#TBT: Biore Pore Strips
Blackheads are an incredibly frustrating skin ailment. We know they are caused by dirt and oil buildup in our pores, but getting rid of them is not as simple as just cleaning our faces. When we were teenagers, Biore Pore Strips seemed like a godsend. That moment when you tore the strip off of your nose, only to be face with the tiny black specks of gunk that now littered the strip, this was pure joy for anyone into picking, popping, and prodding (basically every woman!).
People are divided about the actual effectiveness of these handy little strips, and they soon became just another gimmick. But if your skin is congested, you are probably desperate for some relief. While there are some who still swear by pore strips, blackhead prevention and treatments have made drastic strides since the launch of strips.
Dr. Dennis Gross recommends that blackhead sufferers look for the following ingredients to help unclog their pores:
– Salicylic Acid: a Beta Hydroxy Acid that exfoliates, reducing the number of pore blockages.
– Glycolic & Lactic Acids: exfoliating acids remove dead skin cells from clogged pores.
– Witch Hazel: a natural astringent that clears pores.
– Willow Bark: a natural alternative to Salicylic Acid; effectively clears pores and exfoliates.
– Colloidal Sulfur: reduces acne blemishes and absorbs oil. Dr. Gross recommends his Clarifying Colloidal Mask ($42), which you can either wear as a 10 minute mask or overnight for some heavy duty unclogging.
– Bentonite: A naturally occurring white clay that helps absorb oil and mattify.
Here are some of our top, and dare we say more effective, alternatives to Biore Pore Strips:
Boscia Luminizing Black Mask ($34) gives you the same satisfying removal as strips, since you peel it off after it dries. It’s ideal for detoxifying and purifying your pores, considering it’s pumped full of clearing clay.
Nature Republic Bamboo Charcoal Nose + T-Zone ($16) is like a new and improved Biore strip. This two-step kit clears out your pores by first opening them with a carbonated toner, and then deep-cleaning with a charcoal mask.
In college, I swore by Neutrogena Deep Clean Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub ($6). If you want some seriously clean skin, look no further than this classic. Although not recommended for sensitive skin, it will do wonders on tougher, acne-prone skin types that could use a blast of salicylic acid paired with exfoliation.
If you’re a bit sensitive, try Lab Series Multi-Action Face Wash ($21). It’s made for men, but I’ve been using it to clean my congested nose and chin for weeks and am very happy with the results.
Combination skin is just so fun, isn’t it? If you’re like me and need to deal with acne while also moisturizing and preventing wrinkles, get your hands on Biologique Recherche Creme Dermopurifiante ($89) ASAP. I’m not going to lie, this stuff does not smell pretty. But that’s a small sacrifice to pay for the product’s effectiveness. It keeps my skin moist while simultaneously purifying and regulating oil production. This cream is the real deal.
Whether you stick to your trusty strips or try a new treatment for blackheads, remember to never squeeze them (regardless of how satisfying it can be).
Casey Sharbaugh currently resides in New York City and works in the fashion industry. In her spare time, you can find Casey spinning, trying new beauty products, or browsing the city for the best ice cream cone. Find her on Twitter at @caseyhshar