People often try various ways to get rid of blackheads, with one of the most common being pore strips. Pore strips are a regular staple in many women and men’s facial skin care routine.
How Do Pore Strips Work?
Pore strips contain a variety of ingredients, all of which are mixed with water to create a glue-like adhesive. As the pore strip hardens on your face, it attaches to your top layer of skin and peels it off when you remove the strip. Yes, pore strips remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells lingering on the top layer of skin, temporarily improving the appearance of pores. What they don’t do is provide any permanent change in pore size or appearance.
According to Brian Zelickson, MD, a dermatologist and director of Zel Skin Clinic, “Pore strips work by removing the superficial portion of the blackhead.” He also goes on to reveal pore strips rarely keep blackheads from recurring.
Can Pore Strips Cause Damage?
Pore strips are unlikely to cause any real damage. However, they may cause redness and skin irritation, especially for those with skin disorders like rosacea or psoriasis, or for patients using prescription acne medications. Craig Kraffert, a dermatologist and the founder of Amarte Skincare, says those with sensitive skin should avoid using pore strips.
What Are the Alternatives to Pore Strips?
Skin care products that clarify and exfoliate the skin can be a great alternative to pore strips. If you’re looking for long-term blackhead removal, try using a product that has salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These ingredients promote skin turnover and unclog pores. There are also several prescription and non-prescription retinoid medications that work by increasing cell turnover and preventing formation of new blackheads.
It’s your skin. Make sure you’re being smart about your facial skin care routine.