Do Pore Minimizers Really Work? I Tested 5 Types

by Hayli Goode

I've never struggled with being self-conscious specifically about the size of my pores, but I have had to deal with dry-to-oily skin, impressively large blackheads, and the ability to break out no matter the time of the month. So when I set out to discover if pore minimizers really work, my hope wasn't to decrease the size of my pores, but decrease the shine, blackheads and zits, starting at the pores. Actually making pores vanish seemed like an unreasonable ask... but oh, I was so mistaken.

UltraLuxe Skincare director Sarah Dakar, told fellow Bustler Julia Teen that “Blackheads are small dark spots on the skin caused by small blockages in the opening of our skin follicles and pores,” Dakar explains. “Our body produces sebum (oil) in order to lubricate, and it usually drains out of the pores. However, when it accumulates, the pores and hair follicles get stuck underneath the top layer of skin, enlarging the pore and causing blackheads.”

I thought if I closed, or minimized, those pores, then the blackheads, oils, zits, and general overal skin unhappiness would end. Makes sense, right?

Well, as it turns out, I was kinda correct. After just the first day of this experiment, I realized I had gotten into a lot more than just a solution to blackheads and T-zone troubles. Instead, I discovered that maybe my pores were actually the cause of much discoloration. All this time I thought my blackhead treatments were unsuccessful, when I actually didn't have any. After applying the first treatment, my face looked literally flawless. These blurring primers don't act as coverup, but rather give you an all-over airbrushed look without adding color. It might not be for everyone, but I personally appreciated the fact that my freckles could shine through. Check out my five days with five different pore minimizers and primers!

Day 1: Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur

Boots Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur , $25, Boots

The greatest part about this pore refiner is the freedom to put it on before you apply your makeup, or after! I had accidentally began applying my makeup before I applied the product — I'm a creature of habit — and this allowed me to apply it at the end of my routine. It was my first time using a pore minimizer and primer and I could not stop looking at how smooth my face appeared. And it literally took seconds. I love that it not only looked like a cloud, but my skin tone looked more even and, up close, it looked like I was just born without pores. Amazing, if you're into the no pore look — which I am.

Day 2: Dior "Pore Minimizer" Skin Refining Matte Primer

Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer, $44, Amazon

Dior states this primer is inspired by backstage makeup techniques and is a "must-have for makeup artists." Although I am neither a model nor a makeup artist, I spent the rest of the day pretending like I was because my skin looked like it should have been in a photoshoot. I was actually complimented multiple times this day on how soft my face looked. A soft face is a compliment, right?

Day 3: L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher

L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher , $9, Amazon

For best results, you should apply the pore vanisher as the last step of your beauty routine or at night. Since I wanted to wear it all day, I applied this directly after I showered and moisturized my skin, before putting on makeup. After I applied the pore vanisher, however, I considered going foundation-less. I loved that my natural pink cheeks were not covered, but my skin looked naturally smooth.

Day 4: Benefit The POREfessional Primer

Benefit POREfessional Minimizer Primer, $50, Amazon

The POREfessional minimizer is perfect for the girl-on-the-go. You can also apply this product underneath or on top of makeup. Not only did my skin look softer, but it also appeared more even and brighter. I chose to use this product in the morning and then as an extra touch-up before a meeting later in the afternoon. It gave me a refreshed look to beat those mid-day slumps!

Day 5: Boots No. 7 Pore Refining Serum

Boots No7 Pore Refining Serum, $29, Amazon

The pore refining serum not only brightens your skin, minimizes your pores, and evens out your skin tone instantly, but the brand says 76 percent of its testers have said their pores were less visible after two weeks. I loved how much it lightened and smoothed out my skin as soon as I applied.

Images: Hayli Goode