I noticed a number of bloggers purchasing pore removing strips which reminded me of the Naris Up Natural Pack pore removing mask. It's a gel-ish mask paste rather than a materialized strip.
Just in general - Should we use pore removing strips/masks to remove blackheads?
A while back I was reading that we shouldn't use pore removing strips/masks (all forms that pull the black heads out/sebum) because if we are not careful, we may end up tearing our pores open bigger. Enlarged pores can no longer be made smaller, you can make them appear smaller but once enlarged, the deed is done. And it is hard to be careful when using any of these pore removing strips/masks. You can pull slowly, but you can still end up tearing your pores. How does torn enlarged pores look like? Well, a hole, a crater, and when you have it that is the only thing that you will concentrate on.
Aside from using pore removing strips/masks, self extraction (steaming your face and squeezing with your fingers) can also tear your pores if you are not careful. But with self extraction, you're able to handle it a bit better. If the dirt or whatever does not come out with the first squeeze, leave it alone.
I have ended up tearing my pores a few times and it takes some time for it to appear less visible. I do also have the Biore pore removing strips as well, but for these reasons, I do not use them that often. I use them about once every two months. It's actually usually because I end up forgetting to use them.
The best way is really prevention of this formation from occurring, which would be to clean your face well to remove any excess oils. But I also can't help but "pull", so I still use them, but not too often.
Naris Up Natural Pack- my thoughts I got this at the local Asian drug store for $6.99 a while back, I've noticed they have something similar on Sasa.com from the same company but it doesn't seem to be a 2 step process anymore. It comes with two small squeeze bottles, the smaller white bottle (0.54 fl oz) is the pre essence lotion which is a clear white light gel and the large purple bottle (1.0 oz) is the mask which is a thicker gooey and sticky black gel. After cleansing and drying your face, you apply the pre essence lotion onto your nose, or other surface you want the pore removing mask to use on. Right after the pre essence you apply the black mask over it. And you just wait for it to dry. If you use more black mask, it will take longer to dry.
|Top: Step 1 Pre Essence Lotion, Bottom: Step 2 Point Pack Mask|
|Left: Wet Mask, Right: Dried Mask|
It actually takes some time to dry. In my opinion, its longer and a little messier than a pore strip.
The best thing about pore mask compared to strips is that you can use this on hard to reach surfaces on your face that a strip cannot. Its better for the corners of your nose and you can spread the mask higher for the bridge of your nose and the area between your eyebrows. For me, it doesn't pull anything out when I use it in on the skin below my lips.
After it is completely dry, pull it off in an upward direction. It hurts a lot more than a pore strip in my opinion because it sticks better and more thoroughly. Aside from being careful about tearing your pores open, it works well. It is good in pulling off whiteheads, blackheads (which I read that it is actually not black when you pull them off, but more of a yellow brown color). It may also pull off a little bit of the outer most layer of dry skin. You can use water to rinse off any remaining mask.