This Korean Pore Strip Made Me Cry, But It Did Unclog My Pores
I think it's fair to say that pore strips are an unhealthy addiction of mine. Too often, I parade around my apartment looking as if I've just come out of a routine rhinoplasty procedure (Halloween costume maybe?). I've heard fellow beauty journalists exclaim that they would never rip something off their delicate skin so aggressively, but as soon as I see the gunk I'm extracting, I'm all-too eagerly anticipating round two (and three, and four—you get the picture).
Don't get me wrong, I have mostly smooth, healthy skin, but the pores on my nose are never completely clear. So when Byrdie Australia's beauty editor Lisa plonked a pore strip on my desk to trial, you can image my delight. It had all the merits of a blackhead-busting winner: It was Korean, black (charcoal is another obsession of mine), and was large enough to cover my whole face. A closer inspection actually showed that the pore strip was the shape of an eagle. Yep, you read that right. K-beauty is just the best, isn't it?
Keep scrolling for my review.
Caolion is a Korean brand you can get your hands on at Sephora. They do all sorts of goodies like charcoal soaps and bounce creams (I can vouch for the efficacy of that one), but the Pore Blackhead Eliminating T-Zone Strip is the product in question. It's shaped like an eagle, with wings that spread out across your cheeks and the tail travelling up onto your forehead to really suck out every last clogged pore. The application is pretty standard—wet the affected area and apply the strip sticky side down. All that's left to do is wait for it to turn stiff (usually about 15 to 20 minutes).
I went about my regularly scheduled programming until I felt the strip was ready to come off. I started pulling from the outside of my face inwards (always do this), but it was really stuck. I kept pulling (I couldn't very well leave it on) and it was so intense that my eyes started to water (or was I crying?). Either way, it hurt, and I felt like the star in one of those viral black mask videos that did the rounds on the internet a while back. About two intense minutes later, it was off. I dried my tears and held it up to the light—boy did it work. There were so many little blackheads on that strip that I felt compelled to take a photo (I didn't, because, gross). I inspected my face, and while it was a little red, my pores were clear. Result.
Afterwards, I swiped on a little Bioderma Hyrdabio Toning Lotion ($33) and my usual Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Cloud Cream ($116) to calm the area, but all in all, my pores were so clear (and I had the visual proof to back it).
While the jury is still out on pore strips (my beauty editor pals swear they're too harsh), I can't see myself quitting any time soon. The gratification of literally peeling away my congested pores is just too damn good.