If you had told us 15 years ago that we'd be sticking the equivalent of duct tape to our nostrils, forehead, and chin, then ripping them off and furtively examining the remains, we might have mistaken you for someone who was a little too into The X-Files.
Yet, what we once thought of as beauty sci-fi, we now look to as a skin-care necessity: Pore strips are one of those inventions we didn't really know we needed, but now that we've experienced them, we don't think we can live without them.
Once established though, where could this brave new world of pore de-clogging really evolve to? Deeper, apparently: The latest strips on the market boast deep-cleaning claims that make them sound like a Roto-Rooter for your nostrils. Read on for all the dirty details on our favorites and to see how their skin-excavating claims fare.
Madelaine Petsch, Riverdale star and Bioré brand ambassador, tells us that she's been using the deep-cleansing strips since she was 13 and struggling with acne and blackheads. To this day, she keeps a box of them nearby for on-set emergencies. We're partial to this witch hazel version, which makes the typically uncomfortable process a whole lot gentler.
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Nose Strips , $5.99, available at Target
These latex-free patches don't just remove blackheads, but prevent future ones from forming, too. After clearing out your pores, the patches infuse vitamin A back into the skin to tighten and refine your skin's texture so oil and acne are a thing of your past.
Peace Out Pore Treatment Strips, $19, available at Sephora
If you're trying to get some gunk out of your pores, this charcoal strip will lend a helping hand.
Sephora Collection Charcoal Nose Strip, $3, available at Sephora
Tea tree extract and kaolin clay pull out sebum and temporarily shrink your pores. We slap one on before every big night out.
formula 10.0.6 Down To the Pores, $5.99, available at Ulta Beauty
Stubborn blackheads don't stand a chance against this double whammy treatment. First, you press the dry patch onto your wet nose and wait 10 minutes before removing it. Then, you follow that up with the wet patch for another 10 minutes. Each is infused with pore-tightening witch hazel, purifying sage, and redness-reducing tea tree extract.
Dr. Jart+ Pore Master Patch, $7.5, available at Dr. Jart+
Not satisfied with a one-step blackhead strip? This pack features three steps to soften skin, remove the pesky suckers, and then tighten skin.
Peach and Lily Pig Nose Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit, $3, available at Peach and Lily
Point of warning: You have to apply water to your nose (or forehead) before using this product to help it stay put. It takes about three to four minutes for it to begin hardening, and you'll feel a faint cooling sensation. After about 15 minutes, remove the strip and see all of the gunk it extracted from your nose (if you're into that sort of thing). Bonus : These strips come recommended by a top celeb makeup artist, too.
Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips 24ct, $13.99, available at Target
One qualm we have with drugstore pore products is that they never fully harden — making them difficult (and painful) to pull off. But you don't have to worry about that with this black strip. After you remove the sheet, your skin will feel instantly smooth and clean. A major plus, especially during pore-punishing weather.
Boscia Pore Purifying Charcoal Strips, $28, available at Sephora
This packet comes with three different products for you to apply one after the other. After cleansing your face, apply the first sheet and remove after about 20 minutes. Next, wet the skin and apply the second strip for roughly 15 minutes, then take off. Lastly, put on the third and final product, leaving it on for 10 minutes before removing. Pat the remaining solution onto your nose and observe your new blackhead-free skin.
Tony Moly Strawberry Nose Pack, $3.5, available at Ulta Beauty
If “economical” is your favorite word and you’re really just here to pull shit out of your pores, these affordable, no-frills strips will get the job done — and leave your money in your bank account.
up & up Pore Cleansing Strips, $5.59, available at Target
We can't think of anything more "therapeutic" than smoothing one of these on and letting the purifying tea tree oil work its magic.
Earth Therapeutics Clari-T Pore Cleaning Strips, $18.43, available at Amazon
This 2-step product works like a dream, just prep skin with the included cotton swab before applying your mask.
Yes To Tomatoes 2-Step Nose Kit Buh-Bye Blackheads!, $3.99, available at Ulta Beauty
Do most nose strips make your skin irritated or dry? This formula is gentle, so many find their skin soft, not itchy after.
The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Aloe Nose Masks, $1.36, available at Walmart
These cleansing pore strips are infused with tea tree oil and witch hazel to fight future blackheads and blemishes, too.
Botanical Choice Charcoal Nose Pore Strips, $2.73, available at Forever 21
For the days you can't make it to the spa, this three-step system will make sure those blackheads don't give you nightmares anymore. Step one softens your skin, so it's easier to remove the oil buildup. Step two is your pore strip, and step three is a lotion to soothe any irritation left behind.
The Creme Shop Naughty Nose (Charcoal) 3 – Step Blackhead Remover, $4, available at The Crème Shop
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