Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Pore Strips – Ok to Use? November 3, 2011

Filed under: Acne,Skincare products — askanesthetician @ 5:49 am
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Pore strips are irresistible if you have blackheads on your nose.  Simply apply to your nose, press, and remove.  Viola!  Your blackheads are gone.  But is this really the best solution for removing blackheads?

According to FutureDerm pore strips are among 4 common beauty products to stop using Now:

The pore strip was my original skin sin: I applied it to my face, thinking I would have clear pores. One box of pore strips later, and I have been succumbed to a lifetime of needing to clean out my pores.

The reason?  Pore strips contain a hairspray-like substance on one side. It sticks to the material within your pores, but when you rip the strip off, it stretches the pore. Over time, this leads to enlarged pores, in which material collects, leaving you with a nose filled with blackheads

Paula Begoun has even harsher words for pore strips (pages 256-257 in The Beauty Bible, 2nd edition):

 Pore strips in all their varying incarnations are meant to remove blackheads.  You place a piece of cloth with a sticky substance on it over your face, as you might do with a Band-Aid, wait a bit for it to dry, and then rip it off.  Along with some amount of skin, blackheads are supposed to stick to it and come right out of your nose.  There is nothing miraculous about these products, nor do they work all that well.  The main ingredient on these strips is a hairspray-type ingredient.  If the instructions are followed closely you can see some benefit in removing the very surface of a blackhead.  In fact, you may at first be very impressed with what comes off your nose.

Unfortunately, that leaves the majority of the problem deep in the pores.  What has me most concerned about pore strips is they are accompanied by a strong warning not to use them over any area other than the intended area (nose, chin, or forehead) and not to use them over inflamed, swollen, sunburned, or excessively dry skin.  It also states that if the strip is too painful to remove, you should wet it and then carefully remove it.  What a warning!

On the flip side listen to what Dr. Jessica Wu has to say about pore strips in her book Feed Your Face (page 71):

 Go Ahead, Try It

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, the popular “blackhead removers” that look a bit like nose bandages, do work.  When you pull off the strip, you’re removing the top layers of dead skin cells as well as oxidized (“black”) oil.  They won’t prevent blackheads because they have nothing to do with your skin’s oil production, but they can temporarily make your pores look smaller.

So whose advice should you follow?  Personally I would recommend staying clear of pore strips.  They are a temporary fix at best so it is better to invest in a salicylic acid product or a retinoid for a long-term solution.  For more tips on how to get rid of blackheads see my post (aptly titled) How to Get Rid of Blackheads.

Further Reading:

 

 

5 Responses to “Pore Strips – Ok to Use?”

  1. Traci Kuhn Says:

    If you stay away from pore strips, do you think it’s ok to use an extraction tool instead of wrapped fingers? http://www.tweezerman.com/store/product/no-slip-skin-care-tool/

    • I use an extraction tool during facials to get blackheads out of the inside of ears (yes, you can have blackheads in your ears). I find that if I use an extraction tool on people’s noses they find it too painful. If you don’t find an extraction tool painful go ahead and use it. Just be careful not to push too hard with it. If you push too hard you could cause your skin more harm than good.

  2. I agree that the strips are no more then a temporary solution, but using salicylic acid doesn’t sound too great for your skin either. All these acne products are made to be a temporary fix, because they want you to come back and buy more next week when the blackheads return. That’s how they keep lining their pockets! I’m not a fan of all these harsh chemicals and creams either. We need to go back and take a holistic approach to stop acne from forming to begin with. Simple steps like watching what you eat can work wonders!

  3. […] Dieser Beitrag ist eine Hommage an die gute Zusammenfassung von Ask An Asthetician. […]

  4. […] is also recommended to steer clear of pore strips. They could actually, over time, enlarge your pores, and they don’t really get the deep down […]


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