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How to minimize your pores

It’s impossible to permanently shrink your pores without having proper laser treatment at a dermatologist’s clinic. But with the right skincare, makeup and tools, you can make them look a lot smaller. Hollywood favorites, esthetician Shani Darden and makeup artist Patrick Ta, share their shrinking secrets.



Use a retinol

It’s the one product that Shani Darden advises for all her clients: “Not only is it one of the best anti-agers (it plumps the skin by increasing collagen production), but it speeds up cell turnover and resurfaces the skin, clearing the oil glands and keeping any dead skin from clogging pores which makes them appear bigger.”

Gently exfoliate

On nights when you’re not using retinol, do a gentle exfoliation to scuff away any dead skin cells. “I love Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel pads,” says Darden. “They’re so effective but mild enough to use every day, so even those with sensitive skin won’t feel irritated.”



Start with oil-free skincare

“I use an oil-absorbing toner on every single one of my clients as it’s critical to keeping pores tight,” says Patrick Ta. “I follow with a light La Mer moisturizer – it’s the perfect combination to soothe and hydrate skin.”

Use a sponge to apply foundation

Take a damp Beautyblender and ‘bounce’ all over the skin to blend foundation in. “This makes the surface appear smoother by pressing the product in the pores, rather than it sitting on top of the skin, which usually happens when you swipe with a brush or your fingers,” says Ta.

Set your base

“If you have enlarged pores (which usually means oily skin), try an oil-free foundation like NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. The velvet finish smooths over skin without highlighting your pores,” says Ta. Avoid shimmery products, especially liquid highlighters, and keep the base matte. “For my clients who go on the red carpet, a setting spray is my secret to keeping pores hidden and preventing unwanted shine.”

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.