If you’re looking for a quick solution for dull and tired skin; then microdermabrasion could be the answer. It’s a facial that promises a glow in less than an hour with almost zero downtime – it’s even been labeled a 60-minute facelift – which explains why celebs like Rosie Huntington Whitely swear by it. The facial itself promises to degunk pores (yay), even out skin tone, and improve the overall texture of your skin. Obvs, we got a derm’s opinion on this exfoliating facial that always needs to be carried out with care. So we spoke to celeb dermatologist, Dr. Doris Day, who filled us in on everything you need to know about microdermabrasion and what it can do for your skin.
What Is A Microdermabrasion Facial?
A microdermabrasion facial is an in-office procedure using a microdermabrasion device. The device uses micronized crystals (typically aluminum oxide) and other exfoliating materials to buff away dead skin that sits on the surface, making it appear dull. The machine simultaneously vacuums away the dead skin cells. Before you book your appointment, ask if they use an adjustable device as this will allow them to alter the pressure depending on your skin type. Dr. Day adds “Microdermabrasion can be carried out on all skin types but it should not be done on skin that has a suntan or active infection and, should be done with caution in skin of color to avoid pigmentation issues.” The treatment typically lasts an hour and will cost around $70-$100.
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“Microdermabrasion is a form of physical exfoliation. If done well, it can leave your skin softer, smoother and will help products applied afterward penetrate the skin better. It can help exfoliate the pores, which help the contents of the pores exit to the surface of the skin better, which helps avoid the buildup that leads to blackheads,” explains Dr. Day. As the procedure stimulates blood flow it encourages cell production, which will improve the skin’s elasticity and texture, helping to plump the skin. This will also promote skin cell renewal that improves the appearance of acne scars.
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While there’s no real downtime with a microdermabrasion facial, you can expect some redness, so we wouldn’t schedule it the morning of a big event. You should also avoid wearing makeup for the rest of the day. As for post-care, Dr. Day says “After the microdermabrasion, avoid retinols or glycolic acid for several days since your skin may be more sensitive. Be sure to use a good moisturizer to help the skin stay hydrated. I also like adding in growth factors and peptides to help rejuvenate the skin.” It’s also important to avoid using exfoliants a week before the treatment so you don’t over exfoliate the skin. Read our guide to over-exfoliation here.
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Since microdermabrasion is such a popular treatment, there are now tons of devices that allow you to carry out the treatment at home. We asked Dr. Day for her opinion as it’s always super important to consult your derm before using a new device. Dr. Day said “I think they can be helpful and I often recommend them for my patients over in-office treatments since the at-home versions often do an excellent job. However, they are not all equal and for some, in-office treatments may be a better option since the dermatologist can adjust the amount of exfoliation as needed. The ProX by Olay Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Facial Cleansing Brush System, $60, has published data in our dermatology journal comparing it to in-office treatments. It also uses baking soda crystals, which are very gentle and feel warm on the skin.”
We tried the Michael Todd Sonic Refresher Wet/dry Sonic Microdermabrasion System With Micromist Technology, $100, and we loved how easy it was to use. The machine comes with easy-to-follow instructions and different diamond tips to choose between, plus a bunch of filters that you can change every time you use it. You can also use it to mist your face afterward with either water or your fave toner.
Let us know if you’ve tried microdermabrasion in the comments below. If you want to discover more ahhhMAZING in-office treatments, check out the benefits of a HydraFacial here.