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The Best Primer for Large Pores, and How to Find One That Works for You

Here it is! Our “ultimate guide” to large pores, and how to use primers when you've got them. Below, we'll go over our picks for the best primer for large pores, provide some makeup tips on how to conceal and cover them, and offer some guidance on how to keep your skin healthy if/when you've got large pores.

There’s a lot here, but we wanted to share everything we know, and hopefully one of the tips below will help you find what you’re looking for. Let’s dive in, and if you have any questions, hop over to our “Contact” page and drop us a line!

Ps: We also discuss our picks for the top primers for acne, so check that out if you need to!

Our Picks for the Best Primer for Large Pores

Here are out “quick picks” for our top primers for large pores…

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Honest Beauty Everything Primer in Matte

Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pore Primer

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

…and here are our detailed reviews:

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

If you’ve been curious about using primers, we think the Rimmel Stay Matte Primer  is one of the top primers for large pores in the “entry-level” category. It’s easy to use, it’s got some ingredients that work well with large pores, and it’s designed to have a lightweight feel (a goal that not all primers meet!).

As a general rule, people with large pores often also have oily skin, and Rimmel includes talc in the formula to help it absorb oils throughout the day and to potentially combat shine. Makeup wearers with large pores may also have issues with oiliness popping up later in the day or hours after application, so Rimmel created this as a long-lasting formula, designed to tamp down shine for up to eight hours. There are a few primers that can go longer than that, but eight is hours is pretty good.

One of the things that we think make this primer unique is that it contains both water and silica (an ingredient used an anti-caking agent, among other things), so it has a lighter texture than some of the other primers on this list, and we think it might be ideal for anyone who isn’t used to heavy primers.

Recommended for: entry-level primer users who are primarily interested in oil control and long-lasting makeup, and would like to keep their foundation from settling into their pores throughout the day.

Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel

Yes, you read that correctly: Monistat. This is one of those dupes that seems to make zero sense, but according to the makeup artists we know (and the makeup artist who wrote this post!), Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel is actually a great primer for large pores. This product is technically an over-the-counter ointment meant to protect the skin from chafing and irritation, especially between the thighs or under the arms, but it has a lot of fans who swear that it can work on your face, and work really well.  

Here’s why: it’s a powder gel formulation, which means that it goes on the skin like a gel but then dries down to have a silky, powder-like finish that may keep oils away. It is made with silicones that are known for their abilities to fill in pores, blur imperfections, and create a protective barrier over the skin, and because Monistat formulated this product to prevent redness and irritation, it’s free of potential irritants like alcohol or fragrances so it might be a good choice for those with sensitive skin. That is, in our opinion, a pretty incredible list of features. 

In both ingredients and texture, you may find that this gel is similar to Smashbox PhotoFinish Primer since both include the same main silicones (and Monistat Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel actually does get compared to Smashbox quite frequently). The main difference is that the Monistat gel has a shorter list of ingredients, and that makes it a simpler formula and less likely to irritate the skin—but the only downside is that it doesn’t have some of the additional skincare benefits that Smashbox has. Still, we think this is a fantastic dupe, and can stand on its own as a fantastic primer for large pores.

Recommended for: those with large pores and sensitive skin who would like a simple primer formula.

Honest Beauty Everything Primer in Matte

Clean beauty fanatics, this one is for you! Honest Beauty’s Everything Primer in Matte is our pick for the best primer for large pores in the “natural” category. It’s the only silicone-free primer on this list (because it’s just really hard to make a good pore-filling primer without silicones), and it’s free of other potential nasties like parabens, phthalates, dyes, and fragrances, and we think that is PHENOMINAL. It’s really hard to make cosmetics without some of those chemicals, and that’s what Honest Beauty has done here.

As the name implies, Honest Beauty manufacture this primer to keep the skin matte with ingredients like micronized bamboo powder, which they explain is able to control shine without drying out the skin, and to blur imperfections (which is what we’d hope for). It also contains silica, which is a naturally-derived mineral component used in makeup to “fill in” your pores and create an even, smooth appearance. On days when you don’t wear foundation, you could wear this primer alone and it might make your skin look smoother all on its own.

And, as we would hope to expect from a company named “Honest Beauty,” they’ve formulated this primer with some skincare ingredients, as well, like rosemary and sunflower extracts. That’s a really nice touch. 

Recommended for: natural beauty lovers looking for matte coverage and pore coverage.


Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pore Primer

The Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pore Primer is our favorite high-end primer for large pores. This was one of the first primers on the market that was advertised as not just making makeup last longer, but also camouflaging pores and mattifying oily skin, and they're still a standout in the world of primers. In fact, some people actually use this instead of a foundation, and that's about as good a compliment we can give to a primer.

So, that's wonderful, but we also appreciate that it's designed for all skin tones. That's a rare thing in the world cosmetics, especially when you consider that foundations for large pores usually feature a dozen (or even many dozens) of tones. We also love that Benefit added Vitamin E to the formula, because it's a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect skin against environmental damage, and even perform some skin repair with its protective benefits.

Because this product has been on the market for so long and garnered such a great reputation, we think it’s also a great choice for makeup artists who need to stock their kits with nicely-packaged products that their customers will recognize and appreciate.

And, we'll be honest: we also like the cute and playful retro-inspired packaging for which Benefit is very well-known. We're suckers like that.

Recommended for: those whose primary concern is minimizing pores but don’t need too much oil-control and are suckers for cute packaging (aaaaaaand that would be us). We don’t want to commit to anything—we’re still open to seeing other primers—but this probably gets our vote for “best primer for large pores” overall.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer

The Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer is our “luxury” pick. It’s an award-winning primer intended to minimize the look of both pores and wrinkles, but also to extend the wear of foundation. Pore and/or wrinkle coverage + extensive wear = excellent. 

First things first: it’s oil-free, and if you’ve got large pores, that’s probably one of the first things on your mind. The Hourglass formula is designed to glide on upon application, create an even, smooth surface over pores, divots, and wrinkles, and conceal various types of redness (including rosacea). All good, AND it's made without a lot of sometimes-troublesome ingredients that can cause problems, such as fragrance (which can irritate the skin), synthetic dyes (which can do the same), and gluten (which we hate because... reasons). It’s cruelty-free and vegan, too, which is wonderful.

Lastly, we like that this primer was formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, mineral ingredients that give it a 15 SPF. While it won’t be enough for serious sun protection in the summer, it may suffice for day-to-day protection as long as you use a sufficient amount.

Recommended for: intense oil-control, minimized pores and other imperfections, and increased foundation longevity, all in a very sleek-and-slender bottle.

(By the way: if you like the Hourglass Veil but you’re looking for an alternative, we think the NYX Angel Veil is very similar: while it doesn’t have SPF and it comes in plainer packaging, it’s formulated with similar effects, and it has a lot of the same positives).

OK! There you have it—our favorite primers for large pores. In the next sections, we’ll tell you how to get the most out of the primer you’ve picked.

What is a Good Primer Supposed to Do, Anyway?

This seems like a good place to start. Primers may not seem to flashy, but they’re actually one of the most versatile cosmetics in your arsenal. Their two main purposes are to create a smooth base on which the rest of your makeup will set, and to increase the longevity of your cosmetics, but good ones can also do the following:

  • cover and conceal pores;
  • smooth fine lines and wrinkles;
  • help with pigmentation issues
  • reduce redness, rosacea, and blemishes; and
  • cover and conceal acne.

If you’ve ever heard someone go on and on about their favorite primer, chances are they’ve found one that works for them!

Keep in mind, the primers we're discussed here are foundation primers, and that’s what people are usually referring to when they say “primer.” BUT—and this is important—there are other types of primer, like eye shadow primer, lipstick primer, and mascara primer, and some others, and they all perform the same task of prepping for the application of makeup. In this post, we’re talking about foundation primers.

How to Select a Primer for Large Pores

If it seems like there are thousands of varieties of primers… that’s because there are! Just like everything else related to makeup, cosmetics companies offer an unbelievable range of options, and that can make things pretty overwhelming.

If you’ve got large pores, you’ll need to keep the following two things in mind to find the right formula for your situation: composition and function.

The Composition of the Primer

By “composition,” we mean the consistency of the primer. Primers are usually made as creams, powders, and gels, with creams probably being the most popular type. All these types can generally be further split into two categories: silicon-based and water-based. Silicon-based primers can do a great job of giving you that "smooth-and-even" appearance and covering your pores, but some people have reactions to the ingredient list, and those people may want to look into a water-based option. Also, there are primers for normal-to-dry skin, and primers for oily skin, and if you've got large pores, you may have oily skin, so that may be the option you’re looking for.

Your decision about the consistency of the primer is largely personal—what works for you, and what you like—but no matter what consistency you go for, we would definitely urge you to get a primer that suits your skin.

Now for the important thing: function.

The Function of the Primer

To help you make your choice depending on what you need, here are some different types of primers, and what they do:

Non Comedogenic Primer. This is probably a “sub-sub-class” of primer, but it’s common for people with large pores to have frustrations with acne, so we’ll start here. “Non comedogenic” cosmetics products are ones that do not include some of the ingredients that are known to cause acne. Believe it or not, there are a lot of compounds in makeup that are known to cause acne, but because they don’t cause acne in most people, cosmetics companies include them in their makeup formulas. Non comedogenic products are ones that don’t include those acne-causing ingredients. And, keep in mind, it’s not that non comedogenic products will clear up your acne (although they may do that for some people, if the cause of the acne is acne-forming ingredients in makeup)—it’s that they don’t have ingredients known to cause acne. If you’ve got large pores, it can make sense to look for a non comedogenic primer.

Hydrating Primer. If you have dry, dehydrated skin, foundation can be very frustrating. The texture of dry skin makes it almost impossible for any foundation to be applied smoothly, and it usually results in a cracked, flaky finish that doesn’t last long. Hydrating primers add an additional layer of moisture that protects your skin from drying out, and allows your foundation and makeup to glide on beautifully. It may take a little effort to find the hydrating primer that works for you, but the right formula can totally redefine your relationship with foundation.

Mattifying Primer. For those with oily skin, a mattifying primer can tamp down a lot of the shine that occurs on your skin when you’ve got an excess of sebum production (sebum is the oil produced by the glands in your skin, and it’s one of the things that causes your face to look shiny). If your skin naturally produces a lot of oil, a mattifying primer may help, but remember: if you’re someone prone to dry, flaky skin, you probably want to avoid mattifying primer, as it could dry out your skin even further, creating that flaky base you’re trying to avoid.

Pore-Minimizing Primer. For those with large pores, a pore-minimizing primer can be the most effective tool in your beauty bag. This primer is specifically designed with ingredients that reduce the appearance of pores by blending and blurring them into the skin, creating a satiny-finish that—when paired with a layer of foundation and powder over the top—can help your pores look almost non-existent. Of all the products we review above, The POREfessional and the Hourglass are probably the most effective pore minimizers.

Illuminating Primer. Illuminating primers are designed to provide a “glow-y” look, and they use luminescent particles in the ingredient list to do so. They can be particularly WOW-worthy when applied to the high points of the face, such as the bridge of the nose and the cheekbones, but you may want to use a little caution with these—it can be tricky to get the look right, so you probably when to recruit a friend to tell you if the look is working for you.

Gripping Primer. Gripping primers are a lesser-known cosmetic, but they have a lot of fans. They have a jelly-like consistency that plumps and hydrates the skin, giving it a firmer, glassy finish, that helps makeup “grip” onto it. They’re designed to make makeup last longer after application, so if you find that your makeup has a mind of its own and does its own thing after a few hours, you may want to see if a gripping primer will help.

Anti-Aging Primer. Anti-aging primers can be helpful for people with mature skin, as they tend to contain antioxidant-filled ingredients like green tea, apple extract, green algae, coffee seed extract, retinyl palmitate, and a range of other wonderful goodies that give the skin a youthful boost and repair damage. They usually also include an SPF that protects the skin from sunburn, age spots, and fine lines, which further improves the skin and preps it for makeup. There are two things we like to remind people about anti-aging primers: 1) you’re never too young to wear anti-aging products, and 2) if your anti-aging primer includes SPF coverage, make sure it’s strong enough to actually protect you from the sun—a lot of anti-aging primer with SPF is too weak to actually offer your skin any protection. If you’re looking for a recommendation, we like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Anti-Aging Primer.

Color-Correcting Primer. Color-correcting primers are great for all manner of complexion issues, from redness and rosacea to yellowness and sallow tones. They use the science of color to cancel out the issue, by balancing the existing color with the direct opposite shade. Color-correcting primers are also great in covering up acne and pimples. They, too, require a bit of detective work, and you’ll need to figure out which color is right for your skin tone. We’ve written a long post about how to do that, which you can find here.

Blurring Primer. We’ll include this, even though… well, we’ll tell you what it is first, and then we’ll tell you about our issue with “blurring primers.” A blurring primer (sometimes referred to as a smoothing primer), is one that’s formulated with ingredients that totally cover pores. They’re sometimes called ”FaceTune for the skin,” and they’re designed to give you a soft, somewhat out-of-focus look. So here’s our issue: any primer that does its job can be considered a “blurring primer,” regardless of whether it’s marketed that way. So, if you’ve found a primer that effectively covers your large pores, congratulations! You’ve found yourself a blurring primer.

And… that above covers it! Remember earlier, when we said that cosmetics companies make an insane number of cosmetics for us to choose from? We weren’t kidding.

How (and When) to Use Primer: Procedure

So we’ve covered our picks for the best primer for large pores, how to select a primer, and finally, we’ll now talk about how use the primer you’ve selected.

If you’re a little uncertain about how to use primer, that’s totally understandable—primer is a unique product, and it takes a bit of getting used to if you’re not familiar with it. When used correctly, though, it can provide so many benefits (see our “What’s a Good Primer Supposed to Do, Anyway?” section above), that it can be worth it. Here are five “best practices” steps to help you use your primer safely and effectively.

Step One: Cleanse. Before putting anything on your face, use a gentle, creamy cleanser to remove any build-up of debris and impurities such as dead skin cells. The act of cleansing creates gentle exfoliation, which gives you an even better, smoother base to begin working on. Cleansers can also aid in the absorption of other products, meaning the following makeup items you put on will glide on easier and soak in better.

Step Two: Moisturize. A lightweight moisturizer is the best choice for pre-primer application, because it won’t sit too heavily on the skin and will soak in relatively quickly. It aids in stopping foundation from appearing too cakey, and helps it last longer. It can also restore lost moisture into your skin, and if you choose your moisturizer correctly, the reparative qualities can promote better overall skin health.

(Before we move on, we should note: there's occasionally some disagreement about whether primer should be applied before or after moisturizer, but in our opinion, it usually makes sense to apply it after your moisturizer. Here's why: moisturizer acts as a barrier between your skin and any product put on it, and it adds another layer of hydration—something your skin sorely needs as you apply cosmetics to it. If you applied it *after* your primer, it wouldn't full sink into your skin, and you wouldn't receive the full benefits of the moisturizer. The only caveat for this is to ensure you leave enough time between moisturizer and primer application, in order to give the moisturizer enough time to sink in and be absorbed properly—but hey, makeup is a process 😉

Step Three: Apply Primer. Finally! You only need a tiny bit of primer with each application—no more than the size of a pea—because too much primer can actually cause your foundation to clump, and that’s’ a bad look. Start at the center of your face, and, using small, circular motions, begin blending it outwards using your fingertips.

While you can use a beauty blender, it’s often advised to use fingers, because it allows for a more even coverage, plus the addition of the massaging action can boost blood flow and increase color in your skin. No matter what tool you’re using to apply the primer, make sure you blend it all the way down along the jawline and neck, as well as up towards your hairline, to ensure full coverage. You can also use your facial primer on your eyelids as well, if you don’t have eyelid-specific primer. Dab a tiny amount of primer across your eyelids, but be sure to avoid getting it in your eyes. Your primer should be evenly spread out across your face, and not feel too heavy or oily.

Step Four: Apply Foundation. The next step is to—yay!—apply your foundation. Primer and foundation, best friends, finally spending time together. A light layer of foundation over the top of primer, especially pore-minimizing primer, can blur your skin tone and boost your complexion, reducing the appearance of large pores and giving you a nice smooth look. When your primer is applied properly, your foundation should settle over top of it, without sliding into any creases or fine lines, resulting in a level, even appearance.

Step Five: Apply Setting Powder. This is another one of those steps where there’s some disagreement about application—a lot of people skip this step or do it later in their routine—but we’ve had great luck when doing this after foundation. Use a setting powder to “seal” the moisturizer, primer, and foundation, and create a platform for whatever you use next—bronzer, blush, whatever. A setting powder can be a nice way to wrap things up, especially when you’ve got large pores, because it provides some coverage and provides staying power. Nice!

What are Pores, Anyway? And Can You Really Minimize Them?

This isn’t the most fun section in this post, but we think it’s important—and hopefully illuminating—so we added it. Having a better understanding of your pores—especially if they’re on the larger side—can help you take care of them, and figure out a way to figure out exactly the look you want.

So what are pores? Pores are essentially just small holes all over the skin. They cover us from head to toe, and while some people may not like the ones they’ve got, they’re incredibly important, and healthy skin would be impossible without them.

There are two different types of pores: one for oil, and one for sweat. Sweat pores are so small that they can’t be seen by the naked eye, but oil pores can be seen quite easily. Oil pores are also referred to as hair follicles, because they are the pores through which our hair grows.

Oil pores are how our bodies secrete a substance called "sebum," which is a waxy, lubricative substance that assists in moisturizing your skin and hair. Sebum is almost universally hated by the cosmetics-wearing community because it can make you list shiny and greasy, but it actually has a number of vitally important jobs: it protects your skin from bacteria and infections, keeps your skin from admitting or losing too much hydration, and maintains skin flexibility and suppleness. Without it, skin would be brittle, breakable, and totally open to infection. So sebum is a good thing.  

That doesn't mean it's perfect, however. Sebum is made in our sebaceous glands and pushed up through the pores, and it can be overproduced (resulting in a shiny, greasy look), and if your pores become clogged with dirt or oils and sebum flows into the pores, pimples and acne can form. When this clogging occurs, pores can stretch and expand, appearing bigger and bigger. Further, as we age, our skin loses a lot of its elasticity, which can allow the sides of the pores to sag and cause them to appear even bigger still. People usually don't want this to happen, but...

Unfortunately, contrary to what many beauty products claim, the size of pores can’t be changed. But if they could be changed, you still wouldn’t want to—healthy-sized pores are a good thing! Their role in the body is to clear out all the excess oil and dead skin cells that collect in them, so you want them in tip top shape.

However, while their actual size can’t be changed, their appearance can be... and that's why primers (and foundations) can be such a helpful tool: good ones can cover pores and give your skin a smooth appearance, and reduce the shine from excess sebum on your skin. So many people *love* primers and foundations, and that's why!

General Makeup Tips for Women with Large Pores

So you can’t reduce the size of your pores, but with the magic of primer and various other makeups, you can reduce the appearance of your pores. That’s pretty fantastic, so here are a few “insider tips” from one of our makeup artists on how to mask your pores.

Use Primer. You obviously know this if you’ve gotten this far in the post, but we felt weird leaving it out, so we’ll repeat it: the right primer can fill and conceal pores with surprising effect. Buy you knew that, so be sure to…

Choose the Correct Foundation, and Apply it Properly. When trying to cover up large pores, you can use your foundation to fill them in—but type and technique count. A slightly thicker consistency than usual will assist in buffing over your pores and minimizing their size, and the best way to apply such a foundation is by using a quality foundation brush, and using a ‘cross-hatch’ motion to work the foundation in from every angle.

Use Pore Strips. Pore strips may feel a little rough—they’re essentially a heavy-duty, intense way of exfoliating—but they remove a lot of dirt, dead skin cells, and build-up that gathers and collects in your pores. If you’ve never used one, you may be surprised by the amount of—um… for lack of a better word, gunk—that they pull up, and they can be a highly effective way of clearing pores and blackheads. Biore is perhaps the best-known pore strip out there, and it’s got a lot of fans, but we’ve also had good luck with Cremo Pore Strips. They’re a little less well-known (and in fact, Cremo primarily makes shaving and skin care products for men), but we like them a lot.

Maximize—and Commit to—Your Skincare Routine. Using a pore strip every couple of days is a good start (and Biore advises not to use them more often than once every three days), but the best “plan of attack” when it comes to large pores is daily, consistent skin care: being sure to remove all your makeup before you settle down for the night, using a gentle cleanser to keep your skin clean every day, and perhaps using a facemask once a week. It’s not flashy, but it’s the best-known way to manage large pores. And, when it comes to the facemask—not only will it help keep your pores clear, it’ll also help you relax, and that’s just a nice thing to do for yourself anyway.

Choose (and Use) Concealer Wisely. Concealer is another great way to minimize pores, and if you’re still having trouble with your pores after primer and foundation, you may want to try it. There are liquids, creams, cream-to-powders, and stick concealers, and they’re usually very thick, and used for the business of really covering things up. Not every can wear them (due to the thickness), but they can work very well. If you give them a whirl, here’s a pro-tip: use a ‘tapping’ method of applying your concealer (where you literally tap the product into your skin using your ring-fingers, rather than rubbing it in with your fingertips), and you can create a blurred effect that further reduces the appearance of pores.

Blend Well. Once you’ve applied all your makeup, it’s a good idea to blend it all together using a sponge or silicone blender, especially to cover large pores. Dampen the sponge for an even more flawless effect, and begin from the center of your face, moving outwards towards the hairline and neck. Use a dabbing motion rather than a brushing one, as this allows all the product to settle in well to each pore, instead of just being swept across the top of them.

Avoid Shimmer. Shimmery makeup products can certainly create a beautiful effect, but if you suffer from large pores, it can make them look even larger. To combat large pores, maybe avoid anything with light-reflecting particles, whether it’s in your foundation powder or your setting powder or anything else. Instead, go for a matte look, as that will do a better job of concealing your pores.

Use Non Comedogenic Products. We talked about non comedogenic primers above, but many cosmetics and skin care products have some sort of non comedogenic option. It may take a while to find the right ones for routine, but if you’ve had issues with various makeup ingredients clogging your pores and irritating your skin or causing breakouts, it can make a big difference.

Consider Retinol-Based Products. Retinol has become a big thing in the beauty industry, and it’s believed to increase skin cell renewal, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and smooth and tone the skin—all of which can minimize the appearance of pores. Retinol is another word for Vitamin A1, which is essential to good skin as it increases the renewal of collagen and promotes a quicker turnover of new skin cells.

It’s important to note that you should introduce any products that contain retinol into your skincare routine slowly (and perhaps contact your doctor or dermatologist). Retinol has been known to cause irritation to skin if you’re not used to it, which can result in things like dryness, peeling, flaking, and redness. This irritation is called "retinization," and it generally passes within four weeks of beginning the use of a retinol product.

To lessen the potential side effects of retinol, there are several things you can do, like applying a light layer of moisturizer over your skin prior to applying your retinol, using it every other day for the first month, and changing up your skincare routine just in the beginning, to cater to your briefly more sensitive skin.

Exfoliate Regularly. Exfoliation is another important step in skincare, and it should be a regular part of your routine. There are many benefits that come from frequent exfoliation, and it can smooth out rough patches, decrease redness, and even fade your scars a little bit (Vitamin E helps with that, too). However, there’s more to it than just rubbing rough, gritty product across your face until it stings—and let’s be real, we’ve probably all done that before. Here's what you need to know:

There are basically two types of exfoliators: chemical exfoliators and physical exfoliators, and while they both do the same thing, they do differ in a few ways:

  • Physical exfoliators are the face-scrubs we all know and love, but while they’re certainly effective in that they can absolutely remove dead skin cells and other types of buildup on your face, they can also create micro-tears in your skin, which slowly damages and breaks down your skin barrier, causing more issues in the process; while
  • Chemical exfoliators are an alternative, and even if they do sound more intense, there are actually a lot of very gentle options. A chemical exfoliator is an acid that gently dissolves the connective cells between old skin and new, leaving brighter, smoother skin in place with no rough abrasions. Chemical exfoliators generally come in two different types: alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) which is best for normal, dry and/or sensitive skin types, and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which is best for oily skin that is prone to pimples and acne.

As for how often you should exfoliate, there's no hard-and-fast rule, but answers usually range from "two or three times a week" to "as much as your skin can handle it," which could mean... well, just about anything. As with all things, be observant about how your skin is handling things, and not overdo it.

Use sunscreen. Not only is sunscreen essential for good health—it reduces the risk of both sun damage and skin-cancer—but it also has the ability to minimize the appearance of your pores.

Yep! It’s true. We didn't believe it at first either, but that's what the good people at Color Science report. The sun’s rays can break down the collagen in our skin, creating sagging and wrinkles which can pull on pores and make them larger, but sunscreen reduces this effect by protecting your skin, and keeping it in a firm, elastic state. So to ensure good overall AND good skin health, make sure you slather on that sunscreen every single day.

There are two things to keep in mind about sunscreen, though: 1) some sunblocks can actually clog pores, so it can be a good idea to look for a non comedogenic option, and 2) don't rely on makeup for SPF. Lots of cosmetics include some SPF, but it's usually not strong enough to really provide any protection (we've reviewed a LOT of makeups, and it seems like the common SPF strength of various cosmetics is usually 15). Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30, so shoot for that.

Large Pores, Primers, and You

Well, here we are! If you’ve gotten through all this, we appreciate your commitment!

Primers offer a lot of fantastic features, regardless of your pore size—but, for those of us who have larger pores, they can offer a lot of benefits, and good ones can drastically reduce the appearance of your pores. Hopefully our reviews and guides have helped you figure out what you need for your skin. Thank you for reading, and happy makeup!

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