Is Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Blackhead Kit Worth All the Buzz?
This Holika Holika Pig Nose blackhead-blasting kit has been and still is all the rage in the K-beauty scene. But does it really live up to the hype? We take you step-by-step through the process and reveal the gory (but satisfying) evidence.
I try not to judge a book by its cover, but I confess I totally did with Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit. I mean, the package is super cute, but it’s pastel-colored and has drawings of pig noses, which doesn’t vibe well with a 30-something-year-old in a serious battle against some dire signs of aging. And the name is just way too long.
So even though I knew this adorable holy grail was an epic hit for the popular K-beauty brand, I never thought of trying it myself. That is, until a free one landed on my vanity one day. Considering my skin has yet to appear poreless, I decided to give it a go but without high expectations — my defense mechanism against disappointment when trying hyped bestsellers.
Spoiler alert: Three more of these piggies are on their way to me as I type.
Why use it
Here’s a breakdown of the kit’s pros and cons, and how I came to the conclusion that ultimately, this pore-perfector in all its bubblegum-pop glory is worthwhile for almost anyone with pores, young or not so young.
The truth is, regardless of how many pore-cleaning products we use, there’s just no escaping the need for manual extraction of blackheads and other buildup in pores. Clearing out the congestion not only allows oxygen to flow through so the accumulation of bacteria is delayed, it also helps maximize the effects of pore-minimizing products we use. Whether we do the dirty deed ourselves or turn to an esthetician, coercing the gunk out once in a while is a can’t-miss step in the pursuit of pore-fection.
That’s when Holika Holika’s 3-step kit comes in handy. It’s an affordable, easy way to extract blackheads, whiteheads, and other impurities out of your nose pores in one fell swoop. Plus, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home for that pre- and post-extraction pampering that you’d receive from a facialist.
The first step of the kit is a strip infused with witch hazel water, peppermint leaf extract, and more botanicals that soften the buildup in pores. This helps dissolve even the most stubborn of clogs and preps your pores for the most effective extraction.
After cleansing, apply the strip onto your dry nose and remove after 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll most likely see that some impurities have already been coaxed out of your pores. Make sure to to sweep these away with the strip.
I love doing this first step, or any other pore treatment, after a nice soak in a warm bath. This really helps open up my pores so their unwanted guests can make an easy exit.
The dramatic exit happens in step 2, which is a strip crafted with purifying ingredients like kaolin and lemon extract.
To apply, wet your entire nose with some water and apply the strip, sticky side down. Make sure your fingers are completely dry! Otherwise, the strip will stick to your fingers and dampen on the outside, which prolongs the mummifying time.
The strip will harden after about 10 to 15 minutes, and that’s when you can slowly and gently peel it off, starting from the outer edges and working your way towards the middle. I find the tugging and pulling to be less aggressive on delicate skin if I press down on my skin near the edge of the strip with one finger and then start peeling at that edge with my other hand.
Depending on how polluted your pores are, you’ll see an array of uglies stuck to the underside. Warning: Staring at the grossness may get addicting!
After you manage to pry your eyes off the strip and discard it, you then baby your pores with the third and final gel strip to protect your pores from PTSD. Soothing aloe vera, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and brightening and tightening lemon and lime extracts replenish skin with moisture and nutrients while minimizing pores to help block out future buildup.
Like a facial mask, you simply apply the strip onto your nose and remove after 10 to 15 minutes to reveal a smoother, softer nose. There’s likely going to be some leftover essence, so just tap that into skin and and follow up with moisturizer. No rinse necessary!
No, the Pig Nose Clear Blackhead Kit does not remove every blackhead and whitehead from pores in a single session, just to set the record straight.
Yes, it’s worth all the hype nonetheless, mainly because it does an amazing job lifting out a lot of the impurities all at once and without the irritation, redness, or inflammation you’d get from squeezing or extracting one by one. I found it to be especially powerful in yanking out some of my bigger blackheads and most of the smaller whiteheads. As for the remaining blackheads? NBD, as I handle the stragglers with my Skinmiso Comedo Remover immediately after step 2. In fact, this kit is like a major head start in the painful race of one-by-one manual extraction. It saves precious time in front of the mirror if you usually do this on your own or saves your wallet if you normally get it done professionally.
Speaking of pain, I didn’t find the step 2 strip to hurt as other reviewers did, but then again my skin is not sensitive, and I have a high tolerance for pain for the sake of beautiful skin. Even if you have a low pain threshold, I’d say this strip (with its one-time peel) still wins over squeezing or extracting every single pore by hand since that stretches out the time you have to endure the suffering.
As a cherry on top, the other two strips in the kit that prep our pores before and after the treatment are so thoughtful and convenient. I love that I’m not left on my own to decide what ingredients or products will best help soften my stubborn blackheads before the peel, and what will refresh and recover my pores after the removal.
Overall, the kit is the perfect lazy (or smart) beauty trick to quickly and effectively spring clean my nose pores every few weeks and boost the efficacy of the pore-minimizing products I use more regularly. Oh, and the packaging is a pleasant pop of cute in my rather serious-looking mask drawer.
If you’ve tried Holika Holika Pig Nose Clear Blackhead 3-Step Kit before, what are your thoughts? Any other pore-purging strips you love? Let me know!