With world-class beauty professionals on speed dial, and access to the latest products and possibly even yet-to-be-launched formulas, it’s no secret that celebrities live in a world that’s entirely different from us ordinary civilians.
Thanks to their unlimited access to beauty intel, we would often get the usual hair, skin, and makeup tips and tricks from them, but when it runs the gamut of a vampire facial or a platinum-infused face cream that costs over S$2,000, it’s sometimes hard to put these information into daily practice – even though we really, really, really covet their flawless skin.
But leave it to Chrissy Teigen, the queen of Twitter and possibly the most relatable human of them all, to keep us in the loop on every affordable hack she discovers.
Just last month, Teigen, who’s been open to sharing about almost anything and everything – showed off her latest hack that requires only two items: a S$10 classic and the protective face mask you’re wearing on a daily basis.
Captioning a sweet picture of herself out with husband John Legend and their adorable babies, she writes: “Life hack: nose strip under your mask. Keep safe AND get those rent-free blackheads out.”
Visible above her black mask is a piece of Bioré The Original Deep Cleansing Nose Strips (S$10.35 for eight pieces on iHerb) on her nose bridge, which she’s shouted out before for helping to keep her nose and chin clear of stubborn blackheads.
(P.S. If you think that pack of Bioré nose strips looks different, that’s because we have a slightly different packaging over here in Southeast Asia. In this part of the world, the same strips are known as Bioré Pore Pack instead, which can be readily found in major pharmacies like Watsons and Guardian for S$4.60 a pack.)
While the inexpensive hack seems to be the perfect multitasker that we can all get behind, we didn’t want to advocate a skincare trick without first verifying its safety and effectiveness with an expert.
So, Daily Vanity spoke with renowned Taiwanese dermatologist Dr. Kelly Tang, to investigate this game-changing tip – and while she isn’t hating the trick, she advises to proceed with caution.
“Pore strips are usually made from a woven material that’s coated with an adhesive, allowing the strip to stick to wet skin and pull out open comedones, a.k.a. blackheads, which happen when oil in the pores of the skin is exposed to air and oxidised, resulting in a darkened appearance,” Dr. Tang says.
“How pore strips work is that once you’ve applied a piece on the face (generally the nose or chin area), the pore strip dries within 10 to 15 minutes – after which you pull it off, consequently removing anything that adheres to the strip.
Generally, it is safe to use under the face mask, but I would not advise individuals with sensitive skin conditions like rosacea, eczema or seborrhea to do so as pore strips work best for people with non-sensitive skin that is oily and prone to blackheads,” she adds.
Dr. Tang goes on to explain that pore strips have the ability to temporarily remove the top layers of dead skin cells and blackheads, but they won’t prevent the buildup of either over time.
So, if you’re dealing with blackheads that are tightly packed and burrowed deep within those pores, slapping on some pore strips aren’t going to help you much.
“Keeping this in mind, this hack probably works best if you’re already using a skincare regimen that loosens blackheads. However, frequent usage of chemical exfoliation or acid-based skincare products in conjunction with pore strips may cause sensitive skin,” she explains.
If you’re new to the pore strip life, Dr. Tang has a few words of advice for proper application. First, cut the strip into half and do a spot test. If there’s no irritation, you can start using pore strips every week or fortnightly but bear in mind not to leave the strip on for too long.
“If the strip has completely dried out by the time you peel it off, there’s a risk of you traumatising or tearing your skin,” she lets on. If such irritation does occur, Dr. Tang suggests taking a break from using pore strips for at least two weeks.
“You may also want to avoid exfoliating or using any acid-based skincare products three days before or after applying pore strips. Always make it a point to seek professional help if your skin condition worsens,” she says.
Dr. Tang also let us in on a gentler solution to address pores and blackheads, which comes in the form of Derma Lab’s Lumiclar Mandelic Renewal Serum (S$59.90 from Watsons). Packed with 5% mandelic acid as well as moisturising and skin barrier-strengthening active ingredients, this serum purportedly helps to accelerate skin cell renewal and boost the absorption of subsequent skincare products.
Well, it looks like Chrissy Teigen may have engineered yet another populist hack that won’t hurt our bank account, but you may want to tread lightly with this one.