Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Face Shop Volcanic Clay Black Head Charcoal Nose Strip Review

The Face Shop has a small line containing New Zealand Volcanic Clay that eliminates blackheads, with products including nose packs and nose strips. Here I'll be reviewing the Volcanic Clay Black Head Charcoal Nose Strip, which can be purchased individually or in a set of seven. This nose strip also comes in Aloe, but I chose Charcoal since that seems more hardcore.
The front shows that this product uses New Zealand volcanic mud, which contains natural minerals, to clear pores and create smooth skin. This product's webpage states that this nose pack removes blackheads and dead skin cells thoroughly.
The directions on the backside follow the illustrations well. Start by washing your face and leaving your nose very wet, then remove the lining from the strip. Place the strip across the bridge of your nose as reference and firmly press down from center outward, making sure that the entire strip is on your skin and that there are no air bubbles. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes until the strip has completely hardened on your skin, and slowly remove from the edge inward. There is also a warning, cautioning people only to use this product up to two times a week.
The strip has a grayish, fuzzy side (top photo) and a black smooth side that is directly against the plastic film (bottom photo); the latter is the side to be placed directly against the nose, and the orientation follows the former (the strip should have the "M" shape while on your nose).
Please excuse the most unflattering, unnecessary close-ups...! It's stressful knowing that I only get one chance with nose strips, especially with my past experience with nose strips, it usually never turned out well. But this time was a success! I doused my nose with cold water, then carefully lined the "U" at the bridge of my nose and placed the rest of the strip on my nose, pushing down firmly from center outward. Not the entire strip stuck to my nose; the bottom edge was very resistant. The first few minutes, the strip feels like slipping off, but just keep it in place until it molds around your nose. Within three minutes you can feel it hardening and stiffening and becoming sticky to touch. After 10 minutes it has completely hardened. This was when I felt air gaps, which means I wouldn't be able to remove all the blackheads.
Here is the strip after I removed it, with gunk stil intact. Removing it doesn't hurt if you go really slowly, but it is stuck on pretty well, like paper mâché. Because there were those gaps around the edge, I was able to peel it away. Peeling this did give me some tooth pain, however, because I had a root canal done on my front tooth and the nasal cavity is connected to the oral cavity. This sounds a bit gross, but I was able to see the gunk being pulled out deep within my pores. It's very satisfying to actually see my face being cleaned. On the left, you can see white gunk sticking up. The strip completely removed deeply inside these pores (which are about 2 mm long), while the center and other side got about 25% of the length (about .5 mm long). To avoid this, next time I have to make sure that every part of the strip is firmly on my nose, with no air bubbles.
Clearly I didn't think through about the before and after photos, since they have different lighting. I'm only using these to demonstrate the effects after removing the nose strip. The charcoal, when wet, left black watermarks on my face and fingertips, which are easy to wash off. Also to show just how effective this strip is, the pores of which had gunk removed are now very red. (Well my entire face looks red because of this lighting...but that's not the case)!

The Pros
  • It is fairly easy to use after the first time around.
  • It removed gunk deep in my pores (though only on the right side of my nose; left side in strip photo).
  • There is virtually no scent; there was an initial, very subtle scent when I placed the strip on my nose, but I got used to it within a minute.
  • My nose definitely feels matte and really clean afterwards.
The Cons
  • The 2D shape of the strip doesn't fit perfectly around my nose, especially at the bottom edge of the strip near my nostrils.
  • It may be difficult to remove air bubbles within the strip, which results to not maximizing the strip's strength of ripping out all the blackheads.
Overall, I am really satisfied with this nose strip! I'm surprised that this one use removed so much gunk deep into my pores. Now that I get the hang of it, hopefully next time I'll be able to remove more of the gunk all around my nose. Using strips is the best, most direct way of removing blackheads, so I can't wait to get my hands on more of these!

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