StriVectin Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner

I have gigantic pores on my cheeks, nose, and forehead, and I go through a lot of pore minimizing products, which is why I was so excited when StriVectin and iFabbo gave me the opportunity to try this out. You can take a look and purchase the product for yourself here.

The Product

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I was sent a full size 1.7 oz for testing and review. There’s nothing particularly outstanding or fancy about the packaging. It looks professional, minimal, and clinical– all of which aren’t bad things. It looks like something that my dermatologist would hand me, but it’s not something I’d display.

Just to read some product claims from the box and the card that was included, this claims to reduce the appearance of pores and give me a smoother and more even complexion, both immediately and long term. It controls shine throughout the day (interesting, since I get really oily at times). It also claims age fighting benefits, which is no surprise as retinol is often used for both anti-ageing and anti-acne.

To use, I apply this all over my face in the morning and evening on top of any other skin care products, including sunscreen. That’s going to make it a little harder to determine what benefits can be solely attributed to this product, but I’m game. I didn’t go nuts with any new products so that I could be as consistent as possible, though I did try out a new scrub and eye cream.

Since this is a skin care product, I did want to take a look at how it performed over time, so I took a before picture of my pores and then decided I’d keep up with any results over the next few weeks. I was given eight weeks total, but I didn’t want to push it too close, so I figured four weeks would be good enough to show off any results of longer use.

So here’s a before picture of my face in all its close up HD glory.


Let me add that I took this on a particularly good day. I have a small blemish next to my nose, but my face is clean, and my pores weren’t being divas. They normally look a lot worse. I’ve also already been using other retinol treatments for a while, so that might or might not affect the outcome here.

Week 1


There’s no fragrance that I can detect, and that’s a good thing. Fragrance isn’t a deal breaker for me, but I do prefer that my skin care products not have it.

After the first week, I haven’t noticed any difference in my pores, despite the picture making it seem as if they’re slightly larger. The “before” picture was taken on a particularly good day and was apparently at a slightly different angle, but my pores aren’t really bigger or smaller. They’re exactly the same size. That said, I didn’t think I’d notice any real differences within the first week, despite the product claims. I ended up getting a bit of a breakout, though I contribute that to some stress I had during the week as well as the fact that I have a nasty habit of resting my face on my hands.

I did notice that I had to blot my makeup less as the week progressed, so there’s that. I was also trying out some new foundations at the time, and I thought that could be part of the reason for this, but I also made sure to try this out with a foundation I’d already been using and had to blot a lot to be sure. As it turns out, I had to blot less even with that one. I also noticed that my skin has been a little bit softer.

My skin tingles a bit, which is normal for retinol, but it’s not particularly sensitive. This product is supposed to be designed to avoid that but I’m also using more than one product with retinol. (I honestly don’t know if that’s a bad thing. Someone can get back to me on that. Yes, I’m wearing sunscreen.) This will likely only last for a few days.

Week 2 & 3


I honestly think at this point that my pores might be getting bigger, and whatever lack of oiliness there was before is gone. My skin has adjusted. I don’t know what I was expecting, I guess. I’m just really, really glad I didn’t buy this myself. But hopefully there are long term results that I’m just not seeing.

Week 4


Still no real improvement that I can see. There’s a small patch where it looks like my pores might be fading out, but overall I have to admit… I’m just not seeing the sort of improvement in my pores that I would want in exchange for the price of this product.

Final Verdict

I did notice that my skin was softer, but I’ve achieved the same results with a good moisturizer that is a heck of a lot less expensive. For nearly $100, I want results, and I just didn’t get that. StriVectin claims that 88% “saw an improvement in the appearance of enlarged pores,” and I’ve seen other reviews where folks have claimed it worked for them, but for me it didn’t. Maybe I’m in the very special 12%.  Who knows?

I do however appreciate StriVectin and iFabbo for giving me the opportunity to try a product I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford trying on my own. I really do wish it had worked for me. Sadly it didn’t, but maybe there’s someone else out there for whom it will. I’m going to keep it up until I’ve used the full tube of product just on the off chance that my pores eventually do show improvement. I’ll be post pictures up on my Instagram (link to the right) if I happen to see any.