I’m a Beauty Editor, and This Pore-Minimizing Serum Left My Bumpy, Congested Skin Blackhead-Free

I used every last drop.

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I used up almost every drop of this skin clarifying serum

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The pores and bumpy texture of my face are always present, even when my skin is otherwise at its best. It’s made clarifying, chemical exfoliant-rich serums an imperative part of my skincare routine — I always have at least one in my rotation. Although many of the serums I’ve tried have been okay, or even good, I move on to the next before the bottle is done; StriVectin’s Super Shrink Pore Minimizing Serum is a very rare exception wherein I finished every last drop. 

If you’re familiar with StriVectin, it’s likely because of its top-rated Tightening Neck Cream which, like Super Shrink, makes use of the brand’s NA114 ingredient. It’s a proprietary complex that helps deliver the anti-aging benefits of niacinamide past the superficial layers of your skin. For the months it lasted, this serum not only made my pores small and clear and the texture of my skin smooth, but it also reduced my oiliness and minimized my breakouts. Unlike many other clarifying serums I’ve tried, it didn’t make my skin dry or tight — I continued to use my go-to moisturizer and didn’t have to supplement it with a hydrating serum or anything of the sort. Lastly, Super Shrink also gave my skin an unexpected plumpness and glow. 

StriVectin Super Shrink Pore Minimizing Serum


Shop now: $72; dermstore.com and ulta.com

The first key ingredient is betaine salicylate which is part of the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) family, meaning it is a chemical exfoliant. The ingredient type has a slew of benefits, but the important ones are that it controls oil production, sloughs off dead skin, and breaks down the bacteria and debris that congest skin and cause breakouts. The ingredient is aided by red clover flower and lemon myrtle extract which provide additional assistance in oil control and pore-tightening. 

Although my skin is frustratingly sensitive and StriVectin’s Super Shrink Pore Minimizing Serum is packed with exfoliating active ingredients, it did not irritate it in the slightest. It felt as gentle on my skin as something less intimidating like a hyaluronic acid. Of course, Ulta shoppers are as impressed as I am. A 52-year-old reviewer wrote that the serum diminishes their pores and keeps their skin “smooth” after applying it before their moisturizer. They emphasized that it keeps their skin in good condition for hours, writing: “At the end of the night my face looks like I just got ready for the day.” 

There are dozens if not hundreds of products in my testing queue at any given time, so my eye frequently wanders — I’m always impatient to try the next thing. But I was so satisfied with how clear and glowing my skin was when using this StriVectin serum that I never thought about switching it out and was actually shocked when I realized I had used it all up. Head to Dermstore or Ulta to shop the StriVectin’s Super Shrink Pore Minimizing Serum I can’t get enough of. 

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