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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 BiorΓ© 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 BiorΓ©, 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.

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About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

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  1. 11.22.11
    Courtney said:

    I've tried this before but did it way too thin. I would try it again, though!

    • 8.8.18
      Sam said:

      I tried it and my face started to throb and got very hot and very red i got scared and washed it off maybe an allergic reaction does anyone know what liquid pectin is made off ?πŸ™‚πŸ™‚

      • 8.9.18
        15mins said:

        That does kind of sound like an allergic reaction. Pectin is made of cell walls of plants, it may have been a different ingredient in the product you used?

  2. 11.23.11

    I need to try this! I don't have a microwave, so I'll take the OP's advice and heat it on the stove for a bit before applying – which might get messy. We'll see what I can manage.

  3. 11.26.11
    jenbusler said:

    So I am reading this after putting it all over my face and googled I got the gelatin on my eyebrows, and your page came up. I'm kinda freaking out right now. My eyebrows are completely covered. what do I do?

    • 4.15.18
      Shayla said:

      Just put a llitte water in them and then scrape it off with your fingernails. That should do the trick.

  4. 11.27.11
    Christine said:

    Uhh… I found your comment a few hours later, so hopefully it turned out ok?? I'm worried about your brows!

    The gelatin WILL loosen up if you wet it down. You don't need to get it really wet even. I just wet a finger and ran it over the area I needed to get off and leave hair intact (I didn't have much though, you'll likely need more water), gave it a minute or two, wet a second time… and then I was able to easily push the gelatin off with a fingernail, my eye brows were left completely intact.

    I hope it worked!

  5. 12.3.11
    skeetybee said:

    So intriguing & rather promising, I think I will have to try this!

  6. 12.10.11
    Hellz said:

    The amazing things that can be accomplished with at home products. I will defiantly try this..scared though, i'm a bit of a messy mask puter-oner. I want clean pores!:D

  7. 10.19.12

    I've never heard of this, but I do love pore strips. Have to try this!! πŸ™‚

  8. 2.21.13
    Anonymous said:

    I just found your blog and I'm a new subscriber! My face is currently (amazingly) clear, but I still have those pesky blackheads on my nose that will hopefully be adios due to your little DIY trick! Thank you!

  9. 3.15.13

    So going to try!! Sounds Great πŸ˜›

  10. 3.19.13

    Can you use any kind of gelatin?

  11. 3.19.13

    I think you just want the super basic, unflavored kind. There are too many things added to Jello for flavor and such for it to work probably. My box was next to the Jello and had a couple of packets in it.

  12. 3.31.13
    Eugenia said:

    I tried this before! It worked fine but the smell was not so good!

  13. 4.14.13
    Anonymous said:

    I saw on Pinterest also & have done it twice already..it definitely works & not just for the day! I have rosacea so I struggle to keep clear skin. I think this will be part of my weekly routine?

  14. 4.16.13
    Anonymous said:

    I saw this on Pinterest awhile back and am currently sitting with the mask hardening. The smell is terrible! But I hope this works…

  15. 4.17.13

    It is! I think I must have had a cold or something the first time I did it. It makes me almost vomit when I do it, until I pull it off and see all of the gunk pulled out of my face…

  16. 5.2.13
    Anonymous said:

    I tried this today using it on my nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks. I noticed it pulled a lot of my baby hairs out. Do you know if they will grow back thicker or more noticable? Thank you!

  17. 5.2.13

    They will come back, though slowly and mine were fewer and less noticeable.

  18. 5.3.13

    Loxy needs to try this!!

  19. 5.10.13
    Anonymous said:

    Just tried this. First, I used 1 1oz envelope of dry gealtin mixed with a little milk, around 1 tbspn, until it was goopy. Make sure to mix quickly or u get clumps. Definitely only needed 10 seconds. It was hard to apply evenly, but after ripping it off (and I do suggest quick rips), my skin looked and felt smoother. It looked cleaner. Just did it a few minutes ago. We'll see how it looks when I'm done.

  20. 5.23.13
    Anonymous said:

    Has anyone tried to make it smell better? Maybe some peppermint extract or something similar? I want to try this, but I am very sensitive to smells.

  21. 5.26.13
    Anonymous said:

    Not sure if I did something wrong or not. I followed the directions, but was not able to pull off strips. Instead my face resembled a spider web of sorts as I tried to grab edges and I had to scrape most of it off in itty bitty pieces. My skin is red and it hurt so bad!

  22. 5.28.13

    @Anon you didn't put enough on. If it's too thin you won't be able to pull it off. On those areas you can dissolve it using just water, placing a wet washcloth will reset it and let you just wash it off of your face.

  23. 6.5.13
    Anonymous said:

    Why has no one mentioned that it smells like vomit? Not just a slight vomit smell, but a very pungent smell that you have to endure on your face for 10 minutes.

    Also, if you have sensitive skin, avoid. I felt like I was pulling my skin off. I thought I was going to see blood and tissue exposed after trying to remove this stuff. Sure, my skin was exfoliated (and then some) afterwards, but there are better ways.

  24. 6.6.13
    Anonymous said:

    I did this followed by lemon juice and baking soda lemon juice takes dead skin and baking soda tightens your pores

  25. 6.7.13

    i did this mask several times with milk and just now tried it without milk. Works perfectly fine if you substitute milk for water. I used 1 teaspoon of gelatin and one teaspoon of water, mix it up, it's gonna look pretty dry and with crumbles, it's ok. Just make sure its somewhat even consistency. Put mixture in microwave for 10 seconds and apply on T zone.

  26. 6.7.13

    Thanks Natalie!!

  27. 6.18.13
    Anonymous said:

    I do not think you guys have smelled vomit before… This does not smell like vomit.. now however it is not the best smell in the world but what beauty product actually smells good?

  28. 6.20.13
    Anonymous said:

    Can non-animal gelatin substitute be used? I hate to be the giver of bad news, but according to LiveStrong, "Gelatin is made from the leftovers of animals who reached the end of the line at a slaughterhouse. Bones, tendons and ligaments from cattle, cows and pigs are boiled to produce gelatin, which is used as a stiffening agent in desserts".

    As much as I would love to try gelatin, I don't like the idea of having animal parts smeared on my face. Hence, bringing up vegetarian gelatin substitutes. What do you think?

    The information is here: http://www.livestrong.com/article/500427-non-animal-gelatin-substitutes/

  29. 7.9.13
    Anonymous said:

    @Anon Nowadays gelatin isn't made of those things. Most gelatin is made of artificial products. If this were still the case, glue would still be made of horse hooves and hot dogs made of lord knows what.

  30. 7.17.13
    Anonymous said:

    Just tried this. Hurt really badly to peel off, but I have sensitive skin so that's probably the issue. My skin is very red and sensitive now, so sensitive skin people shouldn't try this. I may try it again using less of the mixture because where it was thinner, it wasn't as painful to peel off. My skin definitely looks a lot clearer though!

  31. 7.29.13
    Anonymous said:

    I really want to try this now, but my face can get sensitive at times, so i will just wait to to it after my boyfriend comes for the weekend just to be sure!

  32. 7.31.13
    Anonymous said:

    I just tried this! I didn't have any unflavored gelatin on me, so I just used strawberry flavored and water, it worked fine. Hopefully it won't cause me to break out! I think I applied it on the thicker side, so it was kind of goopy. I left it on for about 30 minutes since it was so thick. I think the worst part was peeling it off because it hurt really badly. It's better is you just rip it right off, it hurts less. It was satisfying to see the little hairs and black heads afterwards! Another downside was all the fruit flies attacking my face, but that was probably because of the strawberry gelatin haha.

  33. 8.4.13
    Anonymous said:

    My face looks like a big rubber cement loogie. I walked out of the bathroom and my dog started barking at me. Lol

  34. 8.6.13
    Anonymous said:

    I just did this with my roommate and it was one of the most painful experiences of our lives…my face is on fire!! :'( On the plus side my face has never been so smooth. Next time I will definitely peel it off in the shower

  35. 8.6.13

    I tried this, it was fantastic!!! I think next time I'll try it with water, but I honestly didn't mind the smell that much. it was fine πŸ™‚

  36. 8.6.13

    I've never heard of gelatin. Where would I buy this product?

  37. 8.7.13
    Drina Lu said:

    Hey there! So I tried this with 2 packets of gelatin and about 2 and a half tblspns of water and some lemon juice (to cut down on the smell). I put in a little glass bowl on my stove on low-med heat (no microwave)for about 2-3 min until it liquefied. It worked really well because the gelatin itself didn't get hot so it wasn't uncomfortable to apply. But I definitely made too much, so next time I'll probably half this.

    Side note, OMG it smells HORRIBLE haha, smells like a gross wet dog is laying on my face. All I can think is "I hope this is worth it!" I'll continue this after I peel it off!

    Ok! Whew that was an experiment. Definitely learned not to put it on too thick bc then it doesn't dry thoroughly, and too thin makes it hurt much more (don't know why). The eye area is pretty touchy, as is the cupids bow for some reason. Overall, I'm not sure this was worth the hassle, but I'll probably try it at least one more time.

  38. 8.9.13
    Boshena said:

    Sounds interesting. I don't have anything in my pores thanks to Baiden Mitten, but I think that it might work wonders for tightening the skin? I use some bentonite clay as well for masks and that also clears the pores in more gentle way.

  39. 8.9.13
    Anonymous said:

    For those having problem with application, i have tried this several years ago and after you put it on your face, you can layer onion skin (paper) on your face. Cut it down to little rectangles so it is easier to contour on your face. And it will be easier to peel off when it dries completely.

  40. 8.16.13
    Anonymous said:

    I have school pictures for freshman year coming up and I saw this on Pinterest! I wanted to do it today so that my skin looks great for pics! I have not triedit yet cause I am a bit afraid of my skin being red and blotchy… Anyone that had tried it and experienced the redness, how long does it normally take for it to go away? Thanks! (:

  41. 8.19.13
    Zoe Evans said:

    I haven't tried this yet but I think that the amount of time that the redness is there would be the same as when you wax or thread your eyebrow, which is about half and hour (or more, or less!) depending on your skin type. I hope your skin look beautiful for your picture!

  42. 8.21.13

    Straight up wet dirty dog!

  43. 8.26.13
    Anonymous said:

    I added a drop of tea tree oil. Made it smell great! Thanks for the recipe!

  44. 9.8.13
    Anonymous said:

    Milk contains lactic acid which is also a natural exfoliant.

  45. 9.14.13

    This is great (aside from the smell)! Perfect solution for a cheap college student who doesn't want to pay $7 for a couple nose strips. I'm very glad you added that it could be done with water.

  46. 9.18.13
    Anonymous said:

    I just started this and I have a lot left over is there away you can save it and use it again?

  47. 9.20.13

    I don't think so, it pretty much just solidifies and I don't think you can re-liquify it.

  48. 9.22.13
    Anonymous said:

    I have TONS of little tiny hard to pop blackheads and pimples that lie under the skin all over my face. I'm fair with freckles and I'm am desperate to find something that will just rip the gunk out of my face. I've have reached my goal of dropping a few pounds and getting better grades but I still can't overcome my acne problem! Hopefully this will work I'm trying this as a last resort. Fingers crossed.

  49. 9.28.13
    Anonymous said:

    I bet the putting your face over steam for a few minutes before applying it would make it work even better because the pores will all be open

  50. 10.5.13
    Anonymous said:

    Can you use Pectin, just wondering if it is the same thing?

  51. 10.8.13
    Anonymous said:

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

  52. 10.9.13

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

  53. 10.19.13
    Anonymous said:

    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!!

  54. 10.19.13
    Anonymous said:

    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! πŸ˜‰ def will add it to my routine

  55. 10.31.13
    Anonymous said:

    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…

  56. 11.17.13
    Keri said:

    Coconut milk…does not smell bad at all!!

  57. 11.20.13
    Anonymous said:

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

  58. 11.20.13
    Sarah said:

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

  59. 11.25.13

    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.

  60. 11.26.13
    Anonymous said:

    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!

  61. 11.28.13
    Anonymous said:

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

  62. 12.21.13
    Viktorya said:

    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.

  63. 1.4.14
    Anonymous said:

    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.

  64. 1.6.14
    Anonymous said:

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

  65. 1.10.14

    First time hearing of this! I love Biore pore strips but they were getting a little too pricey for me so I'm definitely going to try this at home!

  66. 1.14.14
    Anonymous said:

    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).

  67. 1.21.14

    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.

  68. 1.22.14
    Anonymous said:

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

  69. 1.23.14
    Anonymous said:

    Does it matter if it is unflavored gelatin or not?

  70. 2.5.14
    Anonymous said:

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

  71. 2.7.14

    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 76Β° 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!

  72. 2.8.14
    Anonymous said:

    dude it doesn't smell like vomit…

  73. 2.9.14
    Anonymous said:

    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.

  74. 2.13.14

    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.

  75. 2.19.14

    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. πŸ™‚ He did say his face felt great though. Mine did too. Thanks so much!

  76. 2.22.14

    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.

  77. 3.7.14
    Anonymous said:

    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.

  78. 3.16.14
    Anonymous said:

    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.

  79. 3.27.14

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

  80. 4.1.14
    kissmysass_;) said:

    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!!! πŸ™‚

  81. 4.1.14

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

  82. 4.13.14
    Anonymous said:

    could you still do this without a microwave?

  83. 4.14.14

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

  84. 4.21.14
    Anonymous said:

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

  85. 3.10.18
    Aimee said:

    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!

  86. 9.13.18
    Sara said:

    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 πŸ˜€

  87. 9.13.18
    Sara said:

    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 πŸ™‚

  88. 4.29.23
    Kim said:

    I have the gelatin but it’s expired should I still use it?

    • 4.29.23
      Christine said:

      Should be ok