I recently returned from a 5 month long, 12 country tour around the world, which included living in Thailand for 2 months. As you can imagine, I went through many airports along the way, including several in Asia. In addition to killing time at Asian airports pouring over the endless selection of Korean beauty products, I stalked just about every pharmacy and beauty shop while in Thailand. I probably spent equal parts in temples as I did in drug stores. (Also, FYI, 7-Elevens in Asia are a goldmine for Korean beauty products.)
I have been fascinated with Korean beauty products for several years now, if not for their effectiveness, for their sheer novelty. Whether it’s the odd ingredients like snake venom or the kitschy, cute packaging, Asian beauty products are a whole other world. For a beauty product enthusiast, being in Asia is like being a kid in a candy store. Needless to say, I came home with bags full of beauty products to try. (Hey, it’s all part of the job, right?!) Some were great, others less so, but one thing Asia has on lock are pore-clearing acne and blackhead products. I’ve never seen so many intriguing concoctions. The selection of innovative products almost makes you want to have blackheads and clogs just so you can have a go at these adorably packaged products. (Hey, if you get a weird satisfaction out of extracting your pores, you are not alone, and no judgment!)
From pore dissolving “nose packs” to “pig nose” blackhead removing strips, here are 5 awesome pore clearing products I discovered in Asia that actually work. Best of all, you don’t need to fly to Asia to get your hands on these products, because they’re easily available online.
Holika Holika Pignose Clear Black Head Deep Cleansing Oil Balm
Many people don’t realize that before extracting clogged pores, you need to loosen up the clogs in order for them to come out completely. This is where an oil-based cleanser comes in. This deep cleansing oil balm helps dissolve and loosen up clogged pores so that your masks and treatments are more effective. This is an excellent balm for preparing your skin for treatments and is a great first step BEFORE applying the below treatments.
Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Black Head 3-step Kit
This kit is similar to Biore pore strips, except it’s three steps, so it cleans even deeper. You start with the softening application which loosens the gunk in your pores, then you apply the blackhead removal strip, followed by the pore-closing mask which pulls out any remaining clogs. Definitely worth a try if you have stubborn blackheads!
PILATEN Suction Black Mask
This is a charcoal-based peel off mask that acts like a “suction” to pull out blackheads and clogs. This mask combines the effectiveness of charcoal with the pore clearing abilities of a pore strip to go deep and pull out all kinds of scary stuff. This is great for you if you don’t want to bother with multiple steps and just want a do-it-all product.
Cathy Doll Black Heads Remover Cleansing White Clay Mask
Don’t be fooled by the cute packaging, this mask is hardcore. It is extremely adhesive -almost like pulling duct tape off your face, which in the case of stubborn blackheads, can be a great thing. However, peel off gently and only apply to the areas of your face that have black heads, like your nose and chin. This mask will pull out gunk you didn’t even know was there.
Elizavecca Milkypiggy Hell-Pore Clean Up Nose Mask
Weirdest name for a product ever, right? But this mask WORKS and can be used on your whole face. This product uses 4% charcoal and “licensed fermentation ingredients” (whatever that means) to suck the gunk right out of your pores. Plus, it only costs about $15 and it has no complicated application process; just rub it on, let it sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse for smooth, glowing skin.