Most people have experienced unsightly blackheads at some point in their lives, whether as a teenager or even as an adult. Pore strips are often touted as the solution to removing them, but do they really work?
Blackheads are essentially a form of acne where oils, dead skin and dirt clog pores, causing a small black spot under the skin. While helpful at cleaning areas of your skin, pore strips don’t generally remove the deeper blackheads below the surface. In fact, they can cause your skin to overproduce natural oils, which can ultimately lead to more blackheads.
While pore strips can help remove some surface dirt and pollutants in your pores, a deeper solution may be necessary to fully address every black spot you encounter.
Effective Ways to Remove Blackheads
The goal in removing blackheads is to prevent them from forming in the first place. This means keeping your skin free from the accumulation of dirt and oil by cleansing and exfoliating gently on a regular basis. Look for a facial cleanser containing salicylic acid, which can minimize pore congestion and prevent excess oil and dead skin from hanging out on your skin.
If you love using pore strips for that satisfying yank, but really want to get rid of the actual blackheads on your skin, don’t fret. There are loads of ways to reach the deeper blackheads below, including blackhead vacuums, pore steamers and exfoliators.
In some cases, you may need to get in touch with your doctor for a prescription topical or oral medication, if your blackheads are especially persistent. Once you have rid your skin from blackheads, keep it looking clear and smooth by choosing products and makeup that are oil-free, and keep up with your cleansing regimen, so you don’t have to start all over again! And remember, as tempting as it is, don’t pop, poke or dig at your blackheads. This can cause scarring and possibly infection. And like everything else in life – indulge in blackhead removal in moderation (or you could make things worse!)
How to Properly Use Pore Strips
Even though they may not remove that black dot you loathe, you may still love the gunk you get off your face with pore strips. And that’s okay! In fact, even Rihanna is a fan of pore strips, and regularly uses them in her skin care routine. So, let’s make sure you are using them correctly for maximum effectiveness.
First, limit yourself to just one or two treatments a week. This will help ensure you are not stripping too much of your skin’s natural oils, which could lead to even more blackheads (waste of time and money, anyone?) Next, gently cleanse your skin to expose the pore and get it ready for deep cleaning.
Choose a pore strip with charcoal or clay ingredients, which act like little magnets to pull deeper residue from your pores, preventing blackheads from forming there. Don’t forget to dampen the strip to help it stick and leave it for at least ten minutes before gently removing.
Some people leave pore strips on for extended periods or even overnight. Don’t do this! It is not good for your skin to pull off very old, dried strips.
Finally, bask in the satisfaction (like Chrissy Teigen does) of those tiny little pokey mountains of facial pollution you just removed from your pores. But before you do, there is actually one last step for real. Try and close up your newly wide-open pores with a specialty toner or this apple cider vinegar hack, to prevent dirt and oil from finding its way into your newly cleansed skin.
For everything you ever wanted to know about using pore strips, check out this video with a full demo and some very helpful tips!