Pore strips are, in a way similar to waxing. You apply the strip to the affected area and leave it for a short while. The glue like substance on the pore strip attaches to the blackheads and when pulled off drags the blackheads with it. Sounds like a good way to settle the problem but are they in fact causing more damage in the long run?
In this article I have outlined the pros and cons of pore strips to help identify how effective they really are.
What are Blackheads?
First let’s understand what are blackheads? And what causes them?
Blackheads are a type of acne that occur when the pores get blocked with bacteria and dead skin cells. The colour comes from the reaction oxygen has on the bacteria and it’s your chin and nose that are the most likely areas to contract a blackhead build up. You might not notice them on other people as much as you do on yourself but I think we can all agree that we want them gone!
Effects of Pore Strips
Pore strips along with dragging out those pesky blackheads, can also remove natural oils contained in the skin. These oils play an important role as they protect us from contracting infections. By removing these oils, you increase the chance of pimples and large amounts of pus that gathers deep underneath the skin. Pus build up will form quite a painful bump on the skin and it can take a number of days before it forms a small white head, but don’t let the small head fool you as once pierced it will release a cringe worthy amount of pus, a lot more than your average spot. This is the outcome of severely aggravated skin so although this could be the result of overusing pore strips, it’s extremely unlikely that you will be covered in pus and pimples after irregular use.
As our bodies age so do our pores, making them wider and easier to see. The only known way to prevent this is to keep them as clear as possible. Unfortunately, there are no one time solutions in keeping away black heads and since its easy for them to get clogged, it could well be a never ending battle. If you choose pore strips as your skincare regime you will most definitely need to add more pore fighting products as pore strips are not a long term solution.
The motion of when you rip the pore strip from your face is believed to slightly widen your pores and leave them more exposed than ever before. This can cause your pores to conduct build up a lot quicker, it could also increase the size of each blackhead. By pulling the strip off slowly you will reduce the chances of this happening and by adding some toner afterwards you will increase the firmness of the skin.
A great tip to remember is that once you have finished washing your face or your just about to jump out of the shower, rinse your face with cold water. This will close up your pores whilst your face is clean.
Whilst pore strips are a very fast and effective way to rid yourself of blackheads they can also take with them the top layer of skin leaving the areas less protected and sensitive. We have already understood the fact that they can take away our natural oils but the main consequent of this is causing your skin to become dry and flaky.
Along with the sensitivity this leaves your skin vulnerable to damaging the capillaries which is what causes spider veins. Over use of pore strips could make this outcome inevitable but with controlled, recommended use and constant care of your skin this can be avoided.
Pore strips may well get rid of the majority of your blackheads but unfortunately they are only a temporary solution, gradually they will come back. To be completely black head free you would need to use other products and treatments regularly.
Should you decide to use pore strips, make sure you follow the recommended aftercare so that you get the most out of them.
Whilst the maximum recommended use for pore strips are no more than once a week, it’s also advisable you follow treatment with appropriate aftercare. Immediately after you have pulled the pore strip from your face, use either a lump of ice or cold water and rub it over the treated area. The coolness will shock the pores and close them up protecting them from collecting dirt and bacteria straight after the treatment.
Now that the pores have temporarily closed up dab your face with a facial toner, this will reduce the appearance of pores and add a layer of protection keeping them clearer for longer. To get the best results from pore strips make sure you thoroughly wash your face first to remove any dirt or excess oils, then expose your face to steam for a few minutes. This will really open up your pores improving the strips abilities.
Should you use pore strips?
Like everything pore strips have pros and cons, in my opinion I think pore strips should just be used with caution. With the research I’ve done, I have found that there aren’t any immediate, permanent side effects to using pore strips. I would suggest however, keeping a very close eye on any changes that occur from using them.
If you have sensitive skin or suffer from any other skin conditions you should probably avoid them. Try using other options to clear out your blackheads but be sure to check with your doctor first. You could always check out the home made pore strips that many people swear by, this could also be a handy way to save some money and you will know exactly what is being exposed to your skin.
If you do choose to start using pore strips be sure to follow the instructions and appropriate aftercare to enable your skin to stay in good condition.