Pore strips have become a popular skin care fad, especially on the internet, where people share videos of themselves using the strips, or grossly satisfying photos after pulling them off.
But how do dermatologists feel about pore strips?
So, basically, they're a woven material with adhesive and polymer.
And when you wet it, it attaches to the skin and you leave it on for five to ten minutes usually.
And when you pull it off, you'll see sort of these like stalagmite, stalactite type things on the strip and that's actually oil from your skin that gets oxidized and turns black in color as well as bacteria, dead skin, hair, dirt, basically anything that's on the surface just gets pulled off.
But do they actually work?
A deep cleansing doesn't happen with these strips.
Although your skin may feel cleaner, smoother, they really don't do anything to prevent you from developing blackheads.
I totally get that they're satisfying, but I don't think over long periods of time, they do much for you.
Other things should be used.
Retinoids and retinols and chemical peels can all be used in conjunction with pore strips.
Some people are worried that they can break capillaries.
Very rarely can it cause significant damage although I do see patients all the time with lots of irritation, particularly if they're using it frequently.
Using pore strips responsibly is really important.
You don't want to use them more than once a week.
You want to make sure your skin is clean before you use them.
You want to follow the directions.
Don't leave them on for longer than they say.
Always remove the adhesive to prevent irritation.
And cleanse your face after.
People who have allergies to different cosmetic products should just be a little bit careful.
Sometimes I'll tell people to put them on their arms first just to make sure that they aren't sensitive and then put them on the face.
Although I really don't tell patients to use them necessarily, if people like them, I'm not telling people not to use them.