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Down To The Pore? I’m Not So Sure…

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down to the pore blackhead pore strip review hip2save

Hi there! It’s Emily, one of Collin’s sidekicks!

I am a HUGE fan of skincare products. From cleansers to masks to serums, I try A LOT of different brands and formulations, especially new and trendy products getting lots of media attention. While some work and others don’t, there’s one skincare product that I just cannot seem to get behind – blackhead pore strips.

down to the pore blackhead strips packaging and product hip2save

You probably know what I’m talking about; the curvy fabric-like stickers that stick to your nose and pull out all the gunk that gets buried within your pores. The main reason people (and I) reach for these strips is to get rid of blackheads.

To my dismay, I have NEVER had pore strips work for me! And not just one kind, I’ve tried the regular Bioré Strips, the ultra version, the charcoal version, and my latest attempt was forgoing Bioré all together and giving Formula 10.0.6 Down To The Pore a try. I thought, “I love this brand’s face masks… maybe I’ll love the blackhead products.” These strips were by far the least effective 😫.

down to the pore blackhead strips instructions hip2save

I followed the instructions exactly, making sure I have enough water to help the strip stick and giving it enough time to fully dry. I’ve even tried steaming my face first to help loosen up the pores. But no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to get that super satisfying peel off moment where all the little oily bits stick to the paper-ish strip like gross inverted icicles 😷. Am I the only one who is mesmerized by those slow motion blackhead peel off videos? 😳

down to the pore used blackhead strip showing no results hip2save

As you’re reading this, you might be thinking there’s still some user error on my end. Well, that could totally be likely, but it seems I’m not alone – I’ve read countless reviews stating the same poor results with the strips, though there are others that praise these little blackhead miracle workers.

used down the pore blackhead strip and opened packaging hip2save

Even though I’ll continue calling upon the Formula 10.0.6 brand for some of my favorite skincare products, the Down To The Pore strips will not be making the cut. I should toss the rest of these strips in the trash, but I’m going to hold on to them. Maybe someone will come along with great advice to maximize their effectiveness! But until then, I guess I’ll just embrace my blackheads.

Have you tried these pore strips? Did they work for you? Do you have any other recommendations?

Please be kind in the comments. 🙂

Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer of self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.

Join The Discussion

Comments 62

  1. Teresa W

    I haven’t tried pore strips since high school, but I remember they never worked for me. I am wondering if anyone here has used the gelatin and milk idea on Pinterest?

    • Liz

      Im a regular pore strip user, i have oily skin:(.
      I have tried the gelatin and milk idea. It works I would say better than pore strips because, you get to apply it all over your face compared to specific areas when it come to the strips. The only downside if you ask me is the smell. However, you grow into it and compared to the price it’ll take the gelatin recipe any day.
      Hope this helps:))

      • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

        I love a good DIY treatment, I’ll give this a shot. Thank you, Liz!

      • Sam

        The smell totally ruined jello for me. I cant eat it anymore because it reminds me of the smell of the milk and geletin masks.

      • june

        Try adding a bit of vanilla extract into your mixture, it takes the icky smell away.

    • Rachael

      I use it all the time. It pulls EVERYTHING out of your pores

    • GrlRcr

      This one did not work for me. I felt like I was going to rip my face off like the scene in Poltergeist and that can’t be good in wrinkle-prevention! When I finally did manage to remove it, I couldn’t see one little whitehead. I’ve used other “home” remedies with success (Avocado-honey masks, Anyone?) but have to give a thumbs down to this recipe.

    • Ktenny

      Well they’re darn good to remove all those pesky little hairs on your nose anyways !

  2. Sarah

    If you can see lots of blackheads, it might help to stream your pores first to open them more, or to break down the barrier between the pore strip and the blackheads with a peel or exfoliation…just not in the same day or you’ll hate life. 😂

    • Sarah

      What kind of peel do you use? My blackheads have gotten worse since having kids. Would do just about anything to minimize the pores on my nose!

      • Sarah

        I love Hey Honey “I Peel Good”, but it’s $$ :/ . Cheaper per .5 oz to buy samples on ebay.

  3. Shelly

    Bioré works wonders for both me & the hubby
    But I would also love to know about the milk + gelatin mask as an other reader asked

  4. mel

    I’ve always had good luck with Biore strips. I used to use them frequently when I was younger, but now I might use 1 strip every 3 or 4 months. I find that since using Micellar water on my face, my nose isn’t as clogged up around the sides as they used to.

  5. Kristin M.

    Pore strips have always kinda worked for me. I have ginormous pores so they always get some of the yuck out but even with consistent use they never made a huge difference in the appearance of my skin. What has seemed to help is the Pixi Glow Tonic. I have been using that for a few weeks now and I’ve seen a big improvement in the appearance of my pores and overall texture of my skin (have lots of acne scarring from my teens).

  6. JaneTolo

    The Biore ones never worked well for me. I use the Target brand nose strips and they work WONDERS! I recommend the Target ones over the Biore ones 🙂

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I’ll have to look into those!! Thank you for the heads up JB!

  7. Vanessa

    Something I had to tell my niece who was overdoing the pore strips was that open pores can be mistaken for black heads and that she needs to prep AND finish her pores first by using a warm moist towel or facial steamer. Extracting them then. Afterwards close her pores with a tightening clay mask. Otherwise those wide open pores will just refill back up with gunk right away. Clay is also wonderful and absorbing oils and impurities.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I like the idea of the finishing clay mask, I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks, Vanessa!

    • Maria pantoja

      Agree with you. First steam face, then pore strip or the gelatin mix…super importan to use a clay mask or an ice cube to close pores.

  8. frannie

    Unless it’s just the coloring of that brand pore strip, I would recommend washing your face well to remove all makeup. The makeup and likely skin oil residue could be interferring with the adhesive in the product. Be sure not to scrub before use or else you’ll get rid of the tops of the blackheads that are just above your skins surface. I have noticed I have better results when the blackheads are a bit elevated (above skin) so sometimes I would gently squeeze my nose to lift the blackheads past the skin surface some to give them a head start. And it’s always better to do this after a shower since the steam opens your pores. Hope this helps.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      These are GREAT tips, I didn’t know that about scrubbing prior since I normally use a Clarisonic. Thanks for the advice!

  9. Sarah-Rene

    I use Bioré and it works for me.

  10. keesh

    I just use egg white and toliet paper for 30 min 3x a week it’s cheap and easy it also gets the job done .

  11. ReneeAnn

    I like using pore strips every now and then but I agree you’ve got to close those pores back up afterwards. I use the Rodan + Fields Redefine cleaning mask which has the kaolin clay in it and the pore minimizing toner which works really well. It’s pricey but does last a long time especially if you use gauze for the toner instead of cotton balls.

  12. Casey

    You can’t open and close your pores that is a myth.

  13. Sisi

    Biore works for me. It could be the routine. It is important that you do it after you have taken shower (hot/warm) because your pores have opened from the steam. Also you have to apply the strips on wet area, so get it wet!

  14. Natasha

    It seems to make them more effective, a bit of exfoliation is needed to help open up pores… but even then, these only work for fresher, more new blackhead. The deep down little buggers would likely need to have an extraction tool used on them and then you have redness, swelling, and may even break the skin. Blech. But, that aside, I tend to do the follow —

    Wash my face with just a wet cloth
    Scrub and exfoliate the T zone where the strips will go
    Use strips on said T zone areas of nose, chin, and forehead
    Let the face calm down a little while
    Use an extraction tool on my chin and nose where the extra aggressive ones live
    apply a toner like ACV
    olive oil it up 😀

  15. R

    I used a biore charcoal strip sample i believe. It was hard to remove and felt like i was ripping off the skin. Would be a good peel i suppose. I havent used one since but using the Garnier masks right now, pretty good for me.

  16. Glitzy

    The Anjou (spelling?) Strips that were posted on here a couple weeks back, work very well!!!! I bought them the first time posted on h2s. For around $6 you get about 20 something strips and a serum to help them stick. They are black so you can see everything that comes off your face. Their on Amazon!

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Great call! I’ll have to give those a try since they’re a great price too! Thank you!

  17. Bere

    Try the mask with glue and charcoal
    There is several tutorials in YouTube
    I love it

  18. Cara

    I make a paste with baking soda and water or milk. Apply to face like a mask and leave it on for a few minutes then gently move it around the face to exfoliate. After I rinse I use a cotton ball to apply diluted apple cider vinegar to my face. It makes my skin feel incredible & reduces my blackheads.

    • Emily (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      This seems so simple and I already have everything needed to make the paste — awesome tip! Thank you, Cara!

  19. sue

    If you want to clean your pores, save money and due it the old fashion way. Use very hot water in a bowl and steam your pores clean. I put a towel over my head with my face over the bowl of hot water and do it for 5 minutes. Be very careful not to burn yourself with the hot water.

  20. AnnaSuperStarr

    Try preping the skin with a paste made of Baking soda and water. Leave for 30 seconds then rinse, then apply pore strip.

  21. Bart

    I just use a needle to dig them all out. It only takes a few days for my nose to heal back up.

    • Chris

      Are you serious? That’s sounds like torture-not to mention the risk of scarring. 😳

  22. Shannon

    Has anyone tried a white school glue nose strip?

  23. Kris

    I’m no expert, but I think that everyone’s faces/skin types are different. A mask or strip that works for one person may not work for another. I had a spa night with my sister in law and teenage nieces. We used the black charcoal peel mask. (Not sure of brand,it was from Amazon) The peel didn’t not do anything for me. My nieces on the other hand had great results. Maybe because they’re teens and have more oily skin? Or they just have naturally more open pores.

  24. RabbidBunny

    I’ve never had pore strips work for me, but my ex could use them no problem. So I looked closer, and I realized I don’t have big enough pores for them to work effectively. His pores on the other hand were huge, and he did get the extremely fulfilling strip pulls!

  25. 50ShadesofLipstick

    Pores do *not* open and close…this is a myth. Our skin contracts when it contact w/ cold water (to reduce heat loss) and the contracted skin temporarily reduces the size of the pore opening. Obviously this only lasts a few seconds, until your skin is warm again. And the reason why it’s easier to squeeze gunk out after exposure so steam is simply b/c the heat softens the sebum…it has nothing to do w/ opening pores.

    Another reason why you can’t “shrink” your pores is b/c genetics determines pore size…the only way to make pores *appear* smaller is to keep them clean and clear. Things like baking soda and ACV are actually not good for your face. For one thing, ACV does not exfoliate- you need an AHA or BHA to do that that- and it’s the wrong pH to apply directly to skin. And applying acids or abrasive physical exfoliants (like baking soda- eek) is only going to damage your skin’s moisture barrier…this will cause your skin to overproduce sebum, leading to even more blackheads and other skin issues in the long run.

    The best thing to do is to use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer AM and PM (CeraVe makes excellent ones that repair your skin’s moisture barrier and are full of ingredients like ceramides and niacinamide, which improve skin’s tone and texture). Then to exfoliate, add a gentle AHA or BHA 2-3 times a week until your skin has adjusted to it (Paula’s Choice makes several good ones, but Stridex pads are another option), and for deep cleaning pores and pulling out all that excess sebum and junk, use the Aztec Clay mask with ACV once a week (ACV makes the clay reach the perfect pH to be effective). Hope that helps.

    • Thao

      Can you name the Cerave and Paula’s choice products you’re referring to? I looked and I didn’t know what to pick.

      • 50ShadesofLipstick

        I use the CeraVe Foaming cleanser (day and night), CeraVe PM moisturizer (in the morning and as needed throughout the day), and for exfoliation I use the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA gel nightly (start with 3 times a week and patch test first). And you should always apply a good sunscreen daily no matter what the weather is or how long you’ll be in the sun, but especially when using AHA’s…I use Elta MD UV clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46.

        • Thao

          Thank you for the recs. Do you have a blog?

          • 50ShadesofLipstick


  26. Judy Trac

    pore strips work for me but they are also so expensive

  27. Melaina

    I use the mario badescu silver powder before I use the biore strips and see a huge difference. The silver powder draws out the gunk and it’s easier for the strip to grab.

  28. Lilianna

    Anjou Blackhead Remover Kit, 32 Counts Nose Pore Strips

    This was posted on Hip2Save in the past and I tried it. I’ve never had much luck with pore strips in the past. My teenage son was having some serious blackheads issue, so I thought I would give pore strips another go. They worked so well on my son’s nose I used them on myself. These are really good! Although, you might have to hold them (about 30 secs) into the crease on the side of your nostrils for it to adhere well here. You get a lot of the price as well.

  29. Edy

    I just went to get a facial , I’m 49 and getting black heads bad dry skin , they use the GLo products and they steam my face and they extract the black heads and they put a mask with cucumber and alovera and then they scrub and massage clean with a hot towel and put a moisturizer loved the treatment today – anti age treatment

  30. Jenni

    I love the down to the pore strips. I always feel like they pull everything up. It stinks that it didn’t work for you! I liked them better than the biore extra clean strips.

  31. Michelle

    Personal observation: my pores dilate before, during and after my menses. This is a good time to “do maintenance.”

    My favorite mud mask (Queen Helene) smells great (minty) and is cheap and lasts a long, long time.

    I purchase knock-off brand of Biore on ebay for pennies the dollar (I have not tried the charcoal ones.) They work just as well as name-brand nose strips (10 for 99 cents w/th free shipping from China; yes shipping will be slow)

    These blackhead extractors are awesome. I use mine practically every day with a high magnification mirror to troubleshoot potential areas. I use the circle part to apply pressure to remove blackheads (my skin is oily) without any trauma to the skin. The other is end pretty sharp. I think I got a set of 5 for $1 with free shipping

  32. Jessica

    I love formula 10.0.6

  33. Lauren

    Wow! Something in your beauty regimen is working because you look gorgeous!

  34. Teresa Lavoie

    I tried the regular Biore strips and they pulled a layer of skin off my nose.Threw the whole box away!

  35. Lori

    The ones from dollar tree work as well as biore….that is, if biore works for you lol

  36. Shell

    Try the glamglow mud mask. Leaves your skin feeling smooth and shiny afterwards.

  37. Amie

    Great review

  38. K3llyb

    The Biore ones always worked for me in the past when I had oilier skin BUT you basically need a SOAKING WET face. Like to the point where I had to use them right after stepping out of a hot shower. Dabbing my face with a wet face cloth never worked. The warm/hot water helps make an appropriate adhesive/paper mache situation on your skin so it’s important to have enough to get that going. Also, it’s best if your skin is kind of oilier. Now that I have drier skin my pulls are not anywhere near as satisfying, but it’s still fantastic at pulling out little annoying dark hairs that are way too small for plucking (I’m brunette).

  39. Joanna

    The Anjou Blackhead Remover Kit is the bomb! It has been posted a few times on here & it works very well. I forgot I even had it! Used it last night & OMG yucky stuff, tbh!! But that’s a good thing! Nonetheless it’s awesome & works very well compared to other brands I have tried. I highly suggest giving this one a try!

  40. Laura

    My favorite is The Face Shop Jeju volcanic lava strips or the nose-mask. They’re basically the same thing except the nose mask comes in a tube and you just spread it on, wait for it to dry, and peel it off. I don’t think it works quite as well as the strips but it’s around the same price as the pack of strips and lasts a lot longer.

  41. Sheila

    I love the pore strips and my husband will even use them! I wonder if it depends on the type of skin you have. We both have really oily skin and we both get that fascinating peel off moment with all the little balls of gunk stuck to the strip.

  42. Stacy

    My teenager gets blackheads all the time. We use the “Yes to tomatoes: 2 step nose kit”. It is a charcoal cleanser and a charcoal nose strip. It’s not perfect but it got much more funk than the biore ones.

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