Trends, Wellness / Self-Care

Pore vacuums have taken over social media, what are they?

Can you actually suck up a clogged pore?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Oct 11, 2022

Are you equally as exhausted as we are with all the skincare trends on TikTok and Instagram? First of all, most of it is just a wannabe influencer who wants to go viral and has no science backing it up. Nearly none of it is dermatologist-approved and it’s labeled as a “hack” by someone with no credibility.


The misinformation that circulates on the platform is toxic and misleading — especially when it comes to pores, those opening in the skin that release sweat and sebum, also known as oil. All skin has pores that can be negatively or positively affected by genetics, skin type, skin history, and environmental factors like pollution, dirt and debris.


There are loads of products and in-office treatments out there whose main benefit is to minimize the appearance of pores, working to clear out the oil, debris, and dirt. But there are certainly no products or ingredients that can clear pores for good. In fact, you need pores to survive. Their main duty is to act as a pathway for fluids and gases to pass through, they are an armor of protection for the skin underneath.


Which is why we wound up scratching our heads when we heard TikTok praising pore vacuums, a device that looks to minimize the appearance of pores by sucking the debris right out. The videos always start with the influencer swiping the pore vacuum across the skin to reveal all the gunk pulled out, convincing fleeting fans that the device completely unclogged pores. Skeptical? Totally. But for the sake of research and truth, we set out to discover what exactly pore vacuums are and how they work. Ahead, we are debunking the


What are pore vacuums?

Pore vacuums are small devices that use high pressure to break through the blackheads filled with oil, dead skin cells, and buildup of products and sunscreen. These oblong skincare tools have multiple suction attachments and levels of pressure. However, the suction is not strong enough to fully extract pore debris. Translation: They are most likely a waste of money.


The vacuum pressure machines are also a lot less effective and powerful than in-office dermatologist treatments and devices. It’s even less effective if you are not a professional and using it on your own because you might not know where to extract or have clear visibility of where the blackheads and whiteheads are.


With that in mind though, the vacuums according to TikTok are rather easy to use. TikTokers say it helps prevent acne from breaking out even further and is safe for all skin types. If you decide to use one, make sure you are conscious of how long you are suctioning, as too much pressure can cause inflammation, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation. If you have a sunburn or open sores, avoid the pore vacuums, as it could further spread the infection.


Some other TikTok trends we’ve investigated: Root clipping and Gen Z critiquing their past selves.


Photo via Amazon