This Is The Closest You'll Get To The Blur Tool IRL

If the roughly 19,800,000 results that spring up in Google through a search for “how to minimize pores” is any indication, we, the people, are obsessed with our pores. We’re worried that they are too big, too visible, clogged, or going to get clogged if we use the wrong products; we want them to be small, tight, clear, and, evidently, minimized. Even dermatologists say we’re more fixated on those tiny openings in our skin than ever. (We’re not saying it’s because of unflattering phone cameras, just that they might be related.)

But here’s the thing about pores: You can’t actually change their size in any way, so you might as well get used to them the way they are. And if that means arming yourself to the teeth with a skin-care routine that will keep them free of dirt and debris and makeup that effectively makes them vanish into thin air — or at least makes it look that way — then so be it.

Ahead, a few of our current favorite products that help us fake perfectly smooth, velvety skin. Pores? What pores?

The road to pore salvation is paved with gentle chemical exfoliants, which work by breaking up the dead skin cells and other buildup that turns perfectly normal pores into black holes. This lactic acid-infused liquid doesn't just exfoliate to help pores appear clearer and less obnoxious, but it also makes skin glow.

REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, $35, available at Sephora.
The skin-smoothing balm inside this little golden egg is tacky in a good way: When used as a primer, the thicker texture means it's better able to "fill in" pores to make them less noticeable and keep your makeup from settling in them throughout the day. Plus, it smells like lemonade.

Tony Moly Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm, $20, available at Tony Moly.
As the name would imply, this unique product is a primer-moisturizer hybrid that hydrates and preps skin for makeup at the same time. But it's more than just makeup with skin-care benefits: The silky, non-greasy finish renders pores practically nonexistent under your foundation, and niacinamide even strengthens the skin's barrier to reduce their appearance over time.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer, $42, available at Sephora.
Sometimes there's just nothing like a good clay mask to absorb whatever grime is lurking in your pores. This just-launched purifying paste is one of our current favorites: Smooth on a thick layer, wait 10 minutes, and rinse for a balanced, shine-free complexion that will forget it ever had blackheads in the first place.

Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask, $34, available at Sephora.
Like a power-washer for plugged-up pores, this cult-favorite treatment uses a potent combination of willow bark water, anti-acne betaine salicylate, and soothing ingredients like panthenol and sodium hyaluronate to leave skin clear and bright without drying it out.

CosRx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid, $22, available at Ulta.
There are plenty of mattifying powders on the market that will get the pore-minimizing job done, but this pressed powder is special — patted on over makeup, it'll make pores disappear without putting a damper on your glow for perfectly airbrushed skin.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Illumination, $29, available at Ulta.
modeled by Claudia Colombo.
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