Pore pack nose strips: effective or harmful?

Biore Nose Pore Pack Black

I know the Biore Pore Pack Black does what it promises. My husband uses this on a weekly basis and loves to show me his “masterpiece” each time! It does remove his blackheads but still, I wouldn’t want this on my nose. First of all, I never had much luck with nose strips and second, I just think it’s not too good for my skin because the one or two times I tried, the skin around my nose area hurt quite badly.

Pore pack = band-aid?
Anyway, why I’m writing about the Biore Pore Pack is because I just read about pore strips in Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me. According to Paula, pore strips only remove blackheads superficially and not very well. In her words, “You place a piece of cloth with a sticky substance on it over your face, as you might do with a Band-Aid, wait a bit for it to dry, and then rip it off.”

I thought that was quite funny – comparing nose strips to band-aids. But guess what? I took a look at the box of Biore Pore Pack Black and found this warning:

Caution: Avoid using on sunburned, swollen, pimply, rough, dry or eczema skin. Avoid using around the eyes. Do not use if skin is sensitive to bandages. If skin irritation occurs, stop using.

In fact, Polyquaternium-37, the ingredient used in Biore Pore Pack Black, is a film former and hair fixative, something that is used in hairspray. No wonder Paula wasn’t impressed.

“If the instructions are followed closely you can see some benefit in removing the very surface of a blackhead. In fact, you may at first be very impressed with what comes off your nose. Unfortunately, that leaves the majority of the problem deep in the pore.”

Short term fix with no long term benefits
Personally, I think such pore packs or nose strips are a great short-term fix. However, they do not provide long term benefits. I see blackheads on my husband’s nose a few days later whenever he uses such strips and even though it stated that the pores on the skin will become less noticeable, I don’t really find so. If anything, this is bad for the pores around the face near to the nose.

Well, I guess it’s fine to use this in moderation and not frequently. In addition, you should avoid such pore packs if you have sensitive skin or spider veins around the nose area. According to Paula, such products are particularly unsafe if you’ve been using Retin-A, Renova, Differin, AHAs, or BHAs, are having facial peels, taking Accutane, or if you have naturally thin skin or any skin disorder such as rosacea, psoriasis or seborrhea.

But for me, I’m still steering clear of such pore pack nose strips and rather stick to using Cellnique Pro Sebum Gel to remove my blackheads.  Although I’m not sure if the gel provides any long term benefits, but at the least, I do not need to rip anything off my skin!


  1. MisSmall says:

    I know what you mean. It never does much for me too. I guess the thrill in it is that instant gratification of seeing how much gunk it can pull outta your pores. :p

    MisSmall: Yes, it’s satisfying to see it filled with black on white or white on black…even if they don’t belong to me…haha…

  2. Stacey says:

    I always liked using them. They never made that much difference for me so I eventually just gave up on them. Nice article ?

    Stacey: I sort of like to see what I can get out of them…but I don’t seem to have too much luck. Maybe I didn’t use it right or I didn’t get the right size for my nose.

  3. Lana says:

    To really get the stuff to do its trick – steam than wet with warm water if needed then squeeze then nose/pore strip. It get 95% of the blackheads/whiteheads off of my nose when I do all that. It only works superficially if you just put the nose/pore strip on and pull it off because the white/blackheads are loosen up yet. It works best if you steam or do it after a shower and gently squeeze your nose then do it. After I do that – I can see some very long white/blackheads coming out and on the strips. It’s yucky but so satisfying.

    Unless there is something to absolutely dissolve the blackheads , the strips are the only way to get the gunk out without squeezing the living daylight out of your nose.

    Lana: Thanks for sharing your tips! You’re right. There are techniques to use these nose strips correctly. My husband swears by putting them on and then making sure it dries up quickly and completely under aircon and fan! No wonder he can get a lot of gunk!

  4. Lana says:

    white/black heads are *NOT* loosen up yet.

    Sorry typo.

  5. Kym says:

    Hey, don’t nose strips remove the hair on the surface of your skin as well?

    Kym: Yes, it does!

  6. Andiee says:

    Haha..I used to use these pore pack in a weekly basis. But the next 1-2 days, the blackheads reappered again! Grrr. So yes, it is defenitely not the answer for comedones/blackheads. I went to my doctor and she prescribed me Retin A for my naughty blackheads, and now I am *almost* blackheads free ? Yay for retin A ?

    Andiee: I’ve not tried Retin A but am glad to know it worked for you to get rid of those annoying blackheads!

  7. lin says:

    Hi, what about pore packs that are not strips, but applied onto the nose and left to dry? Are they less damaging? I’ve read that strips make your pores bigger, but the application type doesn’t.

    llin: Without looking at the ingredients, my first thoughts are: if they’re not srips which you need to rip off, then it should be fine. Anyway, some pple love the strips and have no problems using them.

  8. Haru says:

    Actually for me, after I heard that they might make it worse… I stopped I have a pretty bad case of blackheads.. when I was younger I didnt really take much care and also cause I wasnt told about the later consequences.. Nowdays I just make sure to wash really well… but when I really cant take it and I see its pretty dirty or about to fall off I might do this like say once in one and a half month I will use a mud nose pack it hardens and I pull off the dirt… my skin gets kinda red. I dont know any other way besides just constant washing..although that has helped to reduce the pore size… it just still seems dirty…any help?

    Haru: You need to keep the oil under control. That would help. Use of witch hazel (not as harsh as alcohol) is quite effective. The mud mask is good but if your skin gets red, it could be too drying. I use baking soda to scrub whenever I remember. Recently I found the use of tomatoes effective. I wrote about it here.

  9. Peter says:

    I use these occasionally, i get the impression that men have the best results, probably becasue we generally have much larger pores.
    It’s very disgusting, but so satisfying to see a forest of yellow noodles on the strip afterward.
    +1 to the steam/shower first tip. It always works very well for me, but yu really need to let the thing dry completely before ripping it. About 20-30 minutes is enough, plus u need to have the strip quite wet for the ‘glue’ to get in and do it’s job. And rip SLOWLY, and pulling straight up from the skin, the blackheds are fragile, if you pull it unevenly, it will break them off without getting it all out.

  10. sesame says:

    Ah…exactly like what my husband does. He always stick it on after bath and then leave it on under aircon to dry. It works well that way!

  11. Harpreet says:

    hi ,i hv blckheads in my nose. so, can u tell me the name of strips tht i cn use to remove ths?

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