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How to Shrink Large Pores for Flawlessly Clear Skin

Pay Attention to Your Pores

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When you're focusing on skin concerns you can see—fine lines, sun spots, that breakout that won't clear up—it's hard to remember to give your hard-to-notice pores some TLC. But if you do start to notice them more, it's time to think about how to shrink those pores. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist says as they get clogged, pores may become more prominent, which can lead to breakouts.

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Use the Right Sunscreen

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"Some sunscreens can clog pores, so make sure to choose a formulation labeled as non-comedogenic," says Zeichner. This label essentially boils down to products that have been tested and proven not to cause breakouts. He recommends The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen ($20; Ulta); it's packed with antioxidants that work to fight free-radicals.

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Switch Out Your Winter Routine

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Heat and humidity draw excess oil to your skin like moths to a flame and the heavy cream that soothed your dry skin during winter is the last thing your clogged summertime pores need. Zeichner suggests switching it out for a gel moisturizer or lighter lotion in the summer, like First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Oil-Free Mattifying Gel ($30; Sephora). Also shelve the gentle, hydrating cleanser you used all winter, too, says Zeichner. It doesn't work as hard as you'll need to shrink your pores in the summer. Instead, opt for a foaming cleanser—or, if you're acne-prone, one with salicylic acid.

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Keep Pores Clean With a Clarifying Exfoliator

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An exfoliating gel, like Lancome Exfoliance Radiance Clarifying Exfoliating Gel ($26; Nordstrom) deep-cleans while it sloughs off dead skin cells, keeping pores happy.

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Zap Clogged Pores With a Deep Cleansing Routine

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To de-gunk pores fast, add a clay mask like Garnier SkinActive Clean + Pore Purifying Clay Cleanser Mask ($9; Ulta), to your regimen. And yes, those sticky pore strips are actually worth it. They really work to extract buildup from your skin.

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Simplify Your Makeup Ritual

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If you're worried about clogged pores, you don't have to forego makeup entirely—but you should put a layer between your skin and your favorite BB cream. Try a pore-minimizing primer, like Benefit the POREfessional Face Primer ($31; Sephora), and stash some blotting papers in your purse to keep pores clear of oil throughout the day.

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