The underlying message of this pore-reducing serum is that pores become larger because they become "loose"; therefore, if you "tense" and tighten skin, large pores become smaller. But that's not how pores work. Pores can be large due to hereditary reasons but in most cases pores become enlarged because of sun damage, excess oil (a by-product of hormones), and clogging—sagging only plays a minor role much later in life when the laxity can increase the appearance of pores. So yes, if you have sagging skin and already have large pores, the sagging will exaggerate their appearance and tightening skin could help this. Sadly, this serum isn't the skin tightening, pore-reducing answer so many are seeking.
What this somewhat tacky-feeling serum will do is make skin feel tighter, but not from the "natural wheat protein" called out in the claims. Instead, skin will feel tighter because of the amount of film-forming agent (sodium polyacrylate) this contains. Think hairspray for the face and you get the idea. That tight feeling is strictly cosmetic; your skin and its pores are not getting any tighter.
What about the "exclusive fruit radiance blend" this contains? It's meant to sound like it'll work to improve skin texture the same way AHA ingredients like glycolic acid do, but there's no research to support the claim. Actually, there's minimal to no research supporting the use of any of the plant extracts this product contains—and what little there is doesn't pertain to pores or skin texture.
If you keep your expectations low this can be an OK lightweight serum for combination skin, but there are dozens of better products available. As for improving enlarged pores, you can't go wrong with a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) exfoliant. Also known as salicylic acid, BHA is the top ingredient to turn to when reducing enlarged or clogged pores is your goal. Find out top picks on our list of Best BHA Exfoliants.
- Most of the plant extracts in the "exclusive fruit radiance blend" have no research pertaining to skin and they don't work as an AHA or BHA exfoliant would.
- Cannot visibly improve enlarged pores or bumpy skin texture.
- Has a tacky finish and the amount of film-forming agent is akin to putting hairspray on your face.
- Doesn't improve skin sagging.
Complexion-boosting tensing serum helps reduce the appearance of pores. ULTA's Pore Correction Concentrate Serum contains an exclusive fruit radiance blend that works to enhance skin texture and luminosity. Natural wheat protein helps to firm, tighten and tone.
Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Propanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Evodia Rutaecarpa Fruit Extract, Enantia Chlorantha Bark Extract, Quercus Suber Bark Extract, Iris Florentina Root Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Oleanolic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Trideceth-6, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid
Since Ulta was founded in 1990, the company has continued to carve out a unique position as a specialty beauty store by offering a large selection of upscale and drugstore cosmetics in all price ranges, all under one roof. There are currently over 675 Ulta locations across the United States, and, like Sephora, Ulta sells its own product line right alongside more familiar brands such as Revlon, Murad, and philosophy.
The Ulta Collection offers a variety of basic makeup products, from foundation to eye shadow to lip gloss. Nearly all items in the Ulta Collection are inexpensive, and its lower price point is a major draw.
As with most cosmetics lines, Ulta has its share of good and bad products; however, it seems for every good to great makeup product the line has two average-to-poor options. Testers may or may not be available, so choose wisely.
Among the safer categories of Ulta makeup are the eyeshadows, many of the mascaras, brow products, and most of the foundations, particularly the cream-to-powder and powder formulas.
Despite our enthusiasm for Ulta's large selection of eyeshadow, the quality is inconsistent, especially when it comes to texture and how they apply, even among different shades in the same category. The best way to shop this line is to pay attention to which products we've reviewed favorably and to take extra time to play with the products in-store (assuming the Ulta you frequent keeps testers available).
In recent years, Ulta has branched out from makeup to skin care. Their namesake skin care has the same affordable price point as the makeup, and some of the products are actually quite good. Skip the cleansers, ignore the moisturizers in jar packaging, and forget about the pore-tightening products...the rest is worth exploring, but again, this is not a brand to shop without some knowledge of what you're buying and how it performs.
For more information about Ulta Beauty, call 866-983-8582 or visit www.ulta.com.