Joline Buscemi
November 07, 2018 11:11 am
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Alyssa Morin / HelloGiggles; Getty Images; Sephora

We’ve all got pores, and we mean everyone. But don’t let those Instagram close-ups fool you: not all pores are created equal. When it comes down to it, some people are blessed with naturally small pores, while others have pores that are more noticeable.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but pore size is genetically determined. So no, you can’t technically shrink their natural size, but you can change their appearance. If you notice that they’re getting wider, deeper, and clogged, there is something you can do to change that, according to Dr. Ava Shamban, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and the founder of Skin Five.

She said that shrinking the underlying oil glands can help pores appear smaller, which is possible with the help of “lasers or a medication that applied topically to the skin and is absorbed by the oil glands.” Another tip? Dr. Shamban recommended using an exfoliating skin cleanser that has salicylic acid, AHAs, or retinoids. These powerful ingredients will help to minimize the look of pores.

Because there’s an overwhelming amount of pore shrinking products to shop, we rounded up 20 of best ones. From drugstore faves to splurge-worthy items, there’s a little something for everyone.

1Perricone MD Oil-Free Exfoliating Pore Refiner, $45

Courtesy of Perricone MD

This toner was specifically designed with refining pores in mind. It removes impurities and minimizes the appearance of pores, while giving your skin an overall radiance.

2Paula’s Choice Skin Perfect 2% BHA Liquid, $29

Courtesy of Paula's Choice

This exfoliant clears out dead skin cells and oil from pores, so not only will they appear smaller, but you’ll get rid of blackheads and congested areas, too. It’s a cult-fave for a reason.

3Estée Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher, $86


This serum works to clear your skin, reduce the appearance of pores, and even out skin tone. According to Sephora’s site, 69% people noticed their pores shrunk—we’ll take it.

4Caudalie Vinopure Pore Minimizing Toner, $28

Courtesy of Caudalie

With salicylic acid as its main ingredient, this toner will clean out pores to reveal clearer and smoother-looking skin.

5Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores, $28


We all know that charcoal masks deep clean and reduce pores, but this one takes it to another level. Its blend of bamboo charcoal and china clay flushes out environmental toxins, dirt, and debris that clog up pores.

6Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask, $36


Have you heard that a splash of cool water can minimize the appearance of pores? That’s the idea behind this mask, which helps to control oils, smooth skin texture, and—you guessed it—reduce pores.

7Sunday Riley Space Race Kit, $65

Courtesy of Sunday Riley

This kit exfoliates the skin to clear congested pores and reduce their size. On top of that, this kit also treats acne-related redness.

8Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer, $52

Courtesy of Tatcha

This primer works double duty by concealing imperfections and diminishing the look of pores.

9Murad Pore Reform Skin Smoothing Polish, $34

Courtesy of Murad

With a potent blend of witch hazel and cinnamon extract, this polish helps to decongest clogged pores and blackheads.

10Neutrogena Pore Refining Moisturizer, $14.48

Courtesy of Neutrogena

This moisturizer works to improve your skin’s overall appearance, leading to smaller, less visible pores. Best of all? It’s enriched with retinol and BHAs.

11Banila Co Hi Bye Clean Up Sebum Control Essence, $21

Courtesy of Soko Glam

When the skin is too oily, it can make pores appear larger. This essence takes care of that by using ingredients like witch hazel, peppermint, and green tea.

12Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum, $48

Courtesy of Clinique

Control oil and clean out pore-clogging debris with this potent serum. Even better? You can use it morning and night.

13Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub, $5.99

Courtesy of Biore

With salicylic acid, this scrub treats acne, pore-clogging dirt, and blackheads. Just make sure to not overuse it or you’ll risk irritating your skin.

14Aztec Indian Healing Clay, $7.99

Courtesy of Aztec Secret

This mask is a skin care staple for a reason—it’s affordable and it gets the job done when it comes to clearing up the skin and deep cleaning pores.

15Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner, $19.90

Courtesy of Bioderma

For those with oily and acne-prone skin, this serum with salicylic and glycolic acid will minimize pores while also clearing up skin.

16Erno Laszlo Pore Refining Detox Double Cleanse, $35


This cleanser draws out dirt and impurities from pores, while also getting rid of buildup on the surface.

17J J Young Pore Steam Face Mask, $13.02


This affordable drugstore mask deep cleans pores without irritating your skin.

18BioClarity Clarifying Mask, $24.95


This “pore purifier” mask smooths and soothes your skin with a blend of tea tree, antixoidant Floralux, and aloe. So not only will your pores look smaller, but your skin will feel baby soft.

19Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask, $49


This vegan and cruelty-free mask uses super-powered Australian botanicals to detox your skin and tighten pores.

202nd Kind Brazilian Clay + Lavender Clay Cleanser, $26

2nd Kind

This clay cleanser absorbs the skin’s oils, remove impurities from pores, and prevents acne.