Some have branded them a scam. Others sing their praises. Like many skincare devices, pore vacuums have elicited mixed reviews. Sure, there are dramatic before and after videos or photos on social media platforms. However, dermatologists will tell you that pore vacuums are not the end-all of your blackhead and acne problems. And so, we ask, are pore vacuums effective or just a waste of money?
While they're used in in-office treatments by dermatologists, the pore vacuums that you can see and buy online may work differently. Pore vacuums are handheld devices. As its name suggests, they suck out dirt, excess oil, and dead skin cells to decongest pores. Pore vacuums usually have at least two levels of suction and different nozzles for various areas of the face. For best results, you can steam your face first to soften or loosen up oil and buildup.
Dermatology resident Dr. Cula Dautriche tells Byrdie that in general, at-home pore vacuums are less powerful than the ones used in a dermatologist's office. She adds that they can be a temporary solution as pores will always end up clogged with dirt, oil, and product residue. While they are not "miracle devices," Dr. Dautriche does admit that she like the PMD device for its exfoliation and suction features.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anetta Reszko confirms to Harper's Bazaar that pore vacuums are an effective tool for clearing pores. However, pore vacuums will work better with a dedicated skincare routine.
As mentioned, at-home pore vacuums are gentler than medical grade. Before using one, orient yourself with the settings. You'll want to start with the lowest suction level, or you may end up with a hickey. Dr. Rezko warns that other possible side effects include heavy bruising or broken capillaries.
When using a pore vacuum, try to be light-handed and don't press too hard on your skin. Also avoid staying on one area of your face for too long. Stick to the lowest setting if you have sensitive skin or skin conditions like rosacea. If using a pore vacuum causes you pain, stop using it immediately. Dr. Dautriche also advice people with deeper skin tones to be extra cautious. Melanin-rich skin is prone to hyperpigmentation and using a pore vacuum may cause inflammation.
Since going to the dermatologist can be a health risk these days, InStyle recommends a couple of highly-rated pore vacuums to try at home:
This pore vacuum has over 9000 five-star ratings on Amazon. It features five suction levels and four different tips. When fully-charged, the USB rechargeable device last for up to 150 minutes of use.
This is Dr. Dautriche's pore vacuum of choice for at-home use. The PMD Personal Microderm Classic is both a pore vacuum and a microdermabrasion device. It has four exfoliation levels and two tip sizes for face and body use. This device also comes in six colors.
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