If beauty is only skin deep, then microdermabrasion takes it to a whole different level, scrubbing and buffing away the surface layer to offer a smoother, more youthful appearance. Thinking about taking the plunge yourself? Take our quiz first.
Microdermabrasion wears away the surface layer of skin.
The stratum corneum is the uppermost part of the epidermis.
The healing process brings with it newer skin cells that look and feel smoother.
Without the stratum corneum acting as a barrier, medicinal creams and lotions are more effective because more of their active ingredients and moisture can find their way down to the lower layers of skin.
Early studies suggest that repeated microdermabrasion treatments at regular intervals may influence the way the lower layers of skin grow, plus they may remove deeper lines and blemishes over time.
In the first hour after treatment, mild swelling and redness can occur. Depending on the individual, these side effects can last anywhere from an hour to two days.
You can have microdermabrasion performed in a clinic or spa with professional equipment. Or, you can do it yourself with a product designed for home use.
A microdermabrasion tool shoots a stream of tiny crystals, like aluminum oxide, sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate onto the skin.
The vacuum action collects used crystals and dead skin for disposal.
Home kits contain the same crystals you'd find in a professional treatment, but most offer them in creams and scrubs rather than delivered through a specialized tool.