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Are pore strips bad for your skin?

Skincare |
Joanna Melville | 31.03.2022

Keeping pores clean and clear is a fundamental objective within most skincare routines - whether it’s to reduce breakouts, brighten the tone or even the texture. Whatever your reason, there are varying degrees of treatments and products available to serve this cause - including the classic pore strip. 

HOW DO PORE STRIPS WORK?

The pore strip is a piece of fabric or material with an adhesive backing that activates when pressed onto wet skin - these are typically placed across the nose and t-zone area but can be used anywhere with congestion. Left to dry, the strip is then forcibly pulled off, bringing with it any blockages, dirt and debris from the surface and within the follicles. The pores appear to reduce in size and blackheads become less visible. 

Whilst this is a quick method to clear some of the plugs out of the pores, they can be considered a temporary solution and can have the potential to cause irritation and longer term concerns.

To attach to dead skin, oil and dirt, pore strips use adhesive which can cause irritation to the skin especially if the skin is sensitive or you suffer from conditions such as eczema or rosacea. Irritation to the skin, if not resolved, can then have an inhibiting impact on the skin’s barrier leaving it open to free radicals and longer term damage. Furthermore, the unnecessary force used to remove pore strips can lead to skin trauma and damage.

WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES TO PORE STRIPS?

At The INKEY List, we don’t recommend the use of pore strips due to the risk of long-term damage to the skin barrier. Our approach is to prevent the build up of congestion in the first place with some key products in our range to target the pores…  

BETA HYDROXY ACID SERUM

One of our favourite pore-focused products is BHA - an exfoliator that works deep beneath the surface of the skin to help unclog pores, target blackheads and reduce excess oil.

KAOLIN CLAY MASK

Opt for a deeper cleanse 1-2 times per week to get deep into the pores and clear any lingering congestion. The beauty of this white clay formula is that it helps to draw impurities to the surface without drying the skin. Simultaneously removing excess sebum and balancing oil control, this mask helps keep skin clear long term. 

SUCCINIC ACID TREATMENT

If it’s the quick fix of the pore strips that draws you in, our 2% Succinic Acid targeted treatment is an alternative speedy solution. The treatment gently reduces blemish size, reduces oil levels and unblocks pores whilst also helping to prevent them from clogging again after use. 

GLYCOLIC ACID TONER

Bringing exfoliation into the equation, Glycolic Acid removes dead skin cells from the surface to reduce the appearance of pores, blackheads and fine lines, as well as support smoother and brighter skin. As an alternative for sensitive skin, our new PHYTIC ACID is a gentle and soothing acid that is also rich in antioxidants and has excellent free radical scavenging properties.

If you have a severe blockage or you’re looking for an extraction method, we would recommend visiting a professional such as a dermatologist. For more information or advice, contact us at askINKEY

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