Skincare Products » Best Pore Minimizers

12 Best Pore Minimizers of 2023

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

More often than not, the size of your pores is influenced more by genetics rather than behavior. But, even if great-great grandma Marie had large pores, that doesn’t mean you have to endure the same fate. 

Thankfully, a wide range of products can be used during the cleanser, serum, or pre-makeup application steps to actively minimize or blur your pores for a flawless effect. Whether oily skin, acne, or even dirt buildup cause your pore woes, we’ve got the solution for you. 

Best pore minimizers overview:

How we chose the best pore minimizers

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including skin type, main ingredients, purpose, and more, to create a short list of the top pore minimizers. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best pore minimizers for each category.

Our picks for the best pore minimizers

Best overall
Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic

What we love

  • Exfoliates to reveal fresh, brighter skin
  • Gentle 5% glycolic acid content
  • Alcohol-free

What we don’t love

  • Not all skin types can use this twice daily

The best way to minimize pores is to go straight to the source. Whether you struggle with enlarged pores or not, the Glow Tonic toner from Pixi beauty is a gentle 5% glycolic acid exfoliating toner that visibly lifts dead skin to reveal a brighter complexion. It also works to smooth texture. Meanwhile, aloe vera, ginseng, and other botanical extracts soothe your skin and nourish it. This toner is safe for all skin types and is alcohol-free to avoid overdrying the skin.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: 5% glycolic acid, aloe vera, ginseng, botanical extracts | Size: 3.4 fl oz

Best budget
Bioré Rose Quartz + Charcoal Daily Purifying Cleanser

What we love

  • Gentle enough for daily use
  • Charcoal draws out twice the dirt, oil, and impurities as basic cleansers
  • Affordable

What we don’t love

  • Charcoal can be too drying for drier skin types

Bioré may be known for its pore strips, but we’re focusing on this gentle daily cleanser. Most derms don’t recommend using pore strips because they also pull off a layer of skin and aren’t actually that effective at clearing your pores. An easy alternative is a purifying cleanser.

This pore refining cleanser leverages the power of charcoal to deeply cleanse your pores and remove two times more dirt, impurities, and oil than a basic cleanser. This oil-free facial wash can be used daily and is dermatologist-tested. Plus, the addition of rose quartz aids in a bit of self-care, thanks to the crystal’s association with positive energy.

Skin type: Oily | Main ingredients: Charcoal, rose quartz | Size: 6.77 fl oz

Best for touch-ups
Veil Cosmetics Automatte Mattifying Balm

What we love

  • Can be used on bare skin or on top of makeup
  • Mattifies and blurs pores for a velvet finish
  • Infused with vitamins C and E

What we don’t love

  • May not be as effective at preventing recurrent shine for very oily skin types

Even if you don’t have particularly large pores, putting makeup on your skin can sometimes create unexpected results. If you need to touch up your makeup for a flawless finish but don’t want to disturb your foundation, Veil Cosmetics’ Automatte Mattifying Balm is a fantastic pressed balm compact to take with you. 

It comes with a sponge applicator to instantly blur and smooth pores for a soft, matte finish. Better still, the balm is infused with vitamins C and E, which work to brighten and moisturize your skin for a hydrating experience. This mattifying balm is safe for all skin types and won’t leave an ashen cast on deeper skin tones.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Vitamin C, vitamin E | Size: 2.4 oz

Best highlight
Erborian Glow Cream

What we love

  • Blurs and encourages radiant glow
  • Licorice extract for soothing properties
  • Can be worn alone or under makeup

What we don’t love

  • Scented

Whether you’re #TeamBareFace or like the idea of layering your foundation on top of your highlighter, Erborian’s Glow Cream is a fun dewy moisturizer that pulls double duty as a primer too. This hydrating cream contains licorice extract to encourage radiance and also leverages a pearlescent shimmer for a subtle glow that blurs while giving you that “lit from within” effect.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Licorice root | Size: 0.5 oz

Best exfoliator
Trinny London BHA Exfoliant Find Your Balance

What we love

  • Mandelic acid (AHA) to clear pores
  • Evens the complexion
  • Salicylic acid for exfoliation

What we don’t love

  • Expensive
  • Combination of AHA and BHA may be too strong for some

The best way to minimize the look of your pores is to ensure they’re thoroughly clean. Along with having a good cleanser, you need to prioritize routine exfoliation. Trinny London’s BHA Exfoliant Find Your Balance is designed specifically for blemish-prone skin. The non-stripping formula aids in clarifying by cleansing your pores. It’s made for congested skin and is especially ideal for those with normal to oily skin. Note that this product is best for nighttime use only.

Skin type: Normal to oily | Main ingredients: Salicylic acid, mandelic acid, chlorella vulgaris, ginger, cinnamon, burnet | Size: 1.7 oz

Best splurge
Tatcha The Silk Canvas Filter Finish Protective Primer

What we love

  • Blurs, protects, and primes
  • Available in pressed and liquid formulas
  • Primarily naturally derived ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Depending on other products used, pilling is possible

For those seeking the ultimate skin prep before applying makeup, you’ve probably heard of the much coveted Silk Canvas from Tatcha. It’s definitely a splurge, but this gentle priming balm (also available as The Liquid Silk Canvas if you prefer) works to smooth and blur your skin for a flawless effect. 

It minimizes pores, fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven texture and is safe for all skin types. Key ingredients include botanicals to form a protective barrier around your skin, silk extracts to blur, and an anti-aging complex complete with green tea, rice, and algae.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Green tea, silk extracts, rice, algae | Size: 0.7 oz

Best instant
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

What we love

  • Offers instant results
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Salicylic acid for redness, zinc oxide for oil

What we don’t love

  • Not an all-over-face solution

In most cases when you’re trying to fix blemishes or problem areas with your skin, you can’t expect instant or even overnight results. But the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion proves that notion wrong. While this isn’t a whole-face solution, it’s the perfect option for spot-treating blemishes like acne marks, which can encourage large pores. 

This pick, made for all skin types, incorporates salicylic acid to minimize redness and blemishes, sulfur to unclog pores, and zinc oxide to absorb excess oil. For best results, this solution is intended for nighttime use only. Users should avoid shaking the bottle because the solution is supposed to be used in its separated form.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Salicylic acid, sulfur, zinc oxide | Size: 1 fl oz

Best for oily skin
Good Molecules Bakuchiol Oil Blend for Oily Skin

What we love

  • Gentle alternative to retinol
  • Specifically formulated for oily skin
  • Can be used morning and night

What we don’t love

  • May encourage photosensitivity

Bakuchiol is a fan-favorite, vegan alternative to traditional retinol, especially for those with sensitive skin. It’s often better tolerated by people with retinoid sensitivities. This oily skin blend version from Good Molecules is designed to hydrate, plump, and encourage cellular turnover for a fresher, healthier visage. However, while the brand notes that it can be used both in the morning and at night, it’s best to pair it with SPF if you plan on using it during the day.

Skin type: Oily, combination | Main ingredients: 1% bakuchiol, rosehip seed oil, baobab seed oil | Size: 0.4 fl oz

Best hydrating
Butter London Cool Blue Blurring Primer

What we love

  • Blurs imperfections and evens skin tone
  • Hydrating formula
  • Cooling sensation

What we don’t love

  • Can encourage pilling if you apply too much

You don’t always need a product that tingles or cools to let you know it’s working, but sometimes that sensation is enjoyable. Butter London’s Cool blue Blurring Primer is a makeup-prep product designed to minimize the appearance of imperfections like your pores to create the perfect canvas for your makeup application. 

In addition to offering a cooling sensation, it leverages the power of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and trehalose to deeply hydrate and lock in moisture. In turn, your makeup applications can last longer. However, while this is a silicone-free primer, a little goes a long way. If you apply too much, depending on the texture of your other makeup, it could encourage pilling.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, trehalose | Size: 0.5 fl oz

Best multitasker
Jane Iredale HydroPure Tinted Serum with Hyaluronic Acid & CoQ10

What we love

  • Pore refining and foundation in one
  • Hyaluronic acid and squalene for moisture
  • Dewy, sheer finish foundation

What we don’t love

  • Limited 7-color shade range
  • Expensive

Whether you’re short on time or trying to Marie Kondo your makeup vanity, taking advantage of multitasking products is always a smart idea. The Jane Iredale HydroPure Tinted Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and CoQ10 is designed to provide a hint of color that evens your skin tone. 

Meanwhile, it also leverages the power of hyaluronic acid to plump, hydrate, and blur imperfections — including reducing the look of pores, fine lines, or wrinkles. Keep in mind that this product will give you a dewy, sheer coverage finish. Olive squalene also soothes and offers antioxidant protection from environmental stressors.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, CoQ10, olive squalene | Size: 1 oz

Best dupe
E.l.f. Cosmetics Poreless Putty Primer

What we love

  • Affordable
  • Squalene for enhanced hydration
  • Multiple formats for different skin concerns

What we don’t love

  • Applying too much can cause pilling

Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas is a fantastic but expensive investment. If your budget won’t let you reach that far, E.l.f. Cosmetics’ Poreless Putty Primer (and subsequent versions that address specific skin concerns) is a worthy alternative. 

The Poreless Putty Primer is a commendable budget-friendly primer. It blurs for a velvety texture and uses squalene for the ultimate hydration that won’t fade away throughout the day. This pick is also safe for all skin types. 

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Squalene | Size: N/A

Best serum
Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

What we love

  • Resurfacing serum to boost glow and hydration
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Improves texture and radiance

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

When your skin is irritated and not adequately hydrated, you’ll find that those minor imperfections turn into glaring beacons. Peach & Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum is designed to give you that coveted K-Beauty glass skin effect that was all the rage a few seasons ago.

This serum features a potent blend of niacinamide, peptides, hyaluronic acid, peach extract, East Asian mountain yam, and madecassoside to enhance hydration, calm and brighten your skin, and improve firmness. In third-party tests, respondents agreed that this pick was safe for sensitive skin, and the majority saw smoother, softer skin with fewer dry patches.

Skin type: All | Main ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, peach extract, East Asian mountain yam, madecassoside | Size: 1.35 oz

Say bye to big pores

No one wants to feel like their pores are doing the talking for them when someone looks at their face. The solution can often be a combination of tweaking your skincare routine and incorporating skin-prep tools before applying makeup.

We recommend our best overall pick, Pixi Beauty’s Glow Tonic toner, to help exfoliate and deeply cleanse your pores. Meanwhile, if you need a makeup prep option to blur your pores for a flawless finish, consider some of our primer recommendations like Tatcha’s The Silk Canvas or the E.l.f. Cosmetics’ Poreless Putty Primer.

How to pick the right pore minimizer for you

Large pores don’t have to be your reality. To find the right solution for your needs, consider your skin type and your overall goals. 

Skin type

Your skin type might not be as much of a determining factor for pore-priming products, but for skincare, it’s critical. In most cases, products define skin type as normal, combination, dry, oily, acne-prone, sensitive, and troubled. (Sometimes mature” will also be added, but this can usually be a combination of dry and sensitive.) 

If you have oily, combination, or acne-prone skin, prioritize products focused on deep cleansing and oil production, specifically with BHA ingredients like salicylic acid or zinc oxide. Salicylic acid deeply cleanses your pores, while zinc oxide controls oil production. 

Those with dry, sensitive, and mature skin should focus on gentle formulas with hydrating ingredients like squalene, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. Mature skin, in particular, needs anti-aging ingredients like retinol or bakuchiol. 

Main ingredients

Different causes can contribute to enlarged pores, such as dirt, dead skin or texture, and even excess oil. Depending on the reason behind your pores, you’ll need to pick compatible ingredients. If you’re experiencing larger pores in conjunction with an acne breakout or excessive oil production, ingredients like salicylic acid and charcoal can help control both issues and deeply cleanse your pores. 

But if texture, dryness, and signs of aging are contributing to enlarged pores, you’ll want to target hydration, exfoliation, and cellular turnover ingredients. Hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, squalene, vitamin E, and even other oils are generally well-tolerated by most skin types. Texture or dead skin buildup requires exfoliation with BHAs, AHAs, and PHAs. Finally, cellular turnover relies on options such as retinol or bakuchiol. 


What’s the most effective pore minimizer? 

This depends on the underlying causes of your enlarged pores. However, a good starting point is our best overall pick, Pixi Beauty’s Glow Tonic toner. It relies on 5% glycolic acid to gently cleanse your pores and remove dead skin from the surface to reveal fresher, brighter skin. 

How can I permanently tighten my pores?

Unfortunately, pore size is largely dictated by genetics. So, permanently tightening them if they’re enlarged is an unrealistic goal. However, ensuring that you’re deep cleaning your pores and also routinely exfoliating throughout the week can help minimize their appearance. 

What’s causing my large pores?

Genetics is the main determiner of pore size. But, sometimes, behaviors such as not properly washing your face, failing to deep-cleanse, and not exfoliating regularly can all contribute to larger pores.