Saturday, March 31, 2012

DIY Pore Strips: Getting To Know Your Ingredients

Pore strips: the most entertaining grossness-based bathroom activity this side of the neti pot.  Also?  Not cheap.  A while back I came across Michelle Phan's video for pore strips and thought "huh, that seems neat," and then forgot about it for about a year and a half, obviously.  Listen, The Lucy just told me she took my advice on Makeup Forever's HD Foundation after two years, therefore two years is an acceptable and standard unit of procrastination BE IT SO ORDERED.

Anyway, to make your own pore strips, you take a tablespoon of unflavored gelatin and a tablespoon of milk, mix them up, nuke 'em for 10 seconds, then slop it on your nose (or wherever) and let it dry.  Here's Michelle's video.

I tried this today, and I have to say I'm kind of lukewarm on the result.  It may be that I pulled it off a little early, because I'm not good at being patient about pore strips in the best circumstances, but I didn't find the experience as thrilling as the storebought version.  That said, it did take a bunch of the oil off my face, and that's a plus.  Here are the pros and cons of my personal experience with this method.


  • Not as effective at dredging stuff out of your pores.  While oil came off easily (yay!) I got a minimum of those creepy plugs that come up with the Biore strips. 
  • You have to find Knox gelatin.  If you can't find it on your own, you will have to ask a teenager at the supermarket.  They will not know what it is.  
  • It smells like a foot.  Oh my sweet jalopy does it smell like a foot.  This would be less of a concern if you were applying this to, for instance, your own foot, but since it's likely going on your nose, it's kind of an issue.  If you're sensitive to smells, this is probably not a great option for you.
  • It will look like you have gross boogers all over your face.  
  • WAY cheaper.  Knox gelatin costs about $1.86 for a box of five packets (each packet a tablespoon).  Biore strips are $6.89 for six strips on  That box of Knox is at least five uses per box, and maybe more...I didn't try saving and reheating the goop, so it's possible you could get more than one use out of each packet, and you could certainly get a greater area out of each one than the strips allow.  
  • It's much easier on the skin.  Sometimes the Biore strips can be a little aggressive, but this method peeled off easily and without yanking my skin.  It was also minimally drying and either absorbed or removed a lot of excess oil from my face.  
  • Easier on the environment.  With Biore strips you have a cardboard box, foil packet, plastic backing and a cloth or paper strip.  With the gelatin you have a box and a paper packet; less materials and all the way recyclable.  Fight your wasteful American ways!!
  • It will look like you have gross boogers all over your face.  I list this here because it is hilarious and I am four.
I'd say this is worth a try, especially if you're a little light on the funds, but I did not find the results to be equivalent.  It's possible that with time I will get better at it, but I have to say this isn't the top of my DIY successes, unlike the use of olive oil for cleansing or apple cider vinegar and baking soda to clean my hair.  Give it a try and tell me what you think!

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