Your skin needs pores…but that doesn’t mean you need to see them all the time.
Even though pores are small, they are surprisingly mighty. Yes, they help keep skin moisturized and healthy, but they have some annoying downsides: Their appearance makes or breaks foundation application, they can get clogged with oils and dirt, and many of us are just plain annoyed at their appearance.
That’s probably why searches on "blackheads" trail only behind "acne" ones, according to a Google survey of skin care search trends.
So, let’s get some bad news out of the way first: You can’t really shrink pores, but you can make them less noticeable by exploring a range of tactics from peels and microneedling to primers and foundations.
With the help of makeup artist Jamie Greenberg, we came up with a list of solutions that address the problems behind big pores to help you fake it ‘till you make it.
1. Face masks
An editor favorite: If you put makeup on and can see every nook and cranny, the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial ($80, Sephora.com) will go a long way in improving the texture of skin. It’s amped-up with both alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, making it slough off dull, dead skin cells while refining and toning pores for a truly glowy, taut effect. Try it at night once a week.
In office treatments such as microneedling, a procedure that uses sterile needles to poke tiny holes in the skin, work to energize skin and help refine pores, and Greenberg likes to use it to help combat wide-open pores. You can also try an at-home device such as the GloPro MicroStimulation Facial Tool ($200, nordstrom.com), which incorporates red LED light therapy to combat inflammation.
If you’re worried about pores, try using a primer, which will help to even out skin texture and ensure that makeup goes on silky and smooth. Greenberg likes Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer ($19, ulta.com), which has skin-protecting ingredients such as aloe vera gel and antioxidants like white tea extract.
4. Powder foundation
Try a powder foundation, rather than a liquid, if you’re concerned about your pores. While these do tend to provide a sheerer coverage, they’re also buildable and can help to cope with excess oils. Greenberg recommends L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Powder ($7, amazon.com).