Do Pore Strips Really Work?

The pore strip debate has been hot and heavy for a few years now, and the beauty tool has been a staple in the DIY beauty world and in pop culture for ages (you know the scene in Princess Diaries where Mia rips one off her nose). Regardless of their cultural impact, dermatologists have a few qualms with the beauty trick.


If you know anything about skincare, then you've heard about the benefits of pore strips, oftentimes known colloquially as nose strips. But if you're a true skin wiz, then you might have heard that although they're satisfying, pore strips might not actually be that great for your skin. And like any great beauty trend, there's going to be some controversy. So do pore strips actually work?

This is how pore strips work

The steps are fairly simple to follow. First, you take the strip out of the packaging and place the strip over your nose. You moisten the entire strip with water and wait a few minutes for the strip to harden. Then, you pull it off, and all of the gross gunk hanging out in your pores goes with it. It's one of the most satisfying experiences for skin lovers, save for watching Dr. Pimple Popper's videos. 


However, specialists say that ripping motion at the end could be hurting your skin. Although the strips won't burst any capillaries (as some claim), dermatologist Brian Zelickson, MD told Refinery29 that there is still a chance that it could tear or injure your skin. He notes that "this tearing is especially common in individuals with naturally thin skin or skin disorders such as rosacea, psoriasis, or seborrhea."

Do pore strips get rid of blackheads?

Blackheads are usually the reason why many of us buy a package of these strips in the first place, but it turns out they're not the most effective method. Yes, pore strips do clear out your pores for the time being, and make them appear smaller, but it's not magic fix.


These strips, according to dermatologist Shari Marchbein, need to be used quite frequently in order to get the results you want. She also notes in an interview with Allure that they are a temporary solution at best. "Pore strips can help (very) temporarily to improve the appearance of pores," Marchbein says, "but there is no permanent change or improvements to the skin achieved with such a strip."

What should we use instead of pore strips?

We all know that you're not supposed to pop pimples or blackheads. Popping can not only cause more acne in the short-term, but can also cause scarring later in life. Instead, dermatologists recommend using salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to treat acne at home.


If your acne is worsening, however, then you should go see a dermatologist. It can be difficult to not want to take your skin's treatment into your own hands, but sometimes, a professional is the only one who can help.