Friday, January 29, 2010


Have you ever actually tried these things? I don’t know exactly what compelled this purchase, but clearly something did. Maybe it was my fascination with blackheads, maybe it was the fact that this particular package had some promotional orange scented strips in it, I can’t say for certain but clearly something compelled me.

It’s an interesting concept really. Yanking out blackheads from the root. It’s almost like the Pimple Epilady of skin care. Sort of a gross concept if you really think about it. I recommend you don’t think about it. OK, think about for another minute or two while I provide you with this little Bioré Strip factoid “You could drive from New York to LA and back on a path paved in pore strips sold so far!” (I actually got this quote from the Official Bioré Skincare Products website. How’s that for a completely gross thought. Driving from NY to LA over billions of blackheads.

Being cursed with mediocre skin as an adult has really screwed me up. As an adolescent my skin was crystal clear. Of course I got the occasional zip, but for the most part it was pretty damn good. And then I turned 30 and lucky me, I got bad skin. It was, naturally, at this time that I began to completely obsess over the quality of my skin, something I had never really given a second thought to. Sucks that at 30 I had to start worrying about crap I should have gotten over at 17. So not fair. But nonetheless, bad skin meant I had to try every skin cleansing product out there, at least once. After all, something had to work. I still am not certain what momentary lapse caused me to believe that a paper maché strip would clean my pores, but I gave it the old college try. Having been out of college for over a decade didn’t make that particularly easy, but I tried anyway.

I also learned from the Official Bioré Skincare Products website that the strips “…instantly remove pore-clogging dirt, oil and blackheads from all your problem areas. In just one use, these strips are twice as effective as the leading pore cleanser at getting rid of pore-clogging build-up and blackheads. Helps reduce the appearance of pores with regular use.” I’m not entirely certain what “the leading pore cleanser” is so I can’t for certain if the strips are “twice as effective,” but I tend to doubt it.

Do you remember the commercial? There’s a little cartoon-y looking image of a strip after it has been removed from someone’s face, looking a little like a porcupine with, what I imagine is supposed to be the blackheads sticking out of it. I guess from this artist rendering, we are all to assume that the blackheads yanked from the deepest recesses of our pores will curse the little paper maché strip with their presence instead of our delicate skin. At least that’s what I assumed. And of course, that is what I was expecting to see.

There are two different sized and shaped strips that you can choose from. One for your face and another for your nose. The nose one is shaped a little like a Butterfly Bandage and it’s supposed to fit over the bridge of your nose. (It does.) The face one is more rectangular and apparently is supposed to fit anywhere larger. When you open the package, the strips sit on plastic sheeting which you must peel off before application. You are to then apply the strip to the appropriate location and wait 10 minutes. In these next 10 minutes the strip (which really is like paper maché) dries and tightens. This is apparently how you are to know that this product is working. After the allotted timeframe you are to then peel the strip off of your face and this process instantly removes the offending pore-clogging dirt, oil and blackheads. Ummm, can you say, I don’t think so?

Ok, so they are fun to use, and I admit that I tried to put one on the tail of my Sphinx Samson, just to see if they would work on skin with more obvious blackheads than mine, but to no avail. He did have a bit of a blackhead problem on his tail, but he wasn’t as vain as I, and would have nothing of it. I can’t say as I blame him really. But the end result is that I saw no difference on my face, and did not feel any less oily or less blackhead-y. Perhaps if I used them consistently I would experience some result that would change my mind, but I’m one of those instant gratification kind of people. If I spend money on a product that is supposed to do something, I want it to do that something when I first use it. I mean it’s not like it’s changing the texture of my skin, or getting rid of wrinkles or anything, it’s supposed to remove blackheads which I can do with my fingers so clearly they do come out, they just need the right motivation. That said, I don’t really think that it is too much to ask that a product that claims to be the best at “instantly remove pore-clogging dirt, oil and blackheads” actually deliver on said promise. Maybe it is too much to ask. It certainly is for this particular product.

Maybe if I used them every week, three times per week I would see some stupendous result, but they need much better marketing material if they are going to convince me that I need to spend that kind of money consistently until I start seeing a difference. I mean how long do I wait? A week, a month, a year? I’d like to know. At least the wrinkle creams tell you that results vary and that you should start seeing those results in 10-14 days (or whatever line they are trying to sell you for whatever product it is). At least you have some frame of reference. With Bioré strips, no frame of reference and no results. Seems like I’d have been better off with actual paper maché, at least then I could have made myself a nice mask if my skin got too unsightly.

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