If you’ve just had a close encounter with bad lighting that highlighted the breadth and depth of every single one of your pores, you’re probably looking for something you can do right now to shrink your pores into oblivion.
And one of the most effective, easiest things you can do right at home is to regularly use a good pore shrinking mask or two.
Pore minimizing masks help in a number of ways. For starters, they contain deep cleansing ingredients that draw out and soak up impurities lurking in your pores like excess sebum and dead skin cells. They even help control oil production, which helps your pores look smaller and tighter.
Some masks even contain active ingredients that target the appearance of pores in other, more subtle ways, like alpha-hydroxy-acids and beta-hydroxy-acids that offer gentle yet thorough exfoliation and promote skin cell turnover to further minimize the appearance of pores.
The thing is, though – there are a lot of facial masks out there. So how do you know which ones are the best for your pores? Here’s our list of the best pore shrinking masks on the market – read through the descriptions to find out exactly why these are worth getting a little messy for!
One of the most popular deep cleaning masks on the market, Origins Clear Improvements mask uses a combination of activated charcoal and white China clay to soak up impurities and clear the pores of excess oil, dirt and other gunk.
As with any deep diving pore mask, try to take the time to steam your face for around 10 minutes before you apply the mask to open your pores and soften sebum for easier extraction.
Oh, and a word of warning: both charcoal and clays are very absorbent and in the long run, will leave your pores cleaner, clearer, tighter and overall smaller looking. BUT – they do draw impurities to the surface and you may experience an initial breakout.
That’s not always the case but please keep that in mind. The breakouts will clear in a few days, though, and your skin will be happier for it so just give it some time.
- Nature's complexion clean-up crew clears the way for skin to act its best
- Bamboo Charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers
- White China Clay absorbs environmental toxins
This clay mask uses volcanic clay that hails all the way from Jeju, a small island off the coast of South Korea. Its claim to pore shrinking fame? This creamy mask really gets the gunk out without irritating or drying out your skin, which is the best compromise a clay mask can give you.
It does a great job diminishing a number of skin issues – it calms redness, it sucks out blackheads and it leaves your pores looking smaller and tighter. With regular use, you’ll even notice reduced oil production and less shine throughout the day!
- Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 100 ml
- This Jeju volcanic scoria clay mask intensively adsorbs sebum and clarifies skin...
- This Pure and rare ingredient, formulated from solidified lava caused by volcanic...
Here’s something you may already suspect about Koreans: Koreans don’t like pores. Which is why some of the best pore-clearing, pore-shrinking, blackhead-banishing products hail from Korea.
And this one is a clear cut winner when it comes to minimizing pores: it’s chock full of ingredients that gently dry excess sebum, matte-ify oily skin and leave your pores looking much smaller. Extra perks? It’s not drying so it’s safe to use even if you’ve got dry skin and find clay masks to be a little too dehydrating for your skin.
If you love the pore-clearing, pore-shrinking effects of clay but hate the dryness that comes with it, look no further than this unique pore shrinking mask by POM. They use a combination of the gentlest, de-gunking clays like French green clay and Kaolin clay. Now combine that with gently purifying Witch Hazel and soothing, de-oiling Zinc Oxide, and you’ve already got a pretty fantastic mask.
But the best thing about this mask is that it’s specially formulated with probiotics, which helps strengthen your skin’s protective barrier. And this TLC you provide your skin’s microbiome helps naturally decrease excess oil production while keeping your skin supple and hydrated. The result? Healthier, clearer skin.
If you’ve got dry, malnourished and aging skin with large pores, the best pore minimizing mask for you is pure Moor mud. Why? This stuff is not your average mud – Moor mud is the organic result of the natural decomposition of a huge variety of plants under special conditions that’s been transformed into a fine paste over thousands of years.
As such, this is one of the most nourishing things you can put on your face, containing thousands of natural plant enzymes, bio-minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids that can be absorbed into your skin. It’s like the ultimate plant cocktail of goodies for your skin!
The best part? While it nourishes, it acts like clay to draw out impurities from your pores. The interesting thing is that Moor mud only contains very little clay – less than 5% – so if you’ve found clay masks to be too drying for your sensitive skin, this allows you to reap the benefits of deep cleansing clay without the dryness!
- ABSOLUTELY NO ADDITIVES: For a beautiful you. Wildcrafted, chemical-free skin therapy...
- EXQUISITE 100% PURE MUD: Treat yourself to a deep cleansing, medical grade,...
- NUTRIENT DENSE DETOXIFICATION AND CLEANSING: With herbs, flowers, organic compounds,...
Pumpkin Enzyme Mask Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer, Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Mask for Dullness, Fine...
Clays and charcoal are amazing for drawing impurities out of your pores but there’s one thing they can’t do – actually penetrate into your pores to break down the gunk that resides within them. Know what can do that? Alpha and beta hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
Except AHAs and BHAs can be a little harsh on your skin, especially if you have no prior experience with them. That’s why we recommend starting out with Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. It smells like Thanksgiving – yum! – and it’s full of pumpkin, which contains gentle alpha hydroxy acids and enzymes to break down dead skin cells and grime and exfoliate your pores of unwanted tenants.
It makes for a delightfully effective way to gently clear your pores and leave them looking and feeling smaller and less noticeable.
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If you’ve got really problematic pores, this one is a heavy hitter that’s packing enough active ingredients to really go to town on clearing things up. This UltraMUD treatment is really not messing around – it’s got both Bentonite clay (deep absorbing) and Kaolin clay (matte-ifying and gentle) to suck up gunk out of your pores and provide a deep clean.
But it doesn’t stop at that – it’s also packing a potent combination of acids like Glycolic acid, which has deep penetration and is great for increasing cell turnover, Salicylic acid, an acne-fighting BHA that’s oil soluble and capable of de-gunking your pores, Mandelic acid, a gentle AHA that’s great for clearing pores and fighting blemishes and Azelaic acid, which controls oil production and helps with hyperpigmentation.
To top it all off, it’s even got pineapple and pumpkin enzymes to further boost exfoliation! If your pores have been giving you grief – this is the best pore shrinking mask to turn to in your time of need!
- Salicylic acid, a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is oil-soluble which makes it ideal for the...
- Glycolic acid is an AHA that is best for improving texture and reducing the...
- Mandelic acid helps treat a wide range of issues from acne, scarring, fine lines and...