If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and wondered why your pores look so big, know you’re not alone — we’ve all been there. Instead of proceeding to study our face in the mirror for the next few hours, we reached out to Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, to find out easy ways we can make pores look smaller at home. Check out all six tricks, ahead.

TIP 1: Keep Your Face Clean

Pores look larger and more noticeable when they’re clogged with dirt or oil. Use a cleanser that contains between 0.5 and 2 percent salicylic acid and leave on your skin for a minute to let active ingredients work before washing it off. Some other ingredients that work well to keep pores clean of debris and dirt are glycolic acid and lactic acid.

We recommend the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser and CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser.

cerave-cleanser 

TIP 2: Exfoliate

One of the most important things you can do if you have large pores is to make sure dead skin cells and debris get sloughed away regularly. The answer to this is exfoliation. Consider using a Clarisonic Cleansing Brush to deep clean areas where pores are more noticeable, like around your nose and chin. If you’d prefer to use a normal facial exfoliator, try one like the Kiehl’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub.

No matter your exfoliating method, be sure not to exfoliate more than two to three times a week so you don’t aggravate your skin and potentially enlarge pores even more — the opposite of what we’re going for here.

TIP 3: Upgrade Your Pore Strips and Masks

Fact: we can never have too many pore strips and masks. Not only do they help our skin, but they also provide some quality #SelfCareSunday activities. Two pore products we love are the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask and Boscia Pore Purifying Charcoal Strips.

TIP 4: Amp Up Your Skincare Routine

The best thing you can do to make your pores look better in the long run is to incorporate the right ingredients into your daily skincare regimen — like salicylic acid and retinol. “Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, which helps remove excess oil from the surface of your skin and exfoliates dead cells,” explains Dr. Zeichner. “Retinol stimulates collagen to help support the structure of the pore and keeps the surface opening looking as small as possible.”

We recommend adding a retinol cream to your nightly skincare routine and a face moisturizer for the morning that contains salicylic acid.

TIP 5: Use a Primer Underneath Your Makeup

Primer is like spackle: It fills in the holes of large pores so the surface of you skin looks super smooth. For a great drugstore primer, we recommend NYX Professional Makeup Pore Filler, and if you’re feelin’ fancy, we recommend IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Primer.

nyx-pore-filler

TIP 6: Never Skip Your SPF

As we’ve drilled into your mind time and time again, SPF if your trusty savior, no matter what time of year it is. “With sun damage, the skin gets weaker, making pores look larger,” explains Dr. Zeichner. This is why you always need an SPF 30 sunscreen (or more) on hand. Two of ours favorites are Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Sunscreen.

TIP 7: Use a Longwear Concealer

Concealer can help hide pores — especially when you use a longwear concealer and tap it on with a brush. We like L’Oréal Paris Visible Lift Blur Concealer.

Read More:

How to Pick the Right Foundation for Your Skin Type

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Hero Image Courtesy Essie for Tanya Taylor

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