Is Microdermabrasion for Dark Skin Safe? What You Should Know

By Emily M.| Last updated on September 27, 2023
microdermabrasion for dark skin
⏱️ 4 min read

You already know how effective microdermabrasion is – if you don’t, click this link to learn all about it.

It leaves the skin nice and glowy, the texture is smoother, and the complexion is much more even. At least that’s the case with all the impressive before & after photos we see all the time online.

They probably leave you feeling like you should get one of those treatments for yourself as well – but before you do that, let’s answer the question of whether microdermabrasion for dark skin is even safe to do.

In this article, we’ll look into whether it’s okay to do it on your face and lips, and explore some of the possible risks. So, let’s get right into it!

Let’s Revise: What Is Microdermabrasion?

To keep our explanation short – microdermabrasion is a form of physical exfoliation that includes removing the top, outermost layer of dead skin on one’s face to reveal the fresher and healthier layer underneath it.

The treatment is done with a handheld device that consists of a rotary + suctioning piece that exfoliates the skin and sucks up the lifted dead skin cells.

This tip simultaneously empties impurities from your pores too, so your face is clean and rejuvenated at the end.

Is Microdermabrasion for Dark Skin Safe?

Yes, but it shouldn’t be too aggressive, since Fitz types 5-6 are a bit more prone to hyper/hypopigmentation in case of more intense skin damage.

Generally speaking, microdermabrasion is regarded as being safe for all skin types and colors – it’s even recommended as an acne treatment, provided that the breakout isn’t too extreme.

Still, there are a few things that could go wrong, which we’ll get to in a moment.
To make sure that you’re being extra careful while getting the treatment done, we’d recommend visiting a salon whose service providers are experienced with working with darker skin tones.

There are differences in the rotary tips that are used for the treatment, and an experienced aesthetician will know which ones are more gentle and therefore more suitable for your skin.

is microdermabrasion for dark skin safeImage source: Instagram @abefe.mmb

What About Hydro Dermabrasion?

As you can probably guess from the name, hydro dermabrasion is, in fact, just a spin-off of microdermabrasion.

The only difference is that there is an additional step – the rotary, suctioning devices spray different hydrating solutions which rinse out the pores and provide deep moisturization.

Those hydrating products themselves won’t harm your complexion and the rest of the procedure is more or less the same as microdermabrasion, just even gentler.
So, our answer is the same, too – there is no risk for darker skin tones as long as they are being handled by someone who has experience.

is hydrodermabrasion on dark skin safeImage source: Instagram @cocodemerspa

What Are the Risks of Doing Microdermabrasion on African-American Skin?

In general, there aren’t a lot of risks that can arise from microdermabrasion. The two main ones include:

  • Bruising, due to the suction,
  • Increased sensitivity to direct sunlight.

When it comes to the bruising, there’s really not much you can do to prevent it. If you’re someone who is generally more prone to it, it’s more likely it’ll happen with microdermabrasion too.

On the other hand, as someone with dark skin, you already know that darker tones are less sensitive to sunlight, thanks to the melanin protecting you from UV rays. Either way, SPF is still a must.

So, there’s not much to worry about – just apply a little more sunscreen than usual, and go about your day.

Can Microdermabrasion Be Done on Lips?

You’ve probably already heard that microdermabrasion for the lips is another popular version of this treatment. Obviously, this entails going through the same treatment but just on your lips.

When it comes to expert opinions, some say that this is okay to do as long as the intensity is adapted to the sensitivity of the skin on the lips.

Others say that it’s just too much and that it shouldn’t be done, since essentially buffing your skin, especially in such a delicate area, might cause more harm than good.

Click here to learn more about lip microdermabrasion!

What About Microdermabrasion for Dark Lips?

So, since expert opinions are conflicted about microdermabrasion on the lips in general, the question is raised whether darker lips are in any more danger than lighter ones?

The potential benefits sound appealing to many. The treatment can scrape off dead skin cells that make your lips look dull and even grayish, and give them a refreshed look. On top of that, they may appear lighter after the treatment.

Microdermabrasion will also increase blood flow and give your lips a boost in color and brightness.

As great as all these benefits are, the treatment will have those effects only if it’s done by an experienced professional.

When we say experienced, we mean someone who’s done a lot of work both on lips in general and on dark lips as well – so make sure to choose your salon wisely.

If You’re a Skin Tech Wondering Whether to Do Microdermabrasion on Black Skin…

Be careful and really, really gentle.

Honestly, if you’re a beginner and don’t have much experience, perhaps it’s better to refer your client to a more experienced technician, or offer them hydrodermabrasion instead.

Cover image source: Freepik 



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