A Guide to Microdermabrasion

What is microdermabrasion?

The term microdermabrasion is certainly a mouthful and perhaps even a little scary, but it is one of the most popular and effective non-surgical methods for the treatment of sun damaged skin, wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, enlarged pores, age spots and other skin problems.

The “Micro” part refers to the fine crystals used in the process, the “Derma” part refers to the upper skin surface being treated, and “Abrasion” is the removal by friction of the outermost layer of dead skin cells.

What is the procedure?

The outermost layer of skin cells are continually regenerating themselves. The older dead cells are pushed to the surface by new cells. In our thirties, this natural process slows down, so nature may need a helping hand.

The microdermabrasion procedure uses a hand held device which produces a controlled flow of fine aluminium oxide crystals at high speed. The crystals are vacuumed away, taking the topmost layer of dead cells with them. The fresh cells underneath are revealed, giving a soft and smooth appearance. At the same time the underlying skin is stimulated, producing thicker, healthier skin layers. The production of collagen is stimulated, increasing elasticity.

After the treatment the skin may be slightly sensitive and it’s a good idea to use a sunscreen moisturiser.

What can microdermabrasion do for me?

As the second most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure after BOTOX injections, the treatment is ideal for those with small wrinkles and fine lines. The appearance of skin damaged by overexposure to the sun can be improved. It can reduce age spots, and some acne scars and minimise skin pore size.

Why is it so popular?

The are a number of reasons why this rejuvenating process has become so popular;

  1. It doesn’t hurt at all
  2. It works on the outermost skin surface, so is non-invasive
  3. Results are instant, although major changes take several treatments
  4. You can return to your daily routine right afterwards
  5. The treatment only takes about 45 minutes – it’s sometimes called the “lunch hour facial”
  6. There are long term benefits of multiple treatments
  7. Can be used on all skin types
  8. After treatment, the skin is better able to absorb anti-ageing and acne creams

Diamond microdermabrasion

This is an alternative to blasting the skin with crystals. The exfoliation of the skin is done using a tip covered in tiny diamonds. Different tips are used depending on the skin type. Variable suction is used to remove dead skin cells. The diamond tip must be thoroughly sterilised between treatments. An advantage of this system is that there are no crystals to get stuck in the skin pores.

Clinic treatment or home system?

Professional microdermabrasion is more effective than home systems because there is much more control over the strength of the abrasion. The operator should be a certified professional who can advise on the best treatment for your skin type. There are many home systems on the market but they vary greatly in their effectiveness, although of course the cost is much lower. Look for reviews from those who have used the system you are considering. You could be looking forward to a much younger looking you!