Are Nose Strips the Best Option for Removing Blackheads?

We all had the pleasure of yanking those pore strips from our face.  It might have been somewhat satisfying, but is it good for your skin? Well not really.  Let's be real for a moment, nose strips could remove blackheads, true, but, as we know even though we might like it to be that simple, oftentimes it isn’t.  Let’s break down the myths, alternatives, and assumptions we all had at one point or another.  

First, let’s get the terminology correct.  Those dots on your face, especially noticeable on the nose, are called keratotic plugs.  These keratotic plugs are made up of dead skin cells, dirt, hair and oils (aka excess sebum).  Kind of sounds like pimples and blackheads, doesn’t it?  Well, blackheads are a type of keratotic plug, which are oxidized sebum that blocks pores.  Unfortunately, the problem with blackheads are, they live deeper than the surface of your skin. Nose strips pull on the surface layer of the skin, which means that it is not going to pull out all the blackheads in your pores.     

What causes the pores on your nose to appear bigger than the rest is due to the enlarged sebaceous glands in our noses that are actually bigger than the rest.  So, no matter what, without a proper skin regimen, your pores will look bigger.  

Do Nose Strips Work?

Short answer, it depends.  It can work on certain skin types. Since nose strips remove oils(sebum) and dead skin cells, increasing skin turnover, which doesn’t sound bad, however, that doesn’t mean that it should be used.  In fact, it can be bad for those with sensitive skin, and can exacerbate existing skin conditions, such as rosacea.  This can occur most often with certain ingredients such as astringents and alcohol irritating the skin.  Removing the top layer of your skin, which will make your nose raw.  Exposing it to the elements such as dirt, sun, and bacteria.  Will only further compound and aggravate the skin, making it worse off.  This is where a proper skincare regimen comes into place.  While nose strips may take the surface layer of your skin, which may temporarily remove blackheads and create the appearance of smaller pores, without a dedicated skincare routine, blackheads and visibly enlarged pores will ultimately reappear over time.   

3 Tips About Nose Strips

  1. Resist the temptation of ripping the nose strip off like you would with wax or a bandage.  It is just going to irritate the skin.  
  2. Wash and steam your face before applying the nose strip.  Like mouthwash, the best way to use it is to brush your teeth first.  Steaming allows your pores to open up so that the nose stripe can do its job better.  
  3. Follow the directions on the packaging!  It might seem similar, but following the instructions may lead to the best results.  

Disadvantages Using Nose Strips

Nose strips are not always the best way to remove blackheads since they can have irritating but not permanent damage to your skin.  Besides the fact that it is not good for existing skin problems, it can also make your pores bigger.  If your skin can stretch, what is stopping your pores from stretching as well? This is in regular use, while your pores enlarge over time, it doesn’t help if you regularly yank at them.  

Not to mention that there is a recovery period for pore strips.  Unless the always red and inflamed sick look is in, it will defeat the purpose slightly.  This redness is from irritated capillaries.  So, if you’d like to go out soon, remember to take into consideration how this will affect your pores.  As “Pore strips contain chemicals and synthetic ingredients that may irritate the skin” it shouldn’t be surprising that your skin will become irritated. 

Using nose strips can also cause pimples and other unflattering skin conditions.  Since it strips away at the oils (sebum) as well as dead and healthy skin cells, the turnover is not balanced.   

Here is a video that shows how they are not great for taking blackheads out.  While the dermatologist doesn't stop her patients from using pore strips, there are better alternatives such as certain skincare ingredients and routines.  



What are the Alternatives for Nose Strips?

There are many alternatives, such as changing or upgrading your skincare routine, to applying nose patches, and medical procedures, such as blackhead extraction, that we would recommend using a medical professional to perform this, since if done incorrectly, the blackheads can go deeper into the skin, making it even more difficult to remove.   

Advantages of using Nose Patches

We would recommend using nose patches since they are less aggressive and instead of physically pulling at the pores, with the help of natural ingredients such as essential oils, it will naturally extract the gunk from the skin.  Leaving the area moisturized and in better shape than previously.  Some have said that they have experienced a more even appearance, versus using nose strips. It is also much more gentle than the nose strips.

Avarelle cosmetics has recently released a nose patch that seems to be a better alternative to nose strips.  Avarelle’s NOSE PATCH: PORE AND OIL CONTROL patches are easy to apply with its perforated lines and it gently pulls the gunk out of your skin without taking the healthy skin cells with it.  At the same time, it is providing your nose with essential oils that makes it almost like an essential oil facial massage that softens the blackhead for easier removal.  With a solid skincare routine, it should be a companion for your pores.  


While nose strips work to extract blackheads it is far more damaging for people with sensitive and existing skin conditions.  There are far more gentle and effective alternatives, but we recommend nose patches that gently pulls dead skin and gunk out of your skin.  But you decide which is right for you. 

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