Tested on animals:Yes
Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher is Lauder's all-in-one solution to problems such as large pores, flaky skin, redness, and, of course, fine lines.
Lauder claims that this product makes pores appear one-third smaller, instantly, and that this version contains three times more acetyl glucosamine than the original Idealist formula. It does indeed contain more acetyl glucosamine, but is that an advantage?
Derived from sugar, acetyl glucosamine doesn't have known exfoliating properties (Lauder claims it helps unglue the bonds that hold dead skin cells to the surface, something a well-formulated AHA or BHA product accomplishes). Acetyl glucosamine's primary constituents are mucopolysaccharides and hyaluronic acid. Found in all parts of the skin, it has value as a repairing ingredient and is effective (in high concentrations) for wound healing. There is also research (Cellular-Molecular-Life-Science, 53(2), February 1997, pages 131-140) showing that chitins (also known as chitosan, which is composed of acetyl glucosamine) can help in the complex process of wound healing. However, that is a few generations removed from acetyl glucosamine being included in a skin-care product.
Procter & Gamble has published research on the skin-lightening effect of acetyl glucosamine when used at concentrations of 2% or more in combination with niacinamide (such as in their Olay Definity products), but although Lauder is likely using that amount, they left out niacinamide (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2007, pages 20-26).
There are some notable ingredients in here, but in terms of making skin look better and pores appear smaller, it does so mostly by cosmetic trickery. For example, the strong silicone base instantly makes skin look smoother, so it reflects light better, and it can temporarily fill in large pores and superficial lines.
Cosmetic pigments (iron oxides, mica, and titanium dioxide) provide a brightening effect, imparting a "glow" to your skin. Beyond the light show, plant-based anti-inflammatory ingredients help minimize minor redness and antioxidants such as green tea help keep skin protected from free-radical damage.
What's not good news is the inclusion of lavender and orange along with the fragrance components limonene and linalool. They're present in an amount that may be potentially irritating, which keeps this from earning a Best Product rating. If you decide to give this a go, it is best for normal to oily skin.