Do Pore Strips Actually Remove Blackheads?

Quick and dirty skincare hacks are essential for moms who want clear skin but don’t have the time to do a 12-step skincare routine twice a day. And because blackheads can take months to disappear on their own, what better hack to use than pore strips? While these cleanser strips met the peak of their popularity around five years ago, they’ve recently come into controversy. That makes the average cosmetic user wonder, do pores strips actually remove blackheads?

How Do Pore Strips Work?

All pore strips are made with some form of woven material with an adhesive designed to pull out blackheads. Typically, you place the pore strip on damp skin to activate the adhesive, so it sticks to your skin and the blackheads. Once the pore strip has dried, you can slowly pull it off, and you’ll likely see a sort of fuzz on the sticky end that looks like hair. The white pieces that look like little plugs are the blackheads. However, you’re also seeing what’s known as sebaceous filaments, which is a collection of dead skin and oil around the hair follicles of your nose.

Do Pore Strips Remove Blackheads?

So do pore strips actually remove blackheads? The short answer is yes, pore strips do remove blackheads, but that’s not all. As mentioned, pore strips don’t just bond to the blackheads; they also bond to your skin. When you pull at the pore strip, you’re pulling your skin, and while you may be getting some dead skin off, you’re also pulling at fresh skin, which can lead to irritation.

Additionally, the pore strip removes the oil your skin needs to stay hydrated, and if you’re not moisturizing, your skin will overproduce oil to compensate and produce more blackheads. And even pore strips that have salicylic acid in them can’t penetrate deep enough to remove all the blackheads. So not only are you potentially irritating your skin, but pore strips don’t work as a preventative, and the blackheads will just come back.

What Are Some Alternatives?

Salicylic acid and activated charcoal are two of the best blackhead-fighting ingredients on the market, penetrating deep into your pores to prevent and dissipate blackheads. Activated charcoal may be great for your teeth and digestion, but charcoal is great for your face as well. This is because activated charcoal is great at attracting and drawing out the impurities on your skin, sucking all the dirt, excess oil, and bacteria that cause blemishes.

 Salicylic acid works by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, oil, and dirt, unclogging pores. When used together, they have serious cleansing and blackhead-fighting power. And luckily, there are plenty of amazing charcoal face masks on the market with salicylic acid as an additive. This way, you can leave it on your face while you do what moms do while getting all the acne-fighting benefits so you can have clearer skin on the move.

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