DIY Pore Strips Gone Wrong

If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you’ve probably seen the DIY pore strips pin being repinned about a thousand times. I was one of those repinners. I’m kind of a sucker for homemade cleansers and “hacks”, although I do kind of hate the term hack being bandied about so often on the interwebs these days. In the normal course of my life, I probably would never have gotten around to actually finding gelatin and doing this, but I got a sunburn on top of peeling skin last weekend, and I knew drastic measures were called for.

So, I went to the Foreign Market in Itaewon and found a non-Knox brand of plain gelatin for 3,000 won a box. Not bad. Pore strips cost a fortune here and the handful of times I’ve tried them, I haven’t seen much of a difference. Anyway, the instructions are simple and straightforward: mix 1T gelatin with about 1.5T milk. When it’s smooth, nuke for 15 seconds and apply quickly.

Milk+ non-Knox gelatin+ cup+ chopsticks= DIY pore strips or a chemical peel. YMMV

Ready to go. Feels like boiling oil going on, feels like superglue coming off.

Here is my review in a nutshell:


  • Easy
  • Cheap (less than $1)
  • My goodness does it work– I don’t think my pores have been this smooth since I was born.
  • All the peeling skin was removed, except near my hairline, because I left a wide margin, in case it pulled my hair out. (Which it did.)
  • Afterward, I spent several hours out in the heat and humidity after and my skin wasn’t at all “glowy” (shall we say).


  • Microwaved liquids are hot and hurty on the skin. The tutorial emphasized the need to work quickly, but I couldn’t because of the heat.
  • It was drippy, so I ended up pulling a hunk out of each eyebrow, and not even symetrically.
  • Taking it off, I felt like I had superglued duct tape to my face. No lie. I had to take breaks.
  • It took off so much of the peeling skin, that I bled in two small spots on my forehead, in the middle of large patches of skin which looked weepy for a while.
  • 24 hours later, I still look like I had a chemical peel.

Immediately after. Why no, I didn’t have a chemical peel, I just have naturally youthful skin…

So, it worked, but…

All things considered, I’ll probably use it on my T-zone again, just because it’s so effective and my nose and chin haven’t figured out I’m not a teen anymore. In all fairness to the recipe, I used non-Knox gelatin and skim milk, either of which could have had an effect on the outcome, and it may not be intended for all skin types. Also, I have had a fair bit of peach fuzz on my face, and I think ripping those hairs out caused a fair bit of the pain.

BTW It will rip out any hairs it comes in contact with. Check out my eyebrows. You can see the hairless hole clearly on one, but the other one also has a bare patch towards the temple.

1 hour later

24 hours later