How to Shrink Big Pores

model with great skin

Rosdiana Ciaravolo

If pore size is a concern, know that a few factors are at play. Genetics ultimately determine your skin type, but excess oils, debris, and aging can all affect the look of pores. “While you can’t completely shrink pores you can minimize the appearance of your pores,” explains Dr. Howard Sobel, NYC dermatologist and founder of Sobel Skin.

The first thing you need to do is remove debris from your pores—shrinking their size will make them appear smaller. Sobel suggests products with salicylic acid, which works great to gently push out dead skin, bacteria, sebum, and other pore-clogging debris. (Note: It’s best to avoid products with salicylic acid if you’re pregnant. Instead, look for something with glycolic, lactic, or citric acid.)

These are our favorite products for poreless, glowing skin.

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Detox Clay Mask

grn goods


Two types of clay and activated charcoal will suck all impurities out of your pores, leaving you with super-clean, super smooth skin.

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Peach Sake Pore Serum

Skin Food


It’s all about the sake! The boozy rice wine works to enhance circulation, tighten skin, and modulate oil production. Peach, the other standout ingredient, is rich in vitamins A and C, both of which help brighten and minimize the effects of sun damage.

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Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid

Paula’s Choice


Paula’s number-one product worldwide is also a cult favorite. If you’re looking for a more even skin tone with added vibrancy, this is your miracle in a bottle. Just make sure you commit to it. A number of people report minimal results at first, but with time you should see a major difference.

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Resurfacing Compound

U Beauty


Created by blogger Tina Craig, this day and night treatment gives you smoother, tighter skin after a single application. It also helps reduce dark spots, making it the perfect multitasker in your routine.

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Luminizing Pink Mask

Boscia’s black charcoal mask now comes in this cute millennial pink packaging. Charcoal works to draw dirt, impurities, and excess oils from pores, making them clearer and less immediately visible. 

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Effaclar Pore-Refining Serum with Glycolic Acid

La Roche-Posay


Make like the French girls do and try this cult-favorite serum. The combination of AHAs, glycolic acid and hyaluronic acid makes it great for oily skin. It not only helps with pore size, but also corrects signs of aging.

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Papaya Bright Face Mask

If you live in a busy city, you probably have pollution in your pores (yuck). This mask is so clean it’s edible, and so effective at detoxing your skin that you’ll be obsessed.

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Exfoliating Pore Refiner

Perricone MD


87 percent of the people who used this product noticed that their pores appeared smaller and more refined after consistent use. For best results, apply morning and night then move onto other serums and moisturizers.

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Ose Gidi Soap

Liha Beauty


Bar soap is back—and better than ever. Liha’s effective version uses lactic acid from blackstrap molasses to cleanse, while shea butter, coconut, and help oil rehydrate skin to keep it smooth and glowy.

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Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips

The perfect product to clear the congestion. These strips target clogged pores and draw out oil for the deepest of deep cleans.

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Alpha Beta® Extra Strength Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare


It’s a favorite of Chrissy Teigan—and been a best-seller for 20 years—for a reason. The super-effective two step acid peel is inspired by the treatment you’d get in a dermatologist’s office. The pre-dosed pads have a potent mix of AHA and BHA to instantly gives you a smooth, best-skin-day-ever glow.

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Pore Treatment Strips

Peace Out


Is there anything more satisfying than peeling off a pore strip and seeing… well, you know. These active strips not only refine pores, but also help control oil production for smoother, more matte skin.

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Pore Refiner Primer

Dr. Brandt


Pores No More is Dr. Brandt’s quick fix for flawless skin. The base provides a great canvas for applying your makeup and acts as a barrier to prevent build-up. Apply this after your moisturizer for best results. You can even apply it throughout the day for little touch-ups, if you’re feeling extra.

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Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub

Burt’s Bees


This drugstore favorite is like a power washer for your pores—the super exfoliating combination of salicylic and fruit acids with jojoba beads gives you refined, clear skin.

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Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35

1. People usually avoid sunscreen because they feel like it clogs their pores. But this weightless sunscreen with SPF 35 blends in instantly and leaves skin looking matte—perfect.

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Pore Perfecting Powder Foundation SPF 15

Black Opal


This silky powder foundation leaves skin smooth and matte while instantly evening out imperfections.

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