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What is Microdermabrasion and How Does It Work?

What is Microdermabrasion and How Does It Work?

If you’re trying to renew your skin tone and texture, then a procedure called microdermabrasion can be a very good option. Many times, the only solution comes in the form of surgery or complex treatments that can be extremely invasive. However, microdermabrasion is nothing like that. it uses a process called dermabrasion which relies on removing dead skin cells with the use of fine crystals. Simply put, the upper part of the skin gets damaged, so that newer skin cells can grow and thrive.

As you that, you get to renew your skin cells, boost their texture and look. But at the same time, the microdermabrasion treatment is also good if you have skin problems. It has become a very powerful solution for patients that have age spots, wrinkles, minor scars or fine lines. Thanks to the exfoliation process of the epidermis, microdermabrasion helps solve those issues, while delivering a very consistent result.  

Understanding Microdermabrasion

There are many microdermabrasion uses, and the most common ones relate to treating acne and reducing enlarge pores. There are other great uses, like dealing with stretch marks or fine lines, as mentioned earlier. Sometimes, the microdermabrasion machine can assist with hyperpigmentation problems or even scarification of skin cells.

If you have blemishes or damaged pores, microdermabrasion can be a solution. It helps renew a lot of the epidermal layers, while exfoliating your skin. That also helps lessen the appearance of any skin damage. Plus, blackheads and age spots can be improved too. Thanks to the renewed skin cells, you will have a much more impressive dermis layer and texture. On top of that, your skin’s hydration levels will improve.

Dead skin cells get removed, which enhances cellular turnover. It’s everything you need to know about microdermabrasion. It certainly manages to improve your skin’s look, while eliminating its potential downsides. That makes it not only very efficient, but also extremely powerful for people of all ages.

Types of Microdermabrasion

If you are impressed by the microdermabrasion uses and consider this treatment, there are a few things to keep in mind. One of them is that you can find multiple types of microdermabrasion. Here are the main ones:

  • Crystal microdermabrasion is the most common one where different types of crystals are used to damage the old, dead skin layers. That will help encourage skin renewal. Some of the most commonly used crystal types include sodium bicarbonate or aluminum oxide crystals. The latter ones come with irregular shapes and can be more aggressive towards removing dead skin cells, while sodium bicarbonate ones use a less damaging approach.  
  • Diamond microdermabrasion is the second option, and it uses a diamond base surface that gets rubbed over the targeted skin area. That rough surface helps remove the upper, dead skin layers with ease. It’s a solid option for treating areas around your eyes or mouth, which can be very sensitive. However, due to the properties of diamonds, it can be a harsher treatment when compared to using crystals.

How Microdermabrasion Works

The microdermabrasion procedure takes roughly an hour, and it’s performed by a qualified professional. Unlike other treatments, it doesn’t require any anesthesia or numbing agents. That makes it a more preferred solution for a multitude of patients.

  1. Mechanical exfoliation process

What makes microdermabrasion different when compared to other treatments is the fact that it uses abrasive materials to damage the upper skin layers. That’s why the first thing which happens during the microdermabrasion process is you sit on a chair first, to ensure you have a stable position.

After that, the practitioner will spray the particles or apply the diamond base surface onto your skin. Both microdermabrasion types are designed to bring a powerful mechanical exfoliation process, which starts as soon as you add the abrasive materials onto the skin.

  1. Role of abrasive materials

Once the abrasive materials are added onto the skin, they are brushed against your skin in order to sand away the outer skin layer. It will only target the desired area, and the process is repeated slowly, as more and more of the skin gets removed. The practitioner will constantly check the skin to see if there are any side effects, while also assessing the microdermabrasion progress as well. Sometimes a short break is needed to remove dead skin layers. Usually, that procedure is performed using a small vacuum, which is normally a part of the microdermabrasion machine.

  1. Impact on different skin layers

Microdermabrasion doesn’t go very deep, however it will remove the first few, upper skin layers. It’s also meant to be a gentle procedure, one that doesn’t damage your skin in the long run. Instead, only the upmost layer gets fully removed, and the layers right under that receive significant damage. Of course, this will depend on the skin type, but also skin conditions and other factors. However, multiple skin layers can also be fully removed, in order to speed up the cell growth.

  1. Mechanisms of skin rejuvenation

As you gain a good understanding of microdermabrasion, you will see the main focus is to help renew your skin and remove dead cells. That’s why, once the procedure is complete, moisturizer and sunscreen are applied to your skin. These protect your skin and also encourage skin growth. In a very short amount of time, your new skin layers will rejuvenate and replace the older skin layers that were removed via microdermabrasion.

Who Can Benefit from Microdermabrasion?

  1. Suitable candidates for the procedure

The best candidates for microdermabrasion are people that have certain skin issues, or want to remove dead skin cells. However, ideal candidates are patients with sunspots/age spots, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, large pores or melasma.

  1. Skin conditions that can be addressed

What’s great about microdermabrasion is that it can target a multitude of skin conditions. It’s a perfect solution for many skin conditions, including fine lines and wrinkles, photoaging, melasma, acne or scars. It can also be great for people that have an uneven skin tone or texture and stretch marks.

  1. Considerations for sensitive skin types

If you have a very sensitive skin type or issues like rosacea, broken capillaries, or thin skin, then microdermabrasion is not recommended. That’s why it’s imperative to talk with a medical professional before attempting this procedure, if possible.


The Microdermabrasion Process

  1. Pre-treatment preparation

If you want to prepare for microdermabrasion, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, you will need to avoid waxing and sunbathing at least a few days before the treatment, if not a week. You should also stop smoking a week before microdermabrasion. Smoking can slow down your bloodflow, and that’s not ok for the microdermabrasion process. Also, it’s imperative to stop taking any glycolic acid products, differin, renova and any aspirin-based medical products.

  1. Procedure steps and techniques


  • The microdermabrasion procedure starts with a preparation process, the skin is toned and any makeup is removed
  • After that, the facial skin gets exfoliated using a diamond coated tip or crystals, depending on the method you opted for.
  • Once the exfoliation process is finished, a face mask and a serum will be applied to your face. Once that’s finished, the skin is moisturized and tone with some cream.


  1. Post-treatment care and precautions

It’s very important to understand that after microdermabrasion, your skin will feel dry and have pink coloring for roughly a day. It’s recommended to use moisturizers and also sunscreen to protect your skin. Since new skin layers are emerging, they are very sensitive during this time, and you need to protect them. Ideally, you want to avoid direct sun exposure for a week.


Potential risks and contraindications

Microdermabrasion is not recommended for pregnant women or people with extremely sensitive skin. On top of that, it can have a few side effects, most of which are minor. You can experience a burning sensation, swelling, skin redness, bruising, scars, skin dryness and some tenderness. Most of them go away in a few days, if they persist it’s imperative to talk with a doctor.

Professional vs. At-Home Microdermabrasion

It’s recommended to perform any microdermabrasion within a professional setting. That will limit any risks, and it will also help you access a more complex microdermabrasion experience. However, there are some great at-home microdermabrasion solutions as well. Those offer a more affordable experience. Yet if you want to perform this at home, you want to read all the guidelines and information. That way, it will make it much easier for you to avoid any complications


It’s a very good idea to know how does microdermabrasion work, and what it entails. While it can take a bit to start understanding microdermabrasion, the truth is that it can offer you a powerful way of dealing with many skin issues. In addition, it helps with skin renewal, and it can boost the overall skin texture. Not only that, it also enhances collagen production. All in all, it’s a wonderful skin treatment that you should consider giving a try!