Micro Dermabrasion at Home - All You Need to Know
Your fav facial can now be done at home, with the help of various gadgets! Here’s all you need to know about micro dermabrasion at home.
Whenever a new facial becomes hugely popular, the beauty industry finds a way to adjust it to home use. So, doing micro dermabrasion at home is now possible, with the wide range of at-home micro dermabrasion tools available!
These beauty gadgets are made by several manufacturers, and they vary in terms of specifications, and therefore method of use and effectiveness. Generally, they are relatively easy to use and will give you an improvement, although they cannot really match up to a professional treatment.
Nevertheless, they have many benefits. Let’s explain how you can do micro dermabrasion at home, and reflect on whether it’s possible to do the more aggressive dermabrasion at home, or the increasingly popular hydro dermabrasion.
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What’s Micro Dermabrasion?
Micro dermabrasion is a type of skin-perfecting treatment that engages mechanical exfoliation to essentially scrape off the outermost layer of the skin to reveal better skin underneath for an immediate effect, and an improvement in the quality of skin over time.
The advantage micro dermabrasion has over simpler scrubs is the fact that it utilizes suction to immediately remove the cells and dirt lifted off the surface of the skin, providing a much neater exfoliation that includes unclogging pores and removing the debris immediately in order to prevent contamination.
As a professional service, it’s done with an elaborate device – a rotary tip with an abrasive surface (usually a gritty diamond layer) is attached to a handpiece. The handpiece with is attached to a tube. The tube is attached to the machine. The powerful engine activates the rotary tip and the suction force.
The professional treatment is done in several steps, and it can be combined with other treatments, like facial massage or LED light therapy.
For more detailed information, check out our micro dermabrasion guide.
Image source: Freepik
How Can I Do Micro Dermabrasion at Home?
Micro dermabrasion at home is possible if you get an at-home machine. Manufacturers found ways to simplify the machine somewhat and make it suitable for use by non-professionals. They come in various forms with or without suction, and most of them have diamond tips.
Some kits come with several tips in various sizes, others provide only one larger tip. If possible, it’s better to get the one with several tips, since maneuvering around crevices of your face can be tricky with a large tip.
These machines are more compact and relatively easy to use – they either provide thorough instruction, or have a built-in computer that guides you through the procedure.
At-Home Micro Dermabrasion Procedure
Exactly how the treatment is done depends on the specifications of the device, but here’s a general overview:
- You need to thoroughly cleanse the skin with a non-irritating cleanser to remove all makeup and product residues.
- Set the configuration of the machine (most devices allow you to adjust the rotation speed and the suction force). You should follow the guidelines the device provides to make sure the configurations are suitable for the area of the skin treated (the thickness of facial skin varies).
- Press the tip of the handpiece against your skin, and move it around. It’s advisable to start from your cheeks, at the bridge of the nose, and move it outwards. Then, do the forehead, and finally your nose. The skin on the nose is the thinnest, so you will need to readjust the configurations.
- Finally, wash your face with cool to lukewarm water, and optimally, apply a moisturizing serum.
It should be noted that some of the machines have a built-in interface which will guide you through every part of the micro dermabrasion process, but they also allow you to customize the settings. If you have little to no experience treating your skin yourself, it’s advisable to follow the instructions provided.
Or, better yet, consult a dermatologist first and have them assess the thickness of your skin.
Although the devices can be more or less adapted to at-home use, you are still in control of the intensity of the treatment through how hard you press the rotary tip against the skin. The suction force will stick the tip to your skin, and that pressure is enough to ensure proper exfoliation. Don’t press too hard – you will remove a thicker layer of skin, and potentially cause damage.
Pressing harder will not give you better results. You can do more harm than good. You need to go gently but regularly to let your skin improve in a safe way.
Image source: YouTube Screenshot Jaleesa Moses
How Often Should I Repeat This Procedure?This depends on what results you want to achieve, but generally, don’t do it more often than once every 2 weeks. If you want to target a particular issue such as acne scars or hyperpigmentation, start with once every 10-14 days. After a few sessions, switch to once a month. If you just want to improve your skin overall, you can go straight with once a month. Over-exfoliation can leave your skin irritated, red and raw, and if you really go overboard, you can damage its protective barrier.
What Results Can I Expect?
You can definitely expect an improvement, but it won’t be as dramatic as it would be with professional treatments, and it will take more time to get long-term benefits.
When you get a professional treatment, the practitioner gets to assess your skin and decide how thick a layer of skin they’ll be scraping off. So, they can go more aggressive, because they know how to do it properly, without causing damage.
If you’re doing your micro dermabrasion at home, your machine isn’t as powerful and you are more limited – for your own good. You can (and should) only exfoliate off the outermost layer of the skin, the one without any living cells. If you go deeper, you can cause permanent damage.
This method will give you the following benefits immediately:
- Smoother skin surface
- More even skin tone
- A brightening effect
- A slight plump
Over time and with repetition, the treatment can diminish the visibility of shallow scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. This can take a while, since the skin can only be improved gradually with relatively mild abrasion. But results will come – you just need to be patient.
Image source: YouTube Screenshot Dermacure
Is Doing Micro Dermabrasion at Home Worth It?
This depends on your expectations and the severity of skin imperfections you want to target.
The first factor you need to consider is the price of the machine. Devices suitable for home use are priced between $40 and around $200, depending on their specifications. Generally, the more expensive the gadget is, the more intense the treatment will be, and it’ll have more features.
The second factor is how big an improvement you want to achieve. If you want to tackle scarring, hyperpigmentation, or the signs of aging, investing in the device is definitely worth it, since simple scrubs can’t really help with these imperfections. But if you just want a light exfoliation to smooth out the skin, a sugar scrub could be a much more affordable solution.
Regardless of this, if we compare doing micro dermabrasion at home to getting regular professional treatments, which are priced at an average $120 per session, investing in an at-home device is a bargain, since you can use it over and over again at no extra cost.
Is It Safe to Do Micro Dermabrasion at Home?
Yes, if you get a quality device suitable for non-professional use which provides thorough instructions, and you don’t try to go deeper than the outermost layer of the skin.
Are There Any Risks or Side Effects?
Yes, but the side effects are minor and the risks are low if you do the treatment properly, not too often and not too aggressively.
Since at-home micro dermabrasion treats only the outermost layer of the skin, the side effects boil down to:
- Some redness right after
- Possible minor peeling within a few days
However, if you go crazy with it and press the device too hard against your skin, there are some risks:
- Damaging the skin’s protective barrier
It’s very important to listen to the signals your skin sends – if the treatment is uncomfortable in any way, or if your skin is left irritated (some redness is fine, but there shouldn’t be any burning or tenderness), you’re probably pressing too hard, or you need to tone down the suction force.
We also have to mention the possibility of infection, which is greater if you’re DIY-ing it.
The machines come with a removable diamond tip, which is supposed to be cleaned and reused. You have to clean the tips very meticulously after each use (unless stated otherwise, use detergent and a spoolie under running water) to wash off the built-up debris and prevent skin contamination the next time you use the system.
Image source: YouTube Screenshot Haley and Jordan
What About Spin-Offs?
Micro dermabrasion belongs to a larger family of skin treatments which work on the principle of scraping off a layer of skin to reveal better skin underneath and treat conditions over time.
It all started with surgical dermabrasion – a much more aggressive treatment – then there was micro dermabrasion which is less invasive and more versatile, and finally, hydro dermabrasion emerged as a more hydrating version of micro dermabrasion.
Let’s see if any of these can be done at home.
Can I Do More Aggressive Dermabrasion at Home?
No, surgical dermabrasion is a medical skin treatment and it can only be done by medical experts – dermatologists and plastic surgeons.
Micro dermabrasion actually emerged as a less invasive version of the surgical dermabrasion, which is used to eliminate more severe skin damage and conditions, like deep scarring, burn scars, visible blood vessels, and similar.
It implies removing a much thicker layer of skin than micro dermabrasion, and it’s an intense treatment that entails leaving a wound and up to 2 weeks of downtime. You should never attempt to remove a layer thicker than the epidermis on your own – this can lead to complications, especially permanent scarring.
For more information, here’s a guide through surgical dermabrasion.
Can I Do Hydro Dermabrasion at Home?
Technically, yes, there are now user-friendly devices meant for at-home use available, but they emerged onto the market very recently and there’s not as much feedback from users available as is the case for micro dermabrasion at home.
Hydro dermabrasion (also known as aqua peel, hydro peel, or hydra facial) is a spin off on micro dermabrasion which incorporated intense hydration into the treatment. The device is very similar, but there’s a crucial difference.
Hydro dermabrasion machines have all the features of micro dermabrasion, but they also eject liquid, which means the skin is cleansed even more thoroughly and is provided with deep hydration. For at-home use, they had to be simplified, so their efficiency dropped somewhat.
As a professional treatment, the hydra facial gives great results, but how effective at home devices are is yet to be concluded.
For more information, here’s a guide through hydro dermabrasion.
Micro Dermabrasion at Home – Main Takeaways
If you’re not too keen on spending $100+ dollars on a single session of professional micro dermabrasion, you can invest in a device and do your micro dermabrasion at home. Unlike some other treatments which aren’t too great in their DIY versions, doing your own dermabrasion can work relatively well with very little risk, as long as you’re careful and control your pressure.