Estee Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher


806 reviews

55% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$$


Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Acetyl Glucosamine, Sodium Lactobionate, Morus Nigra (Mulberry) Root Extract, Yeast Extract, Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender), Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Caffeine, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit California), Cholesterol, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Squalane, Polyethylene, Isopentyldiol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 20, Pantethine, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Polysorbate 80, Peg-8, Ethyl 2,2-Dimethylhydrocinnamal, Phospholipids, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Butylene Glycol, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Sodium Glycyrrhetinate, Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.

on 12/30/2013 12:10:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Breaks me out

on 12/8/2013 3:55:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

First of all - to the reviewer who claims this is "non-acnegenic", "non-comedogenic", "doesn't clog pores" and even "hypoallergenic" are all unregulated marketing terms. There is no concise scientific data/studies nor lists that determine what individual ingredient will be acne-causing for one person versus another- and a lot of the ingredients in this serum (including fragrance, plant extracts) can be highly irritating, sensitizing and most definitely cause inflammation or acne and clogged pores. There is no governing body that decides who can and who can't label their products as such, any company can write this term on any product they want to. Even tubs of Vaseline, Shea butter and coconut oil say "non-comedogenic" and many can't use it on their face due to breakouts or clogging. ELF Studio Finish Flawless Foundation says "oil-free" on the label and yet contains mineral oil near the top of the list. Pretty much every product on the market nowadays will have these terms because it makes the consumer feel safe using it. I'm sure everyone on MUA has used a product with these labels, and then suffered a breakout or allergic reaction. It's best to keep a list of ingredients you have noticed clogged your pores or caused reactions and compare them to new products to prevent a repeat. I don't think it's fair to say reviewers didn't have reactions just because EL said they wouldn't.

Apologies for the rant - my review:

This is a silicone-based antioxidant serum with some skin-brightening ingredients that claims to "reduce the LOOK of pores in four weeks".

I use this mostly in place of a primer in the mornings because of the silicone texture, which makes a nice, smooth base for foundation or BB cream. It helps to blur imperfections a bit (much like primers made with silicone!) and definitely makes my make-up last longer too. It makes your skin feel super soft and I have to try and not touch my skin 10 times a day when I wear this!

As far as the effects on my skin - my skin does look brighter, more glow-y. No difference in pores at all. Skin feels soft to the touch. Maybe it's protecting my skin with the antioxidants, but I can't measure that activity from my home. I do feel it has mostly instant results typical of anything silicone-based: smoother skin with a refined texture, pore size appears reduced till you wash it off and imperfections blurred.

What I hate about this serum is the strong, cloying fragrance. I think it smells really nice actually but it is way too strong for skincare. If my skin is feeling drier this burns when applied and makes my skin sting and turn red. But when my skin is more on the oily side it seems to tolerate this serum fine. I wouldn't repurchase because having used this for over 2 years now (both the Illuminating and regular versions) I think there are far better serums on the market for way less, but this was nice while my bottle lasted.

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

on 11/24/2013 10:32:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

The absolute only selling point to this product is that it makes my skin really soft creating a nice surface to apply foundation/bb cream to. Other then that it doesn't really do much for the pores - there was no minimising of any kind. This gel acted more like a primer for me albeit an expensive primer! Although a small amount does go a long way.

Do not purchase if you are actually wanting something to minimise pores.

on 10/11/2013 4:45:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Not sure quite yet about this product.

I'm a fan of EL, complete convert but I can't really see a massive difference to my pores or complexion when I apply this. Granted, it makes your skin really really soft and velvety, but it's not "visible".

It definitely helps with dry patches and whatnot. I use it after moisturising and before Estee Lauder Matte Primer, and I do have to say, it helps make up (again, I use EL Double Wear Light) go on LIKE. A. DREAM. It's almost as if it's floating on a poreless surface. It definitely helps make up not sinking into the pores, sliding off or looking like a greasy frying pan -for people with oily shiny skin-.

on 9/29/2013 10:41:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I was on a mission to find a bb cream for my uber oily skin. ALL of them were so heavy, my oil production would make it lift and crack. (It was not pretty). While asking a SR about Lancome Tient Idol the rep said her daughter (with similar problems) uses this serum as a moisturizer! And despite ALL my research, I never heard of using a serum that way. Well, she was right. You can feel right away that it goes on silky and feels like it sucks up all the excess oil immediately. Smells fruity & wonderful - which I love. Other people may not enjoy. I use this every morning after I shower and it has helped prevent my skin from breaking out AND help keep the oil away mostly the whole day (which was more than anything else I used). It helped my skin so much while using it, that when I did run out, finally (it took over 5 months to finish the small jar), I broke out - something FIERCE! Needless to say I went running back to pick some up! Now, I cannot live without. My ONLY issue is the price. It's a splurge for me (-1 lippie). But it's so worth it.

Good Luck finding the right product for you. It was a long road for me to find what worked for me. I went through so many different products before I found this & now I cannot live without. You should also know that as my quest for 'perfect matte skin' continues. But currently & for some time I have been using the EL Idealist PM in the am, MyPrime Mattifying Moisturizer (only if I need extra moisture, usually in the winter), Benefit Stay Flawless 15 hour Primer (stick form), and Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation. I RARELY need to touch up. (I used to touch up within less than 4 hours with everything else). I love everything about the regime right now. Hope it helps you finding your own.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 9/4/2013 12:32:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Other

Eyes: Brown

Oh dear.
I wanted this to work so much but it really doesn't. My pores did not become smaller because of this, at all. After this failed to impress me, I decided to try out Etude House's Wonder Pore Freshner (a toner) and THAT, which is considerably cheaper than this product, helped to reduce my pore size albeit not drastically.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I bought this as a birthday treat for myself while bumbling through Debenhams one day, paused a bit too long at the EL counter and promptly got jumped on by an eager young assistant. 'errmm.. have you got anything that makes pores go away?' led me to purchase a small bottle of Idealist.
It smells light and fresh, makes my annoying combo skin feel very silky smooth all over, and a little goes a long way (which you would expect from something so eye-wateringly expensive). It does indeed minimise my pores which I found impressive considering the size of some of them. This isn't a surgical or chemical peel equivalent so of course the effect is temporary but I enjoy applying this product every morning.
As far as other makeup goes it does seem to be very compatible. I put Idealist on a clean face, then moisturiser (Palmer's cocoa butter), then my foundation (YSL Teint Eclat BR10), then powder (Loreal True Match). It makes a noticeable difference in how smoothly everything else goes on, and how long it all stays on my face. Best of all, no more horrible shiny patches until at least mid afternoon. Hurrah! I shall definitely purchase more when this bottle - which is only half empty after 4 months - has run out.

on 7/16/2013 1:24:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I will start off by saying that I don't have problems with large pores, I mainly just bought this because it made my skin so silky and works as a great serum/primer. Now, I will say that a little goes a long way and I feel like using too much can cause clogged pores/breakouts. Other than that, using a small amount creates a smooth, soft surface for makeup.

EDIT: I'm pretty positive that this is causing me to break out. Everywhere on my face. Sad day :(

on 6/7/2013 10:09:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Useless pricey product done nothing to my open pores. It is very expensive and I feel I am just paying for the silicone, which is top ingredient, I had tried use it for 2 months and it did nothing to my skin.
It will be good as make up primer due to it's silicone base.

on 4/24/2013 7:43:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Straight, Other

Eyes: Blue

So expensive but it works so well.

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