Are Pore Vacuums Safe?

Pore vacuums became popular a couple of years ago as a way to suck out the blackheads on your nose. These tools offer an alternative to pricey facials and can be done from the comfort of your home. But how well do they work and how safe are they for your skin? Experts say these tools aren't a great solution to your blackhead problem.

Pore vacuums work by using suction to pull dirt and sebum from your pores (via Byrdie). While the devices you can buy for yourself aren't as strong as the tools used by professionals, they can still damage your skin. "High suction settings may create micro-tears in the skin and lead to many unwanted side effects," Cula Dautriche, MD, Ph.D., told Byrdie. "Therefore, as a general rule, any form of manipulation to the skin should be done by professionals who are trained to address possible complications."

Dautriche also noted that the oil buildup that causes blackheads won't disappear for good after using a pore vacuum. These vacuums offer a temporary solution that can potentially damage your skin every time.

It is safer to treat blackheads with a topical product

If you want to get rid of blackheads permanently, you'll need more than a pore vacuum. "Acne is a multi-factorial issue," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Zenovia Gabriel told Greatist. "Blackheads and other pimples need topical medication to eliminate and control. There is no one device that solves the whole issue of acne or blackheads — you need a combination approach." Blackheads are typically treated with skin care ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol.

Chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs are also particularly helpful when treating blackheads (via Harper's Bazaar). AHAs, like glycolic acid and lactic acid, can help decongest pores while BHAs like salicylic acid can remove oil buildup within your pores. Clay and charcoal masks also penetrate deep into pores and help dissolve buildup that can lead to blackheads.

If you're really struggling with blackheads, give your dermatologist a visit. Everyone has a unique skin type, and a professional skin doctor is the most qualified person to give you advice on how to treat your woes. They'll also be able to direct you to the safest options, which will leave your skin glowing and healthy for years to come.