One thing that requires weekly maintenance for me, despite how vigorous and on-schedule I am with my skin regimen, is my nose. Unfortunately, my skin does produce blackheads and my pores do get clogged. Up until this past February, I was a Biore pore strip fan. I was loyal. I would buy the box that gave you the most number of nose strips, and I would purchase boxes even when I still had strips left in my bathroom.
I recently received the question below:
Q: PORE STRIPS. Yay or nay? I heard it can actually enlarge your pores making it more prone to blackheads after you suck it out with the strips. It can also cause sagging of the skin from stretching it. If nay, what do you recommend?
Yes, nose strips do enlarge my pores, but I have learned to always close them back up. Like I mentioned, I used to be a FAN of Biore nose strips, which are pretty much the only nose strips that I've ever really come across in America (at a more affordable price than the ones at Sephora), but now, I am no longer a fan. I don't have sensitive skin, and the strips do work, but they are painful. In addition, I did notice that sometimes, after using one nose strip, I would have to use one the next day or even the day after that. I think it has something to do with how open and available my pores are to impurities, especially since there is more room for toxins to gather in the pore after I just cleaned it.
After traveling to Korea this last February, I came across THEFACESHOP nose strips and NATURE REPUBLIC nose strips. Not only do these products remove blackheads and smooth out my nose, they also include a step for closing and tightening sagging pores. It is definitely true that your pores enlarge and sag more as you age. If you don't want to spend a lot on a pore-minimizing facial, these Korean nose strip packs are a good choice.
1. THEFACESHOP BLACKHEAD OUT Dual Nose Strips
There are two steps to this product.
In the first step, there is a wet cotton nose strip that you place on your nose. As there is no adhesive affect to this nose strip, you should probably lie down while you let this strip work. After you please this strip on your nose for 10-15 minutes, immediately take cotton swabs to remove all of your blackheads. The Pore Cleaning Complex in the fluid softens blackheads so that they come out easily from the pore. Make sure to not pinch or squeeze your nose too hard while using cotton swabs; gently remove what you can see and lightly apply pressure where you need to. As you use their dual nose strips more and more, you should start seeing less and less blackheads on the surface (from my experience for using these strips at least once a week for a month).
In the second step, there is a pore tightening nose strip that does stick to your nose. It is made of a Nature Herb Complex that closes your pores after you've just cleaned them. Keep this strip on for 15-20 minutes and continue with your post-cleansing steps, starting with toner.
2. NATURE REPUBLIC Skin Smoothing 3-Step Nose Pack Sheet
There are three steps to this product, which uses Amazonian white clay and chamomile to help with the job.
In the first step, you are able to target any whiteheads on your nose. This is a useful step for anyone with such a concern. Simply place the wet cotton strip on your nose for 10-15 minutes.
In the second step, you begin to target blackheads. Apply this strip just like you would a Biore strip. Wet the nose with warm water (so that your pores stay open), and snuggle the strip on your nose. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then gently peel off.
In the third step, you are tightening your pores. Remove the clear films and place the strip on your nose for 5-10 minutes. Follow with your post-cleaning steps, starting with toner.
You can purchase this product online here.
MY EXPERIENCE & THOUGHTS
I really liked THEFACESHOP's product. After I removed my blackheads with a cotton swab, I could tell that my nose was much smoother already. I also felt that the product softened my blackheads and made it easier for me to get all of them out. In the past, the paper mache type strips would be a hit or miss. Sometimes, I felt that the nose strip did its job; other times, I didn't think it sucked out enough blackheads. I felt like I needed to do it again.
I also liked the NATURE REPUBLIC product, but it did take a long time for me to finish all three steps. It was effective, but I would only use this product on the weekends when I have more time.
Each product provided a unique experience that I think first-timers should try. If you aren't into nose strips, there are definitely other ways to deal with blackheads (ex. toners, packs, peels, etc). More product reviews and techniques to come!
Let me know your thoughts or any questions you may have in the comments below!