Does Microdermabrasion Work? Effectiveness for Different Conditions

By Emily M.| Last updated on October 17, 2022
does microdermabrasion work
⏱️ 4 min read

Among the universally effective skin care treatments, microdermabrasion is starting to emerge as one of the definite favorites. It’s totally non-invasive, entails no downtime, essentially no aftercare apart from wearing SPF, and some even claim it’s pleasant.

While all this is great, what clients care the most about is whether it actually achieves results or not. So, let’s look into does microdermabrasion work and how effective it is at targeting different skin concerns.

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?

Microdermabrasion is a form of physical exfoliation of the skin done with a special device – a microdermabrasion machine.

The handpiece of the machine features a rotating ring with a gritty surface and a hole in the middle. The ring is pressed against the skin to scrape off its outermost layer, and the handpiece sucks in all the dead skin cells and the contents of pores.

So it’s a double-action type of treatment. It removes the layer of skin which is constantly exposed to external influences and damage to reveal healthy, clearer new skin that was hidden underneath, plus it literally vacuums out all the impurities.

It’s a very simple treatment that works on the basis of the most basic skin anatomy, and as such, it’s failproof.

It’s beneficial for both clients who just want a refreshment, and for those who want to work away a specific skin issue. But let’s zoom in on how does microdermabrasion work for the conditions most commonly treated.

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?Image source: Instagram @youbloombeauty

Does Microdermabrasion Work on Acne Scars?

Microdermabrasion can be extremely effective at minimizing the visibility of certain acne scars, particularly more shallow depressed scars. Scars which are not deeply-rooted can be diminished significantly over a series of microdermabrasion sessions.

However, microdermabrasion won’t really do much for deeper acne scars like icepick or boxcar scars, as these reach further into the skin than microdermabrasion goes. For those cases, the original dermabrasion is more effective – it’s more aggressive and removes a thicker layer of skin.

Does Microdermabrasion Work for Acne?

It can be very useful at treating mild breakouts, as it purifies the skin and immediately sucks away the contents of blemishes so they don’t linger on the skin and potentially contaminate the surrounding pores.

However, it’s not suitable for treating more intense breakouts, as it can cause further inflammation and make the whole thing even worse.

Does Microdermabrasion for Hyperpigmentation Work?

Microdermabrasion can give great results in treating various types of hyperpigmentation:

  • Post-acne hyperpigmentation
  • Unwanted freckles
  • Sun spots
  • Age spots
  • Liver spots
  • Melasma
  • Chloasma (hyperpigmentation that emerges during pregnancy as a result of hormonal shifts)

But it’s important to understand that minimizing hyperpigmentation with microdermabrasion is done progressively, meaning you will need several sessions to achieve an improvement.

With each session, more of the discolored skin is removed and eventually, the hyperpigmentation can disappear if it was minor, or be diminished significantly if it was more severe.

Does Microdermabrasion for Hyperpigmentation WorkImage source: Instagram @jadeskincarex

Does Microdermabrasion Work for Wrinkles?

Let’s put it this way – microdermabrasion works for fine lines, but not wrinkles. By removing the epidermis, fine lines are softened and they become less and less noticeable with each session.

While they can be diminished, they probably won’t disappear, though. For fine lines to get completely smoothed out, they need some plumpness from within which can be achieved with microneedling or injectables.

For deeper wrinkles, dermabrasion is more effective.

Does Microdermabrasion Work for Wrinkles?Image source: Instagram @rosebeautyspa88

What About Large Pores and Skin Congestion?

These 2 conditions usually go hand in hand, and microdermabrasion can help with both.

As we said, microdermabrasion sucks out the contents of pores, eliminating blackheads and whiteheads and taking away the contents of pores. With repeated sessions, the pores are repeatedly emptied out and eventually they shrink. As they shrink, blackheads and whiteheads start emerging less and less.

Since we’re talking about pore purification, we have to mention hydradermabrasion, a spin-off on microdermabrasion which includes a spray of purifying liquid. This version of the treatment is perhaps the best for battling skin congestion, as the spray provides more thorough cleansing and disinfection.

Learn more about hydradermabrasion in this guide.

does microdermabrasion work for large pored skin congestionImage source: Instagram @estheticsbyelicia

Additional Effects

Microdermabrasion doesn’t have to target a specific skin condition. It’s a great treatment even if you just want to freshen up your skin and get it glowing.

Even if the outermost layer of your skin is in relatively good condition and you don’t have any visible imperfection, your skin will definitely benefit from such an effective pore unclogging and exfoliation.

additional effects microdermabrasionImage source: Instagram @thelashandbodybar

Does Microdermabrasion Work for Stretch Marks?

Yes. By smoothing out the surface of the skin, microdermabrasion can help blend stretch marks, which are essentially a form of scar tissue, into the surrounding skin and diminish their visibility.

Does at Home Microdermabrasion Work?

Recently, microdermabrasion machines suitable for at-home use have emerged on the market. They utilize the same principle as the professional treatment, only their functions were simplified and adapted for use by non-professionals.

They’re less effective, though, give less dramatic effects, and require more sessions to give an improvement.

All This Sounds Great! How Much Does It Cost?

The average cost of a microdermabrasion session is around $120. If you just want to refresh your skin, an occasional session is more than enough, but if you want to improve a particular condition, you’ll need a series of sessions. If that’s the case, look for combo deals – many salons offer discounted prices on a series of treatments.

Cover image source: Freepik



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