At-home Microdermabrasion to Make Skin Look Younger
Different methods of exfoliation have been used for centuries to smooth skin and help get rid of fine lines by removing the top layer of the epidermis. The process of exfoliation gets rid of dead, dry, dull skin while simultaneously stimulating the lower layers of the skin to produce new, fresher-looking cells. Exfoliation can be accomplished using either physical or chemical means.
Some people have problems tolerating common chemical exfoliating agents like alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids and pineapple or pumpkin enzymes. Facial scrubs are another popular alternative; but many consumers obtain only mediocre results from manual exfoliation, which may yield uneven results. Microdermabrasion treatments may provide a solution.
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is an intense method of exfoliation involving a device that sprays tiny particles over the skin, and then vacuums them right back up. In effect, it is a “skin polisher.”
The particles used are usually aluminum oxide, a substance that is rough enough to buff away the top layers of skin and cause a “wound reaction” to accelerate cell renewal without permanently harming the skin.
Microdermabrasion treatments have been available for years at dermatologist’s offices and spas; such sessions may be used to reverse some sun damage on photo-aged skin.
Clients often purchased a series of approximately three treatments, since microdermabrasion results are not permanent. The process would then be repeated several months later. While not as effective as deep peels, microdermabrasion also does not involve the discomfort and sometimes lengthy healing time of more invasive procedures.
At-home Microdermabrasion for Younger-looking Skin
There was a brief surge in microdermabrasion kits and scrubs during the past few years; most of these didn’t provide the kind of striking effects purchasers were seeking. They were little more than ordinary scrubs that used aluminum oxide crystals in place of old-fashioned oatmeal, ground-up seeds or nuts, or small plastic beads.
For several years, microdermabrasion machines have been available for at-home use, making the treatments more affordable and thus more widely available to a variety of consumers. The machines still don’t come cheap, and the replacement crystals cost about $50 for a one-month supply.
Nonetheless, if used correctly on the right type of skin, they actually work fairly well. Top Beauty Microdermabrasion System is one of the most widely known at-home microdermabrasion machine, retailing for an initial price of about $250.
Regular microdermabrasion will minimize fine lines, help even out skin tone, and make the skin appear fresher; it can be performed several days before a “big event” to give a lovely glow to the complexion.
Skin Types That Should Not Use Microdermabrasion
Although microdermabrasion sounds like a panacea, it should not be used on the following skin types or conditions:
- Moderate to severe acne (those with blackheads, whiteheads, and the occasional pimple may use microdermabrasion)
- Extremely sensitive skin
- Cold sores
- Skin prone to broken capillaries
- Skin treated with hydroquinones or other bleaching agents
- Melasma or darkening of the skin (including chloasma or “mask of pregnancy”)
Anyone under the care of a doctor for any skin condition should always check with her first before trying an at-home microdermabrasion system. Using microdermabrasion along with chemical exfoliants such as AHAs can result in too much exfoliation, and the skin will end up appearing sunburned instead of glowing! Retin-A users should be especially careful, since their top layer of skin is considerably thinned by the drug.
Drawbacks to At-home Microdermabrasion
Most of these systems, including the TopBeauty, should only be used once a week; some consumers will be tempted to “get better results” by using the machine more often than recommended. This can lead to serious problems such as broken capillaries and excessive irritation. Follow the instructions carefully and never overdo.
Users may experience facial redness, drying, or peeling; especially after the first few treatments. Cutting back usage to once every two weeks and applying a rich moisturizer to affected areas should help alleviate these problems. Lotions, serums, or creams containing Vitamins A, C, and E are often recommended for after-treatment application.
The at-home systems are not quite as powerful as those used by doctors and at spas. The machines also occasionally get clogged with crystals, and must be repaired or replaced by the manufacturer. It may also take some time to get used to maneuvering the wand over the skin correctly (the TopBeauty machine automatically turns off if used incorrectly). Once a user gets the hang of it, however, the appearance of shallow wrinkles and dark spots and the overall skin texture of the face should gradually and perceptively improve.