Pores Can't Shrink—Sorry—But These 20 Products Still Perform Some Major Wizardry



Pores that are large and in charge aren't most people's cup of tea—myself included. If you're also one of those people, you may be looking for a solution that will help your pores politely sit down. 

Smoother skin is just around the corner, folks. I turned to the pros for advice on the situation. It's important to note that while you can't actually shrink your pores permanently, you can at least find products that minimize them handsomely. Why can't they shrink, you ask? Audrey Kunin, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of DermaDoctor, states that "while we can't actually change the natural diameter of our pores, we can improve their visibility. Over time, pores become stretched with debris such as dead skin cells, excess oil, makeup, and pollution. Add in the loss of dermal collagen with age, and this allows pores to expand and become more visible."



On the other hand, celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau believes there's one magical ingredient that can actually help reduce the size of your pores: retinol. "A retinoid peel is a great DIY option [to help] shrink pores if you have access to a prescription retinoid. To do this, simply apply the product with a heavier hand than normal (roughly, a dime-sized amount)," Rouleau says. 

If you're interested in adding a few pore-minimizing products to your skincare routine, both Rouleau and Kunin say you'll want to consider a physical exfoliant like a scrub and a chemical exfoliant with AHAs and BHAs to help remove debris. "This allows pores to snap back to their natural size," says Kunin. "The use of rejuvenating skincare with vitamin C and peptides can also help improve the appearance of pores." That being said, take a peek below and find the best products to help reduce large pores. You'll find everything from exfoliators to toners and cleansers.

Exfoliators That Minimize Visible Pores

This exfoliant promotes radiance and clearer pores with natural AHAs, BHAs, and active botanicals like yarrow, mallow, and hibiscus-flower peptides. 

Containing glycolic acid and fruit AHAs, this triple-acting exfoliant clears away pore-clogging debris like magic.

Finally, an exfoliant fit for daily use. This formula is a great addition to your routine because it's a gentle rice-based powder but still effectively clears away surface congestion.

This scrub uses tiny micro-beads to gently polish away dry skin on the surface. It unclogs pores, refines enlarged ones, and smooths out the skin without irritation.

Dr. Brandt's purifying exfoliant comes highly recommended by Kunin for its ability to remove makeup, dead skin, and other pore-clogging buildup. 

Cleansers That Minimize Visible Pores

Another gentle option for all skin types, this cleanser contains both AHAs and BHAs to gently exfoliate the skin. It also contains adzuki-bean powder, which further removes excess oil.

Both a foaming gel cleanser and an exfoliant, this formula is non-stripping and leaves skin smoother than ever. 

If you have acne-prone skin, this probiotic treatment cleanser is a great option. It has 2% salicylic acid to help unclog pores and act as a powerful anti-inflammatory. 

Glossier's cleanser concentrate works well for those with sensitive skin because it contains gentle exfoliants like malic acid, lactic acid, and grape ferment along with niacinamide to refine pores.

This cleanser contains charcoal to draw oil, environmental pollution, and makeup out of the pores.

Toners That Minimize Visible Pores

Youth to the People's liquid solution is a must-have for its combination of superfood antioxidants and a trio of powerful (yet non-irritating) exfoliating acids.

This toner is loved by estheticians and derms alike for its uncanny ability to reduce the visibility of larger pores. 

Although this toner is water-like, it's still a powerhouse exfoliant. It contains acid exfoliants, copper, and vitamin C to help visibly reduce pores in a matter of days.

An all-in-one toning solution, this toner tightens pores, clarifies, purifies, and hydrates all at once.

The malachite in this toning solution detoxes pores along with other exfoliating acids like glycolic and phytic.

Serums That Minimize Visible Pores

Kunin always recommends this DermaDoctor serum for enlarged pores because it's extremely fast-acting. It contains a blend of acids including salicylic, glycolic, citric, and retinol.

Rouleau always recommends her Advanced Resurfacing Serum to those with sensitive skin. It's a pure retinol cream that reduces fine lines, encourages the repair of collagen, and improves the look of enlarged pores. 

Alpha Beta acids in this serum work to unclog pores and regulate oiliness while farnesol fights acne-causing bacteria. 

This serum contains vitamin B3, zinc, and a high concentration of niacinamide to help reduce pores in a big way.