While they may feel like child’s play when stacked up against stubborn acne and wrinkles, enlarged, clogged pores can be just as trying to deal with and treat. For starters, there’s no actual way to completely get rid of them, regardless of how many miracle-promising products you lather, spray, and massage into your skin. Connected to your hair follicles, pores are tiny openings in the skin that release oil and sweat — so when there’s an increase in sebum (oil), a build-up of debris, or any other blockage on the skin, the size of pores only gets bigger and more noticeable.
Thankfully, though, there are plenty of formulas on the market right now — in the form of moisturizers, serums, masks, primers and even foundation — that work to not only shrink the appearance of pores, but help overtime to improve the skin’s overall texture. Commonly using powerhouse ingredients like salicylic acid, charcoal, and key vitamins, these pore minimizers get deep inside pores to gently slough off dead skin and bacteria and sop up oil for your smoothest face yet.
To take out some of the initial guess work, we’ve pulled together 14 of the best pore minimizers on the market to shop right now.
- Best Treatment: Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA
- Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
- Best Toner: Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner
- Best Mask: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
- Best Serum: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
- Best Cream: TonyMoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream
- Best Moisturizer: Origins Clear Improvement Pore Clearing Moisturizer
- Best Cleanser: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
- Best Primer: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
- Best for Oily Skin: Bioré Charcoal Minimizer
- Best Exfoliant: Indie Lee Gentle Daily Peel
- Best Foundation: Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation
- Best Powder: Glossier Wowder
- Best Natural Option: Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Best Treatment: Paula’s Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA
Lightweight and multitasking, this liquid solution works to do exactly what its name suggests — it minimizes and unclogs pores while dramatically affecting the skin’s overall texture. Using a blend of antioxidants and salicylic acid to penetrate and exfoliate pores while a powerful dose of skin-firming collagen smooths fine lines and wrinkles, this treatment zaps breakouts as soon as they form.
Shop now: $33; amazon.com
Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer
Small, cheap, and mighty, this lightweight cream from Maybelline aides in oil control and blurs pores to minimize their appearance on the face. It goes on easy and smooth like a moisturizer to help create an even canvas if you opt for makeup, and if not, leaves the skin looking dewy and fresh when worn on its own. Over 1,800 shoppers on Amazon give this primer a five-star rating for smoothing over pores on a budget.
Shop now: $5 (Originally $6); amazon.com
Best Toner: Perricone MD Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner
This powerful toner uses a unique mixture of alpha lipoic and salicylic acids and a proprietary mineral complex to exfoliate the skin, shrink and tighten even the most stubborn, enlarged pores, and quell excess shine. With over 2,000 ‘loves’ on Sephora, reviewers note that after using this toner, pores were visibly tightened and skin and noticeably less oily, with one sharing that their face “just overall felt better” after consistently incorporating the product into their routine.
Shop now: $45; sephora.com
Best Mask: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
This cult-favorite mask is currently in third place for the best selling skincare product on Amazon, and that's for a reason. When mixed as suggested with vinegar oil or water, the clay activates that feel-it-working tingle on the face — and over 12,000 five-star Amazon reviews claim that feeling is really just this powerful mask eradicating pores from the face. Sounds promising, no?
Shop now: $10; amazon.com
Best Serum: The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
Formulated for all skin types — especially oily — this high-strength vitamin and mineral formula utilizes 10 percent pure niacinamide and one percent zinc to reduce the appearance of blemishes and congestion in the skin that typically presents as enlarged, clogged pores. Added bonus? It’s under $10.
Shop now: $6; sephora.com
Best Cream: TonyMoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream
Infused with fermented green tea extract and lemon seed oil, this cooling K-beauty gel-cream forms a thin, hydration-locking layer over the skin that won’t bog down into your pores, leaving skin feeling soothed, not sticky or congested.
Shop now: $25; ulta.com
Best Moisturizer: Origins Clear Improvement Pore Clearing Moisturizer
Consider this moisturizer an acne treatment-hybrid, thanks to the one percent salicylic acid and bamboo charcoal that work to help clear and prevent breakouts, blackheads, and deeply clogged pores. Best for those with normal to oily skin, it’ll leave you with a clear, refreshed, and hydrated complexion.
Shop now: $34; nordstrom.com
Best Cleanser: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser
A notable cult favorite, this purifying cleanser from Kiehl’s goes deep into the pores to clean and decongest, while still being gentle enough to use every day without irritating the skin. The main hero of the foaming face wash is Amazonian white clay, which does the heavy lift of unclogging pores and reducing the appearance of their size.
Shop now: $23; sephora.com
Best Primer: Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer
With nearly 1,500 five-star reviews on Sephora, this Too Faced primer certainly deserves its cult-favorite status. A special cocktail of vitamins A and C, and a punch of retinol works to instantly zap the appearance of pores, while hydrating, tightening and detoxifying tired skin. Use it with or without makeup — your skin will thank you either way.
Shop now: $32; sephora.com
Best for Oily Skin: Bioré Charcoal Minimizer
This bargain pick goes straight to the source of deep, clogged pores to sop up the dirt, oil, and makeup trapped in the skin that enlarge the look of pores. Formulated with natural charcoal — known for its ability to draw impurities from the skin — and natural micro-crystals to gently exfoliate and smooth the skin, this minimizer will leave a whole new look (and feel) in its wake.
Shop now: $8; walmart.com
Best Exfoliant: Indie Lee Gentle Daily Peel
Treatment pads doused in acid are a best case scenario for anyone who wants the benefits of a pore-purifying treatment in a few mess-free swipes. Formulated with a powerful blend of BHAs and AHAs, these exfoliating peel pads slough off the dead skin and oil build-ups that typically clog pores. Simultaneously, the jasmine and burdock root extracts within the blend work to ensure skin is left calm, conditioned, and hydrated.
Shop now: $65; nordstrom.com
Best Foundation: Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation
This trendy liquid matte foundation lives up to its hype. With 24 flex shades, the formula was designed to make application and wear easy, offering a flawless wash over coverage in just one swipe. Tiny, powder-filled blurring microspheres diffuse light to leave a soft-focus effect on the face, instantly minimizing the appearance of pores and other pesky blemishes.
Shop now: $40; sephora.com
Best Powder: Glossier Wowder
Easily one of Glossier’s most underrated products, this weightless finishing powder works to provide the “perfect matte-not-flat” finish. Not only does it softly blur the appearance of pores and set makeup, but it keeps the skin looking like, well, skin. Wowder comes in five stretchable shades to get the closest match to your actual skin tone, so there’s no need to worry about the chalky flashback so commonly associated with powders.
Shop now: $22; glossier.com
Best Natural Option: Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Products don’t have to fancy, complicated, or Instagrammable to be effective, and this everyday staple is proof. Bragg’s classic apple cider vinegar (yes, the one you can find at the grocery store) makes for a natural pore minimizer and overall complexion clarifier. Dilute the vinegar by mixing with a bit of water, and apply to your face with a cotton ball. DIY has never felt so good.
Shop now: $9; amazon.com