They’re incredibly satisfying — but do they actually help your skin?
If you’ve ever used pore strips, you know how gross and satisfying they feel.
There's nothing better than ripping that strip off your nose and seeing a little forest of pore junk. And the internet definitely agrees — pictures of used pore strips continue to go viral. Like, really viral.
I mean, come on — look at all that gunk!
It's simultaneously disgusting and weirdly relieving — and definitely less intense than watching full-on pimple or blackhead extractions.
But what do pore strips actually do to your skin? And is this helping or maybe hurting?
We spoke to Dr. Arielle Nagler, dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, to find out if pore strips are as beneficial as they are satisfying.
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While pore strips do remove a good deal of dirt, oil, and dead skin, they only pull off a very superficial layer — so they don’t truly clean your pores.
Let's quickly go over how pore strips work. “The strip is usually a woven material with an adhesive or polymer on one side, that sticks to your nose when wet,” Nagler tells BuzzFeed Health. Then you leave it on until it dries (usually for 10 or 15 minutes) and when you pull it off, anything stuck to the strip comes off too — that's the really satisfying part.
“The strips pull off anything on the surface of your nose, which includes oil that's been oxidized and turns black (blackheads), dead skin, dirt, and hair — but they only remove a very superficial layer,” says Nagler. Sometimes they might only remove the top or half of blackheads.
Since the strip only sticks to the surface of your nose, it misses all the debris and oil hiding deep inside your pores that can build up and lead to pimples or blackheads, Nagler explains. So while they may leave your skin looking and feeling super clean, they don't provide a real deep cleansing.
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