Microdermabrasion: All You Need to Know

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on March 14, 2024

The microdermabrasion facial has become everyone’s favorite treatment. Here’s why clients love it, how it’s done, the average price, aftercare tips + much more.

Microdermabrasion: All You Need to Know About the Ultimate Facial

Image source: Instagram @elite.hull

Who doesn’t love a good facial? If there’s one thing beauticians have mastered, it’s giving you the complexion of your dreams.

The microdermabrasion facial is one of the most effective non-invasive, no-downtime, go-straight-back-to-your-day treatments. Clients love it and it gets rave reviews.

Here’s all the info on the microdermabrasion facial you need.

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What Is the Microdermabrasion Facial?

The microdermabrasion facial is a mechanical exfoliation treatment that removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells from the face to reveal better skin underneath.

As professor Moetaz El-Domyati, MD., notes in his study, it first emerged in 1985 as a less invasive version of skin resurfacing dermabrasion — a clinical treatment that goes much deeper into the skin and removes a thicker layer of it.

Initially, the microdermabrasion facial was used to treat elevated burn scars, but it was soon revealed that the technique could be used to improve a wide range of complexion imperfections.

That’s how microdermabrasion made its way into salons and spas, and it’s now one of the most recommended treatments to diminish or eliminate a long list of skin issues.

What Is Microdermabrasion?Image source: Instagram @alexandrasskin_

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?

Basically, microdermabrasion scrapes off the surface layer of the skin and removes the debris in one move.

It’s performed with a handpiece that has a rotary tip. This element is either abrasive, diamond-grit, or smooth but combined with loose crystals.

So, there are several forms of microdermabrasion widely available in salons:

  • Diamond microdermabrasion — the tip has an abrasive surface that comes into direct contact with the skin.
  • Crystal microdermabrasion — aluminum oxide crystals are released and the tip rubs them against the skin.

The tip has a hole in the middle, and the handpiece performs suction simultaneously with the rotation. This combination of exfoliation and suction provides very efficient skin resurfacing.

Although gentle, the abrasion inflicts microtrauma on the surface of the skin, boosting collagen and elastin production as the skin recovers. This provides extended effects and contributes to skin resurfacing.

Is Microdermabrasion Safe?

Yes, as long as you find a licensed, experienced technician who can assess your skin and recognize its needs.

Since no living tissue is affected, there are no major risks like there are with dermabrasion, the more aggressive version of this treatment.

Is the Microderm Treatment Safe?Image source: Instagram @glownorthdayspa

What Are the Benefits of Microdermabrasion?

Since microdermabrasion removes the outermost layer of the skin, it can improve or eliminate surface imperfections that don’t reach deep into the skin.

According to Darius J. Karimipour, M.D. and his scientific review of microdermabrasion, the benefits include:

  • Reducing signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines
  • Improving hyperpigmentation & melasma
  • Diminishing shallow scars (especially acne scars)
  • De-congesting large pores
  • Treating acne (if the breakout isn’t too intense)
  • Removing dirt and blackheads from the skin
  • Reducing stretch marks

All these effects are followed by an overall improvement in the skin’s texture and appearance — something like the ultimate skin glow-up!

What Does a Microdermabrasion Facial Look Like?

Let’s break down the microdermabrasion facial into key steps and see how the whole process works, how long it takes, what it feels like, and what to expect after it’s done.

Microdermabrasion Steps

A microdermabrasion facial goes something like this:

Step 1: Pre-Cleansing

Before the actual treatment, your skin needs to be cleansed thoroughly to remove any makeup or skincare residues and sebum.

Step 2: Microdermabrasion

When the handpiece is activated, the technician will rub it against your skin in short motions.

The pressure is adjusted to the specific needs of your skin, depending on how thick the layer that needs to be removed is.

The tech will choose a more or less gritty tip depending on how thick or thin your skin is, and how intense the exfoliation needs to be.

The suction force is also adjusted according to the sensitivity of your skin and the size of your pores.

Any areas that are too compromised to be treated will be avoided, like particularly intense acne.

Usually, two passes are done, and the technician may switch between smaller and larger tips to ensure the best grip.

Step 3: Cleansing

Although the suction will eliminate most of the debris, your skin needs to be cleaned to remove any potential residues. Typically, the technician will wipe it with a gentle cleanser.

Step 4: Optional Add-Ons

Depending on the needs of your skin, the microdermabrasion facial can be followed up with some other treatment to achieve maximum results, like microcurrent facial toning, or LED light therapy.

Step 5: Soothing Mask

Finally, some type of soothing mask is applied to the treated area to calm everything down, minimize redness and swelling, and provide nourishment and hydration.

@the.glow.lab_ Microdermabrasion facial , to exfoliate the skin, reduce signs of aging, and make the skin appear more even✨#beauty #microdermabrasion #facial #facialtreatment #glow #glowing #skin #skincare #skincareroutine ♬ original sound – amari🎧

How Long Does the Facial Take?

It’s a quick one — a microdermabrasion facial can last from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on whether you’re getting any add-ons or not.

Microdermabrasion Treatment Can Last From 30 Minutes to an HourImage source: Instagram @ncbrowsandskin

Does Microdermabrasion Hurt?

No. Since the microdermabrasion facial affects the dead layer of skin, there will be no pain.

Some clients find the sensation slightly uncomfortable at most, but others claim it’s actually pleasant.

NOTE

If you feel any pain or major discomfort, tell your technician — they may need to use a less gritty tip or adjust the suction force.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Nothing major.

Typically, microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure and it entails no downtime – you can carry on with your daily activities right after.

However, don’t be scared or surprised if you notice the following:

  • Some redness
  • Minor swelling
  • Minor bruising

As dermatologist Preeti Savardekar describes it in her study, these side effects are uncommon and transient. So, no need to worried about that! 

NOTE

If you’re generally prone to allergies or currently taking any medications, inform your technician so they can readjust the choice of products for a 100% safe treatment.

When Can I Expect to See the Results?

The results of the microderm facial are immediate. Your skin will look much better right after the treatment.

But if you’re trying to improve a condition such as scarring, hyperpigmentation, or signs of aging, you will probably need to get several sessions to achieve the desired results.

To keep your skin looking its best and to prevent further aging, periodical maintenance sessions are advised.

The Results Of The Microderm Facial Are ImmediateImage source: Instagram @amberlynskin

Microdermabrasion Facial at Home

To do this facial at home, you’ll need a tool that is specifically created for at-home use to protect your skin from over-exfoliating.

This one is a beginner-friendly option you can find on Amazon:

It’s going to feel a little bit different than what you see in a professional’s office, but the process is pretty much the same.

Before you even think to use this tool, make sure you discontinue your skincare routine with retinol, AHAs, or BHAs because these can increase skin sensitivity.

Cleanse your face first and then prep your tool. For a start, use the lowest setting and the lightest tip in the kit to give your skin some time to adjust.

Pull the skin lightly and use upward motions. Avoid going over the same section more than once.

When you’re done, pump some moisture back into your skin with your favorite nourishing cream or a soothing sheet mask.

Here’s a short tutorial to help you do it like a pro:

How Often Should I Have a Microdermabrasion Facial?

Depends on your skin condition and your needs, but typically every 2 to 4 weeks. This is going to help you maintain your results.

Generally, the number of 6 to 12 sessions is going to give the best results overall and can virtually transform the appearance and texture of your skin!

Microdermabrasion Facial Aftercare Tips

After your microdermabrasion facial, these are the rules to follow for the most satisfying results:

Keep Your Skin Dry & Cool

The first 24 hours after your treatment are key to ensuring the best possible results.

During this critical period, you want to keep your skin dry and cool to avoid inflammation.

So, make sure to avoid anything that raises your body temperature including hot showers, saunas, steam rooms, and intense workouts.

Start a Gentle Skincare Routine

A couple of days after the treatment, your skin might feel dry and you might get some flaking.

To help your skin get through it easier and faster, use a gentle face wash and moisturize it generously with a product for sensitive skin:

Don’t Pick at Your Skin

As you see, you can expect your skin to do some additional peeling. This happens because the microdermabrasion facial accelerates cell turnover.

In this case, just trust the process, as this phase will not last forever. Stick to your gentle skincare routine and make sure to avoid picking at your skin.

It takes some time and patience to see the results, but once the new skin resurfaces, it’ll all be worth it.

Stay Sun Safe

One thing you also need to know is that your skin will be sensitive to sunlight for the next few days, and you’ll need to wear SPF to protect it from sun damage.

How Much Does a Microdermabrasion Facial Cost?

The price of a microderm facial can be anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on your location, the exclusivity of the salon, and the optional add-ons.

If you’re doing other treatments alongside microdermabrasion, the price can be much higher.

Generally, every session is charged separately, but some spas offer package deals if you book multiple treatments.

Microdermabrasion Vs. Dermabrasion Facial

Microdermabrasion and dermabrasion may be sisters, but they’re definitely not twins.

Dermabrasion is much more aggressive. It removes a much thicker layer of the skin and reaches into the dermis, so living tissue.

There is usually blood, and the treatment requires 1-2 weeks of downtime, and the injury is more severe.

Since it’s so aggressive, dermabrasion is only performed in cases where less invasive treatments won’t give an improvement: deep scarring, deep wrinkles, prominent blood vessels, etc.

Dermabrasion can only be performed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons since it’s very serious and carries risks of scarring and permanent discoloration. It’s also painful and requires the administration of local anesthetics.

In comparison, the microdermabrasion facial is much gentler. It’s done to target particular issues, but also to improve the overall appearance of the skin.

It doesn’t hurt, there’s no downtime, no serious risks, and it’s widely available in spas and beauty salons. It’s also cheaper, with surgical dermabrasion priced at an average of $1800.

For a detailed description of dermabrasion, head over to this guide.

Microdermabrasion Facial — Main Takeaways

The microdermabrasion facial is a great skin treatment because it helps you with any skin concern you might be dealing with.

From diminishing and even eliminating scarring, wrinkles, or discoloration to improving the overall state and appearance of your skin — it’s a go-to treatment for juicy and glowy skin.

And the best thing about it? It’s a fast and pain-free facial that gives immediate results. So, why wait? Give it a try and get ready to enjoy your perfect skin!

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