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Pore Strips: Do They Really Work?

Believe it or not, pore strips might be the very first facial skin care products everyone has tried in their life. In fact, they have been a staple in our beauty cabinets for years. But do pore strips really work? Let’s dive into it and see what our Picky Expert Dr. Stella has to say!

Why use pore strips?

If you are looking for a quick-and-easy way to remove blackheads from your skin, pore strips are all you need. Although they are not an end-all solution to keep your blackheads at bay, they are quite efficient in extracting unwanted buildups that accumulate within pores. And as a bonus, you get this oddly satisfying feeling from looking at all the gross, prickly gunk that you have been trying to get rid of finally being pulled out. 

However, while pore strips serve as an excellent quick temporary fix to your blackhead issue, there have been concerns among skin care enthusiasts about them potentially causing long-term damage to our skin. Is it true? Do they cause more harm than good?

How do pore strips work?

Pore strips contain ingredients that, when mixed with water, create a glue-like adhesive. As the pore strip hardens on your skin, it adheres to the outermost layer of the skin. The adhesive binds to the sebum on your skin and, voilá—just like that, the blackheads are taken out.

Can pore strips fix blackhead problems?

Pore strips aim to pull off anything on the surface of your skin, which includes oil, dirt, as well as dead skin cells, but only at a superficial level. They can’t reach all the debris and excess sebum deeply embedded inside your pores which can lead to the recurrence of future blackheads. That’s why pore strips will not provide permanent improvement to your problem, they can only help give your skin a temporary smoother appearance.

More harm than good?

They are unlikely to cause any real damage. One of the most alarming claims against pore strips is that they can break capillaries. That being said, it is impossible for pore strips to break capillaries as they do not adhere tightly enough to the skin where such force is necessary to pull them off. 

However, individuals with naturally thin skin or skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, or seborrhea should be extra careful as the adhesive on the strips, as well as the friction entailed in using them, have the potential to cause redness and skin irritation. Consult with your dermatologist to get their expert opinion.

How to use pore strips?

They are commonly recommended for individuals with non-sensitive oily skin that are prone to blackheads. It is advised to avoid using pore strips too frequently, once or twice a week is the ideal number. Follow the directions at the packaging before using the products. 

Here are a few tips to help you get maximum results:

  • Wet your nose with a generous amount of water so that the strip sticks properly to the skin
  • Make sure to stick the strip to all the creases of the nose, starting from the bridge and working your way out
  • Pull off the strip gently—peel slowly from the outer edges of the strip and move toward the center
  • Rinse your face thoroughly afterwards to make sure you wash off the remaining adhesive still stuck to your skin
  • Read through the ingredients on the box carefully before trying the product as some pore strips have additional ingredients like fragrances or colorants that you may be allergic to
  • Only use on the recommended area of your face according to the instructions since most of them are made to fit the contour of a target area
  • Apply at night to allow your skin to recover and restore its natural oils

Picky and Pores

If pore control is what you seek, then Picky has what you need! Head to the Picky app and click “Pore Care” concern to filter products fit for your needs. Brush up on some pore-loving ingredient knowledge here, or jump into which product Picky recommends for pore control. Follow us on Instagram for more skincare science fun and click here to head back to the Picky blog!

Created with Picky Expert Dr. Stella, @stellamarselie, a dermatologist from Indonesia!

6 Responses

  1. Pore strips were THE beauty product for tweens and teens in the 90s! Slapping on a pore strip and comparing the *results* with your friends was a popular slumber party activity. I remember simultaneously wanting my pore strip to pull every last bit of sebum out of my pores while secretly hoping the strip would find nothing “gross” to grab. I usually just ended up with a red nose from ripping off the top layer of my skin 😳 I haven’t used them in ages!

    However, there is a product that reminds me of the best parts of pore strips (removes dirt and sebum from pores) and none of the bad (damaged skin barrier and redness): hydrocolloid *Peace Out Pores* by Peace Out Skincare✌️Recommended if you are nostalgic for/want the instant gratification of pore strips, but have chronic skin conditions or sensitive skin.

    *Peace Out Pores* hydrocolloid strips are infused with *DMAE* to help shrink enlarged pores and *Vitamin A* to refine and minimize the appearance of pores. *Hydrocolloid polymer* helps lift away dirt, excess sebum, and dead skin cells from pores. Just as satisfying as the pore strips you remember, but gentler and (I think) more effective. Try them!

  2. For me nose strip do has more harm than good . For instance when u use pore strips it makes your pores bigger and it makes your skin irritated.

  3. Pore Strips worked really well for me. As mentioned, it’s especially good when you need a quick fix and of course when you use it sparingly.

  4. Although they might seem like the end all be all for pore care, strips are really only the kicking off point. As satisfying as it is to see the brown gooey spots (a.k.a. oil, dirt, sebum, and the like that have built up and clogged and expanded your pores), here s where pore strip problem number one happens: the results are only temporary.

  5. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to give it a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and outstanding design and style.

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