Blackheads are a very common type of acne that may also affect places like the face, neck, back and chest. Simply put, they are clogged follicles, not really a pimple. Ah, the adventures our skin takes us on! Hormonal changes can play a driving force in these stubborn but “less noticeable than you probably think” annoyances. However, an overproduction of natural sebum, which is protective of the skin, can happen for various reasons. Before you get too excited and apply one pore-cleansing strip after the other to attain the smoothest skin ever, you should know that the product, if overused, can deplete healthy levels of sebaceous filaments, leaving pores vulnerable.
Other treatments for blackheads include:
- Prescription and nonprescription meds that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol tretinoin, tazarotene, or adapalene.
- Manual removal with round loop extractor by a dermatologist.
- Chemical peels.
- Laser therapy.
With that in mind, pore strips can help remove blackheads, and we’ve highlighted the options below, split up by main ingredient source.
Best Pore Strips With:
Hydrocolloid is a gummy-like gel that heals wounds and can be beneficial when treating acne. It calms fiery inflammation. The strips target dirt, excess sebum, and dead skin cells and can minimize the appearance of pores. Retinol is used and can help prevent further acne breakouts while potentially assisting in unclogging blocked pores. These may benefit normal, oily, combination, dry or sensitive skin. Some folks were surprised that these should be kept on for 4-6 hours, but you can just kick back with a few good movies and some popcorn.
Hydrocolloid is yet again the key ingredient in this medical-grade gel nose patch. It’s still fascinating to think about the more significant uses for the seemingly miraculous substance. You’ll need to sport the strip for the best result for six to eight hours. But in the end, users will be met with a more gentle removal experience and no sticky aftermath. Thin and coming in an XL coverage size, the Mighty Patch Nose seems versatile. A recommendation— exfoliate before you patch.
Larger in size at 60mm by 30mm, larger surface areas of cluster acne can be tackled with these patches. Cover breakouts on the back, neck, chest, buttocks (yup, it happens), and chin, for example. Hydrocolloid therapy promotes the clearing of skin afflictions. It’s a good thing they are not only waterproof but transparent as well because they should be worn anywhere from six to 24 hours. Reviews mention the patches smell like tee tree oil, which could be tough on sensitive sniffers. But overall, reviews report the product to reduce redness and swelling caused by breakouts.
Binchotan charcoal is used much like charcoal is in other beauty products—it absorbs impurities and oil from the skin. However, the cleansing effects are balanced with aloe vera, which is supposed to help moisturize the skin. Talk about an ideal balance. I get clogged pores, but so many products also dry my skin. Something that cleans yet lightly adds moisture is necessary for me. Natural ingredients are used, a major bonus, and the description notes the product to be for all skin types.
Hamamelis virginiana, known as witch hazel, reduces inflammation of the skin. It’s likely you’ve used witch hazel in your beauty routine at some point in life. These strips claim to tighten pores and prevent future breakouts, and reviews concur, with some going as far as to say they are stronger than Biore. One customer tip mentioned spraying with a bit of toner to prevent dryness after usage. Some noted these to have a strong smell with contrasting comparisons to peppermint oil or just straight chemicals. We are going for transparency here.
Like something straight from the island, you’ll find intriguing mixtures like pure charcoal and antibacterial volcanic ash to assist in removing some serious yuck. Drift away into the purifying experience, and allow antioxidant-rich bamboo extract even skin tone. Aloe adds delicate moisture, and allantoin with sacred lotus flower reduce redness. These can be used on the forehead, chin or either side of the nose.
Natural charcoal has slowly become a staple in beauty and wellness. I even buy capsules of activated charcoal from Thrive Market, specifically designed for ingestion and absorption of impurities in the digestive tract. And if you haven’t, you should buy food-grade activated charcoal and make lemonade with it! While you sip that lemonade, spend 10 minutes wearing one of these strips, and you’ll supposedly remove a week’s worth of buildup. Results are instant and better skin is revealed. Biore’s C-Bond Technology is made to latch on to stubborn blackheads rather than skin, so you’re not ripping off your nose instead. No one signed up for that.
There’s nothing like the classic. I remember these in my teen years; they were a go-to that has stood the test of time. Cruelty-free and vegan, you can take a step toward “better made” products with this purchase. C-Bond Technology is also used in the original strips, and the recommended use is just once per week. Breathe a sigh of relief knowing these are dermatologist-tested. In just 10 minutes, you can remove some of that buildup. Optimal for the t-zone, forehead, nose, and chin, the tried and true option is versatile. Reviews note these to be less painful than expected but that you should ensure the strip is moist enough when you put it on. Our favorite comment, called the “reveal,” is intriguingly gross. I bet they are also a Dr. Pimple Popper fan.
Coming with three different pore strips, you can customize your experience. Pacifica’s version is made without parabens, sulfates, or phthalates. As the cherry on top, they are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. The vanilla scent sounds downright spa-like. You’ll need to relax with some cucumber water while you wait 10-15 minutes for the magic to happen. Those with sensitive skin might want to skip this one because reviews mention the pulling effect to be quite strong.
We love that these utilize refreshing peppermint and Jeju Mugwort extract to soften and extract blackheads. Powerful antioxidants can potentially fight free radicals as well. The ingredients are designed to “melt” the gunk, which can then be wiped off. Soothe your skin and reduce the appearance of redness. In just 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll have your results. Extra high fives to the company for making these without harsh chemicals or fragrances. They are safe for ultra-sensitive skin. Salicylic acid helps dissolve sebum and can treat the various stages of the acne lifecycle. PS: these are dermatologist-tested.