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Enlarged pores are one of the most frustrating skincare woes I can personally think of. And while using a pore-filling primer or mattifying foundation to conceal them is often a good course of action, I find these products can often clog your pores even more, and therefore leave looking even bigger. As you’re probably aware, even if you have oily skin like myself, it’s still important to prep your skin with a lightweight moisturizer before makeup, which is precisely why using a pore-minimizing moisturizer is key. You’ve likely heard this before, but I’ll say it again: when you don’t give your skin any moisture, it compensates for the dehydration by producing even more oil. With that being said, using a formula that’s overly rich, thick, and full of oil isn’t going to help blur your pores or fine lines and it certainly won’t help keep shine at bay.
Now, I’m not suggesting that prepping skin with a blurring and oil-controlling primer won’t help, but if you can get the same pore-refining benefits from your moisturizer, why not go ahead and skip a step to save time and money? There are plenty of solid two-in-one hydrators that keep your skin’s oil levels balanced and minimize the look of large pores. Like I said, as someone who struggled with keeping my shiny t-zone from looking like a straight-up oil slick on the daily and my pores from peering through my foundation, I can attest to the magical powers of the products below.
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1. Andalou Naturals Argan Stem Cell Recovery Cream
While the idea of something labeled as a “cream” may sound a bit scary to those with enlarged pores and oily skin, this pore-cleansing formula actually deliver a well-balanced dose of moisture while minimizing the look of pores and mattifying the skin for a smooth pre-makeup canvas. It’s infused with fruit stem cells, antioxidants and salicylic acid to keep excess shine at bay, while also renewing the skin at the cellular level. This one honestly doubles as a blurring primer, in my opinion.
2. Formula 10 Seriously Shine-Free Moisturizer
This another oil-controlling moisturizer that was recommended to me by a makeup artist, who uses it models during long location photo shoots as well as on brides during summer weddings. It keeps the skin matte all day long without leaving the skin feeling tight or dry, and make your pores look practically invisible. How this star skincare product is so affordable is beyond me.
3. Embroylisse Lait-Creme Concentre
There is a reason why nearly every single makeup artists I’ve ever worked with has this French pharmacy classic in their kit. It plumps, firms and primes the skin, filling in pores and smoothing the skin without feeling greasy or looking shiny under makeup. As someone who has pretty oily skin year round, I love how this cream gives my skin a tout, hydrated feel and eliminates the need for any primer under my foundation. I’ve been using it for over a decade, and I can honestly say t’s an absolute gem that magically works on almost any skin type.
4. Neutrogena Pore-Minimizing Moisturizer
This no-frills moisturizer gives the skin a lightweight surge of hydration, but dries down almost instantly to a velvet-matte finish. The smoothing formula fills in pores and blurs fine lines and texture for silky-soft finish that stays shine-free all day. It also contains retinol and AHA’s to minimize the look of enlarged pores (and unclog them) and fine lines over time.