I had an intimate relationship with Biore Pore Strips in college. Staring at my pores in the mirror was the perfect way to avoid all the reading and studying on my to-do list, and I was convinced my pores needed some serious attention. In 1998 pore strips were a staple on my grocery list, but they are a luxury I don’t leave space in my budget for any longer.
If you’re unfamiliar, these small white strips can be applied to your face and allowed to dry. When removed, dirt and oil are pulled from your pores, cleaning and making pores less noticeable.
The downside to commercial pore strips? You will pay about $9 for 14 of these little things. (I’m not sure how I ever justified this.) The ingredients are also a negative–in addition to parabens, some of the other ingredients raise a red flag. Also, they can adhere too strongly to your face and end up feeling like they are ripping your skin off. Ouch!
These pore strips can easily be made at home using only two ingredients. Matt and I tested these out in true DIY guinea pig fashion. Although I didn’t think we got the exact results a commercial pore strip offers, they did pull some dirt and oil from our pores. (And there were no tears because our skin remained in tact, and they’re completely non-toxic.)
DIY Pore Cleansing Strips
What you will need:
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin or gelatin alternative
- 1 teaspoon milk
- cotton swab or makeup brush
- small saucepan
Combine milk and gelatin in small saucepan and mix together. Heat on stovetop until mixture starts to thicken a little. Mixture should be warm – not hot – before applying to face. Also, be sure to apply a hot cloth to your face (and dry face thoroughly) before applying. This ensures your pores are open allowing for maximum cleansing.
Using a cotton swab or makeup brush, spread mixture onto nose or other problem areas in a very thin layer. Allow to completely dry on your face before peeling off. It should feel very stiff when completely dry.
Note: Pore strip is not ready to remove if it feels rubbery or soft. If applied too thick, or not allowed to completely dry before removing, your homemade pore strip won’t be effective.
Now that I’m not a teenager I no longer obsess about clogged pores, but I still like a pore treatment now and again. No gelatin in the cupboard? Before the advent of pore strips, I figured out that a piece of Scotch tape gives the same result. Who knows why I had tape on my face in the first place, but it was a great accidental discovery. (Although I’m pretty sure the adhesives in Scotch tape are anything but “natural.”) I have also heard of Elmer’s Glue being used in the same way, although I have yet to try it and have not researched the ingredients. Please post below if you have tried other natural do-it-yourself blackhead removal pore cleansers!