There is something deeply satisfying about ripping off a pore strip and seeing the pesky blackheads that you’ve been trying to get rid of coming off together with it. That’s why pimple popping videos go viral, right? Even if the gross factor of this type of purging is off the charts.
But being mentally satisfying versus being physically beneficial to your skin (and pores) is another matter altogether. While the short answer is that they do work to remove dirt that’s accumulated in pores, pore strips only work on the skin surface. This means that blackheads and comedones which are more deeply embedded in your skin won’t be pulled out by these pore strips. Here are four other facts about pore strips you need to know before you go ahead and use them anyway (we know you can’t resist because, well, us too).
It’s a different kind of adhesive
Think of pore strips like a form of band-aids or plasters — you paste them on your skin and when you rip them off, whatever’s on the skin surface comes off, including hair, dirt and dead skin cells. The only difference is that the adhesive on pore strips is better able to reach into the grooves between the pores and blackheads and hair to remove the comedones.
Charcoal is one of the most popular ingredient used
Charcoal acts as a magnet to draw out excess sebum and grime from the pores. It also has a tendency to dry out skin, so it is more suitable for people with oily skin. Plus, it’s black, which means the blackhead plugs which get pulled out with the pore strip look more obvious against the darker background, which means more satisfaction after you rip off the pore strip.
Pore strips don’t really damage skin
Despite the pain you feel when you peel off that hardened pore strip, it doesn’t really damage your skin. Whatever comes off, as mentioned in point 1, is what’s on the skin surface. However, if your skin is already damaged (sunburnt, for example) or is sensitive, you are going to aggravate the condition.
Aftercare is important
If you don’t wash off the remnants of the pore strip, skin irritation may set in because the adhesive is not exactly a common ingredient found in your usual skincare. Thus, it’s prudent to give your face or the treated area a good wash or rinse after peeling off the pore strip. And because your pores are just not going to magically close up (pores don’t open or close, remember that) you need to apply proper skincare to protect your pores so that dirt and grime won’t have a chance to clog them up again after you rip off the blackheads.
And because there’s not much downside to using a pore strip, we’re going to go ahead and include a list of pore strips you can try here: