Regardless of your pores' genetically-determined size, they can become less glaringly obvious with the right skin habits and products on your side. So the next time you go skincare shopping, don't just add anything that says "pore-tightening" or "pore-shrinking" to your cart. Instead, take a good look at the ingredients list, and prioritize ones with the following pore health must-haves:
1. Chemical exfoliants
"Exfoliating regularly with [acids] helps remove dead skin cells that can pile up and clog our pores," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas. For best results, she suggests using products with AHAs (glycolic, mandelic, and lactic acid), BHAs (salicylic acid), and PHAs (gluconolactone, lactobionic acid). These can be found in everything from cleansers, toners, serums, to masks, so it's up to you how to incorporate them to your routine!
Lactic Acid Serum, P925, THE INKEY LIST, Beauty Bar. Clarifying Peel Pads, P950, SEPHORA COLLECTION, Sephora.ph
2. Moisturizers and hydrators
One culprit for larger-looking pores is dehydration, because it leads our skin to compensate for dryness by producing more oil. Using moisturizers and hydrators that suit our skin type can prevent that from happening, and the dermatologist recommends ingredients like ceramides and face oils (moisturizers) as well as hyaluronic acid and glycerin (hydrators).
Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Gel Cream, P1000, ISNTREE, Seekspace.co. Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream, P1250, COSRX, Robinsons Department Store
"Sun exposure and photodamage lead to weakening of the support structures around the pores (collagen and elastin) which make them look large," explains the derm. That's why we need to protect our skin with broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least an SPF of 30 daily and reapply as needed.
Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk SPF 50 PA++++, P749 to 1990, ANESSA, Lazada
4. Collagen-boosting ingredients
Ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C, peptides, and other antioxidants may be known for their age-delaying perks, but Dr. Gaile also recommends them for solving your pore-related woes since they help boost our collagen production and combat free radicals that damage our skin.
Glass-C Skin Brightening Serum, P1200, ELLANA, ellanacosmetics.com
Clay-based skincare is another a derm-approved solution for large pores. According to Dr. Gaile, clay masks in particular can be an effective once-a-week treat for congested skin as it'll help absorb the sebum in your pores and all the leftover dirt and debris latches onto the mask as it dries. Once you wash off your mask, so does all that gunk that's been clogging your skin!
Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask, P1470, FRESH, Sephora.ph