I've become pretty good at battling the occasional angry red pimple or its less intrusive cousin, the whitehead. But stubborn and persistent blackheads, oh boy. There are few skin care challenges that prove more infuriating to deal with than how to get rid of blackheads — the perpetual black spots that seem to reappear the second after you've banished them. These suckers pop up when a hair follicle becomes clogged with sebum and dead skin cells.
There are a variety of options you can explore when trying to remove blackheads in a jiffy. Some require a lot of patience and others (including extractions) are best left to a professional who is skilled at removing them without exacerbating the problem and spreading bacteria. But there's one affordable at-home DIY blackhead solution that anyone can try: pore strips that are as easy to use as a mask and can effectively remove blackheads in just minutes.
Still, not all pore strips are created equal. Using a bad pore strip comes with the risk of dry skin, stretched pores, irritation, and possibly even damage to the skin in the long run. Fortunately, these seven enjoy stellar reputations, won't break the bank, are simple to use, and (judging by their ratings and reviews) will show your blackheads no mercy.
1. TONYMOLY Strawberry 3-Step Nose Pack
Three steps may seem like a lot, but according to the many Amazon reviewers who helped this product nab a 4.5/5 star rating, the Strawberry Nose Pack deliver is worth the extra effort. The iconic Korean beauty brand TONYMOLY delivers three pore strips that are used in the following way: the first is a mask that contains witch hazel and sage leaf extract and is designed to melt sebum and blackheads. The second strip is sticky and used to extract blackheads and dead skin. And the third strip, which contains aloe vera leaf and green tea extracts, tightens pores post-extraction.
Reviewers are only too happy to share photographic evidence of their extracted blackheads and one shared, "These strips will remove your blackheads, sebum, bad memories, annoying ex boyfriends and all the nasty stuff from your pores in minutes. It smells like strawberry shortcake's house."
You can't get a better endorsement than that.
2. Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips
With over 600 mostly positive reviews, Boscia's charcoal powder pore strips are a favorite because they contain a blend of botanicals and antioxidants to freshen skin, witch hazel extract to tighten pores, silica to help regulate oil production and — of course — the star of the show: charcoal powder that draws out impurities and clears pores.
These strips should be applied to a wet nose and left to dry for 15 minutes. Slowly peel them from the outer edges and rinse away residue with warm water. Be careful not to use them more than twice weekly, as they could dry out your skin.
Fans of the product say that they can even help minimize the appearance of pores over time. However, more than a few reviewers report having to sometimes leave the strips on a bit longer (more like 25-30 minutes) to enjoy the full effect of these strips.
3. 10.0.6 Down To The Pore
Kaolin and Tea Tree oil are the key blackhead-fighting ingredients in this 4 out of 5 star rated pore strip treatment, which is applied to slightly wet skin, left on for a few minutes, and gently peeled off. Reviewers are impressed by its effectiveness, with one saying it "completely got rid of all my blackheads," and others praising them for being stronger and more adhesive than similar pore strips. It doesn't hurt that their scent is also pleasant.
Customers say the Down To The Pore Strips work best on very wet skin and that you needn't be concerned if they feel too "stuck on" to peel off easily — few people reported skin irritation from these strips.
4. Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit
The Korean beauty brand can rest easy knowing it not only has the most originally named of all blackhead pore strips, but that they're a hit among Amazon customers, who gave them a 3.8 out of 5 star rating. This three-step treatment, which contains pink clay to help absorb oil, requires a few extra minutes, but is worth the time and effort. Multi-step pore strips, while common in Korea, are hard to find on U.S. After cleansing skin, apply the first strip for 15-20 minutes to prep skin for extractions. Remove this strip, wash off residue, and make sure your nose is wet when you apply the second adhesive strip, which grabs blackheads and pulls them out. After 10-15 minutes, remove this strip and apply the third strip for 10-15 minutes to allow ingredients to tighten pores.
One reviewer called the Holika Holika pore strips "fantastic" and said they removed "everything" from her pores — gross, maybe, but also fascinating, wonderful, and everything we could hope for in a pore strip!
5. Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips
Purifying charcoal is one of the most talked about skincare ingredients, and for good reason: it's natural and known for its ability to pull out dirt and oil from deep within pores without stripping your skin of essential moisture. These Bioré charcoal strips claim to reduce oil by 3X while removing blackheads — no matter what your skin type.
So, how do they work?
Some reviewers say they can't tell the difference between these strips and the original version, while others call them "literally, life changing" and one reviewer even raved about how these strips got rid of dirt she didn't even know she had. Use them the same way you would the original Bioré strips: wet your nose, forehead, and chin, stick them on, wait 10-15 minutes, remove, and marvel at all the gunk on there!
6. TONYMOLY Egg Pore Nose Pack Package
Yet another stellar blackhead product from TONYMOLY: this one enjoys a 4-star rating and more than 200 reviews about how it unclogs pores and doesn't leave behind a sticky film. Place one sheet on your nose and wait a few minutes (reviewers say the sheets suction to skin and dry quicker than many other brands). When you peel off the paper, you should see the blackheads it extracted standing up straight on your sheet.
Reviewers recommend steaming your skin before using TONYMOLY Egg Pore Nose Strips to help open up pores and using a toner afterwards to tighten them. A once-a-week treatment seems to be the most common, but reviewers with sensitive skin say these strips didn't irritate their skin.
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