Is Microdermabrasion All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

    MicrodermabrasionWhen it comes to skin care, microdermabrasion is a hot topic right now.

    On one hand, some people swear buy its ability to “turn back the hands of time” by exfoliating the top layer of the skin.

    Others thinks it’s a waste of money or too damaging to the skin.

    Like most things in life, the truth lies somewhere in between these two extremes.

    For those who aren’t familiar with it, microdermabrasion is a procedure usually done in a medical office or spa.

    According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “microdermabrasion is used to treat light scaring, discoloration, sun damage and stretch marks.”

    It works by spraying tiny crystals (usually aluminum oxide, sodium chloride or bicarboante) from a device onto the surface of your skin.  At the same time, the device has a vacuum that sucks up the crystals and the skin cells the crystals have “loosened up”.

    In some offices, microdermabrasion is now done with a diamond-tipped wand that eliminates the need for crystals.

    In either case, the idea behind microdermabrasion is the same as all procedures and products designed to exfoliate– to remove the topmost layer of dead skin cells.

    This in turn reveals newer, fresher skin underneath and stimulates the skin to produce new cells and collagen.

    The exfoliation process also improves the moisture balance of skin and allows better absorption of other skin care products like lotions, serums and treatments.

    Each microdermabrasion treatment lasts about 30 minutes depending on what areas you’re having done (most microdermabrasion is done on the face, neck, upper chest and hands.)

    The number of treatments suggested is usually six spaced about 10-14 days apart.

    The cost of each microdermabrasion treatment averages about $150.

    As for the risks, there really aren’t too many.

    After each treatment, your skin will feel tight and dry much like a sunburn does.  And it may appear pink for up to 24 hours.  Keep in mind you’ll also need to use sunscreen and stay out of the sun for a few days.

    So now that you know the basics of how microdermabrasion works, you’re probably wondering if it’s something you should do?

    To get right to the point, we think most people would be better served by doing their exfoliating at home with a lotion, polish or scrub.

    There’s a  couple of reasons for this…

    First, microdermabrasion is extremely expensive.  Once again, since most technicians suggest 6 treatments over a 2-month period, you’re looking at about $900-$1,000.

    That’s a lot of money just to exfoliate your skin.

    You can buy a REALLY good at-home exfoliator or polish for $40-$80 and have it last 4-8 weeks.

    Second, we know a lot of people who said they didn’t notice much difference after they had the procedure done.  In fact, many say it compares almost exactly the same to what an exfoliating lotion or scrub can do.

    Third, some experts believe the procedure can be too damaging to skin.

    Hollywood’s A-List skin care guru, Kate Somerville has this to say,

    “The crystals inflict physical injury on your skin, which is just not made to take such a beating.  The vacuuming can also break capillaries on the surface of the skin, creating redness or even pigmentation from the injury.”

    While that may be true in some cases, it also dovetails into our fourth reason..

    The results you get from microdermabrasion are very dependent on the skill of the person you have doing it.

    In the right hands, it can be wonderfully effective.  In the wrong ones, it could do some damage to your skin.

    So overall, we’re not sure microdermabrasion is worth the time or money.

    If you know a great estethician and have some money to burn, it can work great.

    But we believe you can get the same if not better results by using high-quality exfoliators at home on a regular basis.

    To see which ones we recommend, check out our list of the top 10 best exfoliators.

    You’ll get excellent results with any of those– and save a boatload of money at the same time :)