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Does Shu Uemura Porefinist really remove blackheads?

PMA ponders…Can Shu Uemura Porefinist really remove blackheads? It’s a Japanese cleansing oil which claims to remove blackheads. 

The Beauty Brains respond: 

If you check out their website you’ll see an interesting demonstration featuring what appears to be two metal plates with holes that have been filled with keratotic plugs (aka fake blackheads.) The plates are dipped into two solutions; one is their special cleansing oil and the other is a water based facial wash.  You can then watch as the fake blackheads are dissolved. The oil-based product (not surprisingly) does a better job of dissolving the oily material.

The test design raises some questions. For example, the disclaimer says the keratotic plugs consist of “oleic acid a key component of sebum and solid wax which has similar melting point as human lipids.”  It makes a big difference what kind of solid wax they use. Even though the melting points may be the same there may be natural components in human waxes that make them partially water-soluble. Therefore this demonstration doesn’t necessarily prove that the product will work like this in real life.

Porefinist claims

The website features a couple of interesting claims but you have to read the fine print to really understand what them mean:

“Removes keratotic plugs lodged inside pores a reduction of 36%”

According to the fine print, this number is based on expert evaluation  of 40 Asian women, using the product twice a day for four weeks. Of course there’s no comparison to anything. How much of a reduction would one see from just using soap and water? We can’t tell. Therefore the claim is meaningless.

“The first black head away greasiness free cleansing oil”

Wow, that’s a pretty impressive claim. This must be the first product of it’s kind therefore it’s very special and probably worth more money how else could they make this claim, right?  Not really, since the fine print says “with in Shu Uemura.” That just means it’s the first time this company has launched this kind of product. That’s certainly not evidence of a technological breakthrough.

Regulates sebum secretion

There’s no fine print that defines this claim any further so it’s hard to understand exactly what this means. It could just be that it removes sebum and therefore it regulates it.

Porefinist Ingredients

Ethylhexyl palmitate, isopropyl myristate, caprictriglyceride, polyglyceryl-6 dicaprate, dicaprylylcarbonate, polyglyceryl-10 dioleate,phenoxyethanol,  polybutene, polyglyceryl-2 oleate,dicaprylyl ether, tocopherol, squalane, simmondsiachinesis oil,menthoxypropanediol, carthamustinctorius oil, capryloyl salicylic acid, propyleneglycol, capryloyl glycine, sarcosine, prunus cerasusextract, cinnamomum zeylanicum extract, prunusyedoensis leaf extract, parfum.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

Does this product remove blackheads? According to the 40 test person it does work. However, since the product wasnt tested in comparison to anything else, we have no way of knowing if it works better or worse than any other product that you might care to use. There’s nothing here to indicate that you should spend a lot of money on this product (but you can certainly give it a try if you’re interested.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michelle Reece May 7, 2014, 10:34 pm

    Gasp! I know why it could “remove” blackheads: it’s the capryloyl salicylic acid. It’s similar salicylic acid, only “gentler”.

    While there aren’t any particularly any potent detergents in the product, I really doubt it’ll have a decent effect, because it’s washed off.

  • Helena May 8, 2014, 5:23 am

    I am skeptical to it working as promised.


  • Eunice November 20, 2014, 8:12 am

    Pretty late response, but I was looking forward to an actual test for this product. As you have said, the price is pretty steep and as a consumer it is always nice to witness a products effectivity

  • DracheMitch April 24, 2016, 12:02 pm

    So…you talk about what shu uemura has written on their website, but you didn’t try the product, which makes you even less qualified to discuss it, but then you make the claim that it isn’t worth the price.


    • Randy Schueller April 25, 2016, 8:27 am

      Our assessment was based the technology used in the product. There is no indication that their technology is better than other products. Therefore, I doubt it worth the money.