I’ve written before about how pore strips can totally ruin your skin, all while under the guise of being effective. Quick tip: They’re not doing you any favors!
While they may seem helpful in the immediate, they actually cause way more damage than not. In fact, they make your pores bigger over time! I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of anyone who wants bigger pores—am I right?
In this article, I’ll share a bit about my own journey with pore strips—about how they seemed wonderful at first, but how as I became more and more dependent on them, my blackheads only seemed to get worse! I’ll explain exactly how pore strips completely undermine all your good intentions to nurture your skin and get rid of blackheads.
I’ll also touch on a few other bad habits people are routinely using to “treat” their blackheads.
But first, for those of you who don’t know:
If you have black heads, you’re probably familiar with pore strips. If you aren’t familiar with what a pore strip is, it’s basically adhesive-style fabric that you apply to your nose. After letting it sit and dry for some minutes, you pull the strip off and all the icky gunk stuck inside your pores comes out stuck to the strip. And you’re left with clean, beautiful skin.
I’d had blackheads for as long as I could remember. I was obsessed: they looked ugly and felt gross. I’d spend an hour squeezing the blackheads until my nose was as red as a tomato! It was painful but, I’ll admit, satisfying to see all the gunk oozing out. The result was a red, painful nose that was blackhead free! At least, for a few days…
They’d return after a few days and I’d have to repeat the squeezing session.
Then, I discovered pore strips! They seemed to be an answer to my prayers! The first time I used pore strips, I was mesmerized by how much puss and grime they were able to extract from my nose. The process was relatively painless and my nose doesn't look red like a tomato. Seems great, right? Only…
There was just one tiny problem: the blackheads kept coming back! Again and again and again.... Each time seemed worse than the last time.
Well, at some point I finally got fed it up. It took years of research but I finally figured out what was going on! See, once I understood more about blackheads, I could pinpoint the problem—and eventually, a lasting cure! We’ll get to the cure bit, cause I know you’re dying to know! But first, here’s why pore strips simply don’t work!
While pore strips are super satisfying in the moment, they actually do more damage than good. That’s cause every time you pull the strip away, it takes with it not just the icky gunk, but a whole bunch of healthy cells around the pores too! OUCH.
The cumulative effect is that the pores actually become bigger and bigger every time you use the strip. And then do you know what happens?
Since the pores are bigger, all that icky gunk will return within mere days and now it has an even bigger space in which to reside. In the end, pore strips cause a relentless cycle of feeling like you need to use the strip followed by your blackheads getting worse, followed by needing to use more pore strips.
It’s a nightmare.
And what’s more, pore strips are way harsh on sensitive skin—think about all that adhesion and then yanking! They can also further aggravate dry skin, making it flaky, while other wind up with a red, irritated nose.
If that all wasn’t enough, pore strips also strip your skin of natural oils, which are essential to maintaining a healthy protective layer between your skin and the outside world! Without protective oils, your skin will be more prone to free radical damage and infection.
Ok, so we’ve established that pore strips are bad, bad, bad!!!
But what can you do to treat your blackheads? Well, you could start by taking the Skin Quiz and finding out just what products work best for your skin type, to solve this particular problem—because it will be different for everyone.
If you want to understand the science behind it a bit more, keep reading as we talk a bit about blackheads.
First, a few definitions:
Sebum is a natural substance produced by the hair follicles to keep the skin and hair healthily oiled. While sebum is essential to healthy skin, it can become problematic when excess sebum gets clogged inside the pores causing a variety of blemishes.
When the sebum gets clogged inside an open pore, it is exposed to the air and becomes oxidized, turning black. Thus, the blackhead is born! A blackhead is also called a comedone, or clogged pore.
Ok. So we know what a blackhead is. But what causes the sebum to get stuck?
The only real way to get rid of blackheads is to treat the root cause and begin your treatment plan there. That’s why my blackheads kept coming back, no matter how much I squeezed or used strips—I wasn’t treating the root!!
To solve your blackhead riddle, you must ask yourself this question:
Why is sebum getting stuck in my pores???
Are you getting black heads because your sebum is too thick? Or is it because too much dead skin is accumulating on your skin surface and the sebum cannot escape?
We go into depth about all this and more here: this article is all about blackheads and how to treat them. You’ll learn all about the different skin types and how each can attribute blackheads to a different cause. We’ll also explain how to treat your blackheads, now that you can pinpoint the cause of these bothersome comedones!
Or, if you’re ready to get to the point already and get on the road to better skin, take the Skin Quiz to figure out what is going on with YOU—what’s the root cause of your blackheads and what is the best treatment? At Y’OUR, we want you to have happy, glowing skin and we know that only by treating the root cause will you see the problems go away forever.
Unfortunately, pore strips aren’t the only bad habit people are turning to with the mislead belief that it will treat their blackheads. There are actually lot of natural remedies that have been trending—and, like the pore strips, while they temporarily reduce blackheads, they actually make it worse in the long run. These include:
Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice: These popular home remedies seem like a great natural alternative to expensive, chemical laden products. However, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice are too acidic for your skin and will disrupt the natural pH. Once your skin is out of balance, it is more vulnerable to a multitude of skin problems, including free radicals that can cause major issues down the road.
Also, like the pore strips, these acidic substances will strip your skin of its oils. Once you remove this natural protective barrier, a number of skin problems can arise, including an overproduction of oils to compensate for the stripping—which can lead to your skin appearing oily.
Baking Soda: Baking soda is another home remedy that is mistakenly recommended as a cure to blackheads. They say, that if you mix it with water, make a paste and massage it around your face, it will clean out all the debris. But it is way too harsh and drying for the skin. It can actually lead to overly sensitive skin. Some people even experience contact dermatitis as a reaction, which is itchy and red, and really uncomfortable, to say the least!
Sugar & other Scrubs: Scrubs sound nice, but they’re often way too harsh on the skin. They can cause mini tears, especially if a pore is already compromised. These tears make the skin more vulnerable to bacterial attacks, which lead to pimples! Believe me, you do NOT want to replace your blackheads with pimples!
Like the pore strips, most of these natural remedies treat the symptoms rather than the root cause of your blackheads. This will only lead to your blackheads returning again and again, and other complications. Do yourself and favor and cut out the bad habits!
Seriously—stop using pore strips!!! And cut out the harmful home remedies while you’re at it. Do it for your own good. Because while they seem like an easy fix for gunk-filled pores, they’re actually doing serious long term damage.
You want to care for your skin and let it glow its natural beautiful self! If you’re looking for a skin care ritual that will nourish your beautiful skin and actually work to alieve you of whatever skin discomforts you have, check out Y’OUR personalized skincare kit. These products are perfectly designed with your unique skin type in mind, to give you your dream skin!