Microdermabrasion: treatment in focus
Thinking about taking your skincare up a gear, but a bit baffled (and perhaps even a little frightened) by the myriad treatments on offer? We’re here to help!
Rejuvenation treatments (treatments designed to refresh the complexion and target signs of ageing) often involve removing or destroying layers of the skin, which can sound more than a little scary if you’ve never had a professional skin treatment before. Microdermabrasion is a popular exfoliating and rejuvenating skin treatment which can be used to address a range of skin issues, including mild acne. But how does it actually work and should you be worried about the side effects?
Strip away the bad, to reveal the good
You might not expect to hear the words “abrasion” or “abrasive” in the same sentence as “skin treatment.” Usually if something is identified as abrasive to the skin, it’s in the context of a health warning. But in this case, it’s actually more about removing “unwanted” skin - i.e. dead or damaged skin cells that make your complexion dull and pallid - to reveal a fresher, brighter complexion beneath.
Microdermabrasion & dermabrasion: NOT The same thing
It should be noted that microdermabrasion is a very different treatment to dermabrasion. While dermabrasion involves removing actual living layers of skin, microdermabrasion only entails the removal of dead skin cells on the surface, making for a much more enjoyable treatment - and a much shorter downtime. Most people find microdermabrasion relaxing and comfortable. You might experience a little redness immediately after treatment, but this should disappear after about 24 hours.
How does microdermabrasion work?
The whole process works using a special handheld device which blasts tiny, exfoliating microcrystals across the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells. Before you recoil in horror at the idea of your face being sandblasted, you should know that this is actually a very gentle rejuvenation treatment and is even suitable for sensitive skin types. (And, to be clear, has nothing to do with sandblasting.) A special vacuum process is also used to lift away what is removed from the surface of the skin and help unblock pores. Afterwards, the skin feels smoother and softer, fine lines and wrinkles are improved and your skincare products will be more effective as they will penetrate the skin more easily, instead of sitting on top of all that dead skin and debris. Microdermabrasion also provides a gentler, more-natural alternative to a chemical skin peel as it allows for effective exfoliation without the use of acids, which might not be suitable for some reactive skin types.
Your skin’s natural anti-ageing ingredient
Exfoliation isn’t the only way microdermabrasion works to improve the complexion: it also stimulates your skin’s natural collagen production. What’s so important about collagen? Collagen is the primary structural protein found in the skin and is what gives it its shape and firmness. As we age, we stop producing as much of this protein, causing the skin to wrinkle and sag. That’s why you’ll hear beauty bloggers and the like raving about anything that stimulates collagen: any treatment that helps counteract this part of the ageing process also helps to improve texture, tone and elasticity from within, for long-lasting, natural-looking results.
Will I see results straight away?
Microdermabrasion is what is known in dermatology circles as a “progressive procedure.” This means that after the very first session, your skin will begin to feel softer and may appear slightly smoother. But for a more noticeable, visible improvement, a course of sessions is usually recommended. After each treatment, circulation within the dermis is improved, encouraging the natural production of newer, healthier skin cells. In other words, the more treatments you have, the better!
Microdermabrasion is used to treat:
- Facial wrinkles
- Wrinkled hands
- Mild acne
- Dull skin