As a beauty editor, one of the things I'm asked about most is pore size. "How do I make mine look smaller?" " Can you actually shrink them?" "What should I use for a poreless complexion?" All of these questions have become ingrained in my mind, thanks to the many times I've been asked. And for a while, I wasn't too happy with the answers I would give, because when it comes down to it, pores can't really be made any smaller. Still, there are products that can help them appear that way—and this is one of the best I've found.
The Dr. Brandt pores no more Mattifying Hydrator Pore Minimizing Gel (regularly $36; dermstore.com) is a great option for those seeking help with their pore size. But first, it's important to note that the reason why pores may appear more pronounced is due to oily skin (they're sebaceous glands) paired with trapped dead skin, which ultimately stretch pores. That being said, you should have a regular cleansing and exfoliating routine in place to help keep everything under control.
Next up should be a moisturizer, such as this one from Dr. Brandt, but oftentimes people with oilier skin types think that they should skip this crucial step—for a long time, that included me. Not moisturizing will actually prompt glands to produce even more oil to accommodate for the dryness, though. That's why I added this lightweight, hydrating gel to my routine. It quenches my skin's thirst and also keeps breakouts in check and dead skin buildup at bay, thanks to willow bark extract, a natural alternative to skin-clearing salicylic acid.
It may sound too good to be true, but this moisturizer actually packs an ingredient that manages to soak up excess oil while leaving water behind so skin isn't stripped, just looking grease-free. In addition, there are light-diffusing powders in the formula that help blur imperfections and leave skin looking smooth and pore-free.
I like to use this formula in the morning before makeup. It helps me maintain a matte look all day, but not one that looks dull or lacks dimension like a lot of drying products and powder formulas can. I have combination skin with drier cheeks, but get shinier in the T-zone where my pores are bigger—and I still use this all over and feel that it's all I need, especially in the summer months. When the weather gets colder, I'll probably just add in a heavier cream at night, but stick to this as my day moisturizer.
The best part? Dr. Brandt pores no more Mattifying Hydrator Pore Minimizing Gel is on sale today as part of Dermstore's Annual Sale. Use the code "BIRTHDAY" at checkout to save 25%, which brings the price down to $27 (from $36).