Your skin is your largest organ and it has a huge job — protecting you from the elements, toxins, and pollutants you’re exposed to as you move around in the day-to-day world. Some people begin to notice their skin tone and texture changing naturally over time, while others find problems like melasma or acne scarring to be troublesome.
No matter what you struggle with the most, finding solutions can be hard. Often, it comes down to simple trial and error. But microdermabrasion is so uniquely effective that it’s helpful for nearly all skin issues. We think you’ll like it, too, after you read this simple guide and learn all about it.
DERMABRASION VS. MICRODERMABRASION
Let’s start by clarifying the difference between dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. While the names are similar, they work differently and offer different results.
Dermabrasion treatments are invasive. The results are more dramatic than microdermabrasion, but recovery time is much longer – up to two weeks. This procedure involves using a small device with an abrasive brush to gently peel away the top layers of the skin.
Dermabrasion isn’t particularly comfortable and is often done under anesthesia for this reason. It’s really commonly used in tattoo removal or to remove moderate scarring, but it isn’t without side effects. Most patients have sore, red skin afterward. Prophylactic antibiotic treatment is also important.
Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is far less invasive. A very light abrasive tool is passed over your skin, peeling away only the very top layers of dead skin cells. Your skin will glow and you’ll feel refreshed after treatment.
After microdermabrasion, you should notice certain changes – like softer skin as well as a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles. There is no downtime. Most patients return right back to work (but we won’t tell if you take a day off).
HOW MICRODERMABRASION WORKS
Microdermabrasion isn’t new. It’s been used in salons and spas since the 90s, proving itself as a safe and effective skin treatment. While there are some at-home kits promising DIY results, there is nothing that will give you the same overall result as a formal treatment from an aesthetician.
There are two main tools used in microdermabrasion, both equally effective. Your provider will use a wand with a crystal or diamond tip to swipe across your skin, or they will have a wand that gently fires the same crystals up and down against the surface of the derma. Either way, it will exfoliate your skin far more vigorously than you could ever achieve on your own. The wand also contains a suction unit to pull dead cells away from your face – while also pulling toxins and debris from your pores.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Your aesthetician will discuss your skincare needs before your treatment begins. While it isn’t mandatory for results, you may opt to have a serum or skin treatment applied to your skin after the cleansing step. Your fresh skin and open pores will be more receptive and capable of absorbing the serums, enhancing their effect.
Microdermabrasion treatments are painless. You may feel a bit of mild discomfort, more like the scratching sensation you feel when a cat decides to lick your arm. Your skin may feel a bit taught and will be sensitive to sunlight. Some patients report feeling as if they have a mild sunburn, but there should be no serious pain or discomfort. Make sure you use sunscreen in the days after your treatment.
Microdermabrasion treatments are ideal for just about any skin type and color. While it can keep the skin healthy and treat minor fine lines and wrinkles, it is not the most effective treatment for people with more significant scarring or deep wrinkles. This treatment is best suited for people who have:
That said, this treatment is an excellent preventative and maintenance tool, keeping your skin clear and slowing the hands of time. It stimulates healthy cell and collagen production which enables the maintenance of a youthful glow. It’s even safe enough to do as often as weekly, if you like. Some people start with weekly sessions and then switch to monthly maintenance visits after the first month or two. Make sure you take before photos each week so you can track your skin’s progress!
PREPARING FOR YOUR PROCEDURE
While other cosmetic procedures require conscious preparation, there isn’t as much you need to do to prepare for microdermabrasion.
You do need to make sure you:
Otherwise, the only thing you really need to do before your treatment is wash your face with warm water and an oil-free cleanser. Your aesthetician will let you know what cleansers are most appropriate.
You can go right back to work and resume your regular activities immediately after your procedure. However, there are a few other “lifestyle” elements to avoid just to ensure ideal results. This includes swimming and activities that will cause you to sweat profusely or expose your irritated skin to chemicals like chlorine.
Treat your skin with care and try to avoid makeup for the first couple of days after treatment. If you must wear makeup, ask your aesthetician what products are healthiest for your skin. Most will recommend mineral-based foundations.
Microdermabrasion is a relaxing, safe procedure that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s safe for all skin types and can even be an appropriate beginning procedure for teens who are interested in serious skincare. Your skin plays a huge role in your overall health and wellness. Relax and pamper yourself without worrying about complications, anesthetics, and weeks of downtime. You’ll absolutely love the way you look and feel after your first session or two!