Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer also serves as a pore refiner and protecter. Tea tree oil and flaxseed extract help regulate oil and fight bacteria, while the rest of the formula helps prevent your makeup from clogging your pores.

Try: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer

Pore-Blurring Serums

Natural, Refreshing Pore Reducer

This serum is designed not only to minimize pores, but also to help control excess oil and promote skin rejuvenation. Using a formula derived from citrus fruit extract, coconut oil, olive leaf extract and artichoke leaf extract, the serum can help keep your pores clear and skin blemish free. Bonus: It has a refreshing grapefruit scent, so you’ll love using it!

Try: DHC Pore Essence

The Airbrush Mimicker

Reduce any excess oil with this effective formula that is meant to smooth your skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes and pores. The powdery texture consists of ingredients like salicylic acid to wash away dead cells and unclog your pores. What you should be left with is a smooth, matte, almost airbrushed finish.

Try: Dermelect Pore Revolution and T-Zone Mattifier

Silvana Lezama

Silvana Lezama is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. She has 5+ years experience in writing and editing everything from web content for tech giants like Google to creative blogs for some of the fastest growing social media pages. Silvana also works w... Read More >

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