7 ways to prevent the polka dot pores look after applying foundation

We all know that makeup is supposed to make us look flawless, but sometimes it can be hard to achieve this look.

Your pores could look like polka dots after applying foundation and there are two main reasons why that might be happening. Either your skincare routine or your makeup application technique may not be the best for you!

foundation to prevent polka dot pores

How do you prevent polka dot pores? Check these 7 ways to stop foundation settling in pores.

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Cleaning Your Skin 

If you have large pores, it’s important to use a gentle cleanser. A harsh one will only aggravate the problem and strip away your skin’s natural sebum. This can result in over production of oil which leads to big pores and even acne.

Overwashing is also a bad habit as it can trigger oil production.

It’s best to wash your face NOT more than twice a day. In the evening, cleanse your face to remove all the dirt and makeup. In the morning, cleanse to get rid of all the oil and dirt from overnight.

Sleeping with your makeup on is not recommended. During the night, it can can trap dead skin cells and cause clogged pores.  This leads to more acne, blackhead and breakouts.

Exfoliate The Skin

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells or dull skin from the surface of the skin. It helps preventing clogged pores which allows for a smooth makeup application.

Salicylic acid exfoliators like this gentle exfoliator are a great option for oily skin. In fact, salicylic acid can penetrate into the pores to unclog them.

You just need to make sure you are not over exfoliating the skin to avoid irritation. When just starting out, use it in moderation and test how your skin will react to it.

big polka dot pores

Exfoliating products with charcoal like this one are also good for oily skin. They can help clean out the pores and prevent acne.

This Bestsellers Set includes a cleanser, mask, lotion, serum, and moisturizer. The face wash gently cleanses the skin and the charcoal mask  removes excess oil that could lead to blackheads.

Dry skin also needs exfoliation to get rid of flaky and dead skin cells. Try to avoid harsh ones and opt for a gentle exfoliator.

This Exfoliation Kit is a nice option if you are unsure exfoliant is right for you. You can start experimenting with gentle BHA and AHA exfoliators as each of these work uniquely to address a wide range of concerns.

Many people have big pores around the nose area, check these tips and tricks on how to stop foundation from separating on your nose.

Moisturizing The Skin

Moisturizer helps smoothing the skin’s surface for a smooth makeup application.

Applying foundation on dry skin can cause the makeup to settle into the pores or even into any fine lines or wrinkles.

For dry skin, avoid moisturizers with alcohol which can be extremely drying.

I like the Cerave moisturizing cream It has a light formula that contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin. It soothes dry skin and it wears beautifully under makeup too which is so important.

cerave cream

For oily skin, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream is a great choice. It has glycerin and hyaluronic acid that gently hydrates the skin without making it feel greasy. Its water gel formula absorbs quickly into the skin and it wears well under makeup too.

neutrogena hydro boost gel cream

Best Value Sets of Moisturizers & Exfoliants

Biossance Rapid Radiance Set

The INKEY List INKEY Back To Basics

Apply a Pore Minimizing Primer To Start Hiding Pores With Makeup

Choosing the right primer can help minimizing the appearance of the pores and creating a smooth canvas.

Silicone based primers in particular can blur away fine lines and large pores. They don’t allow your pores to show through your foundation by creating a crease-free finish.  

You probably don’t need to use primers everyday, but they are great for special occasions when you want this perfect airbrushed look. They help the makeup to last longer too.

This primer is one of the best at the drugstore. It has a lightweight formula that blends so easily into the skin. It minimizes the appearance of the pores while keeping the skin shine-free.

The Dr. Brandt Skincare pores no more pore refiner primer is also a great one! It has oil absorbing ingredients and it blurs the pores perfectly.

dr bandt pores no more primer

Tip: To touch-up your makeup throughout the day, you can apply a blurring primer on top of your foundation. This technique gives the skin a smooth look in seconds.

Best Skin Preparation Value Sets

Burt’s Bees Holiday Gift

burts bees gift set

Choose The Best Foundation Type For Big Pores

Some foundations settle into the pores much more than others. Shimmery foundations for example can emphasize the look of large pores. Choose a foundation that helps to blur the pores.

Silicone based foundations with mattifying properties work the best for big pores.  In fact, silicone can blur the skin which gives you a smoother look. 

There are many good foundations for large pores as well as many drugstore foundations that work well for big pores or for large pores and dry skin.

Choose a lightweight foundation that gives the skin a velvet or matte finish.  Thick foundations can also look heavy and make your face look older.

Tip : Apply a thin layer of foundation on the areas where you have larger pores.

Cream and liquid foundations are more likely to give the polka dot pores effect. If none of these formulas are working for you, try to use powder instead of liquid foundations as they can look better on people with big pores.

Read More: Cream Vs Powder Foundations

To get a natural look, mix your foundation and moisturizer. This trick will help your foundation blend better and will hydrate your skin at the same time.

If your skin is oily, powder foundation is an excellent choice because it absorbs excess oil. This helps to minimize the appearance of pores, resulting in a smoother complexion.

if you have mature skin, here’s a of the best powders for older skin. It includes many light to medium coverage powder foundations.

Mineral foundations work well to make large pores look invisible too. They provide good coverage and they don’t settle or crease into fine lines.

For more suggestions, check out this list of the best drugstore powder foundations.

The Best Way To Apply Foundation For Hiding Large Pores

A foundation can make the large pores look bigger as it glides on the skin. Even if your skin is perfectly prepared and moisturized, many foundations can still cause this issue.

If you are following a good skincare routine, you don’t need a lot of products to hide enlarged pores.

Try a different technique to apply your foundation. There will be some trial and error until you figure out what works best for you.

The best way to apply foundation for large pores is by using a round and dense brush.

I learned this technique from Wayne Goss. It’s the best way to hide pores with makeup and it works without using a primer.

You can see the demonstration in the video down below:

To cover pores with makeup, start by buffing the foundation into the skin with circular motions. Press the product gently into the skin by pushing the foundation into the pores.

This technique helps to stop the foundation from showing the pores.

After buffing the foundation, avoid using a damp sponge on your face.  This will sheer the foundation and leave it most concentrated inside the pores.

Avoid rubbing the foundation into your skin as well because this will let it sink into the pores even more.

To set the makeup into place, apply a good setting powder on top using a powder puff.

Powder puffs can work better than a fluffy brush in this case .They gently press the powder evenly all over the face which helps everything to stay in place.  

Apply a tiny amount of powder to avoid getting a cakey look so that your foundation doesn’t look bad from up close. Keep your setting powder in your handbag for touch-ups throughout the day.

Finish With A Setting Spray

Setting sprays help you looking fresh all day long. They create a barrier on top of the skin and prevent the makeup from slipping.

I usually try to use setting sprays on special occasions only. They contain alcohol which can cause skin dryness over time.

The L’Oreal Paris Makeup Infallible Pro-Spray & Set Makeup Extender Setting Spray is a nice drugstore one. It has a fine mist that distributes the product evenly. It also helps keeping the makeup into place all day long.

There are many great setting sprays that are affordable and easy to find. You don’t need to pay much money to get a good one. For more suggestions, check this list of the best drugstore setting sprays.

Tip : If setting powders are not working well for you, try using a setting spray instead.  Setting sprays can help much better in keeping your foundation into place.

The Bottom Line On Polka Dot Pores: Why Does Pores Look Bigger With Makeup

There are many factors that can impact the size of the pores. The best way to avoid makeup sitting in large pores is by preparing your skin for the makeup application. Cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser, exfoliate using a gentle exfoliant and moisturize with a lightweight moisturizing cream.

Use the right technique when it comes to applying the foundation.

Avoid rubbing the foundation into your skin. Use a buffing brush and start by buffing the foundation into the skin with circular motions. Press the product gently into the skin by pushing the foundation into the pores.

Set the foundation with a tiny amount of loose powder and don’t forget to keep your setting powder in your handbag for touch ups throughout the day.

I always keep my setting powder and powder puff in the inside zip pocket of my everyday handbag. That way i can find them easily whenever i want to touch up my makeup.

Choosing the wrong foundation type can also make your pores look bigger with makeup. Choose a silicone based foundation for big pores and follow all the tips and tricks mentioned in this article to get a smooth makeup look!

Is your foundation showing your pores? How to stop it?

Claire is a beauty enthusiast and lover of all things makeup. Her blog is a resource for makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and beauty tutorials.

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