Pesky whiteheads and blackheads are part of the daily tribulations of those sadly afflicted with oily skin. As if crater sized pores and "Minola" faces weren't enough, we still have to deal with nasty oil plugs (a.k.a whiteheads). There are a thousand and one products out in the market which promise to banish whiteheads and their ilk. There are facial washes with microscrubs which supposedly go into the pores to dislodge the plugs; masks that will pull out the nasty whiteheads as well as a facial brush that will allegedly buff these off forever. But I've yet to find a product that actually delivers.
The first time I saw an ad for pore strips in a US fashion magazine, I was transfixed. It seemed magical yet at the same time, utterly practical. A tape is stuck on your nose and after a few minutes, it pulls out all blackheads! Sheer genius in its simplicity. I first bought a Japanese brand (because Clean and Clear wasn't available yet at that time) and eagerly used it, much to the amusement of my then roommate who had never heard of pore strips. The first one I tried wasn't the tape variety, it was liquid and had to be smeared carefully on the skin because it was so sticky that you couldn't afford to be too careless with it. After a few minutes, I peeled it off and was amazed at the "cactus-like" result. My pores were finally clean.
After a while, Clean & Clean (or was it Pond's?) came out with the tape strip and it was definitely easier to use that the liquid version but it was also much more expensive! It amounted to three strips for almost 100p and this was in the late 90s. Yikes! I guess that was why the pore strips didn't exactly last long in the Philippine market and was slowly pulled off the shelves. Now, I have to depend on the kindness of balikbayans (hello Rhona!) for my next box of pore strips. And have taken to only using one every week, rather than the recommended usage of every 4-5 days. It's all about rationing because the box only contains fourteen strips and if I play my cards right, I can stretch the box to three and a half months. And after that, hello Char :)