The 5 Best Pore-Minimizing Serums


For many, the treatment and elimination of blackheads and enlarged pores feels like a puzzle that can't be solved. While these skin conditions are stubborn, however, they aren't impossible to overcome — you just have to use the right products. The best pore-minimizing serums, for example, reduce the appearance of clogged, dark, or enlarged pores by increasing your skin cell turnover through gentle exfoliation and reducing the production of excess oil.

Serums, in general, are very versatile. They're basically concentrated versions of other skin treatments and can be used in combination with most products to solve a number of issues including acne, dry skin, and discoloration. As for serums made to minimize enlarged pores, the best ones will work by increasing cell turnover. Antioxidants like vitamin C, retinols, and exfoliating acids are all key ingredients in pore-minimizing serums because they can unclog congested pores, clear dead skin, and reduce excess sebum. In addition to exfoliation and oil reduction, it's important to keep your skin properly hydrated and soothed if you want to reduce the appearance and size of your pores. While extra moisture may seem counter-intuitive, dry skin and irritation can cause the skin to stretch, which makes pores look bigger. The last thing to note is, if you have sensitive skin and are worried you might irritate it with a powerfully concentrated serum, focus the application to problem areas like your nose, cheeks, or forehead.

Ahead are five pore-minimizing serums that are worth adding to your routine ASAP if you want to take your fight against blackheads and enlarged pores to the next level. And yes, if used properly, they will all play nicely with the rest of your skin care routine.

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Best For Oily Skin: A Lightweight Serum For Everyday Use That Also Works As A Makeup Primer

Oily skin types aren't always the most compatible with serums, which tend to be in oil or emulsion form. But that's what makes this serum from Bioderma so genius. It spreads on like a cream, delivering a corrective treatment that tightens pores and improves your skin texture. It also offers up a powder-like effect, which helps absorb oil. This makes it an excellent product to use right before you smooth on your makeup, because it acts like a primer. Genius.


Best For Dry Skin: A Gentle, Antioxidant-Packed Serum With Retinol

If you're happy to spend a little more money on an effective, pore-minimizing serum, you can't go wrong with Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Serum. Although the formula is ideal for dry, dehydrated skin, it works to reduce clogged pores on all types of complexions because it contains retinol, a vitamin A derivative that fights acne and a whole plethora of other skin issues by increasing cell turnover. With regular use, the retinol in the serum will unclog pores to make them appear smaller. It's also gentle enough for sensitive skin, absorbs quickly, and is packed with antioxidants that combat dryness.


Best For Wearing Under Makeup: A Creamy Serum With A Matte Finish That Regulates Excess Sebum

Bioderma's Sebium Pore Refiner Cream is a concentrated cream serum that tightens and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, refines skin texture, and soaks up excess oil and sebum from the skin. With its matte finish and the addition of agaric acid — a powerful astringent and sebum regulator — this serum not only prevents clogged pores and acne but creates a smooth skin surface for long-lasting, flawless makeup application.


Best Green Option: An Antioxidant-Rich Vitamin C Serum For Smooth, Glowing Skin

A non-irritating, natural serum without fillers, alcohol, parabens or sulfates, InstaNatural's Vitamin C Serum With Hyaluronic Acid provides your skin with both a boost of moisture and powerful antioxidants to reduce clogged pores and keep acne, blackheads, and dry skin at bay. Perfect for all skin types, this serum minimizes pores while soothing your skin with ferulic acid and antioxidant-rich hydrating oils like vitamin E, rosehip, argan, carrot seed and sea buckthorn.


Best For Exfoliation: An All-Natural Serum With Glycolic And Lactic Acids To Clear Clogged Pores And Dead Skin

One of the most effective ways to reduce the size and appearance of clogged pores is to exfoliate regularly. Mad Hippie's Exfoliating Serum is a unique product because it combines the skin-exfoliating power of alpha hydroxy acids (in this case, glycolic and lactic) with the moisturizing properties of a serum. The acids slough away dead skin cells, which prevents pores from getting clogged and looking large, and the addition of white tea, goji berry, and ceramides protect and hydrate the skin. As a huge bonus, the formula is all-natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and GMO-free.