It’s unclear when the obsession to rid our faces of blackheads began, but it could have started with pore strips, a Band-Aid like adhesive that works by allegedly ripping out dirt and grime from our pores with the flick of the wrist. However, dermatologists doubt pore strips’ claim to effectively wipe out blackheads and believe that they can only deliver temporarily results.
In an article for Allure, New York City-based dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, explained that although pore strips are made from a very strong adhesive, their benefits are purely cosmetic by making the pores look smaller, and can only keep our faces free of dirt for a short time. Adam Friedman, MD, associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University, also has little confidence in pore strips’ effects. “Strips will not stop black or whiteheads from happening or shrink pores. They are simply a temporary cosmetic fix,” he told Allure.
Dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD, believes that the strips need to be used consistently in order to show results. "Pore strips can help (very) temporarily to improve the appearance of pores, but there is no permanent change or improvements to the skin achieved with such a strip," she said.
Despite their proven ineffectiveness, pore strips still remain a staple in pharmacies everywhere. Instead, the draw could be due to the gross-out satisfaction.