The Big Question: Are Pore Strips Bad?

The Big Question: Are Pore Strips Bad?

Are pore strips bad?

When the first pore strip came out, everyone thought that it was the greatest invention since sliced bread! It promised blackhead removal without the pinching pain of extraction or the expensive visits to the dermatologist. To this day, it is something beauty gurus keep in their arsenals in their all-out war versus blackheads.

But are pore strips bad? Are they just fancy nose band-aids? Or do these pore strips really work? And most important of all, are they safe?

There are huge questions surrounding the seemingly harmless pore strip. In this article, we uncover the truth behind the buzz.

We spill the beans. Know what the professionals think before you use another pore strip!

Are Pore Strips Actually Bad?

Are Biore pore strips bad for your skin?

The Biore pore strip rose to fame in the early 90s. It was a pioneering beauty product that promised effective and painless blackhead removal. Lately, we’ve been getting wind of rumors that Biore pore strips are bad for your skin

But before we dive into it, let’s find out how they work. And then we leave it up to you to decide.

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

How do pore strips work?

When mixed with water, the ingredients in pore strips create a thick glue paste that acts as an adhesive. Polyquaternium-37, the substance present in Biore strips, is one example. As the pore strip dries, it hardens and the adhesive glues itself to the topmost layer of dead skin cells that include, hair, oil, dirt, and yes… blackheads.

All these things are the gunk you find on the strip (and are oh so satisfying and dramatic to look at). In this sense, YES, the pore strip is doing its job at cleaning the surface of your nose.

But that’s just what it is… surface cleaning. According to dermatologists, the pore strips only remove the superficial portion of the blackhead.

But are pore strips bad for your face? There are disturbing claims that pore strips not only cause irritation, they can break capillaries, as well. What do the experts say about this?

Dermatologists opine that pore strips don’t adhere tight enough to induce the force necessary to damage superficial blood vessels. The pore strip isn’t strong enough to pose a risk for breaking capillaries.

The thin red lines that we think are broken capillaries are enlarged surface blood vessels. These enlarged surface blood vessels, in turn, are caused by genetics, the tendency for rosacea, hormone levels, skin inflammation, and even sun exposure.

Ok… so pore strips aren’t responsible for bursting capillaries… does this mean they’re safe?

We aren’t out of the red just yet!

Pore strips can still cause damage by tearing or injuring your skin. Tearing, for instance, is a possibility for individuals with naturally thin skin or certain skin issues such as psoriasis, rosacea, or seborrhea. It may also exacerbate acne-prone, sensitive, and sunburned skin. If you’ve been battling acne and skin irritation, best to avoid pore strips right away.

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

The question you’ve all been waiting for: are pore strips bad for your face?

The Princess Diaries scene where the princess, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), donned a pore strip has become an iconic scene for every teenage girl. And everyone here at Penny & Pine remembers the delight that came with seeing the gunk.

But truth be told, we tend to exaggerate the pore strip’s capability. Many dermatologists are anti-pore strip only because they aren’t powerful enough to actually clean the pores.

Sure, they do an acceptable job removing keratin buildup in the pores BUT with debris left at the bottom, it won’t be long till the pores fill right up again. The issues of overactive sweat glands and enlarged pores aren’t really addressed.

Another dermatologist dispels the myth that pores open and shut. Pores aren’t window shutters. They neither open nor close so clearing them out won’t really “shrink” them. In fact, the opposite happens. By tugging at a pore strip, you could end up enlarging your pores.

Some dermatologists, however, give the go-ahead. Blackheads become “black” when the oil in the pores oxidize due to air exposure. If the pore strip can lessen the appearance of blackheads by effectively taking it out, why not?

So, this begs the questions… are pore strips bad for your face?

The quick answer is YES.

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

Pore strips peel off the skin's natural oils

Cleansing too much can be bad for your skin because you strip the skin of its natural oils. Same goes for pore strips. Natural oils keep your skin healthy. Further, your skin needs a natural barrier to lock moisture in while keeping the bad guys (free radicals) out.

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

They can further irritate

The adhesive substance in pore strips can further irritate your skin. It could even tear your skin and leave unsightly scars. Pore strips should never cross roads with rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis should never meet. Ditto for sunburned skin!

Pore strips don't solve the problem

Pore strips merely remove the tops of blackheads (along with healthy skin cells!). When you take the debris out, the pores can look even larger. The key is to have these blackheads properly extracted by a professional. That way, your skin is thoroughly cleansed and scarring is minimized.

What should you use instead of pore strips?

Experts agree that a pore strip can clean the surface of your skin, albeit, temporarily. But for long-term cleansing, exfoliating products are your best bet. Non-abrasive products will effectively solve the problem and keep blackheads at bay.

What works? The short answer is products with salicylic acid, washing your face regularly and thoroughly, and using spot treatments.

For instance, take a look at these products:

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Face?

Peppermint Exfoliating Cleanser – We just love the mild and energizing peppermint scent it leaves on your skin. This gentle exfoliating cleanser provides that deep clean by sloughing off dead skin and removing dirt, excess oil, makeup and other skin debris. Gentle enough to use for your morning and evening skin care routine.

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

20-Minute Rescue Mask – We’re huge fans of facial masks. They’re easy to apply and results are immediately visible. This 20-minute Rescue Mask combines the effective properties of zinc and sulfur to repair the skin’s natural barrier. It helps to unclog pores, as well as remove excess oil. (All these while you relax and wait for the mask to work its magic!). And might we add… this product is specially made for oily, congested, and blemish-prone skin.

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

Rose Hip Seed Cleanser – This is a must-have if your skin is oily. Penny & Pine’s Rose Hip Seed Cleanser removes surface dirt and oil. But it also does double duty by promoting cell regeneration and drawing out impurities. The foaming pump dispenser allows for a light and airy application on your skin. And yes, this product is gentle enough for all skin type but works best for problematic or oily skin. The fresh, rosy fragrance it leaves on your skin is such a plus!

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

Exfoliating Toner – This easy to use exfoliating toner contains salicylic acid. It does the job when it comes to grime – without over drying. (In fact, you may use this toner as often as tolerated.) Best of all, this exfoliating toner tightens skin texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (Hello, supple, baby soft skin!)

Are Pore Strips Bad for your Skin?

Overnight Blemish Relief – With oily skin comes swelling and stubborn breakouts (that seem to appear overnight!). For a quick fix, try this at home acne treatment. The sulfur, salicylic acid, and zinc oxide in this liquid solution effectively extracts impurities and dries out affected areas. How to use? Simply dab the solution onto problem areas with a Q-tip before bedtime and allow to soak overnight. Wake up the next day with visibly reduced swelling and irritation. (Now that’s a product that works while you sleep!)

Are pore strips bad? Are pore strips bad for acne? Are Biore pore strips bad for your skin? What do you think? How do you care for blackheads and what products or methods work for you? Do comment in the section below.


  • Kathy

    Uou learn something new everyday.

  • Lena

    Very informative. Would love to try these products especially the mask.

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