Scary Reasons Why Pore Strips Are Bad

Don’t be fooled by IG! Everybody has pores.

Don’t be fooled by IG! Everybody has pores.

Everybody I know – myself included – has used a pore strip at some point in time. They seemed so satisfyingly effective when you pulled them off to see all the attached skin gunk.

Take that, blackheads!

But the problem is, all pore strips are really doing is pulling out the skin’s natural oils along with the lining of the pore. Yes, that’s right. Those little pillars of gunk standing on end on your strip are actually lining of your pores! Called sebaceous filaments, these linings are necessary for the healthy function of your skin. Your body will gradually replace these filaments after a pore strip rips them out but, in the meantime, your skin is left open to nasty stuff getting in. That’s right – those nasties can cause more blackheads!

There might be some blackhead mixed in with what is pulled off but, at best, it’s the very top of a blackhead. It’s like pulling a weed. Unless you’re getting the whole thing out roots and all, it will ‘grow’ back. A blackhead is a pore clogged with a mixture of dead skin cells, pol and P. acnes (Propionibacterium acnes). It prevents oxygen from entering the pore which, in turn, allows bacteria to grow. Then comes inflammation and pimples.

We also need to mention that pore strips contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients that could irritate your skin. The first ingredient in many brand pore strips is Polyquarternium-37 which is a strong hairspray-like chemical that sticks to your pores to remove whatever is inside. It also can stretch the pore, leading to bigger buildup and blackheads over time.

SeaLuxe, as regular readers know, is not big on single-use plastics and other items that end up in the landfill. Which is exactly where these pore strips go. It may seem like no big deal but, like everything else, it accumulates.

Getting rid of blackheads requires the right products, a regular and good skincare regime, and sometimes the help of dermatologists. Your best tool against blackheads is salicylic acid which gently helps skin cell turnover and unclogs your pores.

Gentle exfoliation is also key to keeping blackheads at bay. A gentle facial exfoliator such as SeaLuxe’s Goddess Grains Facial Cleanser will scrub away dead skin cells. Gently scrub using your fingertips, don’t over scrub as you don’t want to strop your skin. Charcoal is also great for getting rid of blackheads.

A mechanical skin brush is also said to be good for blackhead prevention. Just ensure the brushes are cleaned on a regular basis.

Please also remember that it’s unrealistic to expect to look pore-free. That look only exists, after filtering and Photoshopping, on IG and in fashion magazines. We are not plastic dolls!

Rebecca Dixon