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Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum

Is a Solution for:
Dry Skin, Oily Skin, Large Pores
April 26, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 28 Comments
Clinique recently launched its new open-pore controlling product, Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum ($39.50) promising that “pores will seem smaller, as if they had 'snapped back' into shape”. Looking at the ingredients list it wasn’t obvious to me how this would be achieved and then I stumbled across some research that made me realize that the words “will seem smaller” had to be taken literally. With Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum, enlarged pores might not actually shrink, but they may look as if they have. So how does Clinique create this optical illusion?

According to a website called Cosmetoscope, which analyzes the formulas of big name beauty products, Clinique is using silicone crosspolymers and silicon based surfactants. They are borrowing these from Estee Lauder’s Idealist and Perfectionist serums. The point is that they create a stable emulsion with velvety touch and optical properties, that detract the eye from such things as shiny skin and visible pores.

Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum isn’t all smoke and mirrors though. One of the most convincing ingredients is the botanical extract Salvia Sclaria (clary) It is most often found in shampoos as it can reduce excess oil or dandruff on the scalp. However, it also helps excessively oily complexions. This is most likely due to the mucilage formed from salvia sclarea seeds, which bond to small particles, allowing them to be whisked away. Interestingly, Estée Lauder owns a patent that describes something called sclareol, a component of clary sage. The patent claims that Clary sage extract is believed to contain about 70 percent sclareol and that it is an effective desquamation agent for treating acne.

Another helpful ingredient is nordihydroguaiaretic acid. This is the desert dwelling creosote bush and studies show that it corrects the abnormal shedding of skin cells (hyperkeratinization) that cause skin pores to clog.

I get the feeling that Clinique has added this to its burgeoning line of Pore Refining products, on the grounds that it has some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients. There is nothing here that is really a standout though. Rosemary is an antioxidant and is also an astringent and so may be helpful for oil control and its anti-bacterial properties could prevent breakouts. Sea whip is an anti-inflammatory, but I was amused to see that it is a marine creature that lives on reefs and has “tiny pores” (source). Perhaps it is here in order to set a good example.

If anyone has tried Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum yet, I’d love to hear from you. And if anyone wants to try it, I have a bottle for someone who is willing to give it a thorough test drive and review it for us. If that’s you, leave a comment below.


Dimethicone, water, polysilicone-11, alcohol denat, acetyl glucosamine, peg-10 dimethicone, butylene glycol, rosemary leaf extract, saw palmetto fruit extract, St paul’s wort extract, clary extract, sea whip extract, laminaria saccharina, caffeine, pantethine, hydrolyzed soy, peg-11 methyl ether dimethicone, algae extract, polysorbate-20 salicylic acid, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, tocopheryl acetate, caprylyl glycol, sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, lecithin, isohexadecane, DI-C12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, polysorbate 80, hydrogenated lecithin, polymethyl methacrylate, coconut acid, padina pavonica thallus, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP copolymer, acrylyamide/sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, silica, citric acid, hexylene glycol, ascorbyl tocopherol maleate, sodium hydroxide, disodium edta, phenoxyethanol, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, mica.
  • March 12, 2018

    by Hoda

    I would really love to try this product

  • February 4, 2018

    by Cherish

    I would love to try this!

  • June 28, 2014

    by Sadaf

    I am 38 I have oily skin and open pores i would love to try this product cliniq pore rifining serum but my skin is very sensitive when i used any product on my face my face becom red first i try a sample then i buy the product

  • June 15, 2014

    by Helen

    I am 54 and do have quite big pores on my nose and chin I was thinking about buying this product to

  • March 25, 2013

    by Chrissy Veals

    Yes I would be extremely excited also the perfect candidate for you and your study. Please I would love to be involved.

    Chrissy Veals

  • January 1, 2013

    by Nikki

    I would love to try the Clinique pore refining serum! I am 37 and have large pores and seemingly oily skin. I have used Clinique acne solutions foundation for several years and love it.

  • November 12, 2012

    by Helen saunders

    Hi ...I would love to try this as Im 40 in feb & cant aford to buy a good serum & then find out it doesnt work but if this did work I would be happy to save for it as Im so unhappy with my skin at the moment, Thank you Helen.

  • October 13, 2012

    by Marjorie Ritz

    I have always had excessively oily skin and my facial pores are very telling.When I cleanse my face and put my make-up on I look fine for a while then my face starts getting very oily and then my pores start to look more like craters on the moon than skin imperfections.

  • September 24, 2012

    by Monica Etheridge

    Hi, I would like to tray this product if you got one
    I have work for Clinique and Estee Lauder in the UK, so I will be interested in see how it works

  • July 17, 2012

    by RUBY DO

    I am looking for a product that helps to minimise my pores for years as I pores are really large , adding the fact that my skin is really oily so that I definitely would like to give it a go .
    Currently , I am using Estee Lauder Idealist & Clinique Pore Minimizer . They claim to reduce the pores but they do not work as expected.
    Clinique Pore Minimizer does , however , reduce the sebum of the skin instantly upon application but after an hour or so after the oil comes out , my skin looks oily as normal . Will there be any chance for me to test this product please before I actually commit buying it ? Thanks.

  • June 10, 2012

    by nandranie

    I have large pores, had acne for over 15 years I don't know what to do to refine please let me test your product.I will give great review.

  • October 24, 2011

    by Amy Watson

    Clinique has discontinued their turnaround that was for oilier skin. I tried their new version hated it..!! I ran across this and was wondering if it would compare to the old turnaround? I would LOVE a sample as I am sick over not being able to buy my favorite skin care product I have used for 10yrs.

  • August 17, 2011

    by Jay

    I have many visible pore on my cheek and have tried many other products, but failed.
    I really want to try this serum. Please let me know if you still have a sample of it.

  • July 26, 2011

    by Kim

    I would very much like to try Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum. I have neglected my skin for the past year (it's ok, breathe), so needless to say, I could really use this product. I have always had large pores with my combonation skin. I am now on a mission to correct the past year of neglect. Thanks for your time.

  • July 24, 2011

    by LINDA

    I would welcome the opportunity to try the serum.I'm 65 & open pores have become problem in the last 2 years

  • July 7, 2011

    by Ashley

    I'd love to try the product-- I have HUGE pores and TONS of oil on my skin! I use a lot of other Clinique's products and I am interested in seeing how this would compare!

  • July 3, 2011

    by Mary

    If it's not too late, I'd really appreciate the opportunity to try Clinique's Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum. Large pores is my number one complaint about how aging is affecting my skin (I'm 43). Please let me know if your offer is still available.

  • June 21, 2011

    by Tish

    If you still need large-pored women to try this product, count me in!! On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the largest pores possible, I'm a TEN!

  • June 2, 2011

    by Emily

    It seems like large pores are everyone's obsession! I was amused to see this article in the Style section of today's New York Times. Frankly, there's no advice here that's as good as TIA: dermatologists plugging (no pun intended) a couple of brands and treatments:

  • May 22, 2011

    by Freda

    I have oily skin and in my 40s, would love to try this product to reduce or give the illusion of pore reduction especially on my nose and forehead. Hope I'm selected soon, can hardly wait to try this serum!

  • May 2, 2011

    by Barbara

    I have tried all pore products that are suppose to reduce the look of pores. My skin is sensitive combo. I am using estee lauder's idealist the last three yrs but always looking for something better. I would LOVE to try this product. I have read all reviews on Sephora, clinique and macy's site!

  • May 2, 2011

    by Amy Omang Huber

    I'd welcome the opportunity to try any product that may either reduce pore size, or give the elusive illusion of reduction. I've had large pores my entire life. I'm now forty, and in over 20 years, I've found no winners.

  • April 30, 2011

    by chris

    i got a free sample of the serum. i'll say I was completely blown away by the results. I noticed a major change as soon as i started to used it. my complexion seemed to be poreless! what else can one ask for!

  • April 27, 2011

    by Cindy Hoddy

    I would love to try anything with promise for my nose craters! I know my magnifying mirror makes them seem so much worse BUT when I put on my foundation, I look polka dotted! YUK! I've tried a laser treatment without results! I have spent TOO much money on primers and serums with the hope of improving the way they look. I know there is nothing that can take them away so the illusion of taking them away sounds good to me.

  • April 27, 2011

    by Mar

    For me it is already rejected due to the fact it has a large amount of alcohol denat.

  • April 27, 2011

    by melissa

    I would like to try this. I have sensitive allergy prone skin and lately the pores on my cheeks seem very large and the texture in this area is not great. This seems like it might address both issues. In general clinique products have worked well for me in the past.

  • April 26, 2011

    by Gul

    I hav always had pores on my cheeks.try to use a nutraganica toner but little help .I wud love to try clinique because I love their cleanser ,moisturizer and exfoliant..

  • April 26, 2011

    by Valerie

    I would love to try the pore refining serum. Pores were never something I was worried about until this year. It seems that the traditional t-zone has opened up like a flower. I wish it would close. I've been trying the Skinn Pore Reducing Serum and haven't noticed a difference. However, I continue. I'm also using the Chella mask and Mychelle Honeydew Cleanser that TIA has recommended in hopes of making a difference (and don't forget the Clarisonic). We shall see, I suppose. But, I'm loathe to give up. :-)

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