Pore stripes or nose strips are typically referred to as "miracle cures" and offer a quick solution for getting rid of blemishes. They are convenient to carry around and promise to remove blackheads in minutes. However, the use and actual effectiveness of blackhead strips are controversial. In this article, you will learn what they are all about.
Pore Stripes: Good or Bad Idea?
- How Do Blackheads Form?
- Pore Stripes Against Blackheads: What Is It?
- Are Blackhead Stripes an Effective and Permanent Solution?
- How Can Blackheads Be Removed?
How Do Blackheads Form?
Blackheads are the result of an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands. There are various causes of this hyperseborrhea, including hormonal changes, environmental pollution, or even sun exposure. The excess sebum clogs the skin's pores and interferes with natural desquamation, the process by which the skin removes dead skin cells.
The accumulation of corneocytes leads to hyperkeratosis, which is an abnormal thickening of the outer layers of the skin. This leads to the formation of "plugs" that block the sebaceous glands and prevent the natural flow of sebum on the skin surface, which then leads to the formation of open comedones. When the accumulation of sebum comes into contact with the air, it oxidizes and takes on a black color.
Pore Stripes Against Blackheads: What Is It?
Nose stripes have been developed to combat blackheads. They come in the form of strips that act like "tape" to remove or even rip out the blackheads. These patches are usually made with cleansing and purifying agents such as charcoal, tea tree oil and salicylic acid. Stripes come in different shapes to fit the morphology of the nose, forehead or chin. These areas are not chosen at random, as there are more sebaceous glands here than in the rest of the face. Therefore, they are more prone to hyperseborrhea and the appearance of impurities.
How are patches against blackheads applied?
A stripe against blackheads is applied on clean, moist skin. Wash your face gently beforehand and rinse it with lukewarm water. Then simply stick the patch on the facial area affected by blackheads, usually the forehead, nose and chin. It is important that the area has been moistened beforehand so that the patch adheres better. It must then be left on for 10 to 15 minutes. The plaster, which is soft at first, hardens and is "fixed" to the skin. It can then be peeled off. At that point, you can see that the blackheads are attached to the strip and the facial skin is cleaner.
Worth knowing: a common mistake is to mistake sebaceous filaments for blackheads and use a blackhead patch to remove the sebaceous filaments. However, it is important to distinguish between them. Sebaceous filaments are a natural structure around hair follicles, while blackheads are a skin disorder caused by clogged pores composed of oxidized sebum and dead cells. Sebaceous filaments are designed to help channel the flow of sebum from the sebaceous gland to the skin surface. They should not be removed as this could inflame the area and promote bacterial growth in the pore.
Are Blackhead Stripes an Effective and Permanent Solution?
Blackhead patches are very popular due to their ability to make these blemishes disappear quickly. This painless and easy-to-use alternative seems to be a practical way to remove blackheads, offering satisfactory results in only about ten minutes. Even though there are no scientific studies on the subject, there are some problems with using blackhead patches.
Blackhead stripes tend to irritate the skin.
Removing an anti-blackhead patch must be done with a quick, dry motion to separate the tape from the skin, which can damage and irritate it. The sebaceous glands may feel attacked and, in response, intensify their sebum production, which promotes the development of new blackheads.
It is strongly discouraged to apply a blackhead patch more than once a week, and its use is contraindicated in sensitive or reactive skin. If you use a blackhead patch too often, it can cause severe flaking of the skin and damage it.
The effect of patches against blackheads is on the surface.
These patches act only on the visible part of the blackhead and not in depth. After applying the patch, only the black part of the blackhead is removed and the pore is not completely decrusted. Therefore, it is common for blackheads to reappear in the same places a few days after applying a patch. To achieve lasting results, topical application of exfoliating and cleansing products is recommended.
How Can Blackheads Be Removed?
Since blackheads often reappear after using a patch, you should prevent their occurrence and take a holistic approach to the problem. Below are some basic measures that you can perform on a daily basis. However, it is important to remember that while this skin care routine can curb the appearance of blemishes, it is not a miracle cure for blackheads that are already present. Removing blackheads takes a long time, and results may be visible after a few weeks or months.
Wash and cleanse.
For a clear complexion, it's important to cleanse your skin morning and night, using a cleanser that's formulated for your skin type. If you have combination or oily skin, you should use a gel that contains sebum-regulating active ingredients such as zinc or azelaic acid. For example, you can use our clarifying cleansing gel, which purifies the skin and balances sebum production to limit the formation of impurities.
Remove makeup and cleanse your skin.
It is essential to remove all traces of makeup in the evening to cleanse the epidermis and maintain a clean and pure skin. This also allows you to remove traces of pollution or dirt that have accumulated on your face during the day. For this purpose, we recommend our cleansing oil, whose minimalist formula with seven ingredients is suitable even for sensitive skin.
Exfoliate your skin regularly.
To prevent blackheads, you should also exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to open pores and remove dead skin cells. Exfoliating more than once or twice a week can irritate the skin and produce excess sebum, which clogs pores and causes new blackheads to form. For this purpose, you can apply our exfoliating mask, which is enriched with exfoliating ingredients that can limit the development of blackheads and refine the appearance of the skin.
Cleanse and mattify.
To reduce impurities, you can supplement this routine with the use of skincare products containing sebum-regulating and astringent ingredients. At Typology, we have developed a mattifying serum with 10% azelaic acid and a purifying face cream with zinc PCA for skin that tends to be oily. These care products regulate sebum production and thus reduce the formation of open blackheads.
Don't touch the blackheads.
Although it sounds tempting, it's not a good idea to touch and remove blackheads yourself. If you do, you can worsen the blackhead condition by infecting it with germs on your fingers and nails, which can lead to infection and the formation of acne pimples. Also, you can irreversibly damage your skin by causing scars. If you are eager to remove them, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or other medical professional, so they can be removed without irritating your skin.
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NOWIWCKA D. & al. Microbiome and probiotics in acne vulgaris - a narrative review. Life (2022).