We all do it. Once we see the black speckled dots appear on our noses, we bring the nose strips out. I admit it. It’s satisfying to rip that nose strip off and gawk at all that “grime”, but here’s the problem- the blackheads come back again!
Besides just sweeping the problem under the rug, here are 5 top reasons why you should reconsider using a pore strip:
1. Pore strips contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients that may irritate the skin.
A quick look at the ingredients from one of the more popular Biore strips lists:
POLYQUATERNIUM-37, SILICA, WATER, GLYCERIN, POLYSILICONE-13, PEG-12 DIMETHICONE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE,HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) EXTRACT, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, STEARYL GLYCYRRHETINATE, METHYLPARABEN.
The first ingredient, Polyquaternium-37, is a hairspray-like substance, which sticks to your pores to remove the buildup. But it also stretches the pore, which leads to even greater buildup and bigger blackheads!
Commercial pore strips also usually contain parabens, and that’s an absolute NO since it can be absorbed through your skin.
2. Pore strips can damage more sensitive, thin skin and even pull out both skin and hair.
That’s why there’s a warning within the instructions to only use nose strips about once a week. Overusing nose strips can make your skin actually look worse. Pore strips can be abrasive, causing skin irritation and turning red.
If you have more sensitive skin or a skin disorder, Polyquaternium-37 may even cause breakouts and irritation. Some people have even experienced broken capillaries, or the tiny blood vessels that help in microcirculation of the blood. This is because when you tear off the pore strip, the first layer of skin may be damaged. Worst of all, broken capillaries are permanent and may even make your skin wrinkle faster.
3. They’re only a temporary fix because they don’t prevent blackheads.
Blackheads are formed when oil, dead skin, and dirt naturally collect in pores. Nose strips get rid of only the top black layer, but the rest of the blackhead still remains in the pore, so you're actually not truly cleaning the pore. In fact, the nose strip misses all of the dirt and oil hiding in the pores. That’s why you’ll need to repeat the process again and again.
Sometimes, pore strips can also lead to bad habits because people depend on them. Making sure that you gently wash your face daily (remove that makeup and sunscreen before you go to bed!) is an easy way of keeping the skin healthy
4. Pore strips are simply inconvenient and the benefit is very short-term.
Did you know that many people don’t use pore strips the right way? You’re actually supposed to “steam” your pores open before applying a pore strip. You can do this while showering or filling a sink with very hot water and bending your face over the steam. If you don’t, the pore strip may not work well. But honestly, who has time for this?
And even if you use a pore strip correctly, within 24-48 hours, the grime and dirt will start to re-accumulate in those pores!
5. It’s not an eco-friendly solution.
Think about how many pore strips you use each year, and how many that will add up to a life time. Even though a pore strip is small, it’s still a type of waste that’s easily preventable.
So, what should you use instead of a pore strip?
Some popular options to reduce blackheads and clean pores include:
- Chemical peels whereby a chemical solution is applied to the skin which makes it "blister" and eventually peel off
- Oil cleansing whereby oil is used to message the skin so that it helps dissolve the oil/impurities that has hardened in your pores
- Activated charcoal (read more here)
There are alot of options out there and not everyone's skin reacts the same way. That's why a Dermatologist is the best person to go to in order to decide the best route for you.