Have any of you ever succeeded with pore strips? Definitely not me, for as long as I could remember. And I have tried a lot. My favorite so far out of the lot was the Biore Nose Strip, a classic home DIY solution to remove nasty blackheads that you simply can’t stand waiting till your next facial to rid of. The first time I saw the Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Black Head 3-Step Kit, I was really doubtful despite the ultra-cute and endearing packaging, in shades of pastel and adorable illustrations. I mean, come on- comparing your comedone infested nose to a pig’s snout? Sexy.
In any case, I decided to pick a box up since it was on promotion at the local store. The strips come in a 3-step formula that mimics an actual extraction process:
Step 1: Strip 1 is slightly damp and infused with various plant and fruit extracts such as sage leaf, chrysanthemum flower, rosemary, and witch hazel that seeks to open up your pores for easy blackhead removal in Step 2. I would expect the fruit extracts to perform the same function as exfoliating AHA/BHA acids during facials to soften and exfoliate surface skin keratin to prepare for extraction.
Step 2: Strip 2 is basically the usual hard-core extraction strip that promises to stick real tight to your nose and the star in removing all the gunk. It also contains Kaolin to absorb excess oils and impurities.
Step 3: Strip 3 has a gel texture which contains glycerine and fruit extracts to soothe and hydrate the stressed skin after extraction, as well as shrink the pores for a smooth, clean look.
After washing your face, steam your face to open up the pores before applying the Strip 1. You can do away with steaming if your blackheads are less stubborn or you just had a bath. Let Strip 1 sit for 15 minutes, remove gently and follow with Strip 2. My skin felt much softer and smoother after this step.
Next, wet your nose thoroughly before sticking on Strip 2 to ensure that it sticks evenly and closely to your skin. The strip will not work perfectly if there is insufficient contact area. After 15 minutes, ensure that the strip hardened enough before removing it. Note that the strip will not work if it had not dried completely. In my case, I saw many of the mini and medium-sized blackheads stuck on the strip upon removal- which I was ecstatic about! While the pores are open, it is also recommended to proceed with manual extraction – if you are as half as enthusiastic as me regarding blackheads as a lifelong enemy.
Finally, place Strip 3 onto your nose to calm down the stressed skin and close up the pores. The strip felt comfortable and cooling, but did little to close up the pores visibly. Hence, I usually replace it with a large cotton pad soaked with a good pore-refining toner instead. Else, you could freeze Strip 3 in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before usage to maximize its effects.
Overall, the HOLIKA HOLIKA Pig Nose Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit is value for money, given its thoughtfully designed 3-step process and adorable pastel packaging. However, it is still pretty far away from a good facial extraction, and might be more suitable for those with mild acne issues, since it did nothing to lift the larger, or deeply-rooted blackheads. Also, I was slightly impatient with the long extraction process of at least 45 minutes just for a mini extraction- I would have been done with complete extraction and a good calming mask at the beautician.
Have any of you tried it successfully before? Try it here or share your experiences in the comments if you did!