The big draw with Total Effects 7-in-1 Night Pore Perfector Moisturizer is the claim of waking up to smaller pores. Sounds promising, but there's nothing special that can happen to pores at night that can't also occur during the day, so the "night" designation here is more marketing than necessity. It's a good option for normal to slightly dry or oily skin (including the breakout-prone), but nothing that stands out from lots of other Olay moisturizers with niacinamide and thus, not much here that supports this products "overnight pore reducing" claims
Those with slightly dry skin will like the light hydration this provides; there's not a hint of greasiness or a thick, occlusive feel. Those with combination to oily and breakout-prone skin will appreciate this moisturizer's smooth, semi-matte finish owing to the absorbent ingredients it contains, chiefly aluminum starch octenylsuccinate.
For antioxidants, you get a bit of vitamin E (as tocopheryl acetate) and lesser amounts of vitamin C (as sodium ascorbyl phosphate) and green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract. These are good ingredients, but they show up in many other products, including almost all of the Olay Total Effects and Regenerist products. There's just not much to go on here to support the claim of reducing pore size—or for switching to this product from another well formulated moisturizer you're using (especially if that moisturizer is one from Olay—it's likely to be quite similar to this formula).
We suspect niacinamide's potential ability to minimize pores has to do with this ingredient's ability to reduce inflammation and encourage a more normal profile of helpful lipids (fats) in the skin. These actions improve skin's barrier function and ability to heal, both of which can reduce pores whose size has increased due to age and sun damage, or as a co-factor of clogging. Still, for a big improvement in pore size and function you'll also want to use a good leave-on exfoliant that contains salicylic acid—check out those that made our top-rated list of BHA Exfoliants to make your search easier.
Used alone, this product isn't likely to live up to its claims and have the profound effect on pores you may hope it does—which is the main reason this missed our top rating. This ends up being a good moisturizer for skin that's neither too dry nor super oily, and its formula is also a safe bet for breakout-prone skin. We wish it was truly different compared to several other Olay moisturizers, but as it stands, only the clams are different.
Starting decades ago with the now-classic Oil of Olay, this brand now offers an extensive range of skin-care products sold at drugstores and mass-market stores. Today's Olay lineup for those concerned about staving off the effects of aging skin is impressive, comprising their Regenerist, Pro X, and Total Effects lines. All of these (and several other Olay products) contain the B vitamin niacinamide. As you might expect, the claims made for it are inflated, but niacinamide is a very helpful ingredient for all skin types, capable of exerting multiple benefits.
In fact, perhaps the biggest complaint about Olay is that there are a number of repetitive formulas within and between the sub-brands make this line confusing and tricky to shop! Still, there is a lot to like about this drugstore stalwart, with its main drawback being a few formulas containing fragrance or other ingredients that have the potential to cause irritation.
For more information about Olay, owned by Procter & Gamble, call (800) 285-5170 or visit www.olay.com.
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