Stores & Services
Find a Sephora

Happening at Sephora

View all


From makeovers to personalized skincare consultations

Free Classes

Get inspired, play with products & learn new skills

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Post in K-Beauty

New to skincare - large pores, brightening and anti aging

I’m fairly new to using skin care products, would like to take better care of my skin using a routine that isn’t too time consuming, but open to suggestions for large pores, brightening of skin and overall anti aging

Re: New to skincare - large pores, brightening and anti aging

@brioche94  Welcome to the world of skincare! Since you mentioned large pores: some people’s pores are genetically larger than other people’s, and that’s okay! Pores are a normal feature of human skin and they can’t really be “shrunk” or “closed.” But if your pores look larger than they normally do, there might be gunk (excess sebum, dead skin cells) in ‘em that’s stretching them wider. So I’ll include an option to possibly treat that in my suggestions below. 

Here’s a quick and simple routine: 



1. Makeup remover (as needed, if you wear makeup) - can be an oil cleanser, micellar water, cleansing balm, etc. I personally alternate between #The INKEY List Oat Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm 5 oz/ 150 mL , Paula's Choice Omega + Complex Cleansing Balm 3.5 oz/ 104 mL , and Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water; for stubborn eye makeup, I prefer Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover. But you can use whatever suits your personal preferences. Follow up with the next item on this list… 

2. Cleanser (nightly) - you want something non-drying that won’t leave your skin feeling tight, stripped, or “squeaky clean.” CeraVe and Cetaphil make good effective cleansers for various skin types. Once or twice a week, consider swapping out your usual cleanser for a salicylic acid cleanser like CeraVe Acne Control Cleanser or The INKEY List Salicylic Acid Acne + Blackhead Cleanser . Salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid) gets down into your pores to degunk ‘em. 

3. Moisturizer (nightly) - without knowing your skin type/behavior (dry, combo, oily, or balanced), I’ll recommend some all-around good ones: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (thicker texture than the lotion and contains petrolatum for better water-loss prevention), or Paula's Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Advanced Moisturizer with Ceramides 1.7 oz / 50 ml . 



1. Cleanser (optional) - some folks don’t need to wash their face in the morning. I often just gently wipe my face down with a wet plush microfiber cloth. If I need an AM wash, I use a very gentle one: either e.l.f. Pure Skin Cleanser or one of the PM makeup removers I mentioned earlier. 

2. Treatment (as needed) - niacinamide can brighten skin and help manage pore size, among many other good things it does for skin. It’s already in many skincare products, but consider using a standalone serum like Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster 0.67 oz/ 20 mL , COSRX The Niacinamide 15 Serum, or #The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Oil Control Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL (that last one irritates my reactive skin because it lacks the skin soothing ingredients in the other 2 products, but it works well for many other folks). I’ll say use as needed instead of daily because some people’s skin can’t handle 10% (or higher) niacinamide on a daily basis. Start off using one of those serums 2-3 times a week and see how your skin tolerates it, and then increase usage if you want. There are also a few 5% niacinamide serums on the market now. 

3. Broad spectrum sunscreen (daily) - at least SPF 30, applied each day your skin’s exposed to sunlight and reapplied every couple hours (during sunlit hours), all year long, regardless of weather or season. Sunscreen is the best anti-aging skincare product on the market: UV rays cause many “signs of aging,” along with other more serious types of skin damage. Some sunscreens contain good moisturizing ingredients and can be used in place of a moisturizer. I do this in warm weather, but in winter my mostly-dry combo skin needs a separate moisturizer under any sunscreen. 

Which sunscreen’s right for you depends 100% on your personal preferences. It can be chemical, mineral/physical, or a hybrid sunscreen; all 3 types work largely the same way, and one’s no safer than the others unless your skin’s sensitive to a certain UV filter (ingredient that protects skin from UV rays). A popular option, and one I personally love, is Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Invisible Broad Spectrum SPF 40 PA +++ 1.7 oz/ 50 mL . But I alternate through several other sunscreens throughout the year, including some European and Asian sunscreens that contain advanced UV filters unavailable in US sunscreens. In the US, Supergoop, La Roche-Posay, Eucerin, and Native are some of the brands that make good sunscreens. Trader Joe’s has a popular “dupe” of Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen that costs far less. 


Try that routine for a few weeks. Later on, you can add more steps/products as needed. For instance, you may want to consider adding a vitamin A derivative (the retinoid family) as an anti-aging boost, such as retinol, retinaldehyde, or even Rx tretinoin. I use retinaldehyde because my dermatologist and I agreed my skin won’t tolerate tretinoin. But all 3 of those forms of vitamin A are effective; they just work at different speeds, with tretinoin being the fastest and retinol the slowest. You could replace your PM moisturizer with a retinol moisturizer. Or you could insert a vitamin A step between PM cleanser and moisturizer. 


But again, this is all stuff to consider in the future, after your skin’s gotten used to a simple consistent routine. 

Re: New to skincare - large pores, brightening and anti aging

Thank you so much for replying to my post, creating a routine for skin care seems very intimidating for me and reading your comment helped give me a general idea on how to tackle my skin concerns..


Not sure if the recommendations would change, but my skin type is generally very oily and I do like the brands that you have suggested (Cerave), as I’ve used them before and they’re usually non-hypoallergenic which I generally like as I have pretty sensitive skin so I do like that recommendation a lot!!


regarding the sunscreen or the SPF products should I apply this product regularly or should I only apply it when I’m going out in sunny weather conditions?

Re: New to skincare - large pores, brightening and anti aging

No problem, @brioche94 ! Quick BIC tip: be sure to “@“ the person you reply to, so they’ll get a notification. Otherwise they might never see your reply. 🙂 


Apply sunscreen during daylight hours whenever you’re going to be outside, or whenever you’ll be sitting at/near a window with open blinds/curtains, or when you’ll be in a car/train/etc. with a window seat. Key words there are “daylight hours”: if the sun is up, wear sunscreen. Even if it’s cloudy or overcast that day. Even in winter. Clouds don’t block all UV rays, especially not UVA rays. Window glass also doesn’t block UVA rays, unless the window’s been UV-treated. 


One nice thing about winter’s shortened daylight hours is not needing to reapply sunscreen so often. 😂 If I apply sunscreen on a December or January morning and go someplace where I’ll be indoors all day away from windows, I know the sun will have set by the time I wander back outdoors, so no need to reapply sunscreen that day. Otherwise, I reapply sunscreen if my skin will be exposed to sunlight throughout the day. 

3 Replies
Conversation Stats
  • 3 replies
  • 6 Hearts Given
  • 2 Contributors