Every month I plan to feature one DIY post on a variety of topics from beauty, home-cleaning, decorating and more. I have no problem buying quality products that I love, but I also enjoy experimenting with homemade versions too and seeing what I can create with my own two hands. Sometimes, the retail product is superior and other times, the DIY version is the clear winner in both results and cost. In this instance, the DIY pore strips beat the store-bought strips and cost a fraction of the price to make too. Win-Win.
The 2 Ingredient, Budget Friendly DIY Pore Strips
I’ve used commercial pore strips with modest success. They never seemed to do a great job and my best bet was a facial with a good, gentle technician. While I adore facials, my budget doesn’t permit them as often as I’d like, which meant I had to use pore strips. Or did I? Nope. My good friend, Pinterest, had an easy solution for me. If you spend much time on Pinterest, you probably have seen these homemade pore strips and wondered whether to try them. I’ll share my experiences to help you determine whether they are right for you.
Tips and Tricks to Successfully Using Homemade Pore Strips
Here are a few tips and tricks you want to know prior to using them..
They Smell Bad
Gelatin is a fascinating product. Most of us think of Jello, which doesn’t stink, because it has a ton of flavoring added to mask the natural odor of gelatin. If you have a very sensitive nose or high gag reflex, the smell will likely bother you to the point where you cannot use it.
Possible Solutions: I knew this beforehand, so I used coconut milk versus regular milk, which definitely helped mask the scent without affecting its overall effectiveness. Another alternative if you use regular milk is to add some essential oils.
It May Not Be a Pain-Free Experience
Most ladies are familiar with the pain of waxing. Again, every individual is different and some of us have a high tolerance for pain while other’s don’t. This isn’t child-birth pain (to be fair I have never given birth, but it looks like it hurts!) but you are essentially ripping blackheads or gunk out of your pores. Thus, you want to avoid your hairline, upper lip and any “fuzz” on your face, because then it will really be a facial wax. I did not find it overly painful, but those with ultra-sensitive skin may want to test on a small area first.
My Recommendation: I strongly suggest starting with your nose only. It’s a small area and is likely where the majority of your blackheads are. Once you know how much it hurts (or doesn’t), then you can decide whether to use it as a face mask for future uses. Some people may experience redness (I didn’t), so be mindful if your skin is sensitive. I wouldn’t try this for the first time right before a hot date or a job interview in case you experience a bad reaction.
Apply a Thick Layer to Create Your “Strip”
One common mistake regarding these DIY pore strips is that users spread too thin of a layer on their face. When it is time to peel the mask off, there isn’t anything to grab and pull. They end up rubbing or washing the gelatin concoction off their face with a washcloth. The good news? Your skin will likely still be nice and soft. The bad news? You won’t really clean your pores or remove blackheads.
Success Tip: Be generous. You don’t need to go crazy, but you need to put enough on your face (or nose) that when the mixture hardens, you have something to grasp. If it takes more than 10 minutes to dry, you likely have the opposite problem and put too much on. It should still work, but you don’t need to use that much in the future.
DIY Pore Strips
Two simple, every day ingredients create a mask or pore strip that will eliminate those pesky blackheads and leave your skin soft and supple.
- 1 Tablespoon Knox Unflavored Gelatin
- 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk*
- Combine ingredients in a small, microwaveable bowl.
- Heat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave.
- Apply immediately to face (or targeted area) in a thick, even layer. Be sure to avoid the eye area and any areas with hair.
- Let mixture dry completely, (I wait five minutes, just to really let it set), then peel the mask off.
You can use regular, soy or almond milk but be aware that it will smell bad. Coconut milk helps mask the odor. Coconut milk can be frozen, which is what I did. I made a few coconut milk ice cubes (about 1 Tablespoon per cube) and they will keep for 3 months in your freezer. The unthawed coconut milk cube may separate but should be fine with a good stirring and/or after you heat it with the gelatin.
I use the remaining coconut milk as a hair mask. Coconut milk is high in protein, which makes your hair strong and high in fat, which moisturizes your hair. Just massage the coconut milk into your scalp and hair, then cover with a shower cap and wrap a warm towel around your head. After 15 minutes, shampoo and condition as normal.
I actually halve the recipe, and it still makes enough for my nose, partial cheeks, chin and forehead. I don’t completely cover my entire face but hit the areas that need it.
Do not substitute Jello for the unflavored gelatin. They are not the same product. Even if it still works, you run the risk of having a green, red or purple face from the food dye.
Recipe Source: Barefoot Blonde
DIY Pore Strips — To Use Or Not To Use?
I do recommend these DIY pore strips as a good alternative to commercial pore strips. They were equally as effective for me and very budget friendly. It cost $3 for the gelatin and coconut milk, and I will make approximately 8 masks/strips, which is a real deal.
What are some of your favorite DIY beauty products?