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Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips:
A Yes for Your Nose?
March 4, 2009
Many lines of beauty, cosmetics, and skin care make products that span across different areas of beauty, but Bioré focuses solely on skin maintenance. They have a variety of products that moisturize, fortify, prevent wrinkles and acne, and enhance general skin health. One of their more well-known products is the Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, which are used to treat and prevent mild acne on the nose. Bioré offers a full list of ingredients and directions on their website, and by examining the biology of the skin through scientific research, looking at the effects of active ingredients, and reading consumer reviews, one can learn how effective these Bioré Pore Cleansing Strips can be for treating the skin and preventing acne.
Thousands of teenagers are faced with the trouble of acne and irritated skin every day. It is estimated that 95% of boys and 83% of girls aged sixteen suffer from at least mild acne (Healy 1994). However, more recently a shift has been seen to the young adult population, which resulted in more clinical and medical attention than before (Healy1994). Acne is what occurs when a pore becomes clogged with dead skin cells and sebum, or skin oil, and then becomes infected (Different Types 2005, Cunliffe 2004). Hormonal and genetic factors often play a role in one’s predisposition to develop acne, but most over-the-counter treatments treat irritation, inflammation, and the bacteria that cause the symptoms (Healy 1994). However, 30% of early stage acne formation occurs without the presence of bacteria, although bacteria will often play a part in later stages (Cunliffe 2004). The most common type of infecting bacteria is Propionibacterium acnes, or P acnes for short, and it is often to blame for inflammatory acne (Healy 1994). There are four main types of inflammatory acne: papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. These are the more serious forms of pimples, and they often result in skin damage and/or permanent scarring (Different Types 2005). One of the best ways to prevent inflammatory acne is to stop it in the first stage—the non-inflammatory stage. These pimples are called closed comedo, or whiteheads, or open comedo—blackheads (Different Types 2005).
Blackheads Papules Cyst (Different Types 2005)
Blackheads are the most common on the chin, forehead, and nose areas (Different Types 2005). They are often called the first stage of a pimple, because the pore is clogged, but not infected. Some have even dubbed them the “precursor of all acne lesions” (Skin Blackheads 2006). Blackheads are the results of open comedo, and are frequent on the nose because of the larger pores on the nose area. The darkened color is the result of hyper-pigmentation. However, blackheads and whiteheads can usually be prevented through simple good grooming and skin maintenance (Skin Blackheads 2006).
Many different forms of treatments are available for acne. Topical ointments are very common, because they are easy to buy and easy to use, and many do not require a prescription. The most common active ingredients in topical preparations are benzoyl peroxide, an oxidizing agent, salycic acid, and glycolic acid (Healy 1994). Some topical antibiotics, which do require prescriptions, can also be highly effective in the treatment of mild acne (Healy 1994). For moderate acne, oral antibiotics or hormonal treatments may be prescribed by a physician or dermatologist (Healy 1994). For the most severe cases, high dose antibiotics are prescribed, such as tetracycline or isotretinoin (Healy 1994).
Prevention can be more effective than treatment, because it decreases the risks of developing inflammatory acne and subsequent scarring. Oils should be removed through daily cleansing, to prevent a dry plug (Reilly 1950). This dry plug, located in the duct of the sebaceous gland, will eventually become the a blackhead (Reilly 1950). Removing excess skin oil, as well as the plugs that make up blackheads, is essential to preventing future acne outbreak.
Bioré Skincare designed a series of sticky adhesive strips to combat blackheads on the nose, fighting non-inflammatory acne and preventing more serious acne from ever forming. The Bioré Strips are designed specifically to remove the plugs in the pores for future cleaning.
Bioré Deep Pore Cleansing Strips are simple and easy to use. After washing the face, the person thoroughly wets their nose so that the strip will stick. The website also suggests in this step that the strips can be applied to other areas of the face with blackheads as well, but it does not give any separate instructions of different areas. Apply the strips to the skin, pressing down to assure good contact, and then wait for ten to fifteen minutes for the strips to dry. Once the strip is hard and dry, “like papier-mâché,” the person is to peel it off starting at the edges and working to the center (Bioré Skincare 2009). The expected results are that the dirt and debris clogging the pores should come out, stuck to the adhesive side of the strip.
In the official website’s description of the Ultra Deep Pore Cleansing Strips, tea tree oil, menthol and witch hazel are the ingredients cited to “instantly remove even stubborn blackheads” (Bioré Skincare 2009). Witch hazel is known for being an anti-inflammatory and redness-calming agent (Smith 2009). Tea tree oil has properties that make it a useful antiseptic, and it is often used to treat or prevent mild infections (Mayo Foundation 2009). However, tea tree oil can also have negative effects on the skin—it is sometimes a mild irritant, which could negatively affect some people and their use of the Bioré Pore Cleansing Strips (Mayo Foundation 2009). Another active ingredient in the Ultra Cleansing Strips is menthol, which has cooling effects to help soothe skin irritation (Foster 2009). The three ingredients listed in the advertisement for the Ultra Cleansing Strips do not help to clean the skin or clear the pores—they are all ingredients to prevent possible irritation. It is not clear from the website whether this irritation could be the result of unhealthy, inflamed pores or the result of the adhesiveness of the strips themselves. It is the stickiness of the strips that do all the work for removal of plugs, and the active ingredients combat negative side effects from doing so.
Problems that can be caused by the strips include pain upon peeling and skin irritation. This can occur if the skin is too dry, and there is not enough dead skin on the surface—the stickiness of the strips can actually remove healthy skin cells, and even a few of the invisible hairs on the nose (Kern 2008. Skin irritation can follow if the skin on the nose loses its natural moisture balance. For some people, enough skin can come off that the Strip user actually bleeds (College Times 2009).
How well it works
There are many different websites that give customers a chance to discuss and rate their own experiences with different products. Products for skin have a huge following on the internet, especially among teenagers and young adults. One popular website, Acne.org run by Daniel Kern, has a variety of ratings from one through five. Overall, eighty-one people gave the Bioré Deep Pore Cleansing Strips a average rating of 3.6/5 for “How well it works,” and a 3.8/5 for “Agreeability” (Kern 2008). However, the averages are not the most accurate way to look at the Strips, because the writers on the site are pretty evenly divided in their opinions. About half of the reviews list pros such as “Great for removing blackheads on nose” and “it works!” (Kern 2008). However, the other half were downright unsatisfied with the product, listing pros like “there really isn’t any” and “None” (Kern 2008). Unanimously, however, all the users of Bioré Deep Pore Cleansing Nose Strips agreed there was considerable pain in the removal of the strips.
Collge Times, an online student magazine, also rated this product for one of their Product of the Week sections. For eight strips at the price of $5.99, the reviewer declares that they are not worth it. Jillian Jamruszka, the reviewer, said the strips were great for removing the impurities from her pores, but the negative consequences of using the strips outweighed the benefits; some of her skin came off with the strip, and left her bleeding (College Times 2009). The people who experience negative results similar to this most likely have dry or sensitive skin, which would be more vulnerable to irritation from Bioré Pore Cleansing Strips.
Many others have experienced similar problems with Bioré strips as well, but there may be a simple explanation as to why customers are so divided in their satisfaction and results. Amazon.com advertises and sells this product, and its description is complete with warnings that are not mentioned on the Bioré Skincare Official Site. They say to avoid using on skin with any active blemishes, swellings, or other irritations such as dryness of sunburn. Another factor to account for is that a strip is meant to be removed “promptly after it becomes stiff” (Amazon.com 2009). They direct the user to “wet the strip thoroughly” if “the strip is difficult or painful to remove,” as this will prevent possible skin abrasions. They direct that the strips should never be removed forcefully (Amazon.com 2009).
This would explain the results experienced by the dissatisfied customers—they were removing the strips incorrectly, or using them on already damaged or irritated skin. Bioré Skincare offers many warnings on their product packages as to when not to use the strips, and on the best ways to prevent irritation. However, all the warnings that Bioré Skincare offers its customers concern whether or not they should be using the strips to begin with. It would be helpful, in the future, if Bioré Skincare added another set of instructions for how to deal with a strip already on the nose. People using the strips, whether they ought to or not, would really benefit from tips about safe removal from the skin. Therefore, while Bioré Skincare is making a useful and effective product, they do not offer enough information for their customers on the correct use.
Despite the fact that they may not know the method for the correct removal of the strips, many people have found the strips to be beneficial. “This product is fantastic” writes one reviewer from Amazon.com (2009). Another customer also praises the product, but warns future users to “take the package directions seriously” (Amazon.com 2009). Bioré Pore Cleansing Strips should be viewed as a serious skin treatment, and consumers need to carefully follow all the directions they are given, for the best results. There are multiple accounts of people who have used Bioré Pore Cleansing Strips over long periods of time, and have noticed improvement (Amazon.com 2009, Kern 2008). Several people offer tricks that let the strips work better for them; one person advises users to use hot water to open the pores before applying the strips. Another person recommends using an astringent after the removal of the strip, to aid the skin-clearing process (Amazon.com 2009). The people who are the most satisfied with the Pore Cleansing Strips are more likely to have oily or combination skin, because these types of skin would be less sensitive to possible removal of excess skin cells (Different Types 2005).
Every person’s skin is different, and ultimately different products can help or harm different people. The key to skin health is knowing your skin and its reactions to different active ingredients. While Bioré Deep Pore Cleansing Strips are not for everyone, they can be effective for the right people with the right pores. The first step is to consider if the Pore Cleansing Strips are right for one’s skin type. People with more oil in their skin will be more susceptible to plugs and comedo, and less susceptible to irritation from dry skin, whereas people with dry or sensitive skin should consider a gentler alternative for cleaning their pores. The second step is to learn how the Pore Cleansing Strips are used correctly during removal. Peeling off the strip gently and with extra moisturizing will help it pull out the blackheads but leave the healthy skin unharmed. Afterwards, it may increase skin health by applying a cooling agent, to calm the skin, or a gentle scrub, to wash out the pores. Following these two steps should result in much better results for your skin. Say yes to Bioré’s Deep Pore Cleansing Strips, but make sure to use them correctly!
Amazon, Inc. (2009). Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from Amazon.com. WebSite: http://www.amazon.com/Bioré-Deep-Cleansing-Pore-Strips/dp/B000H8Y4Q6
Bioré Skincare. (2009). Bioré Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from Bioré Skincare: Official Site. WebSite: http://www.Bioré.com/usa/products/productInfo.asp?productid=9
Bioré Skincare. (2009). Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from Bioré Skincare: Official Site. WebSite: http://www.Bioré.com/usa/products/productInfo.asp?productId=10
Bioré Skincare. (2009). Combo Pack Deep Cleansing Pore Strips. Retrieved January 14, 2009, from Bioré Skincare: Official Site. WebSite: http://www.Bioré.com/usa/products/productInfo.asp?productId=19
College Times. (2009). Product of the Week: Bioré Nose Strips. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from College Media Network. WebSite: http://media.www.ecollegetimes.com/media/storage/paper991/news/2008/06/12/Style/Product.Of.The.Week.Bioré.Nose.Strips-3381687.shtml
Cunliffe MD, William J., Holland, D.B., & Jeremy, A. (2004). Comedone formation: Etiology, clinical presentation, and treatment. Clinics in Dermatology, 22(5), 367-374. Retrieved from Science Direct.
Different Types of Acne. (2005). Retrieved February 2, 2009, from Acne.com Official Site. WebSite: http://www.acne.com/types_acne/acne_types.php
Foster, Niki. (2009). What is Menthol? Retrieved January 17, 2009, from wiseGEEK.com. WebSite: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-menthol.htm
Healy, Eugene, & Simpson, N. (1994) Acne Vulgaris. British Medical Journal (International Ed.), 308(6932), 381. Retrieved from Proquest.
Kern, Daniel W. (2008). Acne Info. Retrieved January 15, 2009. from Acne.Org. WebSite: http://www.acne.org/Bioré-deep-cleansing-pore-strips-reviews/263/page1.html
Mayo Foundation. (2009). Drugs and Supplements: Tea Tree Oil. Retrieved January 17, 2009, from Mayoclinic.com. WebSite: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tea-tree-oil/NS_patient-teatreeoil
Reilly, Margaret G. (1950). Juvenile Acne. The American Journal of Nursing, 50(5), 269-271. Retrieved from JSTOR.
Skin Blackheads and their treatment. (2006). Retrieved February 7, 2009, from Hippocrates, Canada. WebSite: http://www.acne-scars.ca/comedones/rid-blackhead.htm
Smith, S. E. (2009). What is Witch Hazel? Retrieved January 17, 2009, from wiseGEEK.com. WebSite: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-witch-hazel.htm
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