Young woman cleaning her skin with clear-up strip (beauty concept)

Pore strips may be just what you need to help put your best face forward.

© Bukovac

Nobody likes blackheads. They're unsightly, and to make matters worse, they tend to pop up on your nose, which just happens to be the centerpiece of your face. If frustrating blackheads are pestering you, pore strips may be just what you need to help make blackheads a thing of the past.

Our pores secrete a substance called sebum, or oil, which helps moisturize and protect our skin, but sometimes sebum and dead skin cells can clog our pores, causing acne [source: Gordon]. Blackheads are a type of acne in which the impacted pores push material out through the follicles -- the bacteria's reaction to oxygen causes the black color [source: WebMD]. Because this material emerges from your pores, pore strips can be handy tools. All you have to do is apply one to the affected area, allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then peel it away. Afterward, if you look closely, you'll be able to see what appear to be tiny hairs stuck to the strip, but they're actually not hairs at all -- they're the sebum and dead skin cells that were clogging your pores [source: Goodheart]. Think of it like waxing -- pore strips just remove blackheads instead of hair.

The effectiveness of pore strips varies on an individual basis. They won't prevent blackheads or acne, but they can help you reduce their appearance. And if you don't want to pay for pore strips, you can even try making your own at home. Read on to learn how.