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12 Gentle Pore-Clearing Cleansers That Won’t Dry Out Your Skin

Pores are essential for our skin to flush out sweat and toxins, but ‘giant’ pores? We hate them. Especially when they are all clogged up and enlarged from sun damage and excess oil production, gifting us with an aged and rough complexion that we never wished for.

Then there’s the flurry of ‘fake news’ about pore products. No, there’s nothing that is non-invasive that can ‘fix’ your pores, causing them to disappear permanently. Dr. Joseph Castellano from Castellano Cosmetic Surgery Centre explains that, “unless you’re looking at laser treatment, you can only reduce enlarged pores to a certain extent”. But here’s what you CAN do – cleanse properly and keep those tiny little dirt traps clean and clear. By purging them of dirt, they become less apparent, leaving your skin less prone to blackheads, whiteheads and pimples to boot. You know what that means: A clearer, more even complexion.

To streamline the decision process, we’ve put together a list of thoroughly cleansing pore care products that will help to exfoliate your clogged up pores without irritating your skin and causing flare-ups.

#1: Perricone MD Pre:empt Series Exfoliating Pore Refiner, $62 from Cultbeauty
Pre:empt Series Exfoliating Pore Refiner Unlike most harsh microbead exfoliators, Dr. Perricone’s ‘scientific’ formula is a gentle yet efficient scrub that is said to penetrate deeply to purify the skin and ultimately reduce noticeable pores, dullness and uneven skin texture. The result? A natural and healthy-looking complexion. #2: Orbis Powder Wash +, $25
Powder Wash + Swearing off oil in any of its skincare products, Orbis’ Powder Wash + is a unique cleansing powder that removes keratin plugs (read: ‘hardened’ sebum and accumulated old keratin) trapped within your pores. Formulated with two different enzymes that promise to break down the grimy keratin plugs, the powder dissolves and lathers quickly. Bonus: It contains collagen, royal jelly extract and hyaluronic acid that are said to firm up your complexion while simultaneously hydrating it for soft and plump skin. #3: Dr Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator, $81.78 from Lazada
PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator Do you have large pores and oily skin? Then try out Dr. Brandt’s PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator. It promises to minimise pores while smoothing and mattifying one’s skin. The dual-action wash is also said to help in the tightening of pores by removing congestion and clogging-causing impurities. #4: Biore Marshamallow Whip Facial Wash (pore care), $13.90
Marshmallow Whip Facial Wash (pore care) Fluffy and dense, Biore’s latest version of their beloved marshmallow whip facial wash features an improved formula that promises to ‘protect’ the skin during cleansing. Forming a thick and fluffy layer that shields the skin from any harsh tugging during the cleansing process, the micro-sized bubbles are said to penetrate deep into the pores to remove oil and impurities without drying out the skin. Complete your beauty regime with Biore’s lightweight sunscreen before heading out and about. #5: Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Exfoliant, $55 from Sephora
Umbrian Clay Mattifying Exfoliant Part of the Umbrian Clay collection from Fresh, this gentle exfoliator promises to polish away dead skin cells for an instantly even and more radiant complexion. The purifying formula is said to work harder for you by refining skin texture and absorbing excess oil for a perfectly balanced skin with less apparent pores. #6: Dr Jart Poremedic Pore Minish Bubble, $32 from Sephora
Poremedic Pore Minish Bubble Fun fact: Our skin cells are one of the fastest to regenerate, leaving us with a significant amount of dead skin cells every day. Over time, they can clog up our pores when it doesn’t desquamate (read: peel off) from the top layer of our skin, which can lead to a bumpy appearance. This Pore Minish Bubble from Dr Jart promises to unclog all of that trouble by removing dead skin cells and controlling excess oil to give a brighter and more supple complexion without irritation or dryness. #7: Murad Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo, $99
Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo With the recent launch of its oil-blotting pink cushion, Murad has got our attention when it comes to squelching shine and blurring pores. This new two-step care by Murad is a blackhead and pore clearing treatment that’s said to mattify the face and reduce the recurrence of blackheads by ‘sealing’ the pores for the ultimate in protection against pore-clogging impurities. #8: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser, $40
Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser While we understand that excessive oil is bad news for our skin, we should take note not to strip it of all its natural oils. Enter Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser that is formulated with a purging blend of Amazonian white clay, among other ‘natural’ ingredients. The creamy cleanser promises to gently remove toxins and impurities that might clog up your pores without depriving you of natural oils. #9: Estee Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly, $30 from Sephora
Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly The latest addition to the Estee Lauder family, this Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly is fortified with a soothing blend of algae extract. Packed with antioxidants and minerals, this detoxifying jelly cleanser is said to lather into a light silky foam that removes impurities for a more balanced and refreshed complexion with no excess shine. #10: Caolion Hot & Cool Pore Foam Cleanser Duo, $36 from Sephora
Hot & Cool Pore Foam Cleanser Duo A two-step cleanser from Caolion that promises to deep cleanse your pores with a ‘steaming’ effect, before tightening enlarged pores by cooling them. How? Simple: The steaming step involves the activation of natural brown sugar to gently exfoliate your pores. As the cleanser heats up upon contact with your skin, it is said to dissolve dead skin cells and prep your skin for the next step. Next comes a cooling and tightening foam cleanser that promises to calm and depuff the skin with the addition of kaolin clay and peppermint oil, leaving you with an enhanced firmness of the skin. Bonus: It’s a super fun ‘pore-ritual’ before bedtime. #11: Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser with Saw Palmetto and Mint, $41 from Sephora
Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser with Saw Palmetto and Mint Want maximum strength and zero irritation? Then try out Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser that is fortified with fatty acid-rich saw palmetto, mint and salicylic acid, all of which are said to work in tandem to cleanse your pores and eliminate excess oil that causes shine. Bonus: This nifty cleanser doubles up as a wake-me-up cleanser with its minty sensation. #12: Philosophy Total Matteness Pore Minimising & Mattifying Cleanser, $45 from Sephora
Total Matteness Pore Minimising & Mattifying Cleanser Promising to absorb all unwanted oil for a smooth-to-the-touch finish, this Total Matteness Pore Minimising & Mattifying Cleanser from Philosophy is formulated with glacial clay to help unclog pores. Here’s a fun hack to try: Pamper your skin by slathering a thick layer on as a weekly purifying rinse-off mask while bingeing on your favourite Netflix series. This story first appeared on Like this? Check out the easy, summer looks to try now, why writer Sofia Kim is obsessed with the new Laneige Fresh Calming line and all the best beauty advice only a skin doc can give.