I'm a huge fan of pore strips. There are few things more satisfying on this earth, IMO, than peeling off and examining a pore strip. All of that gunk that comes out of your face? So gross, yet so exhilarating. But are there ways to make pore strips more effective than they are already? Because I'm all about pulling out everything except my actual nose. So to find out the best ways to attract even more blackheads to a pore strip, I scoured the Internet and emailed with Jessica Jeong, marketing manager at MISSHA.
According to Jeong, "Pore strips only remove blackheads at a superficial level and should really only be used as a last line of defense." But even so, there are still a handful of ways to improve their efficacy. Of course, not every method is actually expert-approved. So if you decide to test out some of these different techniques, do so with caution.
Between using pore strips, Jeong recommends "maintaining a regimen that includes regular chemical and physical exfoliation to keep blackheads at bay." That way, you really can get the most out of each pore-strip treatment. If you're looking forward to seeing more sebaceous filaments and blackheads on your strip each time though, here are seven ways to help do it:
1. Start With A Clean Canvas
So your pore strip can really adhere to blackheads instead of any surface oils, Jeong says it's important to always start with totally clean skin. A quick way to do this is to run some balancing or purifying toner over your nose or any other area before applying a pore strip.
2. Use Steam
Try: Lush Tea Tree Toner Tab, $2, Lush
To help open your pores a bit, Jeong also recommends steaming your face prior to using a pore strip. Doing this, she says, will help your pores loosen their grip on any debris that is clogging them, making that debris easier to extract.
3. Pull Against The Grain
Instead of pulling your pore strip off from left to right or vice versa, it's actually best to pull it off from bottom to top, says Jeong. She explains that "Going against gravity ensures a tighter grasp of the pore strip's adhesive on the blackhead." Meaning even the direction you remove your strip can help extract more blackheads.
4. Try Baking Soda
While Jeong does not endorse using baking soda on your face, many pore-strip enthusiasts say it's a total game changer. This method involves making a paste of baking soda and water and exfoliating your nose with it before applying a pore strip. However, because baking soda can be quite abrasive and is alkaline, it may not be the best for skin. If you're unsure about using it, try a patch test on your arm first and/or talk to your dermatologist. Still curious how it works? Check out this tutorial.
5. Or A Clay Mask
Try: SheaMoisture Beauty Hack Aztec Bentonite Clay, $10, Ulta
Another way to prep your nose before using a pore strip is with a clay mask. Although this method is also not recommended by Jeong, the idea behind it is that the clay will absorb any remaining oil from your pores and start to draw out the dirt and debris clogging them. When you apply your pore strip, this should make it easier for the adhesive to really stick to all of the sebaceous filaments and blackheads still in your skin and pull them out. Again, if you're unsure about this method, be sure to talk to your dermatologist first. And check this out if you want the full tutorial.
6. Press From Both Sides
Something so simple yet surprisingly effective to try the next time you apply a pore strip is to not only press it down onto your nose, but put your thumbs in your nostrils and press up at the same time. You'll essentially be pinching the strip on your nose, but it will help get those sebaceous filaments and blackheads to stand out from your pores a tiny bit more and stick better to the strip.
7. Try A System
Of course, if you want a simpler method of encouraging your blackheads to GTFO, a pore system is the way to go. These two-to-four step sets will help prep your pores for removal, actually remove your sebaceous filaments and blackheads, tone your pores, and help prevent future clogging. And without you having to deal with lengthy or messy preparatory steps.
Regardless of your preference though, these methods will totally help you get even more satisfaction from your pore strips. So get ready to ogle them more than you already do.