Microdermabrasion is a mini procedure that involves the skin
being "sandblasted" by aluminum oxide crystals, baking soda, salt or
corn cob granules to remove the stratum corneum (top)
layer of the skin; dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion also promotes the production of new cells in the
basal (deepest) layer of the dermis. This procedure may not give everyone
the same results but if you have the money it is a nice treat and requires no
down time. It can clean your pores incredibly and hinder any future breaks
outs if used on a regular basis. Microdermabrasion also stimulates collagen net working to
further even out skin texture and appearance.
Are You a Candidate For
The best candidates for microdermabrasion are individuals with acne prone and blotchy
skin, small scars, rhytides, keratoses, large pores, milia, or sebaceous
you have sun damage or uneven texture and would like to improve the condition of your
skin, you may be a good candidate for Microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion is not recommended for those who have
active keloids, undiagnosed lesions, recent herpes outbreaks, warts, active, weeping acne
(stages 3 to 4), active rosacea, unstable diabetes or auto-immune system
Does Microdermabrasion Hurt?
Microdermabrasion does not hurt although it may sting a
little around the eye area. The patient normally works up to a level as they
go to increase the penetration to the skin. Your skin may feel a little hot and appear a
little pink for the first day.
You should be perfectly fine that night. Although really intense micro- dermabrasion
treatments may leave you pink for several days. The technician can turn down the
controls if the suction or level of the blast is too strong for you.
What to Expect During a Treatment?
Patients have attributed the sensation of a
microdermabrasion treatment to a slight windburn. Although depending upon the level that
you wish to reach the discomfort is usually quite minimal, if at all. The treatments
typically last 20 to 30 minutes for the face, if your treatment includes the neck and upper
chest area, it may last up to an hour.
A normal course of microdermabrasion
treatments varies between 4 to 8 at approximately 2 week intervals. It is recommended that
you schedule an additional treatment every 1 to 3 months to maintain your skin in excellent
condition. Most patients actually feel and see a difference just after one or two
treatments but schedule additional treatments to increase this improvement.
- A rehydrating toner, moisturizer and sunscreen is applied to your skin prior to
leaving the surgeon or dermatologist's office.
- Some redness is expected after a treatment, however this is not likely to persist more
than a few hours. The sensation of having a mild windburn or sunburn will also pass after
a few hours. Applying a high quality moisturizer to re-hydrate the skin at this point will
- Avoid direct sun exposure
for 7 days after a treatment.
We do stress the
importance of using a high quality sun protectant product as well as minimizing sun
exposure. Exposure to UV radiation is one of the key factors in speeding the skin aging
- Avoid Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Glycolic Acid products and skin exfoliation scrubs
for 72 hours both before and after a treatment.
- Avoid full face make-up, i.e. liquid foundations or pressed powder
foundations for 24 hours after a treatment. Eye make-up, lipstick etc. may be applied
immediately after a treatment.
What Results Are Gained From
Your skin will feel vibrant and healthy and you will notice
an immediate difference in your softer, smoother skin. There is virtually no recovery
time, no discomfort and you can return to work immediately.
A series of microdermabrasion treatments can help reduce the look of
fine lines and superficial wrinkles, remove thickened skin areas due to the impact of
environmental factors and reduce the appearance of blemishes caused by sun damage.
Additionally, microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of open pores by unclogging
sebum (oil) build-up and eliminate white and black heads.
Can't Microdermabrasion Do?
Please be advised, raised or deeply pitted skin areas
(possibly from old severe acne scars) and darker pigmented areas will require multiple
treatments. I must advise that while Microdermabrasion does is not the cure all for
heavily damaged skin, it is a non invasive technique for those of you who do not need a
serious laser or chemical peel treatment.
Microdermabrasion also can not be expected to remove tattoos, I don't
care what your dermatologist thinks, It is not going to happen. They are lying if
they tell you it will. It takes a bunch of sessions just for mild acne scarring to
be removed much less ink buried deep into your skin.
Differences In Machines (all prices in US dollars)
There are so many machines out there
it is unreal. Something like 80 companies manufacturing 2 to 4 per company.
The originating company is reportedly either Dermagenesis or Power Peel.
Who knows, they both say they are. Many copy cat companies
and machines have since blossomed and their is no regulation for what you should receive
for your dollar. Some are better, some stink!
I personally have the most
experience with the SmartPeel System
(salon strength). Doctors, aestheticians and spas charge you anywhere from $75. to $200. a
session. Their machines, however, cost as much as $30,000. to as little as $2000.
It is a
shame because the average consumer does not know this and in a nut shell could be
paying as high as $200. a treatment by a $2000. machine. The aluminum oxide (Al2O3) crystals (Corundum) cost
anywhere from $5. a lb. to $45. for 15 lbs. You are paying for the machine not the
And don't think there aren't people out
there who don't give a second thought to taking advantage of you. There are far too many
people doing this to the innocent everyday. The only way you can avoid this is to
be aware of the different machines and call around for a good deal or buy
"packages." Below are some typical machines in order of what I
think is best and beneficial. I must say to be sure you are getting your money's
worth, Power Peel® is one of the best. Also, all of these machines utilize aluminum oxide
(al2O3) crystals, aka Corundum as their abrasive unless otherwise noted. According to Dr. Robert A .Weiss, the crystal's diameter/size is the same as the
fine grit sandpaper used in the final phase of preparing drywall. (Dr.
Robert A Weiss - Micro-abrasion, John Hopkins).
The below list is
just a sample list, it in no way represents all of the machines available
today. I will no longer be updating the below list. Those which have
been bolded I can recommend. I do not have any financial
affiliation or any other affiliation, whatsoever, with any of the below
mentioned companies, or any other microdermabrasion machine for that matter.
- Power Peel® Microdermabrasion
- ALI-1500A for superficial peels (salon version)
- ALI-1500M for deeper peels (medical grade, requires physician's lic.)
- ALI-2000M for deepest peels (medical grade, requires physician's lic.)
- Derma Genesis Particle Skin
- Derma Care (salon -typeersion)
- PSS (aestheticians, dermatologists and physicians)
- PSR (physicians, medical grade)
- Master Millenium (sic) deepest
- SmartPeel® by Sound Skin:
- SmartPeel System (salon version)
- SmartPeel Physician System (medical grade)
- Dermaglide Systems:
non-aluminum oxide abrading crystals)
- Microglide (salon version)
- Dermaglide ES (medical grade)
- Dermaglide 2000 system (medical grade)
Platinum (medical grade)
- Easy to change and environmentally safe
- Easy to screw on disposable tips
- Directional separator tip -
maximum density to tissue
- MegaPower tip - Blue tip (use
for scars and very aggressive peel)
- Ultrapeel by Mattioli
- Pepita Ultrapeel (salon version) $11,250.
- Crystal Ultrapeel (medical grade)
- Pelle Peel
- (salon and medical version in one - setting locked by key) $11,900.
- Parisian Peel®
Medical Microdermabrasion Treatment:
- Parisian Peel Classique (standard)
- Parisian Peel Premier (deeper)
- Dermaglow Particle Skin
Exfoliation: (salon version) $12,500.
by Candela Corp. (salon version)
- Reviva Microbrade Duo:
- Diamond Dermabrasion®:
no information available
- Crystal Peel: no information available
- Derma Peel: (mediocre grade
machine) no further information available
- EuroPeel: (spa and some
physician's) no further information available
- MD Peel:
(medical grade) closed, sterile, non-refillable crystal containers.
- Pro Peel:
(salon version) closed, sterile, non-refillable crystal containers.
- Smart Peel: (copy cat)
no information available
- MSI: no information available
- Skin System: no information available
- Oxy-Brasion: by Trend
-- I wouldn't abrade my floor with this one; It looks like a home-made science project at
the bargain price of $5,990.
- Bella Products® Particle
Abrasion Systems: Bella systems is a very good machine. If
you are lucky to get this machine you are paying for quality.
- BellaMed™ (medical grade)
- Belladerma™ (salon grade - 3 models)
You may not be able to pick and choose your choice of
machines, but you can make sure that whatever machines they do have are sterile.
they crystals are replenished. The best machines have closed systems that the crystal
containers are never refilled, only changed out. You see, the better machines offer their
crystals or are compatible with companies who sell crystals that are sold in the
containers that you see on the side of the machine so that the old, used
crystals are thrown away in its own container and a new, empty sterile container replaces
the old one for easy clean up and the new filled container replaces the empty,
How Much Does Microdermabrasion Cost?
A single microdermabrasion treatment costs
anywhere from $75. on up to $200. It depends on your area as well as where you receive the
treatment. Sometimes a spa or salon machine may be the same make and model you a doctor
may have. If you are armed with knowledge your chances of being taken advantage of are
You are not going to pay less than $75. a treatment
and if you do, you're lucky! The national average is $135. The average machine is going to
give you the penetration you need for the first few anyway. You normally work up to a
higher level of penetration, but beware! Medical grade machines on their high levels can
rip right through your skin.
Most doctors and aestheticians recommend a
"series". A series consists of, on average, 4-6 treatments at 7- 10 day intervals.
Some believe you must wait at least 10 days for your skin to heal properly or you will be doing your
skin more harm than good. Still others consider an aggressive course with
treatments every 5 days more effective. Some doctors or aestheticians will offer a package of treatments
starting at $500. for 4-6 treatments.
What do I think?
think anything over $100 is a rip off. I'd sooner get on
NuDerm with Retin A - 6 weeks to beautiful skin, for cheaper! That's what I
did and I must tell you that if I had the money I'd get microdermabrasion as a luxury
but for removing your complaints, tretinoin and Hydroquinone (or Kojic Acid) works
The Risks Associated With
There are not many risks associated with microdermabrasion
if you are a healthy adult, but enough to mention for those of you with skin
or medical conditions. If the medical grade machines are used at high power it carries
potential risks of hyperpigmentation, perforation, bleeding, and infection. Infection can
also be a risk if the machines are not sterile. Many components of these machines are
meant to be sterilized, autoclaved or changed out with a new disposable piece. Any and all
pieces that come into contact with your skin should be able to be sterilized or changed
out. Furthermore, it was brought up by a doctor in an article on Medscape, that there
could be possible harm from the inhalation of the aluminum in the Al2O3 crystals, also
known as Corundum.
[Tamil kuruntam; akin to Sanskrit kuruvinda ruby]
First appeared 1804
: a very hard mineral that consists of aluminum oxide and occurs in massive form and as variously colored crystals (as ruby and sapphire), that can be synthesized, and that is used as an abrasive
Update! 09/09/01: Dermaglide
now manufactures a system that uses Baking Soda as an abrasive. If you have ever
used Baking Soda to exfoliate then you know that it is very effective at
removing the stratum corneum and leaving you with smooth, even skin.
Dermaglide also offers salt systems as well.
This is more common than baking soda, but less common than aluminum oxide. Personally
I have used fine grain Epsom salts for an exfoliant many a time but find that
sugar is far superior.
*Also, you should NOT have a
microdermabrasion treatment on the affected area if you have the following:
- Undiagnosed lesions
- Recent herpes outbreaks
- Active, weeping acne (stages 3-4)
- Active Rosacea
- Unstable diabetes
- Auto-immune system disorders
- Some patients hyperpigment
post-treatment. Lower pressures are used on follow-up
treatments for these individuals.
- Using Retin A religiously or
just had a chemical peel
- recently had laser surgery
*source for the immediate above, Medscape
Medical Journal (1999) and additional media
Least You Need To Know
Microdermabrasion is simple
and non-invasive and can deliver visible improvement within a few sessions
without the downtown of a major peel or resurfacing.
perform miracles. If you have major acne scarring or tattoos or deep
wrinkles, you might as well get a peel or laser resurfacing if you are a
candidate. Microdermabrasion won't help with these types of complaints.
Be careful of being
overcharged for a cheap machine, or being overcharged, period!
Check out the technician's session
environment for cleanliness.
If you have undiagnosed lesions,
recent herpes outbreaks, warts, active weeping acne, (stages 3-4), active Rosacea, unstable diabetes, or auto-immune system disorders
you should steer cleat of Microdermabrasion.
- Some patients hyper-pigment post-op.
Lower pressures are used on follow-up
treatments for these individuals.
average prices for microdermabrasion: $75. - $200. per
session, 20-30 min. (depending upon area, strength and region)