Pore-Minimising Products: What You Need to Know and Which to Buy

by Kayce Teo
LIFESTYLE  |  May 17, 2019
  • Amp up your knowledge about pore-minimising products before making your purchase.
    1 / 9 Amp up your knowledge about pore-minimising products before making your purchase.

    You can blame your enlarged pores on your genes and oily skin type. Or Singapore’s hot and humid climate. Both of them have huge roles to play in contributing to your less-than-ideal skin condition. But since you can’t change either of them or actually reduce your pore size, look to products to help you achieve a flawless canvas. Here are three things you need to know about them, and five products to use:

    Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Fact #1: They help detox skin
    2 / 9 Fact #1: They help detox skin

    Many pore-minimising products work to draw out dirt, impurities and excess oil from your pores, all which make them appear bigger and more obvious. Plus, when impurities build up, they stretch out your pores and make them look even bigger. It’s a vicious circle – one that you have to stop in its tracks with skincare products that help eliminate these pollutants.

    One of the most commonly used ingredients to achieve this is charcoal or clay. These two ingredients act as magnets to absorb excess oil and minute particles that are clogging your skin. With these impurities gone, the appearance of pores are diminished, and your complexion looks smoother and more even toned too.

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  • Fact #2: Exfoliation helps too
    3 / 9 Fact #2: Exfoliation helps too

    (Also read: Too Lazy to Exfoliate? These Face Masks Will Smoothen Your Complexion)

    It’s not just about removing the gunk. It’s also about how effectively you can remove the gunk from your pores. That’s why you’ll find that if you pair a charcoal mask with say a topical salicylic acid gel, your pores will look even cleaner and smaller. This is because salicylic acid, a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid), is able to penetrate deeper into pores to unclog the stubborn dead skin cells, sebum and dirt that have accumulated there.

    And if you also use AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) or retinoids, both of which help exfoliate dead cells from the skin’s surface and improve skin cell renewal, you’ll see improvement in your skin texture (i.e., smoother skin), more radiant-looking skin, and of course, less obvious-looking pores.

    Besides these chemical exfoliants, physical exfoliants such as scrubs work to remove impurities on the skin surface too. Just be sure to use one that’s gentle and not too abrasive, to avoid damaging your skin, which can lead to inflammation and infection.

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  • Fact #3: Silicone-based products minimise the appearance of pores but can make pores even bigger
    4 / 9 Fact #3: Silicone-based products minimise the appearance of pores but can make pores even bigger

    We know you probably read that and thought, what? Let’s break it down into simpler terms. Silicone is an ingredient used in makeup primers to help you create the illusion of a flawless complexion. It fills in the pores and fine lines, like the grouting between your floor tiles, and allows your foundation to go on smoother. It’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem (you cannot reduce the size of your pores, remember?). And it becomes even more problematic if you don’t do your due diligence when removing your makeup properly, because it can clog up your pores or trap dirt and sebum in it which causes your pores to become even bigger. So we say it’s best to use pore-minimising skincare frequently to get to the root of the problem, instead of covering them up with primers and makeup. Of course, if you choose to do the latter, then at least make sure that you’re cleansing your skin efficiently of impurities and pollutants so your enlarged pores don’t look, or worse, become even bigger.

    Now, five pore-minimising products we recommend using:

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  • Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores ($39)
    5 / 9 Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores ($39)

    This cult favourite charcoal mask uses a blend of bamboo charcoal and white China clay to draw out impurities and pollutants. It’s also formulated without parabens, mineral oil and sulphates.

    Available at Origins boutiques and counters 

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  •  Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask ($38)
    6 / 9 Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask ($38)

    This clay gel mask dries quickly and you’ll see dark spots, especially on your T-zone where the mineral mud drew out the excess sebum on your skin.

    Available at Laneige boutiques and counters and Lazada

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  •  L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask Anti-Pores ($15.90)
    7 / 9 L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask Anti-Pores ($15.90)

    (Also read: 7 Best Wash Off Masks to Unclog and Minimise Pores)

    This unclogs and purifies pores with Moroccan lava clay and rosemary extract.

    Available at Lazada

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  • St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub ($9.90)
    8 / 9 St. Ives Blackhead Clearing Green Tea Scrub ($9.90)

    This gives gentle yet efficient exfoliation with its fine microbeads made from walnut shell powder. It also has salicylic acid to tackle blackheads and green tea, rich in antioxidants, to calm redness. It is also paraben-free and non-comedogenic.

    Available at Watsons

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  • Caolion Pore Triple Action Cleansing Stick ($37)
    9 / 9 Caolion Pore Triple Action Cleansing Stick ($37)

    (Also read: 9 Best Skincare Products to Minimise Large Pores)

    This three-in-one makeup remover and cleansing balm comes in a stick form that transforms into oil. Add water and it emulsifies and lathers into a foam to remove makeup and cleanse skin at the same time. It also has charcoal bits in it which helps exfoliate skin at the same time.

    Available at Sephora

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