Making Your Own Safe, Healthy Pore Strips! 11 Unique Recipes

Nobody wants blackheads, those unsightly little spots that seem to appear at the worst possible times. Blackheads, also known as closed comedones, occur when the pores are clogged with grime and dead skin cells that mix with the skin’s natural oils (also known as sebum). Unfortunately, blackheads usually appear exactly where you don’t want them — on the face, especially around the nose and forehead.
Whiteheads, or open comedones, are very similar to blackheads and they are nearly as unsightly but not quite as noticeable. Whiteheads remain white because they are closed and the substance in the pores isn’t exposed to air
The appearance of blackheads and whiteheads doesn’t mean your skin is dirty or that you aren’t using proper hygiene. It just means your skin is producing a little too much oil. The natural oil in the skin is not a bad thing because it keep the skin smooth and hydrated. However, too much oil causes problems when it comes to the buildup that creates acne and blackheads.
Blackheads, whiteheads, and other blemishes caused by excess oil often appear during the teen years, but they can affect people of any age. Anybody who has ever had blackheads knows they are stubborn and difficult to get rid of. No matter what you do, they almost always reappear. Even the most expensive “cures” are usually temporary.

Popping the blackheads is a bad idea because it can irritate the skin, which only creates more blackheads. In some cases, popping blackheads can leave permanent scars.
Pore strips – sticky little strips that pull the clogs out of the pores – are one very effective way of removing blackheads. You can buy many varieties of pore strips at nearly any grocery or drug store. Each brand advertises that it’s the best, but in reality, all commercial pore strips are about the same. They consist of a strip of material with an adhesive on one side.

 

One huge drawback is that the strips are very expensive, especially since you must use the strips every time blackheads make a return appearance – it isn’t a one-time treatment. If your beauty budget is limited, pore strips can add up in a hurry.
Commercial pore strips have other problems, too. For example, some people may be sensitive to the adhesive, which can irritate the skin. Because the strips are so sticky, they can be painful and may even pull out hair along with the blackheads. Commercial strips can damage your skin if you use them too often.
Additionally, commercial pore strips usually contain parabens – unhealthy chemical preservatives that can be absorbed through your skin. Some researchers believe the chemicals remain in the body for a very long time.
If you’re looking for inexpensive pore strips that are healthier for your skin, you can easily make your own strips at home. Homemade pore strips are also conveniently made of ingredients found in most kitchens. You won’t need to make a trip to the store.
Read on for helpful information and several recipes you can use to make your own convenient, skin-friendly pore strips with healthy, inexpensive ingredients. Experiment to discover which pore strip recipe works best for you.

Using Pore Strips Safely and Effectively

Homemade pore strips are milder than commercial strips, but the ingredients may still irritate your skin, especially if your skin is sensitive. Be sure to follow the directions carefully for each recipe, and take time to read the helpful tips and information at the end of this book.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to stay out of the sun for a few hours after using pore strips; your skin may be slightly red or irritated.
Before you use your homemade pore strips, it’s extremely important to test the strips on your skin first. Place a small amount of the pore strip mixture on your inner wrist or inside your elbow and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. If you notice redness, pain or itching, don’t use the mixture on your face. Also, never use any type of pore strip on your face if you have open sores, irritated skin or inflamed acne.
If you have no reaction to the test, you can safely use homemade pore strips once every week. If you have a serious problem with blackheads, use the strips two times per week, but no more. Using the pore strips more often may irritate your skin and make the problem worse.
To prepare to use your homemade pore strips, wash your face with warm water and a mild facial soap labeled for your skin type. This removes excess dirt and oil. Washing your face also opens up your pores, which makes the homemade pore strips more effective.
Note: If you are concerned about any of the ingredients in these homemade pore strip recipes, refer to the ingredient list below the recipes.

 

Easy Egg White Pore Strips

Easy Egg White Pores Trips require only two ingredients, and they take just a few minutes to make. As the egg white dries, it will remove blackheads and the honey will soothe your skin naturally.
What You Need:

Crack an egg and separate the white from the yolk, using separate bowls. Add 1 teaspoon of honey.
Whip the egg white and honey with a whisk or fork until it is light and frothy, then spread the mixture on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.
Tear the tissue into strips and quickly lay the strips over the egg white mixture. (If the tissue is two- or three-ply, separate it into a single layer.) Work fast because the egg white will begin to dry.
Spread a thin layer of the egg mixture on top of the tissue strips. When the egg white mixture feels dry, pull the strips carefully from your face, working in a gentle upward motion.
Leave the pore strips in place for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the egg feels dry. (Look at the strip to see the tiny blackheads that are no longer in your skin!)
Wash your face with warm water and a mild soap formulated for oily skin, then dry your skin gently with a soft towel.
(If you like, you can use the egg yoke as a facial after you remove the pore strips. Egg yolks are loaded with protein and make an excellent facial masque for skin with acne. Beat the yolk quickly with a fork and smooth it evenly over your clean face. Leave the egg until it feels firm and dry, then wash your face with warm water and pat it dry.)
Finish by splashing your face with toner, then apply your favorite facial moisturizer.

Gelatin Pore Strips

Pore strips made from plain gelatin are a favorite substitute for pricy store-bought pore strips. The mixture pulls out clogs and strips away blackheads.
Things You Need:

Begin by placing about 2 teaspoons of milk in a microwave-safe bowl. You can use any type of milk, such as skim or whole milk, or goat’s, almond, or soy milk. You can even use yogurt; however, if your skin is oily, stick with low-fat yogurt.

Stir in 2 teaspoons of plain, unflavored gelatin. (Don’t be tempted to use flavored, colored gelatin. The dyes may stain your skin). Heat the mixture in the microwave until it’s chunky and warm but not hot.

Add the essential oil and stir the warm mixture until it creates a lumpy, paste-like texture. (Note: the paste won’t smell very good, but essential oil improves the aroma.)

Use a clean makeup brush or cotton ball to spread a thin layer of the mixture over your face. (If you use a makeup brush, be sure to rinse it immediately to prevent harmful bacteria.) Work quickly because the gelatin sets up fast. However, be careful not to get any of the paste on your eyebrows or eyes, and avoid getting it in your mouth or nostrils.

Let the mixture dry for 15 to 20 minutes, or until if feels dry and tight. Thick paste may take a little longer. If the mixture feels soft or rubbery, wait a few more minutes because the strips aren’t ready to be removed.

Once the paste is dry, strip it carefully away from your face. Pull the mixture slowly, working from your chin to your forehead. You should be able to see tiny dark dots on the strip.

Rinse your face with cool water to close your pores and remove the pasty residue, then splash on a toner and apply a thin layer of your favorite moisturizer. If you prefer, you can use a gentle, skin-friendly oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or grape seed oil in place of moisturizer.

This recipe is generally enough for one treatment. If you need more or less, feel free to adjust the recipe accordingly.

Milk and Honey Pore Strips

Milk and Honey Pore Strips are completely natural and super healthy for your skin. Even people with sensitive skin can usually use this recipe with no problem; however, remember to test first!

Things You Need:

  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Makeup brush or cotton ball

Measure about 1 1/2 tablespoon of milk in a small, microwaveable bowl. Whole milk is good for your skin, but you can also use skim milk or goat’s milk. Almond milk is a healthy, skin-friendly option. You can even use sour cream or yogurt, which are especially good for shrinking large pores.

Stir in about 1 tablespoon of honey, then heat the milk and honey until the mixture is warm but not hot. If you don’t have a microwave, you can use a small pan on top of your stove. Heat the mixture on low to prevent scorching.

Brush the mixture over your face with a makeup brush or cotton ball. (If you use a makeup brush, be sure to rinse it immediately to prevent harmful bacteria.)

Leave the honey and milk mixture on your skin until it feels firm and dry, then wipe the mixture from your skin with lukewarm water.

Complete the treatment with a splash of toner and your favorite moisturizer.

Egg White and Lemon Pore Masque

Egg White and Lemon Pore Masque doesn’t actually use pore strips, but the masque will definitely strip away oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. It also helps prevent sun damage by removing a very thin layer of old, dry skin cells from the surface of the skin.

Things You Need:

  • Egg white
  • Lemon juice
  • Cup
  • Single-ply tissue paper
  • Cotton ball

Crack an egg and separate the white into a small bowl or cup. You can discard the yolk or save it for cooking. (You can also smooth it on your face for a super-simple skin care treatment after you remove the pore strips!)

Stir about 1 teaspoon of lemon into the egg white. You can use lime juice if you prefer; it works just as well. Either way, the mixture will be thin and runny.

Smooth the egg white and lemon juice mixture over your skin. Be careful not to get the mixture in your eyes; the juice will sting.

Lay strips of single-ply tissue paper over your face, and then smooth a thin layer of the egg mixture over the strips

Leave the mixture on your skin until it feels dry and tight – usually 20 to 30 minutes. Peel the dry mask gently away from your face, working toward your scalp. Wash your face with lukewarm water to remove any residue.

Clay Strip Masque

A Clay Strip Masque isn’t actually a recipe for pore strips, but it works just as well. The masque removes blackheads by coating the skin, much like an adhesive strip. When the dried masque is rinsed from the skin, it pulls out dead skin cells, debris and oil. (See below for more information about various types of clay.)

Things You Need:

Brew a cup of green tea or herbal tea. Set the hot tea aside to cool while you prepare the clay.

Place about a tablespoon of clay in a plastic or glass bowl, then stir in an equal amount of tea. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste. (If you don’t have tea, you can use plain water. You can even use plain yogurt or diluted apple cider, which are both extremely beneficial for the skin.)

If you like, stir in a drop of essential soil such as lavender or rose. You can also use eucalyptus oil, which is beneficial for the skin for its antiseptic properties. However, use it carefully because it can be irritating.

Use the makeup brush to smooth a thin layer of the clay mixture on your face. Let it dry for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The clay will feel dry and tight. (If your skin is sensitive, reduce the time to five minutes.)

Wash the clay from your face with warm water and a soft washcloth. Apply a toner, then smooth on your favorite moisturizer.

White Craft Glue Pore Stripper

White craft glue such as Elmer’s glue (the glue you used in first grade) may seem like a very strange thing to put on your face, but the glue works as well as overpriced pore strips and costs only pennies.

What You Need:

Be sure to test the skin on your inner elbow or wrist before you apply craft glue to your face. Although craft glue isn’t formulated for use on the skin, it is mild and doesn’t generally cause allergic reactions. However, it’s always much better to be safe than sorry.

Wash your hands with soap and water, then use your clean fingertip to spread a thin layer of white craft glue over problem areas. (If the craft glue is too thick, add a few drops of warm water). Apply the glue carefully and be careful not to get it on your eyebrows or in your eyes, mouth or nostrils.

Leave the glue until it feels dry, then peel it gently from your face. Rinse your face with lukewarm water to remove any leftover residue. Dry your face with a soft towel, then close your pores by splashing on a gentle toner. Finish by applying a light moisturizer.

Sugar and Honey Pore Strips

 

This sugar and honey recipe is easy on the skin and works well for removing a buildup of oil and grime from your pores. It’s almost good enough to eat!

Things You Need:

  • Clean, soft cotton cloth
  • Small saucepan
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Fresh lemon or lime
  • Candy thermometer
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Glycerin
  • Putty knife or thin spatula

Cut or tear a piece of clean, soft cotton fabric into strips about ½ to 1 inch wide. Don’t use tissue for this recipe; the thin paper isn’t sturdy enough. However, you can use gauze or tear up old white t-shirts or sheets.

Place 1/3 cup of honey and 1 cup of regular white sugar in a saucepan, then add the juice of half of a fresh lemon or lime. Place the saucepan on a burner turned to medium, then heat the mixture until it reaches 240 degrees F. Stir often to prevent scorching.

(A candy thermometer is the best way to ensure the mixture is the right temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can determine the approximate temperature by dropping a small spoonful of the mixture in a cup of very cold water. If the mixture is the right temperature, it will form a very loose ball that loses its shape as soon as you remove it from the cold water.)

Pour the hot sugar and honey mixture into a small mixing bowl and add 2 teaspoons of glycerin. Let the mixture cool to 115 degrees, or until it is comfortably warm but not hot.

Spread the mixture on your skin, avoiding your eyebrows. (This recipe is sticky enough to pull the hair from your brows.) You’ll probably need to use a tool such as a putty knife or thin spatula. Be sure the mixture isn’t too hot. Sugar and honey can cause very painful, serious skin burns.

Let the mixture dry until it is slightly cool but not cold, and then pull the strips off carefully.

Rinse your face with cool water and pat it dry with a soft towel. Splash on a light toner if you like, and then finish with a light moisturizer.

Agar Agar and Almond Milk Pore Strips

Agar Agar pore strips are safe enough to use every two to three days, and they will accommodate your needs if you are vegetarian or vegan. After using the strips regularly for two or three weeks, you may discover that you don’t need to use them as often.

Things You Need:

Place 2 tablespoons of agar agar in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Stir in an equal amount of almond or rice milk. (You can also use soy milk, or for a non-vegetarian version, use regular milk.)

Warm the mixture in the microwave until it is warm and spreadable. Stir in 1 drop of tea tea oil. You can also use a drop of eucalyptus oil, but skip eucalyptus if your skin is sensitive.

Spread the agar agar mixture over problem areas and cover them with strips of tissue. Spread another layer of the agar agar mixture over the strips. Wait several minutes, or until the tissue is completely firm, and then peel the pore strips up and away from your skin.

Baking Soda Strips

Baking Soda Strips take seconds to make and they cost nearly nothing, but they are super-effective for sloughing off dried skin cells and clearing clogged pores.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Cup or small bowl
  • Cotton makeup pads or paper towels

To make baking soda strips, simply place about ½ teaspoon of baking soda in a cup or small bowl. Stir in ½ cup of lukewarm water and stir until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.

Dip a cotton makeup pad or a folded paper towel into the warm baking soda mixture and squeeze out the excess so the pad is damp but not dripping. Press the damp makeup pad against your skin, and then press firmly so the pad adheres securely.

Leave the pads on your skin for about 10 minutes, then remove them and wash your face with lukewarm water.

Apply a facial toner followed by a light moisturizer.

Honey and Cinnamon Pore Strips

The combination of honey and cinnamon is extremely beneficial for the skin, and the sticky strips will pull blackheads from your skin, leaving your face with a fresh, healthy glow. Also, the combination of honey and cinnamon smells simply wonderful!

Things You Need:

  • Cotton strips
  • Cup or small bowl
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Makeup brush or cotton balls

Tear several strips from a piece of cotton fabric or an old t-shirt.

Place 1 tablespoon of honey in a cup or small bowl and stir in an equal amount of honey.

Smooth a thin layer of the mixture over problem areas, and then press strips of cotton firmly over the honey and cinnamon mixture.

Leave the strips on your face for three to five minutes, then rinse well. Remember to follow up with toner and your favorite moisturizer.

Milk of Magnesia

This laxative product seems like a very odd substance to use on your face, but it works well for oily skin. It is also readily available and very cheap, especially if you use generic or store brands.

Things You Need:

Spread a thin layer of Milk of Magnesia over your skin and let it dry for a few minutes. Rinse the substance from your skin with a warm washcloth, they apply toner and moisturizer.

About the Ingredients

(Listed In alphabetical order)

Agar Agar: Agar agar, available in powder or flakes, is a gelatinous substance made from various types of seaweed. It makes a healthy, natural skin treatment for removing clogged pores and blackheads. This natural substance helps repair damaged skin and promotes a healthy glow. You can usually find agar agar in health food stores or specialty grocery stores.

Cinnamon: Powdered cinnamon helps improve circulation and blood flow, which will give your skin a radiant, healthy glow. Always test cinnamon pore strips on your wrist or inside your elbow before you begin, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Clay: Several types of clay are available and should be selected according to your skin type. For example, kaolin clay is readily available and works well for cleansing the face. However, it isn’t as effective for drawing oils from the skin.
Yellow clay or Moroccan clay are stronger and do a better job of absorbing oil. They are a good choice for oily and normal skin.
Bentonite clay is a common type of clay that is mild enough for sensitive skin. However, because it tends to dry the skin, it is best for people with oily skin.
Green clay contains a number of beneficial minerals. However, it is strong and is best for oily, non-sensitive skin.

Eggs: The protein in the egg keeps the skin supple and promotes healthy, glowing skin. When used in pore strips, egg whites remove oil and reduce enlarged pores as they dry on the skin. As an added benefit, eggs contain vitamins A, B2, B3 and zinc – key nutrients that promote healthy, youthful skin.

Essential oils: You can use essential oil in nearly any pore strip recipe. The natural oils are beneficial for your skin and they smell wonderful; however, essential oils are very strong and must be used sparingly because too much can burn the skin. A single drop is usually enough. Essential oils that work well in pore strips include geranium, lemon, lavender, lemon grass, peppermint and ylang ylang. Patchouli, bergamot and jasmine are beneficial for oily, sensitive skin. Again – always remember to perform a skin test before using pore strips with essential oils.

Facial toner: Toner is critical even for oily skin because it closes your pores and removes all those tiny traces of pore strip ingredients, along with sloughed off skin cells and oil. A good toner can also help minimize large pores. Be sure to seek out a mild toner formulated for your skin type. If your budget is tight, you can purchase inexpensive witch hazel, or use plain green tea. Apple cider mixed with water also makes an effective skin toner for blackheads.

Gelatin: You may be surprised to learn that gelatin is made from natural collagen found in animal bones, but this substance is rich in amino acids that helps heal damaged skin and supports the growth of healthy skin cells. Some experts believe that gelatin stimulates the growth of collagen, which make the skin less prone to premature aging and wrinkles.

Green Tea: Green tea is a good substitute for water in most pore strips recipe. Additionally, cold green tea is a great toner. You can make a batch of green tea ahead of time and store it in a sealed container, and the green tea toner is ready whenever you need it. If your skin is oily, dab green tea on your face several times per day. It it’s hot, store the tea in the refrigerator for a cool, refreshing toner. You can even put green tea in a spray bottle and spritz your face as often as you like.

Honey: Honey is an amazing natural substance that benefits the skin in many ways. Honey work well in pore strips because it is sticky and it opens up the pores and makes them easier to unclog. Honey also soothes and brightens the skin, and the natural antibacterial substances in honey help prevent premature aging caused by harmful UV rays. (Honey doesn’t take the place of sun tan lotion!) If possible, always use natural, organic honey.

Lemon (or lime) juice: Lemon juice serves as a natural healer and skin toner. It also contains natural antibacterial substances that reduce the size and severity of clogged pores and blackheads. When used in homemade pore strips, lemon juice works as a natural exfoliant that sloughs away the top layer of pore-clogging, dry, dead skin cells that make the skin look dull and lifeless.

Milk: Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are wonderful natural beauty products. They contain natural lactic acid, which gently removes dead skin cells. Milk also contains beneficial vitamin A, which contributes to smooth, youthful skin. If you live in the United States, the milk you buy probably has vitamin D added. Vitamin D is a natural antioxidant that promotes healthy skin cells.

Milk of Magnesia: This inexpensive product is a very effective cleaner and toner. It removes oil from the skin, soothes blemishes and reduces enlarged pores. Milk of Magnesia is easy to find in any supermarket or drug store. However, it may not be the best choice if you have dry skin.

Moisturizer: It may seem odd to use moisturizers if you have oily skin, but moisturizers are important for healthy skin. This is because when the skin produces excess oil, it’s often because the skin is actually attempting to replace lost moisture. Look for a moisturizer formulated for your skin type and always use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 if you plan to go outdoors after using pore strips.

Oils: If you prefer, you can follow your skin pore treatment with oils instead of moisturizer. Skin-healthy oils include grape seed oil, evening primrose oil, rosehip seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, safflower oil or hemp seed oil. If possible, use fresh, good quality organic oils. (Don’t confused these oils with essential oil; they are very different.)

Sugar: Sugar works as a gentle exfoliant that removes dead skin cells that contribute to blackheads. Sugar also contains natural glycolic acids that nourish the cells and protect sun-damaged skin.

Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a potent substance derived from the Melaleuca (tea tree), a tree native to Australia’s coastal areas. It is extremely beneficial for skin plagued by acne and blackheads, primarily because it is a powerful natural disinfectant. The oil also soothes the skin and helps clear blocked pores. Note: use tea tree oil carefully if you have sensitive, inflamed skin or eczema. Use care not to get tea tree oil in your mouth; it may cause serious side effects.)

Helpful Tips for Making Homemade Pore Strips

The forehead, nose and cheeks, also known as the t-zone, are typically the problem spots for blackheads. When using pore strips, keep in mind that the skin on the nose is tough but the cheeks, which tend to be more sensitive, should be treated gently.

Press a warm cloth against your face for a few minutes before applying pore strips. The warmth will open your pores and make the strips more effective. Alternatively, take a hot shower a few minutes before applying pore strips, or lean over a bowl of very hot, steaming water for three to five minutes. (Be sure the bowl is on a secure surface to prevent serious burns.)

When applying pore strips, smooth and flatten the strip against your skin gently but firmly. The pore strip will be more effective if it makes secure contact with your skin.

If a pore strip sticks when you pull it off, hold your skin taut with one hand while you remove the strips gently with your other hand. Always pull pore strips in an upward direction.

If you like, you can close your pores by smoothing an ice cube over the skin just before applying toner and moisturizer.

The effect of pore strips will last longer if you wipe your newly unclogged pores with a cotton ball and a dab of tea tree oil. Your pores will appear smaller and they won’t be likely to clog as quickly.

If you’re in a hurry, dry the pore strips by directing a hair dryer towards your face. To prevent burns, be sure the dryer is on the cool setting. You can also sit in front of a small fan for a few minutes.

Experiment with the pore strip recipes; some may work better for you than others. Also, you may find that paper towels or paper napkins work better than tissue paper or toilet paper. Similarly, a thin, one-ply tissue may work best, or you may prefer a two-ply tissue. You’ll need heavier, stronger strips for thick, heavy pore strip paste.

Disposable containers such as margarine or yogurt containers work great for pore strips with sticky or messy ingredients. Just toss the container in the trash when you’re done.

If you have a crop of blackheads and you don’t have time to make pore strips, a paste made of baking soda and water is a gentle, effective pore cleaner. Just place about a teaspoon of baking soda in the palm of your hand, then add water drop by drop, mixing with your fingertip until the mixture makes a spreadable paste. Scrub the mixture into your skin for a few seconds, then rinse.

If you use a makeup brush to apply pore strips, wash the brush immediately. Otherwise, harmful bacteria can build up in the bristles.

If you don’t want to use your makeup brush to apply pore strips, purchase a small paintbrush with soft bristles. Use it especially for pore strips.

Always be sure pore strips are completely dry before you remove them. If the strips are damp, they won’t pull the clogs and blackheads from the pores.

When using clay, you may want to wear a disposable paper mask to avoid breathing the fine powder. The powder can irritate the lungs.

Tips for Blackhead Prevention and Healthy Skin

Although blackheads and whiteheads can occur even if you wash your face regularly, proper skin care helps. Clean skin also makes the pore strips much more effective.

One very important thing to remember is to use a mild facial cleanser formulated for your skin type before using pore strips. The cleanser doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, inexpensive products are often just as good as high priced cleansers. However, you should never use bar soaps. Bar soaps contain detergents that are harsh and can irritate the skin and stimulate production of excessive oil.

Be sure sponges and washcloths you use for washing your face are clean. Always dry your face with a soft, dry towel and avoid rough towels that can irritate your skin.

If you wear makeup, always use products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.” This means the products do not contain oils and other substances that clog your pores. All of your facial products, including cleanser, moisturizer, toner and sun tan lotion should be non-comedogenic.

Wear minimal makeup, especially facial makeup, because it can clog your pores and cause blackheads. Go without makeup as often as you can. Always remove your makeup completely before going to bed, using a mild remover.

Be sure to eat a healthy diet rich in protein and fresh vegetables and fruits. Get plenty of rest.

About Kate Ageeva