Living in Seoul and having access to cheap-and-when-you-want-it skin care is a perk that also doubles as a discovery depot for the latest beauty gadgets and procedures to hit the market. I’ve come to recognise that gleeful, mad-scientist grin my aesthetician has when she wants to try something new, usually skipping the whole "asking me if I'm cool with it" part. This is how I first came to get my pores vacuumed, a procedure I would have enthusiastically nodded yes to anyway because pore vacuuming just sounds awesome. Who wouldn't want that?
In Korea, this suction-powered hydrafacial is known as “aqua peel” and it’s essentially a skin vacuum in which a rotating nozzle tip simultaneously pushes an AHA/BHA solution into the skin and then sucks it up, taking dead skin, blackheads, and other unwelcome pore gunk along with it. The solution creates a centrifugal liquid seal with skin to powerfully pull out impurities while at the same time cushioning the skin from damage and irritation that a dry vacuum of the same force would cause.
The real clincher came when I was shown the cloudy water tank of disgustingness post-procedure. Seeing the little squiggles of sebum that had been hiding away in my pores just swimming around brought me equal parts horror and satisfaction. At one point, I became so obsessed, I was going two to three times a week.
Over time, I could see how this was the kind of maintenance that was actually making headway into my quest against blackheads. My skin was becoming as smooth as glass. A high-def camera could have come in for a close up, and I wouldn’t have flinched.
But a very busy traveling schedule made it near impossible to keep up my regular visits to my psychic aesthetician. (No pore-vacuuming in Tel Aviv?) So when I discovered an at-home version of the machine, I was like SIGN ME UP. Unfortunately the at-home device is not yet available in the U.S. So if you have a friend in Korea, beg/force them to order one and mail it to you. Totally worth the international shipping fees, promise.