Due to genetics, aging, UV exposure, dirt, and excess oil, our used-to-be-unnoticeable pores may have become the size of craters. An exaggeration but sometimes we can’t help feeling this way, right? Is there any way that we can turn back time and reclaim?
Well, here’s a fact that you should fully accept before we go further: barring laser treatment, there’s really no way your pores can be made physically smaller. Now, suck it up because there’s still hope.
While you can’t change it physically, you can make it appear smaller using a pore minimizer. Yes, you can trick your eyes and everyone else’s into thinking that you have smooth skin with refined pores by using the right product. So how do you know you’ve got the right product? Well, if you haven’t time to do your research, you’re in luck because we’ve done it for you. Below are our picks for the best pore minimizers on the market today.
Top 10 Pore Minimizers Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Aztec Secret – Indian Healing ClayPore Minimizer And Blackhead Remover
Ok, we admit the name sounds hokey but there must be some truth to the 10,000 positive reviews right? Well, as strange as it may seem, this cult favorite has done wonders for large pores all over. Made entirely from bentonite clay powder (which, if you weren’t aware, comes from volcanic ash), this beauty product is mixed with water or apple cider vinegar to create a mask that will deep clean your pores and get rid of blackheads.
Take note that while this is a pretty effective product for a lot of people, it’s not for dry or sensitive skin. And it will cause you to break out or make your skin red at first because it is drawing out all the gunk stored in your pores. The redness goes away after half an hour. The breakout stops after a few uses. Also, it’s not an easy mask to prepare, use, and clean up. You need to wait around 45 minutes for it to dry and washing it off can clog your drain. However, as some people have found out, all that trouble works wonders so it’s more than worth it.
- Very affordable ($10 for a tub)
- Cleans out your pores
- Prevents breakouts
- Can initially cause redness and breakout
- Not for dry or sensitive skin
- Messy and hard to clean up
2. Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer for Oily SkinPore Minimizer For Oily Skin
This pore minimizer from Biore is a water-activated charcoal cleanser that removes dirt and oil as well as draws out impurities and traps them. The formula also contains natural micro-crystals that smoothen your skin and leaves your pores looking smaller. Like all cleansers, it may or may not work for you. Take note that this is specifically made for oily skin.
Now, we love the fact that this comes with a spout that only gives you a small amount of gel. You never get more than what you need. The gel is quite thick and, obviously, black and grainy. It will provide you with a good deep scrub though, for some, it may leave your skin very tight and a bit dry so use it sparingly – definitely not every night.
- Comes with a dispensing mechanism
- Lathers really well
- Thick gel
- Not for dry skin
- Can leave your skin a bit dry
- Has caused some to break out
3. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
This pore minimizer from Paula’s Choice is a gentle, non-abrasive leave-on exfoliant. Yes, that’s right. You just pour a little bit on a cotton pad then wipe your face. The formula contains 2% BHA (a.k.a. salicylic acid) which helps your skin shed the dead skin cells, smoothen wrinkles, even out skin tone, and unclogs your pores, leaving them visibly smaller. Compared to some pore minimizers, this is incredibly easy to use; you just apply it and leave it on, no need to wash. And you can see the results after just a couple of weeks.
The formula tends to dry out skin so you may have to experiment with how often you use it. However, there are some drawbacks. Some felt that the formula left a sticky/waxy residue on their skin which felt uncomfortable but not itchy. Also, the packaging seems to have problems with leaking.
- Evens skin tone
- Easy to use
- Not abrasive
- The bottle is prone to leaks
- Leaves a sticky/waxy residue on the skin for some users
4. Skin Food Peach Sake Pore Skincare
This K-beauty secret has been around since 1957, ensuring Korean women enjoy silky, smooth skin with no visible pores. The formula contains rice sake, peach extract with vitamins A and C, and silica powder plus some other chemicals that when put together, reduces the oil on your skin, minimizes pores and smells so good. It mattifies your skin so well that, when combined with other Skin Food items, will help you put on your primer and foundation.
Our problem with this serum is the fact that it’s a bit hard to get the right amount of product whenever you use the pump. And while it has been leaving most people’s skins soft, it doesn’t always have the same effect of minimizing pores on everyone. The smell is divine though.
- Lovely smell
- Cute packaging
- Mattifies your skin
- Does not minimize pores for all skin types
- Hard to pump just the right amount of product
- Contains parabens
5. SMASHBOX Photo Finish Foundation PrimerHigh-End Pore Minimizer
This is truly a photo finish product because it has a mattifying effect on your skin, ensuring that any flaws you have are hidden. Aside from sparing everyone you meet from the shine of your skin, this pore minimizer also smoothens your skin and prepares it for your foundation. And once you put the foundation on? Your skin will look baby smooth and soft; you won’t look like you’re wearing any makeup at all. As a pore minimizer, it works wonderfully with the added bonus of controlling the oil on your face for as long as 8 hours. We love that this product is vegan-friendly, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. Also, it doesn’t seem to be limited to a certain skin type.
- Controls oil for up to 8 hours
- Hides your pores away
- Some report that it feels greasy on the skin
- A lot of fakes sold on Amazon
- A bit on the expensive side
6. ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores
Charcoal is known to draw out oil and toxins from your pores thereby unclogging it. Then there’s the white China clay that absorbs the toxins. This is a rinse-off mask so if you want a peel-off mask, then this one’s not for you. It does tend to dry out your skin as some have reported. However, those with sensitive skin have not experienced any long-lasting ill effects.
Keep in mind that you may experience an initial breakout as the charcoal tries to get all the toxins buried deep in your pores out. Also, it takes a bit of effort to wash this mask off your face. You’ll also need to steam your face so your pores are open to make unclogging them easier. And in case you’re wondering, it isn’t as effective in taking out blackheads as some users have reported.
- Great for sensitive skin
- Really unclogs pores
- Leaves your skin smoother and clearer
- Not effective in taking out blackheads
- May cause you to experience an initial breakout
- Takes effort to get the mask off your face
7. Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional Face PrimerPore Minimizer For Dry Skin
Huge pores? Watch them disappear with this primer. The Porefessional lets you smooth away the imperfections on your skin, leaving you with the perfect canvas to apply your foundation and work your magic. You’ll literally feel the difference when the foundation glides on your skin, leaving you with a flawless complexion. The primer contains vitamin E and an oil-free base. While it does have a bit of color, it blends well with your skin. We love the fact that it really does what it promises and a little goes a long, long way.
However, it does nothing about reducing the oil on your face which is one of the causes of large pores. It’s also very pricey.
- Can work with any skin tone
- Oil-free primer
- A little product goes a long way
- Doesn’t reduce oil as promised
- Has caused breakouts in some individuals
8. Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer
This primer from Dr. Brandt contains tea tree oil and flaxseed extracts which absorb the oil on your face, tightening your skin upon application. Because it mattifies your skin, you get less of a shine so you don’t ever feel as if you’re a newly glazed donut. It also helps blur the look of imperfections including those pores that you wish would go away. Like some of our other picks, a little product goes a long way.
However, it seems to not last as long as the others. For some users, they felt that the product takes out too much oil, drying their skin. If you have dry skin, you will need to moisturize first before applying this primer. Also, don’t throw out the bottle once it no longer pumps product out. As some have found out, there’s still quite a bit of product stuck inside. You’ll need to cut the end off to get it.
- Absorbs oil
- Blurs your flaws
- Evens out your skin tone
- Can be a bit drying on the skin
- The pump mechanism is faulty
- Doesn’t last the whole day
9. jane iredale Smooth Affair Facial Primer and BrightenerPore Minimizer For Mature Skin
This pore minimizer is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic which means that you shouldn’t worry about this primer further blocking your already clogged pores. Instead, it will even your skin tone, refine your pores, and even reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It also helps in preventing trans-epidermal water loss. The primer’s anti-aging properties are due to the grapefruit extract, green tea, and white tea infused into the formula.
While it may be an expensive pore minimizer, a pea-sized amount will enable you to completely cover your face. And you gotta love the fact that it gives you such a smooth base for the rest of your makeup. Plus, it seems to work well for a lot of skin types including oily, acne prone skin and mature, drying skin. However, there are still some reports of breaking out due to the product. Also, this is a scented primer which may or may not be your thing.
- Works with any skin tone
- Doesn’t last all day
- Scented primer
10. Maybelline New York Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser PrimerPore Minimizer For Sensitive Skin
If baby-skin is what you’re aiming for, maybe a pore minimizer with that phrase in its name will deliver. This is a lightweight primer that blurs your flaws including large pores, providing you with a smooth complexion and allows your foundation to glide and blend well on your face. It is a transparent gel that is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. This primer can be worn with or without foundation. It’s transparent so it can work wonders with any skin tone. And it can be used by super-sensitive skin.
However, it is a bit oily so it may not be ideal for people with acne prone skin. Also, it does not provide you with a matte finish. However, if you’re on a budget and can’t afford the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, this is a close, inexpensive second.
- Very affordable
- Great for sensitive skin
- A bit oily/greasy feel
- Not for acne prone skin
- Does not provide a matte finish
How to Choose the Best Pore Minimizer: The Ultimate Buying Guide
If you have pores that seem to look like craters or just feel self-conscious about how noticeably large they are on your face, you probably have been on a quest to find the best pore minimizer for a while now. Now, there are plenty of reasons why our pores become enlarged. One is genetics. Yup, you can thank your parents for why your pores seem to be dominating your face. It could be due to the amount of oil on your skin which, when mixed with dirt and dead skin cells, clog your pores thus making them look bigger. Growing old, as well as exposure to the sun, can help exacerbate the problem.
Unfortunately for us, there can be no way to turn back the clock once your pores have become larger due to genetics. Barring laser treatment, your pores are going to stay the same size. Fortunately, there are products that can minimize their appearance, blurring the flaws on your face and making it appear as if you were 20 years younger.
So, the problem is finding the one pore minimizer that works best for you. Take note that not all pore minimizers are made equal, nor are they always going to have the same effect on everyone. To help you in your quest for the holy grail of pore minimizers, we’ve constructed a short, informative guide so you know what to be on the lookout for.
Types of Pore Minimizers
If you’ve already started your search, then you probably noticed that there are various kinds of pore minimizers in the market. Most of these products will absorb or take away excess oil, unclog your pores, and tighten your skin. However, they come in a variety of types such as masks, toners, primers, and serums. Now, pore minimizers that are designed as serums or primers are often best used if you plan to wear makeup. This is because these types of products are primarily designed to even out your skin tone and blur the appearance of your pores so that your foundation glides on smoothly and lasts longer.
The masks are obviously not for daily use but they often require the most commitment. For example, the Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay is our number one pick but you need to set it up properly and clean up can be a pain. The results, however, make it all worth it.
Toners, on the other hand, can be used daily but is best used at the end of your day, when you need that extra bit of cleaning. The Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is one good example. BHA or Beta-hydroxy acid is found in salicylic acid which helps unclog pores and exfoliates dead skin. This chemical also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
What is Your Skin Type?
Whether it’s a cleanser, a toner, foundation, lotion, or pore minimizer, it always boils down to skin type. If you have sensitive skin, you need to look for a product that’s hypoallergenic as it increases the likelihood that your skin won’t break out. Acne prone skin should look for a pore minimizer that has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties while oily skin will benefit from pore minimizers that absorb a lot of oil and unclog pores such as a mask.
It’s important to note that even individuals who have the same skin type don’t necessarily have the same reaction to a product. It’s really a hit and miss thing. You can base your choice initially on what type of pore minimizer you want to use and on your skin type.
However, in the end, it’ll depend on your skin’s reaction to the product. No matter how many people swear by a pore minimizer, keep in mind that you’ll need to try it before you fully commit to it. If you can, get a sample. If not, buy the smallest size available. Sometimes, you’ll need to stick it out for a while (read that: a couple of weeks) before you see (or not) results.