So what does microdermabrasion do?

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive beauty treatment typically applied to skin on the face and neck. Microdermabrasion is gaining popularity in recent years due to its effectiveness in treating skin problems like superficial scars and wrinkles, enlarged pores, acne scars, sun damage and light stretch marks. 

Benefits of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion benefits include the lightening of blemishes and scars, rejuvenation of tired and dull skin, and tightening of pores – all of which results in an overall smoother and more youthful looking skin. In terms of removing blemishes such as superficial scars, the benefits of microdermabrasion are usually long-lasting. If your goal is to maintain a radiant and smooth complexion, however, then regular maintenance treatment will be required. 

How does Microdermabrasion work?

What does microdermabrasion do

The whole microdermabrasion process usually lasts 30 to 45 minutes and is typically painless - so no numbing cream or anesthesia is required. Before the procedure begins, you would have your face (or any other treated area) thoroughly cleansed, and some practitioners may recommend a separate treatment of mild glycolic or retinoic acid before microdermabrasion so as to enhance the penetration and effectiveness of the treatment.

Microdermabrasion is usually applied onto the skin using a rod-like or pen-like device. This device emits pressurized fine crystals which exfoliates and removes the outermost layer of the epidermis (uppermost layer of skin). The used crystals are then sucked back into the microdermabrasion machine using a vacuum. This process of smoothing the skin surface using crystals has been likened to sandblasting. The amount of pressure applied onto the skin (and hence the depth of microdermabrasion) can be varied depending on the severity of your skin condition. 

Where do I go to get Microdermasion?

There are several options available:

  • You can book a microdermabrasion appointment with a dermatologist
  • Many spa and beauty salon practitioners also offer microdermabrasion
  • You can choose to DIY and purchase a home microdermabrasion kit

In terms of cost, treatment administered by a dermatologist will usually be the most expensive. On the other end of the spectrum, you could purchase a microdermabrasion machine that allows you to carry out microdermabrasion at home.

microdermabrasion at home(120403)Credit: NuBrilliance

These microdermabrasion at home kits and machines usually cost between $20 to $300, depending on the type of crystals used in the system: with systems using simple exfoliating crystals sitting on the lower end of the price range and systems using diamond sitting on the high end of the price range.

The systems using diamond require no refill (and hence no additional cost); on the other hand you would have to factor in the cost of refilling the crystals for other systems using exfoliating crystals. As a rule of thumb though, microdermabrasion at home will generally cost less than treatment by a dermatologist or beauty practitioner as it mainly involves the initial cost of acquiring the machine.

Home Microdermabrasion MachineCredit: New Spa

Even though microdermabrasion is safe to be carried out at home, it is still advisable to exercise caution when doing it youself. If you have sensitive skin for example, you may want to take precautions like trying it out on a less sensitive area of your body like your arms or legs before treating your face or neck, applying less pressure during the first treatment, and looking out for any adverse reaction post treatment. Also remember to read the instructions or watch the demonstration videos that typically come along with home microdermabrasion machines. 

How often do I need to do Microdermabrasion?

A typical microdermabrasion regime consists of 5 to 15 sessions. During the initial treatment phase, the frequency of sessions could be as high as every 1 to 2 weeks. Subsequently, it may be reduced to once per month or every few months. The specific frequency of treatment will vary from individual to individual, depending on how fast results are observed, and on the severity of their skin condition.

Are there any microdermabrasion side effects?

Most people experience little, if any, side effects from microdermabrasion apart from a mild redness of the face which usually goes away after a couple of hours. In fact, microdermbrasion is considered a ‘lunch-time’ treatment in that there is no downtime associated with it, and people can go about their normal routine right after treatment. What you really need to take note is that microdermabrasion can make the skin more sensitive to UV rays, so do remember to wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 after microdermabrasion treatment. 

Microdermabrasion Before & After