Pore Vacuums: What You Need to Know & Do they Actually Work?
If you’ve been on social media recently you’ll see one of the latest skincare trends are pore vacuums. These viral videos of facialists using pore vacuums to suction out clogged pores, dead skin, and more, is addicting to watch but is it really working? We can see from the videos the suction seems effective but after trying it out ourselves, there’s definitely some downsides and we want to share them with you!
What is a Pore Vacuum?
Before we dive deeper into the pros and cons, lets first address What is a pore vacuum and What does it exactly do?
Overtime, especially if we’re not consistently washing our face, natural oils and dead skin can buildup and cause clogged pores, acne, and more. The great thing about pore vacuums is that they do exactly that. They vacuum your pores extracting build up like blackheads in usually hard to reach areas like on or around the nose. Like the viral videos have shown, you simply turn on the device, stick the gentle circular tip on your skin, then slowly glide over your pores. It's straightforward and easy to use BUT, does it really work?
Does it Really Work? Here's our experience:
Not all pore vacuums are alike and everyone’s skin is different, so the answer to this is yes and no. Pore vacuums all have different levels of suction from high to low and in between. That combined with varying skin types makes it difficult to answer if it generally works for everyone BUT, we've spoken directly to our professional facialist at Han's Beauty and even put one to the test. Here's what we found:
If you have sensitive skin, are prone to redness, irritation, or have a skin condition like eczema and rosacea, it’s generally speaking best to avoid a tool like this in your routine. While it’s satisfying to watch the before and after as there are real good results, realistically for someone with sensitive skin it will cause irritation, redness, potentially even bruising and scarring, if not carefully done. What is not being shared in viral videos is that there is a trained facialist behind the pore vacuum and it's likely a professional pore vacuum as opposed to an over the counter one for at home use. For example, one that we tested has a low, medium, and high setting and even though we started off with the low suction level, the power was strong. Too strong. We had to continuously glide it over the skin otherwise leaving it on one area would hurt and suction too much to the point where it was hard to take off the skin unless we turned the power off. After speaking to our facialist at Han's Beauty, she mentioned that "there are genuine concerns when using a pore vacuum because if used improperly, especially with ones that are available for the everyday consumer, they can cause at the very least redness and inflammation, or even bruising and broken capillaries" (Han's Beauty Esthetician, Celine). Therefore, the side effects and risks generally outweigh the benefits and we’d recommend saving the money and investing in good skin care instead. A cleanser, exfoliant, moisturizer, and toner, should be the foundation of your skincare routine. Perhaps the reason you’re looking into the pore vacuum despite having sensitive skin is because you have clogged pores. If that’s the case, look for ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, vitamin c, and sulfur which exfoliate and can deeply remove clogged pores from beneath the skin’s surface without being so aggressive and rough on the skin like a pore vacuum.
For normal skin, acne prone skin, and anybody still interested in trying, it’s most important to prep the skin. Even with professional facials, your skin needs to be treated prior, to leave it soft and malleable before extracting. Rest a damp warm washcloth on the area you’re looking to treat for a few minutes. ALWAYS start with a low suction level and slowly glide back and forth across the area. For acne prone skin, remember, if it’s not ready don’t try to get it out! This goes for the pore vacuum, pore extractor tools, or even just your hands. Sometimes pimples and zits are simply not ready. They are underneath the skin and trying to get it out when it’s too early can cause serious scarring and damage the surrounding healthy skin.
Overall, keep in mind that a pore vacuum is a tool to ASSIST with your skincare routine NOT replace. A good consistent skincare is first and foremost including a cleanser, exfoliator, moisturizer, and toner at minimum. While yes some of the before and after videos we come across have amazing results, likely, theres more to it than what we see. Thankfully, if you're still intrigued enough to try it, you likely will not experience permanent damage but proceed with caution!