Deep Dive Pore Cleansing

Using suction to detoxify and unclog pores


Deep within our pores, sebum plugs develop. South Korean skin care experts coined the term “pore sucking” to describe water-based pore exfoliation. This procedure provides benefits not seen with traditional exfoliation methods. If you have considered adding liquid microdermabrasion services to your practice, this article is for you!

The human skin pore is a dynamic anatomical element. Pores produce gases, oils and sweat. There are two types of pores. Each hair shaft has a pore called the pilosebaceous unit. The purpose of this pore is to secrete sebaceous oils for skin lubrication. Sweat pores have the function of producing a water and salt mixture for evaporative cooling. Pores are the chimney of toxin release. Detoxification through vapor, water and oil occurs through each pore.

This system of aqua exfoliation provides beauty and detoxification benefits, wrinkle management as well as comedone and sweat bump management.

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Pores need help in performing their design purpose. Things can go wrong without pore exfoliation. The most obvious pore failure is the comedone. Here, the failure of sebaceous oil flow, and the accumulation of dead skin cells, sets the stage for bacteria buildup. Sweat bumps are the result of plugging of the sweat pore and backup of sweat.

Pore sucking involves the use of equipment which lays down a serum then vacuums it back into a holding tank. This system of aqua exfoliation provides beauty and detoxification benefits, wrinkle management as well as comedone and sweat bump management. Like a bar of soap, the procedure causes no change in the structure and function of the human body. Estheticians and advanced medical service providers can perform the service.

Aqua exfoliation systems are relatively new to the skin care industry. There are many systems on the market. All systems have common elements. The machine delivers a variable and controllable flow of serum through a hand piece. At the end of the hand piece is a tip. The tip is designed to channel the flow of serum from an output port to a return port. The procedure removes dead skin debris, oils, salts and toxins.

Systems on the market have different options and pricing. A station is the reservoir holding the serum. Single station units allow for a single serum application. Multiple station systems allow for rapid change from one serum to another, as you go through your protocols. When purchasing a single station system, ask the manufacturer for additional bottles so as to change out as you provide your service. The two station systems are recommended for the professional setting. The two station system allows for changing serums without mechanically removing and replacing bottles.

The ability to control vacuum pressure is highly recommended in the professional setting. Vacuum pres sure draws serum and skin debris, returning it to a collection tank. Higher vacuum is important for specific needs such as comedone decrustation. Lower

vacuum levels are important for general exfoliation and sensitive skin clients. Excessive vacuum can lead to petechial hemorrhaging on those with weak blood vessels.

At the end of the hand piece is the tip. Tips can be single use or reusable with sterilization. Different manufacturers have different tip designs and different tip materials. Common names include the vortex tip, radial tip and channel tip. Tips are made of hard plastic, diamond or softer silica. Hard tips draw the skin over the edge of the tip mechanically stretching the skin. The combination of tip edge with vacuum pressure creates mechanical exfoliation. Diamond tips draw the skin onto a cutting edge for more aggressive mechanical exfoliation. Soft tips act like a squeegee without the mechanical edge effect.

Mechanical exfoliation created at the tip is amplified by chemical exfoliation from the serum. Most serums are formulated in the 3+ pH range. This allows an esthetician to perform the service within state board regulations. Light peel with mechanical effect provides the esthetician with a very effective tool. Three general serum formulations dominate the industry. Those serums are formulated for general exfoliation, T-zone management, and infusion for hydration with wrinkle management.

General exfoliation peeling serums are predominantly alpha-hydroxy acid serums. Alpha-Hrdroxy acids emulsify the stratum corneum allowing for the removal of dead skin cells. When enhanced with vitamin C, lightening and brightening effects can be achieved. T-zone management focuses on serums which have the effect of softening skin oils. Salicylic acid is the major acid used for this purpose. T-zone serums reduce pore size through the combined effects of removal of pore debris as well as reducing oil shine to the skin. Finishing touch involves hydration and wrinkle management. Hyaluronic acid and peptides infuse into the skin plumping the skin for that final look.

Each service provider has their own threshold for the use of synthetic and non-natural serum ingredients. I will point out that besides your client’s health consideration, serums formulated with synthetic fragrances can scent stain your machine. As you provide this service, you wish for your client to experience a different smell with each serum used. I have experienced serum formulations which are so over powering, that the machine permanently takes on a particular scent. This deprives your client of the experience of scent differentiation. Scent differentiation enhances the client experience.

There is an art to pore sucking. The most common technique is to dab a row of serum on the skin, then wait. Thumb anchor and then move the hand piece tip over the area to remove the serum and debris. Patterns include along the jaw line, low vacuum pressure under the eyes and T-zone and forehead areas. The kiss technique is the procedure where the hand piece tip is held in one location then lifted as with a kiss. This technique is beneficial for extraction, infusion and T-zone oil reduction. Most manufacturers will provide two sizes of tips to accommodate variable anatomy.

Pore sucking aqua exfoliation is big business. I have yet to see anyone who does not like the procedure. Clients report a healthy open moist feeling to their skin. Clients repeat with regularity, averaging three weeks between services. The average cost of a procedure is $100.00 to $150.00. Serum cost averages $6.00 per procedure. Services which dovetail well with pore sucking include Oxygen Facial, microcurrent and radio frequency.