Microdermabrasion is one of the most popular facials for a good reason. It’s a form of skin resurfacing that gives immediate results and entails no downtime. It’s fast, painless, yet very effective.
Basically, it’s a form of exfoliation which thoroughly scrapes off dead skin cells, but also uses suction to unclog pores and remove all impurities from them. So it’s an elaborate treatment which uses several principles.
Dermatologists and cosmetologists have been trying out various methods of performing the exfoliation, and it seems they’ve finally settled on which one is best – diamond microdermabrasion! Let’s see what hides behind this attention-grabbing name.
What Is Diamond Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a form of exfoliation done by scraping off the dead skin cells of the epidermis. Hence, it’s a form of mechanical exfoliation, which is combined with suction to achieve a deep cleanse.
The treatment does several things:
- It removes the layer of dead skin cells from the surface of the skin to reveal brighter skin underneath
- It unclogs and cleanses pores, eliminating blackheads and comedones
- It stimulates skin regeneration and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin
- It increases microcirculation in the area which ensures better nourishment.
When the epidermis is scraped, regardless of the fact that the cells that are removed are dead, the basal layer of the skin gets the signal to start an accelerated production of new cells, which will result in better skin quality over time.
The body starts behaving as if there was an injury and sends additional collagen and elastin to the area. These components are built into the new cells and the result is a more even, rejuvenated, radiant skin with imperfections diminished.
Lately, diamond tip dermabrasion is the most popular method of performing the treatment.
For more information on any aspect of microdermabrasion, head over to our guide.
Image source: Instagram @mdcl.aesthetics
How Is It Done?
Diamond microdermabrasion is done with a small pen-shaped handpiece attached to a microdermabrasion machine with a tube. The handpiece ends with a rotary tip that looks like a ring. Its surface is covered with diamond grit, and there’s a hole in the middle.
As the tip is moved over the face, the abrasive surface scrapes off the outermost layer of the skin. The thickness of the layer removed depends on the pressure the technician applies.
The handpiece performs suction as it rotates (the tube transfers suction force to the handpiece), and all debris (dead skin cells, impurities from the pores) that’s lifted from the skin is immediately taken away. The vacuum makes sure the contents of pores are extracted.
This form of extraction is gentler on the skin than good old squeezing, and it’s more effective. The fact that the debris is removed immediately makes the whole treatment very hygienic – dirt doesn’t linger on the skin, so it can’t clog the pores back up or cause an infection.
How Is It Different from Crystal Dermabrasion?
There are 2 widely available versions of the treatment:
- Crystal microdermabrasion
- Diamond microdermabrasion.
The principle is the same for both – exfoliating the epidermis through scraping – but different devices are used and they work in somewhat different ways.
The handpiece used for crystal dermabrasion blasts tiny crystals (usually of aluminum oxide) onto the skin. The small particles are abrasive, and as they’re ejected against the skin, the dead cells are lifted. The handpiece sucks in the “used” crystals and takes them away. This method is more similar to a scrub.
As we’ve explained, diamond microdermabrasion is done with the rotary tip which has an abrasive surface.
A simple way to explain the difference is to compare crystal microdermabrasion to a sugar scrub (although it’s much more intense) and diamond microdermabrasion to sandpaper. You get the idea.
Image source: Instagram @beautybyamela_letchworth
Why Is Diamond Microdermabrasion Better?
Diamond dermabrasion is considered more advanced than crystal dermabrasion. It’s a more compact treatment in a sense, since it doesn’t require introducing any products into the process – the machine does all the work.
Let’s see what advantages diamond microdermabrasion has over the crystal version according to experts:
- The diamond tip handpiece gives the technician more control. How intense the abrasion will be depends on how hard the tip is pressed against the skin, while with crystals, it depends on how sharp the crystals are and it can’t be adjusted for different areas.
- When performing crystal microdermabrasion, the tech can’t control the shape and sharpness of the crystals, so they may be too abrasive and damage the client’s skin. As a result of that, an inflammatory response is triggered.
- The exchangeable tips come in different sizes and at different levels of grittiness. The tech can switch between tips during the treatment to match the needs of different areas of the skin.
- A problem with crystal microdermabrasion techs have is the fact that both the client and the technician can breathe in the crystal dust, which is not the healthiest thing. Also, the dust can get into the client’s eyes.
In almost every aspect, diamond-tipped microdermabrasion is superior to the version with crystals. Fewer and fewer cosmetologists are doing dermabrasion with crystals.
While diamond microdermabrasion can give your skin a huge improvement, it can’t eliminate some more severe imperfections like deep acne scars, or deep wrinkles. For those, you can try microneedling as an equally non-invasive alternative, or surgical dermabrasion – a more invasive variation of microdermabrasion done by dermatologists or plastic surgeons.
Cover image source: Freepik