WHAT IS IT?
Microdermabrasion is one of today’s most popular nonsurgical anti-aging treatments and is available in both dermatologist offices and skin spas. This method of physical exfoliation involves buffing away the surface layer of your skin while simultaneously vacuuming up dead cells, oil, and other yucky debris that’s trapped in your pores. Microdermabrasion removes dull skin, softens fine lines, smoothes out coarse skin texture, reduces acne and pore size, fades scars and brown spots, and stimulates cell turnover and the creation of collagen. “You can adjust both the pressure and the suction strength depending on the patient’s needs. With a lot of pressure, I can take off the entire top layer of skin,” explains dermatologist Robyn Gmyrek, who has a practice at the prestigious Columbia University Skin and Laser Center in New York City.
There are two types of microdermabrasion, crystal and non-crystal. Crystal microdermabrasion blasts tiny medical-grade crystals across the skin’s surface. Non-crystal microdermabrasion uses a rough or diamond-tipped disc to slough the skin. “I don’t think there’s any advantage to the patient from one method to the other. It’s basically about the preference of the expert who is administering the treatment,” says Dr. Gmyrek.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Microdermabrasion is effective on all skin types and skin tones, and offers a great alternative to chemical peels for anyone with sensitive skin or who’s pregnant and wants to avoid harsh ingredients. It’s also great for people who have a lot of acne, whiteheads, and blackheads. “Microdermabrasion is a great way to open up pores, get them clean and prepare the skin for better penetration of prescription anti-acne products,” explains Dr. Gmyrek.
As always, discuss any allergies or skin sensitivities with your cosmetic doctor or aesthetician before starting a treatment.
WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT FEEL LIKE?
The microdermator machine has a wand at the end of which is a 6 millimeter head (that’s slightly larger than a pencil eraser) that has either the crystals or rough disk that will exfoliate your skin. As the wand is moved methodically over your skin, you may feel a slight gritty tugging sensation, similar to the lick of a cat’s rough tongue, but otherwise there is no discomfort. Once the microdermabrasion is complete, a hydrating cream is usually applied to dry or normal skin and anti-acne medicine would be used to treat blemish-prone skin. There is also virtually no downtime.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
A session takes anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes.
ARE THERE IMMEDIATE SIDE EFFECTS?
If you have overly sensitive skin or received an extra aggressive treatment, your face will likely show redness for about an hour or so after the treatment. You may also notice some mild dryness or flaking.
WHAT ARE ANTICIPATED RESULTS?
You’ll see an immediate improvement in skin’s radiance, texture, and tone, but you’ll need to go through several sessions to witness the benefits of reversing pigmentation issues, minimizing fine lines, and boosting collagen production.
RECOMMENDED COURSE FOR OPTIMAL RESULTS?
Microdermabrasion isn’t a one hit wonder. If you want to smooth out those old acne scars and new fine lines, it’s going to take a series of about 6 treatments to see those results. Generally, your skin can handle one microdermabrasion treatment each month. Regular treatments also offer the best anti-aging benefits as well. “We’re preventing it forward by constantly creating a low level wound-healing response, which puts out new collagen,” explains Dr. Gmyrek.
WHO SHOULD GIVE ME THIS TREATMENT?
Microdermabrasion should be administered by a board certified dermatologist or licensed aesthetician who specializes in this procedure. “A doctor will generally do a more intense session of microdermabrasion than what you would get in a spa,” says Gmyrek.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
$100 to $300 per session
Microdermabrasion is an excellent way to maintain your skin’s health and help ward off the signs of aging. By methodically removing the top layer of dead skin cells, you can keep the glow going 24/7.
People with dry skin often think microdermabrasion will make their skin feel drier, but this is not the case. Since microdermabrasion removes all the sediment in your pores, it actually helps moisturizers penetrate deeper into your skin.
Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.