Porefessional Model

Large Pores

Our POREfessionals Debunk 6 Pore Minimizing Myths

By Jared Bailey, Benefit Global Brow and Beauty Authority and Licensed Esthetician

Feb 1, 2023

It’s Monday—you hit the alarm, peel yourself from your comforter, head to the bathroom, start the shower, and then… spend 10 minutes staring back at yourself (and your pores) in the mirror. When did they start looking so big? Have they always looked like this? Omg, can people...SEE them? And they’re just not saying anything?


First, every person we know has done this to themselves at one point or another and it doesn’t help anything. Second, you’re way ahead of the game if you’re already paying attention to your pores (and even further if you remember to wash your face before you go to bed, you absolute rockstar!).

We likely start to notice our pores more as we age, and honestly, it can be a little shocking at first to suddenly notice visible openings in your skin. But they’ve always been there. Once we hit puberty and make our way into adulthood, our sebaceous glands start producing more oil, and pores can become more visible. And at that point, we may start searching deep into the depths of the Internet to find the best ways to make them look…better.

So, you better believe that when it comes to how to minimize the appearance of pores, there is a LOT of info floating around out there. I’m here to help separate fiction from fact and give you the real, expert intel on how to take care of your pores.

Minimizing Myth # 1: You Can Permanently Reduce Your Pore Size

Pore Truth: Nope, you can’t. Our pores’ sizes—as they are right now, in this moment—are determined by factors outside our control, like aging and our pore’s natural oil production. But don’t lose hope! You can still create a happy and healthy relationship with your pores and make them LOOK smoother and smaller (at any size) with the right Pore Care routine.

Minimizing Myth #2: There’s ONE "Right” Way To Minimize the Appearance of Pores That Works for Everyone

Pore Truth: Everyone’s skin is different. What works for your skin may not work for somebody else’s! So, the truth to this myth is that there is NO one correct method to minimize the look of pores...because what minimizes the appearance of pores is determined by what kind of skin YOU have and what works best for it. In my experience, double cleansing may be a game-changer for some people. For others, a weekly clay mask. Try things out, find out what works for you...and stick to it!

Minimizing Myth #3: To Really See A Difference In Pores, You Need Strong (and Harsh) Products

Pore Truth: Umm, who wants visibly minimized pores when the rest of your skin looks and feels dry or stripped? No thanks! Using harsh, drying products can actually lead your skin to overproduce oil...which is not exactly the best thing for your pores.

But believe it or not, there are awesome ingredients out there that work wonders on your pores WITHOUT coming on too strong. Look for gentle yet efficacious products, and these pore-loving ingredients:

  • Oils like grape seed, avocado, and jojoba seed help nourish and condition the skin. I especially love jojoba seed oil, which is very similar to the sebum our skin creates naturally and does a great job moisturizing the skin.
  • Celery & flax seed extracts help visibly improve skin texture AND refine the look of pores.
  • Lemon and yuzu extracts are just as delicious on skin as they sound! Lemon extract helps pores look smaller, while yuzu extract helps skin feel smoother.
  • AHAs & PHAs, I LOVE these guys. When alpha hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids are combined in the right formula, they become a pore power couple that helps gently yet effectively chemically exfoliate your skin, saying buh-bye to dead skin cells and helping pores look smaller.
  • Bisabolol helps soothe skin and makes skin feel more comfortable (yay!)

get unblocked

Minimizing Myth #4: Acids Hurt Skin and Won’t Help Pores

False! Exfoliating acids like AHAs and PHAs (alpha hydroxy acids and polyhydroxy acids) exfoliate and visibly tighten pores to help them appear smaller in size. Just remember to introduce them gradually into your routine (especially if this is your first acid trip, wink-wink.) AHAs and PHAs (used in The POREfessional Tight ’n Toned pore-refining AHA+PHA toning foam) can be used regularly, due to how gentle they are.

Minimizing Myth #5: Clay Masks for Pores Feel Tight & Dry

Pore Truth: Well, SOME do...but they don’t have to. Here’s the thing: for centuries, clay has been used in a variety of ways, including skin and pore care. But so much of a clay’s effectiveness depends on the formula it’s in (NOT just the clay itself).

“Clay is an amazing ingredient that helps clear out pores by absorbing excess oil,” says Jennifer Clark, the Vice President of Research & Development at Benefit Cosmetics. “But when incorporated into masks, it can often feel tight and constricting on skin when it dries. We formulated The POREfessional Deep Retreat pore-clearing clay mask to be creamy and comfortable, so you get all the pore benefits in 30 minutes without feeling overly dry or uncomfortable.”

Minimizing Myth #6: There’s No Such Thing as Pore-Friendly Primers or Makeup

Pore Truth: Busted! So totally false. Maybe you’re new to Benefit Cosmetics (hi, hello, welcome!), but our OG pore primer The POREfessional is the product that started it all. Today, we’ve got a collection of primers and one kickass makeup setting spray that help minimize the look of pores for smoother-than-smooth skin...and they’re ALL non-comedogenic, which means they shouldn’t clog pores.

Check out this pore-loving lineup:

The POREfessional 

The original, like I mentioned. With key ingredients like vitamin E, this primer helps to minimize the look of pores, helps makeup apply evenly and stay put, and gives you smoother-than-smooth skin with a lightweight and translucent application.

The POREfessional Hydrate Primer

If you have dry skin, this hydrating primer minimizes the look of pores. It also moisturizes and refreshes your skin with star ingredients like shea butter and hyaluronic acid.

The POREfessional: Lite Primer 

Seriously, so lightweight! It minimizes the look of pores, has a water-based formula that feels weightless and breathable, and can help makeup stay put all damn day.

The POREfessional: Super Setter

Lock in your look for up to 16 hours* with this lightweight pore-blurring setting spray. It leaves skin feeling smooth, refreshed, and hydrated with visibly reduced shine. Plus, no drops, spots, or weird stickiness when you spray (a huuuuge pet peeve of mine!).

*instrumental test on 20 participants

pore product family

Put Your Trust in the Pore Pros!

At Benefit, we’re obsessed with pores. We’ve been researching pores and innovating pore solutions for a long, long time. Plus, with more than 5,000 trained and trusted Pore Experts around the world here to help you learn how to minimize the appearance of pores, we can help you make the right kind of pore decisions. So, never hesitate to hit us up. We could talk about pores all day, every day.

Want us to drop even MORE pore knowledge? Keep the learning going.


  1. Burgess, Lana. “What are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Large Pores?” Medical News Today. 2, Dec, 2020, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320775#8-ways
  2. “7 Ways to Minimize Pores.” Cleveland Clinic. 7, June, 2022, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-shrink-pores/
  3. Watson, Kathryn. “13 Reasons to Add Jojoba Oil to Your Skin Care Routine.” Healthline. 7, Mar, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/jojoba-oil-for-face
  4. Cherney, Kristeen. “AHA vs. BHA: What’s the Difference?” Healthline. 7, Mar, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/aha-vs-bha
  5. Pietrangelo, Ann and Cathy Lovering. “Managing Severe Acne: Do’s and Don’ts. Healthline. 18, Oct, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/severe-acne/what-to-do-and-avoid#dont-use-harsh-products
  6. Severson, Alexia. “How to Get a ‘Healthy Glow’ without UV Tanning. Heathline. 7, Apr, 2017, https://www.healthline.com/health-news/skin-healthy-glow-without-tanning-021614
  7. Yetman, Daniel. “How Clay Masks May Benefit the Health of Your Skin and Hair.” Healthline. 4, June, 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/clay-mask-benefits
  8. Walters, Meg. “Try this Finishing Technique for Soft, Smooth, Touchable Skin.” Healthline. 27, Sept, 2021, https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/try-this-finishing-technique-for-creamy-smooth-skin#makeup-tips
  9. Mossley, Alison, MD. “Chemical vs. Physical Exfoliation: What’s the Difference?” Westlake Dermatology. 17, May, 2021, https://www.westlakedermatology.com/blog/chemical-vs-physical-exfoliation/
  10. Dominion, Megan. “Ingredients to look out for (and avoid) if you have oily skin. SilkUp. https://silkup.com/blog/best-ingredients-to-look-out-for-if-you-have-oily-skin/
Pore FAQ Got Questions?

If you want to minimize appearance of pores on your nose, we recommend sticking to a regular Pore Care practice that will help keep your nose pores clear and healthy-looking. That means double cleansing, toning, and moisturizing daily. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a pore-clearing mask once in a while!

Natural isn’t always better. Instead, look for products developed with performance in mind and with gentle yet effective ingredients. If you want to visibly tighten pores, we recommend using an exfoliating toner to help refine the look of pores.