In Mean Girls, Regina George famously complains about her huge pores. Cady might not have realized that enlarged pores are an issue in girl world, but they are. Many would say that large pores are more of a big deal than sucky nail beds or weird hairlines. Slapping on foundation is a quick fix, but why cover up your pores when you can treat them? There are lots of products that promise to shrink the appearance of pores, so I decided to put them to the test.
Take a look at the results:
1. Dermstick for Pores ($29, BeautyRx)This stick is great for applying the product to harder to reach spots like your nose. It is formulated with tea tree oil, pumpkin seed extract and glycolic acid, but don’t worry about any pungent smells. It smells a bit like a pumpkin muffin. You only need to use a small amount to cover a large area. I liked its consistency and my pores did seem less noticeable after only a few weeks use.
2. Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refresher ($55, Estee Lauder)This serum promises to shrink pores by a third instantly, and reduce them by up to 69% in four weeks. It also promises smoother skin and a clearer complexion. It earns points for the pretty bottle. When I first applied it, it did perfect the appearance of my skin just like a good primer. It was difficult to resist touching my face because it did make it oh-so soft.
3. T-Zone Pore Refining Serum ($44, Murad)This gel promises to clean and refine pores. I liked the gel consistency. It did not feel sticky. Anyone with oily skin will appreciate it. My pores did seem less prominent and I definitely did notice a reduction in the shine on my T-zone.
4. Pore Medic Pore Minimizing Serum ($40, Dr. Jart+)At first glance, you might think this is a spray but it is a serum. It claims to boost elasticity as well as cleaning out your pores and controlling oil. The midday shine on my face was reduced so I could skip the blotting sheets.
5. Intensive Pore Treatment ($85, Perricone MD)This is one of the most expensive products in the lot. It claims to treat the cause of enlarged pores as opposed to just camouflaging the problem. It does state that you may experience a temporary, mild tingling sensation when you apply it. I was expecting something like a lip plumper sensation on my face, but I did not really notice anything that intense. After using it for a bit, my face looked clearer and less oily.
Click the next page to see more pore product testing!
6. Super Acids Daily Azelaic Acid Serum ($98, Rodial)I was a bit nervous with this one because of the whole “super acids” thing. The daily serum says it refines, brightens, unclog pores, and hydrates. It also reduces the appearance of pigmentation and blemishes. I was actually surprised by how gentle it was. It did not irritate my face, but it improved my complexion in all the aforementioned ways. A tiny drop went a long way. It also smelt divine.
7. Precision Lifting & Pore-Tightening Concentrate ($48, Kiehl’s)Anti-aging meets pore reduction with this product. The applicator dispenses just the right amount. You only need about a pea-sized drop to cover your entire face. You’re okay to use it twice daily. It did not irritate my sensitive skin, even with the AM and PM applications. I like its texture and thought that my pores looks less like caters.
8. Brightening Toning Lotion ($50, Equitance)First of all, this bottle is massive. It will last you a long time. The lotion is different compared to a lot of the serums and gels on the list, but it did not feel greasy on my face. You apply it like a toner before your serum and moisturizer to boost efficacy. I started using it with other products on the list and found that they absorbed better and moisturized my face without adding shine.
9. Peptide Renewal Cream ($35, Mario Badescu)This is one of the few creams on the list. You apply it to your face day or night, and it promises to hydrate, diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin’s texture. The cream was not greasy nor did it leave a residue. It isn’t just a pore product, so I was happy to see that it did make my pores appear less visible. Plus, it made my face feel touchably soft.
10. Boosted Contouring Serum ($185, Tata Harper)Tata Harper always wins me over with its packaging. However, it wasn’t just the bottle that was great with this. It is actually an anti-aging product that has the benefit of refining pores thanks to its tightening formula. It smells amazing due to the orange blossom and pomegranate formula. It did make my face feel tighter. If you’re looking for a great anti-aging product that also tackles pores, this is a brilliant one.
11. Organic Skin Serum for Oily/Congested Skin ($76, Skinny Skinny)This serum comes in a easy-to-apply pipet bottle. The serum’s oils are meant to soften the oils in your pores so they are less prone to breakouts and blackheads. If you like spicy scents, you will like the black cumin formula. The product absorbed well without leaving a greasy residue. I found myself not inspecting my pores in the mirror as much, which means it must have done its job.
This serum is designed for sensitive, oily, or acne-prone skin. It promises to manage pores and oils in addition to soothing skin. First of all, I was a fan of the floral scent. It was relaxing but it did not irritate my skin. It absorbed into my skin almost immediately and it made it feel very soft. Shine, oil and enlarged pores were no longer the issues they once were.
This product is all about improving your skin tone. It softens, minimizes scarring and brightens. The quick-absorbing formula made my skin feel fantastic. My skin was less shiny and my pores seemed less, well, pore-ish. The bottle is small but one or two pumps easily covers your face.
14. Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel ($30, First Aid Beauty)This one has a different package compared to the rest of the pore products on the list. It is dubbed a multi-functional gel that hydrates, removes excess oils and minimizes the appearance of pores. I am a fan of the gel formula. It really does moisturize while controlling oil production. As for my pores, they seemed less noticeable even with the matte finish of the product.
(Photos: Heather Cichowski/The Gloss)