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The Disappointing Truth Behind Pore Strips!

2 August, 2020 - 01:51pm by - First Lady | 25 Comments

By BR Natalie

I’ve said it before.  I love pore strips.  Not for the smooth skin or the insanely fresh feeling you’re left with.  I love pore strips because once I’ve peeled one off I get to study the little forest of pore gunk that has been yanked from my skin.

Am I proud of this?  No.  Does shame prevent me from taking photos of the used strip and sending them to my sister?  Again.  No.

In the 20 years I’ve been using pore strips I’ve heard a lot of opinions of them.  From teen magazines telling me they were the secret to blackhead free skin, to skin care experts instructing me never to subject my skin to them again.  I once found myself reading about a DIY pore strip recipe before stumbling upon an album of used pore strips.  A Hall of Gunk if you will from strangers around the world.   Yeap, there’s a Pore Strip Subculture y’all.

But what is the truth behind pore strips?  Do they work?

Wellllll.  Sort of.  But not really as you think. 

In a nutshell a pore strip is a fabric backed with a glue that activates when applied to warm, wet skin.  As it dries, it stiffens and upon removal it pulls out what looks like blackheads.  And that’s where the ‘sort of works’ comes into play.

Those little peaks of ewww on a used pore strip aren’t what you think they are.  They’re dead skin cells, oil, hair, grime and dirt.  They don’t go deep enough to pull out the hardened plug that causes blackheads. 

They also do nothing to prevent blackheads from forming.

image source: a meme via Pinterest!

Ok, but are they bad for me?

Pore strips stick well.  Really well.  Its recommended to re-moisten the strip and gently remove it, but that leads to a post-pore-strip anti-climax.  Yes, true Gunk-Hunters will squint our tearing eyes as we peel the top layer of skin off along with the strip.  Doing so can tear and irritate the skin, which for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin is particularly bad.  In fact, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say if you're suffering from breakouts, acne or have sensitive skin, do not use and especially don't use and peel off when dry.  Get your gunk fix elsewhere.

Pore strips offer a quick, temporary cleanse.  They don’t replace regular exfoliating and cleansing.  It’s kind of like that surface clean you do right before your mum comes over.  Gives the appearance of a sparkling clean environment, but the grime runneth deep and it’ll be back to its usually untidy state an hour after she leaves.

 To sum up – pore strips will cleanse and remove the top layers of dead skin cells and pore gunk, but they won’t go deep enough to fully remove blackheads or prevent them from returning. 

Think of pore strips as an optional extra to your skincare routine – they don’t achieve much, but they sure are fun to use!

Are you a regular pore-strip user?  Do you relish pore-ing over the used strip and marvelling at how gross your pores are?  Or do you use them ‘gently’ thinking they’re doing more than they are?  Get chatting to us below!


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11th August, 2020

I just got some of these from postie plus. Really horrible, now I remember why I don't use them lol.

4th May, 2020

Used them when young but never got the result was after so gave up on them

3rd May, 2020

As a teen, I loved pore strips. I want to love them still now, but as a beauty therapist, I know I shouldn't. Pore strips can often cause more harm than good. They have the potential to pull out the pilosebaceous gland on removal, and can also possibly stretch your pores when removing a blackhead with a particularly thick bulb. Those vacuum suction tools you see advertised on social media have the same effect, but can actually be even worse than more strips. The suction can be too strong for the sensitive skin on your face and can burst capillaries.

Your best bet is to follow a tailored skincare regime specific for your skin. A lot of good beauty therapy clinics can do thorough skin analysis' and recommend the best products for you.

3rd May, 2020

I used to use them but found they didn't work as well as I wanted to and after reading this article now I know why. Its still pretty satisfying to pull them off though, thats the fun part he he he.

27th April, 2020

Interesting, I wondered what damage I was doing to my skin when ripping off concrete like porestrips. And not seeing the blackhead really gone down deep was disappointing. Continuing to exfoliate, mask and cleansing in the hope that it's a better solution. Having to accept deep pores as you get older is a drag but by using a decent beauty regime I find I can keep my skin clean and healthy. No more pore strips.

16th February, 2020

Pore strips are actually pretty harsh on the skin as they pull so aggressively at our skin which is not great at all. Also this article is right it only removes surface level problems. I would suggest using a salicylic acid mask or cleanser to really remove the built up dirt in the pores.

31st January, 2020

I knew it!! My pore strips are disappointingly empty yet I keep using them in hope. But my nose definitely has blackheads!! Argh

28th January, 2020

Haven't used in a long time but i used to think they took the top layer off so i could scrub and get rid of the rest of the gunk??? who knows never found a really good one so i just stick to scrubs now.

28th January, 2020

I have not used a pore strip in a very long time! I probably wouldn't bother these days as there are so many great products on the market!

27th January, 2020

I admit it, I did try a pore strip , and it really was just to see the gunk. I was very disappointed and haven't done it since

27th January, 2020

Yeah I stopped using them because I didn’t find the results lasted at all. I’m guilty of squeezing! I did read it’s more filaments you’re pulling out anyway. IM looking at preventing now.

27th January, 2020

I used to love pore strips for exactly the same reasons you do. Used to buy them, used to make my own. Then I stopped because I heard they weren't the best for your skin long term.

26th January, 2020

I have never used pore strips, but am looking for a gentle but effective facial scrub for my noticeable pores.

25th January, 2020

used once years ago when the concept first came out.. didnt really get anything on it and kinda hurt so thought it was pointless and never bothered with them again

25th January, 2020

That is so true.. No i never use pore strips... I didn’t think it could have gone that deep either.


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