When we are young, we don’t worry about how the environment blasts our skin on a daily basis. Even if we have a kindly mother who encourages (or hounds) us to take good care of our skin, let’s face it, most of us don’t listen. It’s only when sun damage spots and crow’s feet start to appear that we realize how wise our moms were. But by then, the damage has been done and we regret all the days spent in the sun with no sunscreen, and all the nights we went to bed with our makeup on.
I have great news though! If you think you have to go in for painful, toxic treatments to get rid of those fine lines and sun damage, along with acne scars and dull skin, I’m here to tell you that you don’t! Microdermabrasion can reverse the beating our skin has taken due to lack of care or through the natural aging process. Let’s take a look at how it works.
What is Microdermabrasion and Does it Work?
Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical method of exfoliating the top layer of dry, dead skin cells. The procedure exfoliates by spraying tiny crystals on your skin and is much gentler than the common alternative, dermabrasion. Since a majority of our skin imperfections are on the surface, this procedure buffs them away, plus allows for more collagen and elastin to be produced. The result is brighter, clearer and younger-looking skin.
If you are looking for a way to reduce or eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, uneven pigmentation, dull skin, age spots, clogged pores, or uneven skin texture, microdermabrasion is definitely something you will want to investigate, so keep reading!
What’s the Difference between Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is another method of exfoliation that removes the outer layers of skin. The tool used is a rotating handheld machine that literally sands off the affected skin. Unlike microdermabrasion, it can only be done in a dermatologist’s office and requires an anesthesia. This method is used to remove tattoos and precancerous skin patches, so it obviously goes much deeper, removing more layers of skin. It is also used to treat deeper facial lines, scars, and severe sun damage.
Dermabrasion requires appropriate after-care and depending on the amount of skin you want to be removed, you will have a recovery period of up to two weeks, just as you would with a surgical procedure.
Before microdermabrasion became the go-to for Hollywood types, chemical peels or Botox were used to gain the desired, youthful complexion. Both of these processes require toxic chemicals be either applied or injected into the skin. Obviously, not a wise way to return to your youthful appearance!
How Microdermabrasion Works
Although there are other methods of rejuvenating your skin, including the medical procedures mentioned above, as well as salon treatments, scrubs, and creams you can use at home, microdermabrasion is the least invasive and most gentle on your delicate skin. Most people have microdermabrasion done on their face, but it can also be used on the hands, chest, arms, and neck.
Our skin has two main layers to it—the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the layer on the top surface—the one that we can see. And the very top part of the epidermis is the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is actually a layer of dead skin cells on top of another layer of cells that are maturing. Once that second layer of skin has matured, the dead cells on top can be removed to allow the fresh, newly-matured skin to show. But until that underlying layer is ready to make an appearance, the stratum corneum protects our lower skin layers so that only the smallest molecules can enter the deeper epidermis and dermis.
We apply lotions and creams to the stratum corneum in an attempt to reach the deeper skin underneath so we have glowing, healthy skin. But not all that moisture gets through. Even though the stratum corneum is necessary, it’s where the small skin imperfections like fine lines, light sun damage and pimples appear.
Enter microdermabrasion. The tiny crystals, such as sodium chloride, aluminum oxide, or sodium bicarbonate, remove those little imperfections on the stratum corneum. If you have the treatment done at a spa or dermatology office, they may use a wand that also suctions off the dead skin that the crystals remove.
Microdermabrasion is quick and painless. In fact, it’s been termed the “lunch hour” skin rejuvenation procedure because it can be done in half an hour and doesn’t require all of the after-care that dermabrasion does. You may experience red, tight skin after the procedure, much like the feeling of having a slight sunburn on your face. However, that lasts as little as 24 hours, even for those of us with sensitive skin.
Like with most treatments, you may need several sessions of microdermabrasion to see the results you want—usually between six and twelve are recommended. However, since it’s much more cost-effective and mild, that isn’t an issue. There are also microdermabrasion kits and creams you can use yourself. Though these don’t offer the power that a spa or dermatology office can, it’s a good solution for people who want to keep costs down or want to do it in the privacy of their own home.
How I Personally Do Microdermabrasion
The way that I personally do microdermabrasion in my home, to save time and money, is a handheld device that has suction and a diamond tip. It is nothing short of amazing and I have been slowly fading my melasma after only using it for two short weeks. Stay tuned for updates on my skin. I have definitely noticed a difference in my skin texture, it is so much smoother and has a beautiful shine. If you want to try it out, here is the machine that I use.
Microdermabrasion keeps on giving too. Studies show it encourages the production of collagen and elastin, which we naturally lose over time as our environment breaks it down. So the increase adds to the treatment’s effectiveness in making us look younger. I highly recommend microdermabrasion as a way to feel better about the way you look without all the toxins! I use this one.