Final Verdict. Our number one pick is Paula's Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2 Percent BHA, a fan-favorite toner containing exfoliating BHA, replenishing peptides, and soothing allantoin. For folks on a budget, we recommend InstaNatural's 7 percent Glycolic AHA Toner (view at Amazon).
Retinol. Further proof that retinol is freaking amazing: Not only does the vitamin A-based topical smooth wrinkles and brighten dark spots, but it also works to stop acne and shrink pores.
Retinol helps with blackheads and whiteheads and evens skin tones. Studies show that applying retinol cream reduces pore size and keeps them cleaner, emptying the impurities that otherwise give an oversized appearance.
"Salicylic acid is oil soluble, meaning it's able to get inside pores to gently push out dead skin, bacteria, sebum, and any other pore-clogging debris." By removing that debris from your pores, your pores will appear smaller.
Salicylic acid can be an effective ingredient in skin care products to help treat acne. Salicylic acid can help unclog blocked pores by breaking down and removing dead skin cells and oil. Salicylic acid may produce mild side effects, such as skin irritation or peeling.
As you grow older, your skin loses it elasticity, which causes your skin to stretch and sag, making pores appear larger. Your skin also thickens as you age, which causes miniscule skin cells to gather around your pores, making pores look bigger.
Glycolic acid is an effective exfoliant, meaning it can remove dead skin cells. It's well suited to reducing hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. If you have acne-prone skin, salicylic acid is usually a better option. It can get rid of excess sebum and prevent or treat acne.
Acne clogs your pores, which can make your pores more noticeable. Using a cleanser with salicylic acid may help. Studies show salicylic acid can unclog pores. Some cleansers containing salicylic acid are gentle enough to use every day.
Best salicylic acid toner for blemished skin: The Inkey List Beta Hydroxy Acid Exfoliant. Best fast-absorbing salicylic acid toner: Origins Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner with Saw Palmetto and Mint. Best entry-level salicylic acid toner: Revolution Skincare 2% salicylic acid BHA Anti Blemish Liquid Exfoliant Toner.
But witch hazel won't directly treat the cause of acne or clogged pores. “For that, proven ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the gold-standard and have years of research behind them. In fact, witch hazel can actually make blemishes worse in the long-term by causing irritation,” says Begoun.
Yes it is considered ok to use salicylic acid every day, however, due to it sometimes resulting in the skin becoming irritated many skin experts and dermatologists suggest using the acid in moderation, starting by applying it 3 times a week and if there are no signs of any reactions, you can build up the usage by one ...
Best Overall: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
There's a reason most acne washes contain salicylic acid, as explained by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach, "It's an oil-soluble acid that can permeate the pores in your skin and dissolve old dead skin and debris that is clogging pores. "
Glycolic acid is also killer at reducing pore size, thanks to its ability to boost collagen production. When collagen breaks down from aging or UV damage, “pores begin to look stretched around the edges” (i.e. larger) according to Jennifer Linder, MD.
Using Retinoids Will Minimize Pores and Reduce Bacteria Causing Blackheads. Retinoids like OTC Differin Gel can reduce the size of pores that have been enlarged as a result of clogging and sun damage.
Niacinamide reduces inflammation , which may help ease redness from eczema, acne, and other inflammatory skin conditions. Minimizes pore appearance. Keeping skin smooth and moisturized may have a secondary benefit — a natural reduction in pore size over time.
Retinoid or Retinol and Salicylic Acid
But on its own, each can dry out the skin, so together they should be combined with caution. The risk is overdrying, which can lead to irritation and make the situation worse.
Your Acid Won't Be Effective
For glycolic acid, it's typically between pH 3.0 and 4.0. But niacinamide has a much higher pH, around 6.0. So if you mix the two ingredients together, the niacinamide is going to raise the pH of the glycolic acid, so it will no longer be acidic.
“AHAs and BHAs can certainly be combined. For example, for oily skin, a salicylic-based cleanser can be used followed by a glycolic acid toner. Generally, a glycolic acid is great for dry, dehydrated or combination skin, whereas salicylic acid would be perfect for oily/spot-prone/acne skin.
The technical term for an acne seed is a microcomedone. A microcomedone is a cluster of mostly dead skin cells that might be mixed with oil and comedogenic ingredients from pore-clogging products. It's called a micro-comedone because when it first forms, it is microscopic so it's invisible to the naked eye.
Salicylic acid is oil-soluble , which means that it can penetrate sebum and help clear pores. If a person has not used a product with salicylic acid before, it may be a good idea to start with one application every day or every other day.
Prolonged exposure to the air causes the blockage to oxidize and darken. Because the pore gets stretched out of shape, it will fill back up again even after it is emptied. These stubborn pores are most likely to occur on the face, chest and back.