L’Oréal Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher

April 17th, 2014

A reader alerted us to this ad for L’Oréal’s Youth Code Texture Perfection Pore Vanisher. According to the commercial, the cream

instantly minimizes the look of pores and in four weeks, shrinks them in depth, number, and size.

On the product webpage, an asterisk qualifies that depth is only reduced “with product on.” It’s kind of like if your dentist filled a cavity with chewing gum and then was like, “There, I vanished it.” Of course filling holes makes them shallower, but you’ll wash the product off at the end of the day and the effect will be gone.

Some more phrases from the product description:

  • Formula Essentials
  • For all Skin Tones
  • Universal Tint  (What does ‘a universal tint’ for ‘all skin tones’ look like? This, apparently.)
  • Suitable For Sensitive Skin
  • Non-Comedogenic
  • Dermatologist Tested

None of these terms mean anything; like “hypoallergenic,” the FDA has no standard definitions for them, so they can mean anything the company wants them to mean. None of L’Oréal’s claims about the “depth, number, and size” of pores are really possible, at least not permanently. We’ll get to that in a second. First, questions:

How can a product possibly reduce the number of pores you have? If you kept using it, would you eventually reduce the number of pores down to zero, resulting in a computer-generated, android-like face? If so, where would all the sebum go?  Or would all the pores condense into one giant pore? Would you get to choose where the giant pore was located, or would it be a mandatory middle-of-the-forehead situation?

Okay, back to impossibilities.

The number and size of pores you have is mostly genetic. They get larger with age and sun damage, and there is no product that will permanently shrink them. You can temporarily reduce the appearance of your pores, but any drastic or lasting solution has yet to be widely confirmed.

To temporarily reduce the appearance of pores, you can wash your face regularly, exfoliate, or wear a cosmetic product like primer or foundation. To prevent damage in the first place, wear sunscreen.

Texture Perfection Pore Vanisher does not contain sunscreen, but it does contain some chemical exfoliants, primer ingredients (or, as the New York Times calls it, “under-makeup pore spackle”), oil-absorbing ingredients, and a tint to help reduce the appearance of pores. The one somewhat-unusual ingredient is lentil seed extract, developed and sold by Silab. Silab’s study indicates its lentil seed extract

attenuates the shininess and the unsightly appearance of dilated pores of Caucasian and Asian skin, and gives a toned and refined skin grain.

Anything is possible, but Silab alone has reported these results, and its study tested groups of only 20 Asian and Caucasian men and women (80 people overall), for only 28 days. It performed best on Asian skin. You can look at the study and decide for yourself whether you think it’s promising, but 20 men and 20 women from two ethnic groups ≠ everyone (especially not considering the “universal tint”), and 28 days ≠ forever. Also, Silab doesn’t say anywhere in the study that lentil seed extract can help reduce the number of pores, so that part of L’Oréal’s ad is still a mystery as far as we can tell.

Texture Perfection Pore Vanisher is essentially a product that falls somewhere between a primer and a BB cream, with some added exfoliants and a small amount of one possibly-effective new ingredient. If that’s all you’re looking for, maybe this is a good product for you. If, however, you’re looking for a product that will work for everyone as described in the L’Oréal’s ad–good luck.

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