Do you ever look in the mirror and think, "Dang! My pores are huuuuuge"? Well, you're not alone. Dermatologists have told us (22 times over!) that enlarged pores is one of the biggest complaints women make during visits. Read on for simple ways to visibly shrink pores and smooth out your complexion...at least for a few hours.
#1 Keep your face clean
Pores look larger and more noticeably when they’re clogged with dirt and oil. The grit and grime can actually stretch them out. Use a cleanser that contains between 0.5 and 2 percent salicylic acid, and leave on for a minute to let the active ingredients get to work before washing it off. Try: Kiehl's Photo-Age Deep-Action Exfoliating Cleanser, and be amazed by how smooth and soft your skin looks afterwards. It's crazy!
Getting rid of those pore-clogging dead skin cells can take only two minutes—and feel like an at-home facial. After a shower, gently use an electric brush, like a Clarisonic, to deep-clean areas where pores are more noticeable, like around the nose and on the chin.
#3 Use a primer underneath makeup
Think of it like spackle for your skin: fill in the holes of large pores so the surface looks even and smooth with a primer; many professional makeup artists live and die by Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Targeted Pore and Line Primer to prep actresses' skin before going on high-def TV.
#4 Or use one on top
Didn’t think you needed a primer, but your foundation’s on perfectly and now you’re noticing you can still see your pores? Try Benefit Cosmetics The Porefessional—unlike most primers, which work only underneath foundation—this works on top to make skin feel and look super silky.
#5 Upgrade your nose strips
Those white strips that dry like paper mache definitely work—you'll be fascinated (and repulsed) by all of the tiny plugs that come off your pores and stick to the sheet when you pull it off. But Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips are even better than the traditional kind, since they contain charcoal, which draws out even more impurities, and witch hazel, which temporarily tightens pores.
#6 Long term treat
The best thing you can do to make pores look better in the long-run is to incorporate retinol and exfoliating acids into your night regimen. They help clear skin, getting the gunk out of your pores so they're not stretched out and dark with debris.
#7 Use a long-lasting concealer
No one wants to leave the house with her pores expertly concealed—and then find it’s melted off after a hot ride on the subway just in time for a meeting (confession: it's happened to us...more than once). Try: L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Concealer, it's got great coverage that lasts for 16 hours.
What's your personal pore-shrinking secret?