Microdermabrasion is one of the most important steps towards the continued health of your skin and natural youthful appearance of your skin. I cannot say it enough: exfoliation with scrub does NOT replace the necessity of microdermabrasion and it is a mistake to assume that if you use facial scrub while washing your face you won’t need to perform microdermabrasion. The two processes are incomparable and use different mechanical ways of getting the dead skin cells off your face.
When you use facial scrub products you are rubbing coarse-textured creamy stuff over your face for about a minute or so while washing it. It’s uneven and messy – and in many cases can cause superficial cut and spread the bacteria as you are literally pressing whatever is on the surface of your skin into it. As you move your hands you are not only spreading the scrub around but also whatever it is you are removing from your face: dirt, dead skin cells, topical stuff like creams and make us residue.
That is why many people report breakouts and skin worsening from using facial scrubs. Using it too much and rubbing too vigorously are bad idea. Using it once or twice a week is excellent maintenance to the results that are truly achieved only by microdermabrasion.
What is microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion uses diamond dust-tipped disk to sand-off the upper layer of your skin (epidermis) while the suction of the device immediate removes the debris from the contact site so none of the dead skin, bacteria and whatever else gets shaved off is sitting on top of your skin and penetrates it again, causing opposite effect of what you want.
When done properly microdermabrasion helps lift years off your face by:
- Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
- Fading age spots and hyperpigmentation (uneven skin tone, dark patches)
- Clears acne and helps fade acne scars for those who suffered sever acne when teenager.
- Help reduce stretch marks in some cases eventually fading them away
- Even out the skin surface and improve complexion revealing a younger, healthier looking skin.
- Blackheads and enlarged pores are significantly cleared with regular dermobrasion treatement.
What are the best microdermabrasion devices on the market today?
1. NuBrilliance Professional Microddermabrasion System
NuBrilliance Professional Microdermabrasion system is the closest at-home gadget to those at the dermatologists’ office. It’s a beautiful machine that is designed with functionality and esthetics to be an attractive addition to your bathroom vanity while delivering professional quality results.
The basin shaped body of NuBrilliance Pro Microdermabrasion is elegantly smooth and curved clam that houses the control panel and the vaccuming hose with three interchangeable diamond-tipped heads. The three ‘heads’ are to be attached to the wand that is at the end of the flexible suction hose. The size and roughness of the diamond-dust tips are different to address different body parts and different degrees of strength of the treatment. The fine, coarse and precision tips are included with the machine.
What makes this unit really professional grade is that the strength of the suction can be controlled. You can increase it gradually if your skin tolerates it. Eventually you will settle on the right setting for your skin that will give you the best result without reddening or mild irritation. Everyone’s skin us different – but on average the treatment should not take more than 4-5 minutes unless you have a gigantic head.
Things to keep in mind while using NuBrilliance device
I recommend ALWAYS to begin with the softest tip to see who your skin reacts to it. The smallest tip is for the harder to reach areas such as nose, the sides of the nose, nostrils, lips (YES you can use this machine on your lips for the amazing effect that looks like you had injections – but more on that later!) temples (crow’s feet at the far corners of the eyes) and ears (indeed you can and should treat your ears and behind the ears with this tip – you may not see you own ears but everyone else can!)
The medium size tip is for the main plains of your face and neck which you should treat with steady slow movements always moving upwards from lower parts of the chosen segment going up. The large tip if for the body – elbow, feet, ankles or anywhere you feel your skin is getting rough and can use improvement.
This is an important point to remember: every such treatment has a built-in element of face massage – you are stimulating your skin and facial muscles with even the slightest of pressures. So remember to always move up from the bottom upwards – this way you are ‘sculpting’ your face instead of dragging the skin down. If you don’t follow this guideline think about how years of wrong-direction stimuli will affect your skin! It’s important to remember that the success of any gadget is as much in the technique of the performance as it is in the properties of the gadget itself.
Using NuBrilliance on face
Hold the skin down and pull gently to make the surface taught – then in smooth even strokes glide the tip from the center of your face (nose area) outwards and upwards. Follow the natural outline and curves of your features always moving upwards. Do NOT apply pressure – let the suction do the job. once you place the tip properly against the skin with vacuum will engage and you will feel the ‘scratchy’ filling of the diamond-dust tip ‘sanding-off’ the top layer of the skin. This is the correct sensation and there is no need to worry about scratchiness. Don’t hold the tip in one place for that may create a blotch of over-shaved skin that will be more sensitive and irritated. Always move the tip along the skin’s surface.
When using on forehead you can use it in horizontal movements across the forehead and vertical movements going up from the eyebrows to the hairline.
When using horizontal strokes on the forehead I begin in the center and move to the side towards the hairline. The using vertical motions I pull the skin just above the hairline and move upwards from the eyebrow level. This technique creates a ‘grill’ on your forehead giving you both the coverage of the surface as well as excellent massage side effect.
You can also use it on the eyebrows – just very gently and with no pressure at all place the precision tip on the brow and run it along the shape of your arches.
Using NuBrilliance on neck
Start from the center (where Adam’s apple is ) and more sideways and up. When working on under-chin (jowls) move the wand upwards from the lower point.
Using NuBrilliance on lips
Here is a great trick! To remove the chapped crackled skin from your lips use the precision tip and move it gently along the outlines of your lips. Run the tip on the ‘inside’ of the upper and lower lip to cover the visible surface but don’t get near the soft mucosa parts of your lips. Finally – outline your lips just beyond the vermilion border. You will notice a substantial plumping and evening out. With frequent practice your lips will look smooth, plump and more defined. Comparable to a mild injectable maintenance – but you are in control here an d it’s pain and needdle-free!
Don’t overdo it as you will end up looking like someone smacked you on the mouth! A little goes a long way! And the more consistent you are with your scheduled treatments the better-looking the results will be.
Feet, elbows and elsewhere
You can do a fabulous job on your feet and elbows with the coarse tip – just make sure you start with the lowest power suction mode and don’t apply pressure even though you might be tempted to.
The suction and the diamond tip will do the job. Remember to use smooth strokes and try and avoid crossing the paths over the same region multiple times – it will lead to over-exfoliation and irritation. Be careful when using on your feet not to overdo the bottom ‘sole’ of the foot as you have to be able to walk and stand. If the skin gets irritated it will cause discomfort when walking. Always wash the feet thoroughly after the microdermabrasion treatment and apply moisturizing lotion. I also like to use creams and lotions that have antibacterial properties as the feet are close to the ground and if there are any micro-tears in the skin as a result of the treatment this further protects you from inflammation. I would not recommend doing the treatment right before going out – I would rather do it the night before so allow the skin to recover and new cells to grow overnight.
2. PMD Personal Microderm System
PMD personal microderm is small, light easy to use and comes in a variety of colors. They even have a black “mens’ version which is great and is a evidence that men have jumped on the wagon of beauty products in their quest for youthful longevity and sex appeal. Having tried a few of these I find that PMD personal microderm is simply the best portable microdermabrasion device.
I first came across it when I read PMD reviews just when the machine came onto the market and wasn’t sold on the device so small being able to do the good job. But the more PMD reviews poured in the more intrigued I became with giving it a shot. Those of you who had an in-office microdermabrasion know that usually it looks like a grill or a portable bar with tubes and tentacles coming out of it that have diamond-dust tips and suction.
I was really impressed that this small elegant wand managed do move efficiently over my face while sanding it off and vacuuming it.
Is it portable enough for travel?
Perhaps the greatest advantage of the PMD family of devices over the competition in the booming market for at-home microdermabrasion gadgets is that it is the only easily portable device that delivers professional strength of the treatment. Virtually the size of the cucumber it fits into any bag and requites only the power cords and extra tips (which is miniature) and you are ready to go! It’s a deal breaker for frequent travelers who are on the go and like to have their beauty routine follow them around the world.
With PMD microderm you don’t have to worry about checking it in the luggage and breaking in, it’s less space in your carry-on than a bottle of water and you can plug in anywhere anytime and indulge your face in a great and instant salon treatment. I find it to be a God-sent when I’m on the road and I need to look good. It’s saved me probably thousands of dollars having to see local dermatologists and hours and hours of time spent looking for, finding, traveling to and from local spas. Instead all I need is a plug, water supply and cleanser/moisturizer/oil/serum combo and I can count on PMD giving my face new skin! In fact it’s particularly amazing for after long-haul flight (such as US-Asia, US-Europe, NYC-LA).
I don’t know about you but my skin clogs up and suffocates on the planes – every time I get off the 4+ hour flight I feel that I have a layer of bacon grease on my face and neither washing nor regular exfoliating gels really address not help with the issue. It use to take a few days for my skin to stop hyper-producing oil and making me look bloated, red and greasy.
With PMD in my bag I do the treatment as soon as I settle in for the night at my destination and by next day my skin is resurfaced, renewed and clean and the oil production is in check as the clogged, suffocated layer of skin cells is removed and allows the dermis to breath while the new skin cells reproduce at a normal pace and in normal conditions (unlike the ‘stressed-out’ and damaged cells from the recycled air and horrible dryness of the airplane).
As much as I love the other two top devices – it would be mad to travel with them considering the size, clumsiness and non-portability of their design and dimensions. That makes PMD the only worthwhile such gadget on the market. There a few inexpensive wands out there but they really don’t do much at all – so I wouldn’t waste my money on then. In order for microdermabrasion to work it requires SUCTION! Without suction you are spreading the dirt and dead cells across your face and doing the reverse of the desired goal – which is the CLEAN and LIFT away the dead cell and the top layer of skin to allow the new cellular regeneration to commence. PMD has enough suction to allow for that to happen – so voila – it’s your only choice if you want to take your microderm along with you.
What happens after microdermabrasion?
Your skin will get somewhat irritated – in some cases a little swollen and inflamed – which is exactly what boosts collagen production and regeneration of the cells. Once your top layer of skin is removed and all the clutter is vacuumed off – the body starts to create more collagen to regrow the new skin surface which literally grows new cells giving your skin renewal, youth and healthy glow.
Do I need to use a face oil or serum after microdermabrasion?
Immediately after microdermabrasion is a great time to use the most potent and calming face oil or serum following by a richer moisturizer – as your skin will become more sensitive and dry after the procedure.
Once you apply these products on the opened sanded off skin – the active elements in them will work twice as fast and twice as much truly resurfacing your skin and nourishing the cells so that the new skin regrowth is starting at a huge advantage, aided by the amazing research and quality that goes into the products recommended above.
I apply SKII facial essence by spritzing it onto my the skin. Then I follow up with wither Miracle Broth serum by La Mer or Black Rose Oil by Sisley and let it absorb into my skin. In about 15 min I will put a generous amount of La Mer or Platinum cream by La Prairie and reapply it right before I go to bed. Usually when I wake up the next morning my skin looks and feels amazing – as though I went for a whole beauty detox at a spa. Sleep is important also for the restoration of your skin and regeneration of the cells – so make sure you perform your at home microdermabrasion when you can get at least 7+ hours of sleep.
I have personally used them among the other top brands and found these to be the most effective at delivering promised results.
What's the best time to do microdermabrasion?
I always do my microdermabrasion early evening before the day I plan to stay in (or at least have no important social engagements) to give my skin change to recover fully. I reapply the creams every 3-4 hours throughout the day after the dermabrasion making sure my skin is drinking in the amazing ingredients of and they are getting as deep inside the dermis as possible before the new skin grows and forms a ‘protective shield’ that prevents your skincare from truly penetrating inside the skin.
Just keep in mind: without dermabrasion all your amazing skincare sits atop your skin without truly seeping in – sort of like if you were to smother it over your fridge door. You can put the most amazing sauce on the on the fridge but it is not going to marinate the food inside. It can’t get through. That is what happens when we hear complaints of luxury skincare not having an effect on someone’s skin: they are not maintaining their skin right by removing the old, dead skin cells and just piling on the product on top of the impenetrable layer of rough, dead cells. So clearly there can be no effect as the ingredients have no way of truly interacting with your living, healthy skin cells being mixed in and pressed into the cellular debris on the surface. Voila. That’s easy to fix with performing dermabrasion regularly – and you will notice that all your beauty supplies are more effective and seems to feel totally different, and yield a very different, much more powerful result.
In-office versus at-home dermabrasion
The in-office dermabrasion costs about $150-200 per session. Considering once has to do it regularly in order for it to actually make sense you are looking at a costly recurring expenditure. The benefit is that you just show up and lay there while someone else vacuums your face. Nice. But if you are more budget aware and like to be in control of everything – personal microdermabrasion tool will be your new best friend! There is a plethora of devices on the market now many of which do the job but are clumsy, weak and hard to use.
Where should I perform microdermabrasion at home?
It’s important to find the right place to do your home microdermabrasion. I first tried it in my bathroom but the electrical plug was across the room and that made for a very awkward experience of doing what seemed like slow motion yoga while vacuuming my face. So I moved the enterprise to the kitchen where there is lots of light plenty of outlets. It’s important to have free range of motion and not have your want be attached to the wall, as it were.
Once you found your right place for microdermabrasion at home – make sure you have a good mirror and that you can see clearly. I literally put on contacts to do it – if you wear glasses ( like I do most of the time) its very clumsy to navigate around them while if you take your glasses off but can’t see very well you can create all sorts of weird patterns on your skin and screw up the right angle to ensure that disk touches your skin without allowing the air in. If the air gets in – the suction doesn’t work. so you basically need your personal microdermabrasion tool to be at 90 degree angle against your skin.
My personal method and tips
Once you turn it on – place the tip at the center of your face (the manual shows you everything), pull the skin with your other hand’s finger in the direction of the motion to tighten it and glide it smoothly outwards in one steady motion. The important thing here is not to stop – then the spinning diamond disk shaves off too much of the skin and you end up with blotchy red spots. It takes a few times doing it to get a hang of the motion and the velocity – don’t push on the skin. Let the suction engage and then glide sideways. Follow the natural curvature of your face and absolutely avoid the eye area. Don’t let the disk brush the edge of your lower lids at the top of the cheekbone – the skin there is very think and sensitive and should never be exfoliated. Also never do it to your lips!
I have a very sensitive skin so I start with lighted version of the disk and if I wait longer period between my sessions – I return to it from the medium or high. Everyone’s skin will react differently to this kind of procedure so just be reasonable and aware of how your skin reacts to it. After the session I usually turn very pink and I can see the traces of the disk on my skin.