Pore Strip Your Face: The At Home Gelatin Facial

Pore Strip your face with a Gelatin facial mask

I did something brave last week. I pore stripped my face. The entire thing. Yes. No, I did not go crazy and buy my local Walmart out of Bioré products. Instead, I bought a $1.36 box of unflavored gelatin and used up half of it. Truly.

I found this via Pinterest (love it!), and I knew as soon as I saw it, I would have to try it! The idea came from Petite Elefant (pinned here). I was the girl in college with the nose strips on her forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. I had to try this. There was no choice.

I should note that I tried this out immediately after my morning shower, so I knew all the stuff clogging my pores had been nicely loosened up by my shower and I was more likely to yank some of it out.

So, first, I somewhat followed the directions over at Petite Elefant. In that I used disposable items and unflavored gelatin with milk. Not so much in that I forgot how much to use, so when I combined ingredients I used 2 packets of gelatin and about 1-2 tablespoons of milk and when mixed up mine was about the consistency of a fruit on the bottom yogurt once mixed up. There is no other way to describe it, I created Yoplait.

Then I put it in the microwave. I thought it was 30 seconds (actually, 10 seconds is recommended), but I pulled it out about 25 seconds in once it started bubbling. Oops! It turns out this stuff cools down rapidly and as it cools it sets up. So, this gave me about 2 minutes of stand around and talk to my husband while stirring, then I realized it was getting stringy and thick quickly so I ran up to the bathroom to put it on.

Application was pretty easy. I used a plastic picnic knife, it was fine if you don’t have the recommended popsicle stick. You don’t want a thin or a thick layer, really it should be somewhat in between. Once it dries you’ll be peeling this stuff off. Too thick is goopy and hard to peel in 1 piece, too thin and it will break off every where. Avoid your eye brows and too close to your eyes. Really.

About 10-15 minutes later, things will definitely start to tighten up as it dries. This is when you want to remove. I simply opened my mouth to start tearing into it, and then I started peeling. It isn’t quite as satisfying as a Bioré, since it is harder to see the grossness you’ve just pulled out of your skin. But, you’ll notice right away that your pores are smaller and black heads are gone.

As you pull the mask off it does exfoliate (aka- pull off skin). I didn’t notice redness, but my skin was definitely sensitive that day. You should do this on a day that you’ll be able to baby your skin with added moisture and maybe staying home sans makeup. Be sure to wear your sunscreen as well! I swear this stuff also pulled off hair, so any little baby fuzz you have is likely to be pretty reduced by using this mask.

However, a word of caution! I was too close to my eyebrows when I applied. I didn’t think this would matter. The first removal swatch I did near them did pull up a few eyebrows (small bald spot! I have had to fill it in with an eyebrow pencil, though it is now filling in). So, be careful! After that I took a little warm water with my fingers, wet the gelatin on my brows, and once it loosened up I gently scraped it off with fingernails. So, problem averted.

The first day my skin was sensitive to the touch, though I didn’t look irritated and my skin wasn’t red. Instead, it felt very soft and my pores were immediately much smaller in appearance. The best results were actually a few days later, I swear my pores looked smaller and smaller! The usual gunk I have clogging them was gone and despite a time I should have been breaking out (hmmm….) my skin was perfect!

Have you tried this? I’m definitely going to be doing it again, though I’ll probably just direct it at my t-zone rather than my entire face. And I likely will only microwave for 15-20 seconds. I think this might be an every other week or so thing for me for now on.

When I wrote this post I had a cold and couldn’t smell it, but yes, it really does smell horrible (read below, this seemed to make a few people VERY ANGRY WITH ME. You’ve been warned! Sorry!)

There are quite a few great tips in the comments to help with the smell including using soy milk, lemon juice, adding a few drops of essential oil to the mix.

Also, to prevent your eye brows from being pulled out, coat them with vaseline first! If you already have some on your eye brows, I recommend using a warm washcloth on that area and gently rubbing until the gelatin dissolves and comes off.



  1. Anonymous
    October 8, 2013 / 5:16 am

    Can you use this on your back if you have blackheads on your back?

  2. October 9, 2013 / 12:34 am

    I think so! It can be hard to peel off though, I'd have someone else do it then.

  3. Anonymous
    October 19, 2013 / 4:55 am

    For future users all I did to avoid the smell was…… put a little Vicks rub under my nose and a bit in my nostrils lol it worked like a charm!! Hope that helps some of you!!

  4. Anonymous
    October 19, 2013 / 3:32 pm

    Thanks for your post! Just tried and worked amazingly. Instead of using milk, I've used water to dissolve it and also added tea tree aloe gel and a bit of baking powder to clear the pores and help avoid irritation. The smell of tea tree covered most of the gelatin's smell, so was not bad at all! 😉 def will add it to my routine

  5. Anonymous
    October 31, 2013 / 1:15 am

    I just did this, and it is very harsh on skin! Works great for getting stuff out, but is difficult to get off! Reminded me of getting waxed, actually. :/ Might be better if I had a higher pain tolerance…

  6. November 17, 2013 / 1:44 am

    Coconut milk…does not smell bad at all!!

  7. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 / 2:41 am

    adding a drop of tea tree oil or lavender oil should help the small

  8. November 20, 2013 / 11:44 pm

    I have to try this! I loooovee pore stripes. Swear by them. So this sounds like a dream come true!!

  9. November 25, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    I'm trying right now, I know how repulsive gelatin normally smells and am very sensitive to smells. I added a splash of strawberry extract helped tremendously. I used 12tbsp of it in my milk gelatin mixture and still hardened and worked fine.

  10. Anonymous
    November 26, 2013 / 3:34 am

    For the smell, I used some doterra wild orange…. It was a bad bad idea!I was frantic, so I put in some vanilla…. It doesn't angel like ANYTHING! I hope it works… I'm waiting for it to dry now!

  11. Anonymous
    November 28, 2013 / 4:58 pm

    Unfortunately a lot of commenters seem to be mistaking sebaceous filaments for blackheads.

  12. December 21, 2013 / 7:58 pm

    Gelatin is protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs – that may explain the bad odor.

  13. Anonymous
    January 4, 2014 / 8:13 am

    You can also use coffee filters, cut into strips. Put the gelatin mix on, press a strip of coffee filter on top with a little left hanging over to use as a grip and let it dry then grab 'handle' and pull! I have heard of using egg white and coffee filter to pull blackhead but have not tried it yet.

  14. Anonymous
    January 6, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    Yep, totally ripped skin off of my face. Awesome.

  15. Anonymous
    January 14, 2014 / 3:45 pm

    Would it not be better to use a little steam to get this off or a wash cloth/exfoliating face brush? (not a big fan of peel off masks or pore strips – I'm in my forties and a few of my friends like myself, of European descent, noticed that repeated use of peel off masks/strips may cause your peach fuzz to come in darker). After removing it, you could then use a cold face cloth to re-tighten pores? Just wondering as my skin has changed so much and am seeing problems on the sides on my nostrils (t-zone has shrunk to an 'I"-zone).

  16. January 21, 2014 / 2:32 am

    Add 18th to 14 of your favorite extract to help with the scent. It still works as good! Take it from someone sensitive to smells and no breakouts or irritation from it.

  17. Anonymous
    January 22, 2014 / 7:59 pm

    I added a nice amount of pure honey to my mix (which is great for your skin!) and the smell was much more tolerable.

  18. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 / 1:22 am

    Does it matter if it is unflavored gelatin or not?

  19. Anonymous
    February 5, 2014 / 10:15 pm

    I did it with lemon juice!! Helped the smell ALOT. smelled like lemon jello!

  20. February 7, 2014 / 7:32 pm

    For all of you who are worried about the smell and use water instead, Yeah it still works but there are benefits to the milk… it is soothing and helps with the long tern closing of the pores. I added a couple drops of an essential oil, there are many different kinds for many skin types. Lavender works well with a lot of skin types or Google what would work best for you! And for those with really sensitive skin or anyone really… I recommend a steam facial first to really open pores you can add a calming essential oil to that too, but make it a little thin and aply a little thin the first couple of times the results won't be as noticeable at first but better then the red swollen skin! Here's some bonus info as well… Between uses I wash my face with a 50/50 combo of honey and coconut oil, simply rub on let sit a minute for the oil to get onto the pores and break up the dirt then rub gently with fingers (if too sticky wet your finger lightly) and rinse with warm water! Both honey and coconut oil are great for the skin and no coconut oil will not clog pores as its melting point is 76° so it will moisturize well and not look oily and honey is great to eliminate acne and works as an exfoliant. As you rub you will notice your finger start to gum up, that is all the dead skin cells and dirt! Again you can add an essential oil to this too! Just look up essential oils for face and find the one that will work best for you! I hope this helps someone!

  21. Anonymous
    February 8, 2014 / 4:26 am

    dude it doesn't smell like vomit…

  22. Anonymous
    February 9, 2014 / 3:53 am

    Just tried this. One spoon of gelatin, one spoon of milk, two drops of orange essential oil. Microwaved 7 seconds. Applied a thick coat with plastic knife. Precut two strips of gauze to fit over my nose and chin, and squished the gauze down over the gelatin. Couldn't wait the requisite 10 minutes and pulled off too soon, some parts were dry and some were still a tad too gummy. But still smoother skin than before.

    Gelatin is definitely from the marrow and bones of animals. And thus so is collagen is facial products. Gelatin is way cheaper and same effect.

  23. February 13, 2014 / 11:40 pm

    The first time I used a clay mask it felt & looked like I had a bad sunburn. My dermatologist recommended Made from Earth's "Seal Kelp Clay Mask" and it was perfect for my sensitive skin. It did extract the nasties from my old acne ridden face like nothing I've ever used before!

    My husband used the Made from Earth Clay Mask 2 nights ago and LOVES it. Highly recommend for anyone wanting to clear the pores.

  24. February 19, 2014 / 12:46 am

    I tried this this morning, but of course I tweaked it. I added 1tsp of dried milk, vitamin e, a drop of essential oil and mixed it with water. It was fantastic. My 11 year old let me put it on him, but he was not happy when we had to peel it off. 🙂 He did say his face felt great though. Mine did too. Thanks so much!

  25. February 22, 2014 / 12:27 am

    Thanks so much for this it's amazing! I did it last week and immediately my skin felt softer and almost all the little blackheads on my nose disappeared. I had a question about putting anything else in the mixture such as some oils. I absolutely love misting my face with diluted lavender oil or tea tree oil after using a cleanser and before I moisturize. The teatree oil always seems to reduce the redness in my pimples and get rid of them quicker. However I think that teatree oil also shrinks pores but I'm not sure. Have you ever tried putting some teatree oil in the mixture? Would this be a good idea?

    I'm also a vegan so I don't have any milk. I know that it's fine to use water but would using rice milk or coconut milk still work?

    Thanks again for sharing this! It's just as effective as the pore strips you can buy at a drug store.

  26. Anonymous
    March 7, 2014 / 8:58 pm

    I had high hopes for this method, but it didn't work for me. It pulled out a couple eyelashes, but not a single blackhead. My face feels slightly cleaner, bu that's all. It made my nose red for a while.

  27. Anonymous
    March 16, 2014 / 3:25 am

    Yea so I liked it because my face feels really clean but it didn't really help make my face LOOK clean. Still have the same big blackhead filled pores. But my face hardly let's any remedies work so I'm not surprised. Gonna try doing it once a week and we will see if it starts to work. Ripping it off was really uncomfortable but not so bad I wouldn't do it again.

  28. March 27, 2014 / 3:16 pm

    Hi there, I make this with lemon juice instead and it smells somewhat better and it reduces oiliness =) x

  29. kissmysass_;)
    April 1, 2014 / 9:32 pm

    If you apply vaseline to your eyebrows before you apply the gelatin to your face it will help keep from getting your eyebrows pulled out!!! 🙂

  30. April 1, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    That is an amazing tip!!! I'm adding it to the post. Thank you!!

  31. Anonymous
    April 13, 2014 / 4:44 am

    could you still do this without a microwave?

  32. April 14, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    I don't think it would be very easy. You could try heating up the mixture in a heat bath on the stove.

  33. Anonymous
    April 21, 2014 / 6:44 pm

    my mask did not have a smell to it, maybe it is the brand of gelatin that you use?

  34. Aimee
    March 10, 2018 / 11:44 pm

    I love using the gelatin for a face mask! However I use milk, turmeric and cinnamon! They are great for anti-inflammatory and acne issues!

  35. Sara
    September 13, 2018 / 7:43 am

    I am out of milk so i just mixed hot water and gelatin and put on my face . I am skin waiting for it to dryI’ll let youll know how it goes in about 1/2 hr or so 😀

  36. Sara
    September 13, 2018 / 10:19 am

    Used it with water, but the layer i applied was too thin to peel out fully and ended up pulling just part of it and had to wash off with water. It made my skin smooth though. Next time i’ll try the proper way and with a thicker layer 🙂

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