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.
Update! 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.