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Those little black dots are a cocktail of makeup, dirt, excess sebum, and dead skin cells clogging up your pores. The temptation to inspect and clear out your nose under the harsh bathroom light can be super intense.
Enter pore strips — part self-care, part super satisfying experiment.
It’s fun to see what sticks to the strip, but overuse and sketchy ingredients can potentially irritate your skin.
We’ve got you, boo! Here are our 16 fave pore strips to help you keep your nose, chin, and forehead clear of blackheads.
First step is always to check the directions on the package, OK? Here’s the gist, though:
- Cleanse as you normally would. Gently pat dry.
- Wet the part of your face you’ll be strippin’ down. Could be your nose, chin, forehead, etc.
- Dry those hands (important!) and remove the pore strip from its plastic lining.
- Apply the smooth side of the strip to your skin. Press it down, smoothing out any creases or bubbles.
- Chill for the amount of time suggested on the box. The strip will start to dry and harden — it’s working!
- When the time is up, gently pull off the strip, starting at the outer edges. Slowly peel toward the center.
- Cleanse one more time and gently pat dry.
Aim to use pore strips once a week — any more than that could cause irritation, especially if you’re focusing on one blackhead-prone part of your face.
Use nose strips only on your nose, chin strips on your chin, and so on. Why? Because a good fit is essential for the best results (and a super satisfying removal).
Ingredient lists and online reviews were two big factors in choosing our favorite pore strips. We also aimed to include a wide variety of types of strips (those for various parts of your face) across a range of price points.
We also took Environmental Working Group (EWG) ratings into consideration. The EWG rates personal care products based on possible health concerns associated with their ingredients. It’s a 10-point scale, with 1 being the best and 10 the worst.
We looked for pore strips with good EWG ratings, but keep in mind that not all of these are in the EWG database at this time.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10–$20
- $$$ = over $20
Most of these come in a box of six to eight strips, but the number varies by brand. For the best deal, check the package size to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Bioré Deep Cleansing Charcoal Pore Strips
As if you thought the OG pore strip wouldn’t be on here. These updated strips now include charcoal for an extra-deep cleaning of dirt, makeup, and oil.
They get HUGE points for being hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, cruelty-free, and vegan. But FYI: They’re not paraben-free. The ingredient methylparaben lands them a 2 on the EWG scale.
TONYMOLY Egg Pore Nose Pack
Eggs? Really? Our thought too. These strips contain eggshell powder to help calm and polish your skin and prevent that I-just-used-a-pore-strip look.
The special ingredient, acetic acid, works with charcoal to draw out deep-rooted blackheads. According to online reviews, the combo results in a smoother and more radiant nose.
The brand recommends opening up your pores in advance with a hot towel. Self-care level up!
Sephora Collection Nose Strip
Single-use, great price, and just floats into your Sephora basket while you’re in line — what’s not to love?
As with so many other pore strips, charcoal is the star in these. Its purifying, deep-cleansing properties help drag blackheads out of your pores. Vitamin E is also in there for a dose of antioxidants.
Sephora is proud to mention that these are vegan and cruelty-free. The ingredient list isn’t too bad either. We’re never thrilled to see the potential irritant phenoxyethanol on there, but it’s the second to last ingredient.
According to Sephora’s research, 75 percent of volunteer first-time users said the nose strip unclogged pores. The online reviews are a bit mixed — Sephora customers seem to either love or hate these strips.
Basically, they’re a worthy option at a drugstore price when you aren’t at a drugstore.
Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrubby Gel Strips
If you’re here for the stick but can’t stand the rip, then these strips are for you. Instead of peeling off the strip, you wet it. It then magically transforms into an exfoliating scrub you can rinse away along with your blackheads.
Beyond the convenience, this product is the only one in this category to harness the acne-fighting power of salicylic acid to beat blackheads.
This isn’t the cleanest option, since these strips contain fragrance and artificial dyes. The EWG gives them a 7, but online reviewers seem relieved to have a blackhead solution that doesn’t involve ripping a hard, dry strip off your sensitive skin.
Peace Out Pore Treatment Strips
Each pack includes nose strips and rectangular face strips for anywhere on your T-zone. You won’t find formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, or triclosan in these puppies, but they do contain less than 1 percent of artificial fragrances.
Usually pore strips are a 15-minute ordeal, but Peace Out says to wear these for 6 hours or even overnight! If you have sensitive skin, just 1 hour will do.
Bioré Combo Pack Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
The OG is at it again with a nose and face strip combo pack. It’s super popular, and each box comes with a generous number of strips.
We like that they’re dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and formulated with witch hazel. But their ingredient list does include methylparaben, which bumps their EWG rating up to 2.
Skin care fanatics swear by these. And while they’ve racked up more than 2,200 positive reviews on Amazon, some reviewers find that the results are inconsistent. Our take: Follow the directions to a T.
Formula 10.0.6 Down to the Pore Strips
These have your whole T-zone covered, honey! You’ll get nose, chin, and forehead strips infused with charcoal and witch hazel to evict excess sebum.
Online reviews praise the generous size of these strips and a cute herbal scent to boot.
Miss Spa Extract Pore Strips
If you’ve ever dreamed of a pore strip big enough to cover your whole face, this is your go-to pack. You get two butterfly strips and four triangles that are good for your chin, forehead, jawline, or wherever else you have blackheads. Go ahead and use them all at once — we won’t tell.
These strips use the holy grail ingredients (charcoal and witch hazel, as seen throughout this list) to clear out pores and tighten them back up.
The EWG hasn’t rated them, but they’re free of the nastiest ingredients — parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, and sketchy dyes — so they’re a go for sensitive skin.
Most online reviewers say they were pleasantly surprised by how much, um, stuff ended up on the strips.
TONYMOLY Strawberry Nose Pack
Why not go on a three-step journey with your blackheads?
First, a gel strip made with sage extract, witch hazel, and strawberry seed oil helps bring blackheads and sebum to the surface.
Next, a traditional nose strip sticks to those surfaced blackheads and extracts them. Finally, you’ll use a soothing third strip made with aloe and strawberry fruit extract.
Reviewers love the cute packaging, the strawberry scent, and how smooth their noses feel. If you have a little extra time, this seems worth it.
Mediheal PiggyMom SoakSoak Nose-Pack
Another Korean beauty find with adorable packaging and a three-step regimen! The first strip softens stubborn clogged pores, preparing them for the traditional second paper strip. A third strip uses fruit extracts to soothe any irritation.
Each step takes 10 to 15 minutes — perfect for an extended self-care session.
Reviewers say the third step helps calm sensitive skin, but some have struggled with the paper pore strip.
elf Pore Refining Regimen Kit
This three-step regimen starts out like our other multistep options: First you have to open up your pores, and then you get to pull out all the gunk.
What makes elf’s version unique is the third step, which includes green tea and tea tree oil to help kill remaining bacteria and tighten up your pores for a smoother finish.
It’s a vegan and cruelty-free product, but it does have some questionable ingredients — namely fragrance and phenoxyethanol.
Bonus: It’s a great value with three full regimens in each box.
Boscia Pore Purifying Black Charcoal
Boscia is known for its clean yet powerful masks. In these ~fancier~ pore strips, charcoal powder and witch hazel work together to rip away impurities. They’re also made with moutan, a peony extract with antioxidant properties.
Sitting at a 1 on the EWG scale, these strips live up to the usual Boscia standards: They’re formulated without gluten, artificial fragrances, or synthetic colors, and they’re vegan.
Are these pricier than the drugstore options? Totally. But are they worth it? According to the reviews, they sure are.
Pacifica Cosmo Vanish Pore Strips
Pacifica has got to be one of the most affordable clean beauty brands, and this pore strip multipack doesn’t disappoint. These nose, chin, and forehead strips enlist the pimple-fighting powers of tea tree oil and witch hazel while hemp seed oil helps keep oil in check.
These paraben-, phthalate-, and mineral oil-free strips are made of natural fibers, which helps them earn a coveted 1 rating from the EWG.
Beware: Tea tree oil is potent, and some people are sensitive to it. If you have sensitive skin, give these a patch test before you go all in.
Sephora Collection Clean Charcoal Nose Strips
These strips are made purely from charcoal fibers from bamboo, which is shown to purify skin and pump it full of minerals to help pull out pesky blackheads.
The entire clean collection at Sephora excludes more than 50 problematic ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, and phthalates — all red flags for the EWG. These are also vegan.
FYI: Some online reviews stress the importance of wetting your nose before you apply these, so heed their advice and don’t be stingy with the water.
Hydropeptide Bambusa Blackhead Banisher
These derm-approved nose strips are on the pricier side, but they include more beefy skin care ingredients than the typical charcoal pore strips.
Volcanic ash and charcoal exfoliate and cleanse while witch hazel, bamboo, sacred lotus flower, and aloe help clarify and soothe.
These strips are free of sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. They’re meant for your nose only. Reviewers say they work, but they leave a little residue behind.
Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch Surface
Ever wish you could just cover all your breakout hot spots with a giant extractor strip? That’s kinda what this is.
The XL strip is meant for larger areas like your chest, back, or jawline. Made from hydrocolloid, these soft strips contour to your body and go to work on pimple clusters, including whiteheads. Plus, they keep you from picking at delicate skin.
In 6 hours (!) these patches pull out and absorb puss and impurities. Users say they’ve been a lifesaver for mask-induced chin breakouts.
Blackheads are kinda the worst, but using a pore strip to clear them out can be fun and satisfying. Most pore strips are designed to be used on your nose, but we’ve featured a few packs that include strips for your chin and forehead too.
There are so many different pore strips on the market. Look out for any ingredients you may be allergic or sensitive to or for questionable ingredients like parabens and phthalates. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource to understand and check for those ingredients.
No matter which ones you choose, follow the directions on the packaging. Most strips take only 10 to 15 minutes to use, but some exceptions (like an overnight patch) exist. And when you find one you like, try not to use it more than once a week.
Not sure where to start? Ask a dermatologist for a rec! They’ll suggest one based on your unique skin needs.