This story originally appeared on Shape.com.
If you've done everything in your power to remedy blemishes and get rid of blackheads—pore strips, exfoliators, face masks, professional treatments—to no avail, it might be time to put one of the talked-about pore vacuums to the test. Chances are, you've read first-person reviews of these devices and heard about their disgusting yet oddly satisfying results. You can actually see the gunk pulled out of your skin in the machine's cap. *Shiver.*
Like many coveted skin-care tools, you're also probably under the impression that this blackhead removing bad boy also costs a fortune. Well, that's where you'd be wrong. Right now, you can snag a top-rated blackhead removing device on Amazon for 40 percent off. Enter: the Lenove Pore Vacuum (Shop it! $25, amazon.com), which is the retailer's very own choice for "blackhead suctioner"—so you know it's going to be good.
Essentially, this machine is a tiny vacuum-like device that sucks all the gunk—oil, dead skin cells, bacteria—from your face. The gadget comes with three adjustable suction settings, accommodating everything from dry and oily skin to combination and sensitive types. It also has four interchangeable probes or caps to address a number of skin issues, including blackheads, enlarged pores, acne scarring, and fine lines and loose skin. The pore vacuum even utilizes blue LED light to help shrink and repair pores and to keep future blackheads at bay. What more could you ask for?
Now, while these devices can be effective at overhauling gunk from your skin, don't expect them to ~bipity, bopity, boo~ and get rid of every single blackhead ever. Pore vacuums, such as this one from Amazon, can help remove excess debris from the skin, but their ability to truly clear blackheads and whiteheads is somewhat limited, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "They can help get you over the finish line, but only after you've trained and run the most of the race," he adds. Meaning, pore vacuums are a good gadget to help maintain your skin between professional treatments and other clear-skin practices, but they're not the be-all, end-all to clogged pores.
He also cautions patients who use retinol or hydroxyacids, such as glycolic acid, to be careful when using pore vacuums since these ingredients already make the skin more sensitive. Dr. Zeichner also doesn't recommend these machines for people with generally sensitive skin, as overuse can lead to irritation and trauma.
Still, the hype is very much alive and very much well. The Lonove Pore Vacuum has over 1,200 glowing reviews from Amazon customers, who swear that it eliminated their blackheads. One happy user, who was a total skeptic at first, said that it cleaned her pores in an instant, exclaiming, "where has this been my whole life?" On top of getting rid of all those dark, pesky dots, shoppers also tout it for improving fine lines and wrinkles, tightening and smoothing skin, and minimizing enlarged pores.
One reviewer wrote: "This thing is seriously AMAZING! I have had blackheads on my nose and chin for YEARS. No amount of peeling masks or nose strips ever got ride of them. Needless to say, I was shocked after using this little machine. Even on the lowest setting, it’s super powerful. I used it straight out of the shower and then used an exfoliating scrub to wash off anything remaining on my face (in some spots it pulled up a lot of dead skin cells as well as blackheads) and my skin felt smoother than I’ve ever felt it. I made my boyfriend let me use it on him and it’s insanely satisfying to actually watch it working. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone with stubborn blackheads!"
"During COVID, you don't really want to go out for a facial and others touch your face. So, I decided to purchase this product with the recommendation from another friend. I have little whiteheads, blackheads and enlarged pores on my t-zone area, so was looking to reduce those. I have no acnes issues, so didn't expect much to come out. But I used this for the first time, and am pleasantly surprised at how much suctioned out. I am very satisfied with this purchase, definitely great for the price!" raved another.
"I have blackheads on the sides of my nose that I just couldn't get rid of," shared a customer. "This product, on first use, was very effective. On third use, I think 90 percent of the blackheads are gone and the skin in the affected areas is much smoother and feels healthier. The suction is nice and powerful and the easy of use and clean is perfect."
Pro tip: Many users did suggest investing in a facial steamer or taking a hot shower prior to using the Lonove Pore Vacuum to ensure your pores are properly open and to lower the risk of bruising and skin damage. (While some hickey-like bruising was reported on the higher levels of suction, shoppers promise it'll go away after some time.)