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Because Pothole Pore-Pocked is No Way to Go Through Life

By Amalah

ohmygod! MYFACE!
Ok, riddle me this batman. I seem to have GINORMOUS pores around my nose and chin that collect dirt and such. I use a face wash, toner and a water based moisturizer but I still seem to have these craters on my face. Any help shrinking these bad boys?
Thanks so much!
The Laundry Broad

(I’m feeling a mite poorly today, so I chose an easy one. One that will pretty much let me list a heapload of products without a heapload of commentary. Shoot me.)
Okay, so here is your new skincare regimen. You’re welcome!
Face wash: Something mild and clarifying, like Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. Use this twice a day, morning and night. Chuck your toner, since this stuff takes care of your skin’s PH balance.
clinique.jpgFace treatment: Twice a week, use Clinique’s Pore Minimizer Thermal-Active Skin Refiner (jeez, what a name) after washing your face. This stuff heats up on contact and polishes your pores. Test it first if your skin is super-sensitive and DON’T do what I did once, when I thought, “Hey! This stuff is totally awesome! I bet it would be even MORE totally awesome if I used it every day!” Yeah. I’m a dumbass. Listen to the package and stick with twice-a-week usage.
Moisturizer: Keep using whatever you’re using on your cheeks or wherever you don’t have the pore problem. Then use Philosophy’s Hope in a Bottle moisturizer OR Clinique’s Pore Minimizer Refining Lotion on your troubled spots.
Concealer: Depending on your makeup preferences, there are a couple products you can use to further reduce the visibility of your pores. If you use foundation, TRUST ME, buy some primer. It’ll improve your foundation’s coverage by like, a zillion percent. Guaranteed! (Give or take a billion percent.)
I use the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, but both Clinique and Philosophy make primers specifically for ginormous pores. If you’ve got a Sephora or a department store that carries the lines, go sans makeup and try out Clinique’s Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector and Philosophy’s The Supernatural Poreless, Flawless Tinted SPF 15 (cosmetics companies, I beg of you, lay off these crazy names!). The Supernatural is (obviously) tinted, a bonus if you’re more of the tinted moisturizer or powder type.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Long-time lurker, first-time poster… Can I just also add – salicylic acid! I, too, have the craters-for-pores, but a beta hydroxy acid – like salycilic acid – can actually penetrate all the oil and dirt that get stuck in there and help slough it off.
Check out Paula Begoun’s “Battle Plan for Getting Rid of Blackheads” — she’s got great advice. Her beta hydroxy is a good one; I use it every other night. I also use the Biore pore strips once a week, just to get the surface dirt out.


May I also suggest a clay mask? My personal favorite is Burt’s Bees Pore-Refining Mask with french green clay. From my StyleHive post: This product (formerly known as Burt’s Bees Green Goddess Herbal Spa Clay Mask) clears my MAJORLY clogged pores gently and effectively. Since I have very sensitive skin I usually only leave it on for a little while, and/or mix it with my sensitive skin toner instead of water. I feel refreshed and clean after this mask- not raw or stripped. Excellent product!


I have tried and used all of the above products, and I like them all, but my dermatologist recently directed me to a product that has Changed My Life. Seriously. MD Forte Cleansing Lotion III. If your face is extra oily or breakout-y in addition to big pores, this is the stuff. Cleared my skin up completely in a week and not a breakout since. I also recently started using DDF Glycolic toner (available at Sephora), and while it smells like a skunk (literally) my skin has never been smoother, pores never smaller. And I can’t say enough good about… Read more »

robin m
robin m – it’s awesome. And cheaper than almost anything else.


Dr. Brandt “Pores No More.” It’s fantastic. Use it after primer, before foundation, or in lieu of foundation.