How to Get Rid of Suction Bruises on Your Face: Pore Vacuum Bruise Fixes

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Blackheads are a menace to our skin! And getting rid of them is a good thing… most of the time. But sometimes, the price of blackhead removal is too high, and you end up damaging the skin to the point that the bruise is worse than the blackhead!

Blackhead vacuums generally do a good job of removing blackheads. But they can go wrong. You may end up with a pore vacuum suction bruise, or a “vacuum hickey“.

In this article, we’ll go over how to get rid of suction bruises on your face. Pore Vacuum Bruise Remedy: here we come!

We’ll also look at some ways to prevent vacuum hickeys from occurring.


Pore Suction Vacuums (aka Blackhead Vacuums)

Blackhead Vacuum

Let’s take a look at what pore vacuums are and how exactly they work to remove blackheads and clear blocked pores. 

At first glance, these devices look a bit like one of those handheld exfoliation brushes. They’re small, lightweight, cylindrical, and feature a cone-shaped suction tip responsible for performing all of the magic. 

How Blackhead Vacuums Work

After turning the suction vacuum on, place the cone-shaped vacuum tip over the areas where you have the highest concentration of blackheads and let it suck them away.

The disgustingly satisfying SPLAT of those ugly little blockages hitting the inside of your pore vacuum is hard to beat. You may be left with a small hole after removing the blackhead, but that should go away with luck.

They only work when the pores are in the right state, and that usually occurs by steaming the face with a facial steamer or a bowl of water and a towel prior to using the vacuum.

Are Pore Vacuums Effective? 

Now, for the real question- do these heavily-promoted devices actually work? 

The consensus is that yes, they do work, especially in conjunction with steaming the face for blackhead removal. See our article on the effectiveness of blackhead vacuums here. Of course, you need to use them properly, follow all of the instructions, and know your face and skin type limits.

The devices should work just as you’d expect.

There’s a reason why they’re still selling out of online stores even a year later. 

However, a couple of problems can occur from overusing these devices, using them improperly, or just purchasing a faulty device that doesn’t work as advertised. 

The Dangers Of Pore Vacuums

The biggest danger of blackhead vacuums is that they have the potential to bruise your face.

It’s sometimes known as a vacuum hickey or a pore vacuum bruise.

It’s not uncommon when you use a pore vacuum improperly, or if you simply have bad luck.

What In The World Is A Vacuum Hickey?

These pore vacuums may seem like a godsend to every person who suffers from blackheads, enlarged pores, and troublesome acne. After all, who hasn’t dreamed of magically sucking away all of those ugly little pore-blocking plugs? 

The only problem was that not all pore vacuums worked as advertised

This combined with the fact that people just started using them without even reading the instructions, led to a host of angry women with bruised faces. Yes, you read that right- bruises all over their face

If you have time, look up some of the pictures online! They’ll definitely make you feel better about your face. 

Dubbed “vacuum hickeys,” these pore vacuum-induced bruises looked just like small, round hickeys that covered the T-zone of first-time users.

How To Get Rid Of Pore Suction Bruises On Your Face

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably one of the unfortunate victims of a pore vacuum’s vicious attack. 

The good news is that there are plenty of remedies that can help you get rid of your vacuum hickey faster or at least reduce its appearance.

Let’s take a look!

Pore Vacuum Bruise Remedy: 6 Home Methods

Don’t have the time or money to visit the beauty spa for a fix? Thankfully there are several home options that can soothe vacuum-bruised skin fast.

1. Apply Ice

As soon as you notice a bruise developing, immediately put ice on it. Ice will reduce the swelling, causing less blood to pool in the area and preventing the bruise from being as large or dark as it would otherwise be. 

2. The Cold Spoon Treatment

If you’re not a fan of putting ice cubes on your face, you can throw a spoon in the freezer for a couple of minutes and use that instead.

It won’t feel quite as cold, and it’s easier to hold. 

3. Apply Heat

After the bruise has formed, apply heat regularly throughout the day. The heat will relax the blood vessels and help the darkened skin dissipate. It will also promote faster healing. 

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been regarded as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It smells pretty potent, but it’s always worth a try! Dip a cotton ball or cloth into some ACV, and then hold it over your bruises for 30 seconds or so.

Your skin should absorb the valuable compounds, and the swelling/size should reduce shortly thereafter. 

5. CBD Topical Creams

CBD, the active ingredient in hemp, is a very popular anti-inflammatory that can also be absorbed through the skin. A number of natural CBD salves and creams exist that you can apply to your face to reduce swelling and promote faster healing. 

6. Use Makeup

Last but not least, makeup is always your friend!

Once you’ve tried all of the other methods to reduce the swelling, size, and severity of the bruise, you’ll usually still have a small bruise left over. As long as the remedies worked, the bruise should be light and small enough to be covered with some foundation. 

Further Professional Treatments

If the bruise simply isn’t healing and has left a nasty welt or mark, there are some professional treatments to explore.

Two key forms of professional treatment can help with bruising. These treatments are very effective but should usually be reserved for more severe injuries that go beyond just a simple bruise.

They’re also a bit more expensive, so that’s another thing to keep in mind. 

Laser Skin Therapy

Not all bruises heal perfectly. Some bruises can leave lasting marks on the skin. Sometimes it will be a dark spot, other times you’ll be left with uneven skin pigmentation. Unfortunately, these can take months to disappear on their own. 

If you want to quickly get rid of them, the easiest thing to do is schedule a couple of laser skin therapy treatments. This involves a plastic surgeon using a focused laser on your damaged skin. This stimulates the face to rapidly repair the damage.

In the process, it completely regenerates your skin, removing the dark spot. 

For at home choices, you could try the Tria Age-Defying Laser, which works in a similar manner.


Trophy Skin RejuvadermMd

This is another popular treatment that involves targeted exfoliation with a small device. The device’s spinning head is coated with microscopic crystals that can exfoliate your skin’s top layers, removing dark spots. Microdermabrasion also stimulates collagen production, which can heal and tighten scars, residual dark spots, and uneven skin tone. 

You can receive professional microdermabrasion at a spa, or you can purchase your own microdermabrasion device for at-home use. 

We want to note that some at-home Microdermabrasion machines like the Trophy Skin RejuvadermMd (which we reviewed here) function as a high-end blackhead vacuum as part of the Microderm process.

How To Prevent Vacuum Hickeys

Here are some top recommendations for preventing suction bruising and vacuum hickeys when using a pore vacuum. 

Purchase A Reliable Brand

See our article here for several of the best blackhead vacuums available. Do note that all of these are pretty inexpensive, and are mostly Chinese brands.

They’re fine, but…

If you’re willing to spend a little more, you could jump up to a microdermabrasion device that has blackhead vacuum functionality like the PMD Personal Microderm Elite, which we reviewed here.

Read The Instructions

When you unbox your new blackhead vacuum, it should come with a comprehensive list of instructions. Make sure that you take the time to read through them and make a point of following them very closely. 

Since each pore vacuum differs from the next, the one that you purchased may have very different features or suction strength than the one that your friend let you try out. 

Always Start Small

When you’re first trying out a new skincare product, you must start small. Almost all of the people with severely bruised faces could have avoided the embarrassment if they had only experimented with a single small section before doing it on their whole face. 

Bruises caused by suction (or hickeys) usually take a few minutes to show up on the skin. This is why some of the cases were so bad. In five minutes, the person had vacuumed their entire face, and then the bruises slowly started to pop up. 

We recommend that you always start with a small section in an area that’s hard to notice if something bad does happen- usually the bottom of your chin or along your jawline. 

Don’t Forget To Steam Your Face

Another reason why bruising can develop is that the user didn’t read instructions, completely skipped the steaming step, and went straight to the vacuuming step! See our article on what to do after steaming your face for more.

You don’t need to use a fancy facial steamer, but they certainly help. Many people like to exfoliate before they steam. You can use just a bowl of hot water and a wet towel, but a steamer is easier.

Steaming your face isn’t just a fancy “extra” to make you feel good; it’s a crucial part of the vacuuming process. The steam helps to prep the pores, and facilitates the removal of blackheads. 

If you fail to steam and prep the pores first, then the device will have to suck twice as hard to remove the blackhead. The vacuum will also be working on dry skin, increasing friction and making it even more painful. 

Blackhead Removal

Blackhead Source: Wikipedia

How many mornings have you spent what seemed like hours leaning over your sink, face to the mirror, squeezing and popping all of the blackheads on your face? 

Suddenly, you feel a crick in your neck start to develop, and you quickly lean back, look down at your phone, and realize that you’ve just spent the past 15 minutes picking at your face. 

No matter how much you pick at them, exfoliate your face, use expensive blackhead strips, or apply strange natural remedies, they just never seem to go away!

Dealing with blackheads can often be one of the most frustrating parts of your skincare routine. We can get rid of acne, we can nail the perfect shade of tan, pluck our hair perfectly, and even reduce wrinkles.

Blackheads, on the other hand, seem near impossible to get rid of. 

A pore vacuum can work well, but make sure you follow out tips above to improve your odds of success.

Final Tips

Don’t let one bad experience ruin pore vacuums for you! As traumatizing as it may be, it’s almost always avoidable. If you think it was the device that caused it, then return it and buy a better one.

Next time you find yourself using one, just be sure to start small, use it on its lowest setting, and follow all of the instructions.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).