Do Pore Vacuums Really Work?

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It's tough to find facial treatments that fit everyone's skin, and it's even tougher when so many beauty fads come in and out of our orbit. So when vacuum sucking pore devices came into popularity, it almost seemed too good to be true. How legit is the pore vacuum for people with stubborn blackheads (no matter how many times they exfoliate or steam)? Also, what is a pore vacuum?

Well, it's exactly what it sounds like — a pore vacuum is a little tool that sucks up dead skin cells. After a viral video featuring the Panasonic Electric Pore Cleanser, people were lining up to suck up the dirt from their skin (via BuzzFeed). 

How does a pore vacuum work?

In order to have a successful pore-vacuuming experience, you'll want to warm up your face with a hot washcloth or steam. Warm water or steam opens up pores, which makes it easier to get rid of unwanted dirt once you turn on your vacuum because it loosens up the dirt (via Cosmopolitan). Once your vacuum is on, all you simply do is glide it across the skin. Be careful to not keep it in one place for too long because it will create a little hickey. 

Dr. Pimple Popper (whose real name is Dr. Sandra Lee) told Elle that pore vacuums may be effective for already loose blackheads, but you have to be careful when you use them. "I think if the suction is too high, it's like giving yourself a hickey," she said. "You can get bruises from it. It's called telangiectasia when you have superficial blood vessels that dilate because you have too much suction or too much pressure on the surface of the skin."

Do they clean your pores? Yes and no

Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, who is the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, explained to The Klog that pore cleansers are somewhat safe to use. "While the devices are safe to use, applying too much suction to the skin can lead to skin bruising and inflammation," he explained. 

Overall, though, don't get your hopes up. These DIY pore vacuums are beneficial for superficial dirt and debris. Blackheads are tougher to remove and you won't feel anything special at the end of your vacuum-experience. A more professional setting will offer more results, as estheticians can adjust their vacuum suction per patient (via the University of Utah). 

In the end, it's actually harder to rely on a pore vacuum to rid your face of all that packed-in grime. Instead, sebum, bacteria, and dirt can be removed with a good ol' facial exfoliant and steam.