Do pore minimizers work?

Updated April 17, 2017

Women and men spend millions of dollars every year to look better and younger. Among those products, pore minimisers---lotions, creams, make-up, and facial masques---are gaining popularity.

What are pores?

Every person has pores, small openings in the skin for hair follicles, oil glands and sweat glands. Pores can appear larger due to several reasons. Genetics, excess secretions of oil or clogged pores and age. As we age, pores can expand. Despite the promises of cosmetics companies, pores cannot shrink or disappear, according to David J. Goldberg and Eva M. Herriott, authors of Secrets of Great Skin.


Products to help refine and minimise pores are abundant and vary in price from less than £13 to more than £130. Though the products cannot shrink pores, they can work to make pores less visible. Cleansers and exfoliators help remove dead skin cells and clean out pores, making the appear smaller. Toners work to finish the cleaning and minimise pores. Lotions, creams and serums also can help refine pores. According to cosmetic expert Paula Begoun, the products do work. People won't notice the effects right away or even after two uses. It usually takes several weeks of continued use for the products' full potential. If large pores are a problem, combining cleansers, exfoliators, toners, lotions and even pore-minimising make up might work best. Begoun warns to be wary of products that claim to shrink or make pores disappear.


Several ingredients in pore minimising products are behind the claims. Read the label before buying a product. Azelaic acid, a naturally occurring acid that's found in grains and wheat, has properties that can exfoliate and clean out pores. Vitamin A and E are often found in pore minimising treatments as Retin-A and Retin. Alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy are touted as having restorative properties and are popular in products that erase ageing symptoms such as wrinkles or large pores.


Following a daily personal skin routine is the best prevention of enlarged pores. Pores can get larger by continued squeezing---something that people tend to do to unblock pores and remove blackheads. Gentle exfoliation with a facial scrub or a facial masque and the use of toner can refine and minimise pores.


Refining and minimising pores by cleaning and removing dead skin can make a person look younger, Goldberg and Herriott write. Looking younger often gives people a boost in self-confidence.

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About the Author

Carmel Perez Snyder is a freelance writer living in Texas. She attended the University of Missouri and has been a journalist and writer for more than 13 years. Her work has appeared in newspapers across the country, the AARP Bulletin and eHow Garden Guides.