Microdermabrasion, also known as microderm, is one of the easiest
and most effective anti-aging treatments you can get. Its benefits
are many: microderm softens fine lines and wrinkles, helps to
smooth coarsely textured skin, decreases the appearance of
scarring, decreases pore size, and reduces superficial
hyper-pigmentation, also known as age spots.
Microdermabrasion also makes it easier for high-tech skin care
products to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and help
build collagen, which gives skin its youthful appearance.
How Microdermabrasion Works
The crystal microdermabrasion device consists of a compressor that
draws in air through a hand-held wand. When the wand touches the
skin, a vacuum is created. Aluminum oxide crystals, also known as
corundum (the second-hardest mineral next to diamonds) blast across
the skin’s surface, picking up dead surface skin cells along the
way. The crystals and dead skin cells are quickly sucked up through
a different tube in the same wand and go to a disposal bag.
The depth of exfoliation is controlled by the strength of the
vacuum and crystal flow, which is determined by esthetician. He or
she makes two passes over your skin, sometimes a third if your skin
is thick enough or if there is an area that needs special
attention, like a scar or brown spot.
Crystal microdermabrasion can be uncomfortable, especially around
the sensitive tissue of the mouth and nose, but it should not be
painful. The esthetician should be checking in with you about your
comfort level during the treatment. If anything hurts, speak up.
The esthetician, who should be wearing gloves, a mask and eye
protection, also leaves traces of the crystal on your face, which
might be red afterwards. Your eyes should also be protected.
Diamond-tip microdermabrasion uses the same vacuum technology and
hand-held wand, but there aren't any crystals moving through the
tip. The diamond tip itself exfoliates the skin and the vacuum
whisks the dead skin away. There are many different tips with
various grades of roughness, and the esthetician choose the correct
one for your skin type and condition.
Diamond-tip microdermabrasion is much less uncomfortable, but
achieves the same results. It is also usually better for sensitive
Cautions on Microdermabrasion
*Check on the training of the person who is going to give you the
microdermabrasion treatment. Results depend on their expertise. Bad
technique can lead to abrasions and pin-point bleeding that means
the treatment was too aggressively.
*Do not get microdermabrasion if you have extremely sensitive skin,
diabetes, vascular conditions like rosacea, skin inflammation,
bacterial infections, lack of tactile sensation, keloid scarring,
cuts and abrasions, or have gotten Botox within 72 hours. Other
contraindications to microdermabrasion include sunburn, viral
infections like herpes simplex, and acne. If you are taking