What is the pore positivity movement and why you should care about it

Well, okay, again. But this time, we’re leaving the strips behind.

Harper's Bazaar India

Would I be correct in assuming that your relationship with pores involves a lot of painful alliteration? Prodding, picking, poking, peeling. Somewhere along the way in aesthetic history, the teensy skin divots got a bad rep, and ever since then, many of us have spent a great deal of time and money trying to banish them. But, hello, I have some more alliteration to share, this time in the form of good news: pore positivity.

"Everyone, regardless of skin tone, skin type, age, gender, and ethnicity, has some 20,000 pores on their face right this very second," explains Julie Bourlet, a chemist and skincare formulation expert at LVMH. Those thousands of microdots release sweat and sebum (a.k.a. natural moisturiser) to keep your body temperature steady and your skin dewy. So if you’re interested in optimal skin health, pamper your pores.

I know it sounds different. But after wading through the research, I realised it just makes sense. And my first dip into this skin philosophy came via a sneak peek at Benefit Cosmetics’ collection designed to care for, rather than erase, the pores. Sampling the line gave me a new-found understanding—dare I say appreciation—of my pores. Which is why I’m now fully on board with the pore positivity movement. Take a look at these products and join me, why don’t you?

Pharmacy Clearly Clean Cleansing Balm, ₹2,500

Like dissolves like, so you need an oil-based cleanser to melt away the oil and build-up that gets stuck in your pores.

Herbivore Aquarius BHA + Blue Tansy Clarity Cleanser, ₹1,862 approx. 

The combo of willow bark and zinc in this cleanser helps gently break down stubborn gunk and control excess oil production. 

StriVectin Super Shrink Pore Minimizing Serum, ₹5,766

Minimise blackheads, enlarged pores, and rough skin texture with this betaine salicylate-spiked serum that you can use daily. 

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, ₹2,630

Made with three ingredients to absorb oil (kaolin clay, calcium carbonate, and zinc oxide), this fast-acting mask helps mattify skin and tighten your pores. 

Dr. Dennis Gross Pore Perfecting Moisturizer, ₹7,347

Dehydrated skin can overproduce oil and lead to congestion. Keep yours balanced with a gel cream to hydrate and plump.