I'm one ineffective treatment away from throwing my hands in the air and surrendering to the blackheads on my nose. I've tried strips, exfoliating peels, clay scrubs, and even those magnetic masks that are supposed to suck the clogged dirt and oil straight from your pores, and nothing works. Whatever unpleasant mixture has taken up residence inside my skin isn't going anywhere without a fight. Hence my curiosity over the selection of blackhead suction devices on Amazon that claim to vacuum the junk out in a matter of seconds.
After steaming and cleansing, you're meant to gently glide the tip of these devices over your skin to suction up dirt, oil, and debris. But quite frankly, they look terrifying. The rechargeable, suction-tipped tools resemble dental drills.
A quick scroll of the customer reviews reveals a lot of raves—some people swear it's the only thing that's ever cleared their skin—but also a few hard passes that state that it's just another useless tool to cram under the sink.
"Rarely do I see instant results with these kind of things, but with this tool, the difference I saw before and after was significant," wrote one buyer. "I have very stubborn pores that even pore strips can't remove, and it is super annoying because you can see all the tiny black dots on my nose. This thing managed to suck them all out easily leaving me with a clean nose."
The other side didn't waste time getting to the point. "It didn't suck anything out at all."
Before I drop $30 on a tool that I don't have space for in my bathroom and that might not even work, I reached out to a dermatologist to find out this sort of device is effective and safe for your skin.
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"The issue is that many blackheads are tightly clogged and the low levels of suction used by these devices may not be strong enough to remove them," explains Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
The alternative isn't using one with a higher level of suction, though. Dr. Zeichner says that this intense pressure could result in trauma to the skin and bruising.
If low levels of suction work for your skin, pairing this sort of device with exfoliation could help keep your pores clean and stop new blackheads from forming. You could also try a metal tool called a comedone extractor, which uses pressure to remove the blackhead. But these also have the potential to damage your skin if you don't know how to use them correctly. I didn't even own a full set of kitchen knives until about three months ago, so I'm not fussing with sharp tools on my face.
At the end of the day, the safest option is probably just booking yourself a dermatologist appointment or spending cash on a facial.