Recently, I was minding my own business and testing out Fenty Lip Paint in Sephora without a care in the world — until I caught a glimpse of my skin illuminated in the magnified LED mirror. And while it may sound dramatic to say that seeing every shockingly gunked-up pore exposed left me subsequently questioning my entire identity, here we are.
But really, I knew I was only getting what was coming to me: skincare karma, if you will. Between substituting a full cleanse for makeup wipes on one too many late nights and skipping out on my weekly resurfacing treatment of Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial (the pump broke and scraping it out gets messy), my skincare sins had been plenty.
Upon seeing my skin in that fateful Sephora mirror, I knew I was in need of a serious reset — and stat — so I decided it was time to add a pore vacuum to my skincare arsenal. While some pore vacuums — which basically work as suction devices to rid the pores of dirt, oil, and makeup buildup — can cost a couple hundred dollars, I was more interested in finding a budget-friendly option with equally-impressive reviews. Enter: Spa Sciences MIO Pore Vacuum, the handy little tool I have to thank for my deep-pore detox and currently *glowing* skin.
Aside from its sleek design and aesthetically-pleasing mint colorway that’s earned a spot on my vanity, the Spa Sciences MIO tool first caught my eye for its versatility: It comes with five customizable speeds, three separate extracting tips, a rejuvenating tip for microdermabrasion, and conveniently charges by USB, making it ideal for travel.
From the very first use, I was hooked on how I could actually see the dirt, oil, dead skin, and impurities the MIO had lifted from my pores and into the vacuum (gross, yet oh so very satisfying). I ran the vacuum along my nose and T-zone, ensuring it didn’t pause over one area for too long (per the directions), and immediately could tell a difference in my pores.
Between the drastic improvement in my skin’s clarity and the instant gratification of seeing un-gunked pores, I was using the vacuum almost nightly. It wasn’t until I spoke with Dr. Shari Sperling, a New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist, that I learned my daily use was actually overkill and could potentially be dangerous to my skin in the long-haul. Like most good things in life, moderation is key.
“If you choose to use a pore vacuum, do so very sparingly and gently. No more than once a week,” said Dr. Sperling. “You have to be very careful because they can sometimes cause more harm than good, such as scarring, infections (depending on how clean these instruments are), bruising, or broken blood vessels.”
Dr. Sperling does recommend that to get the most out of a pore vacuum, you’ll want to use it after taking a steamy shower so the pores are opened and easier to detox. If you have an at-home facial steamer, 10 minutes in front of the heating mist will do the trick, too.
Thanks to the Spa Sciences MIO tool, I can now walk into any Sephora without dodging the sight of my own pores close-up in the makeup mirror. And at the end of the day, what’s better than that?