What Is Microdermabrasion? (2022 Updated)

What Is Microdermabrasion Feature Image

Who isn’t amazed by microdermabrasion before and after pictures? And in today’s social climate, it seems like everyone is on a quest to enhance their looks – either because they need it in their job, or because they want to feel confident enough to present themselves to the world. And to those who purely want to feel good about themselves, your skin is the first thing people notice.

With efficient and effective treatment, you will be able to give yourself a youthful glow, take a few years off your appearance, and feel more confident in your skin, among other microdermabrasion benefits. So what is microdermabrasion facial treatment, and how does it really work? For more information about the various procedures and ways they can improve your appearance, read on.

Definition of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure that uses an abrasive instrument like diamond microdermabrasion tips to buff away any impurities on the outer layers and restore a youthful appearance. It helps to address uneven skin tones, irregular skin texture, dark brown spots that may develop into acne, complexion dullness, scars, stretch marks, age spots, and a specific skin problem characterized by dark patches on the face – melasma.  It is also suitable for those who have different skin color due to excessive sun exposure.

In the past, before Microderm – people who want to get their complexion improved, would go for chemical peel or dermabrasion where the treatment is often painful due to the use of lasers and an abrasive wheel/brush to remove dead cells.

Both treatments are relatively similar to microdermabrasion procedures but with fewer risks due to the procedure involved. While dermabrasion involves higher risks and requires a more clinical approach – getting anesthetic shots before the treatment starts, microdermabrasion treatments are less abrasive and lower-risk methods of dead skin removal. Microderm also induces collagen production, helping your skin to rejuvenate much faster than usual.

Aside from doing the treatments in salons or clinics, facial microdermabrasion gives you the flexibility of doing it yourself at home. Many dermatologists and manufacturers these days come up with home microdermabrasion techniques that consumers could easily buy them online or from their preferred departmental stores.

Despite such simple procedures, many experts still recommend consulting the dermatologist first. The ideal age for such treatment are people around their 20s. The microdermabrasion cost and results will vary depending on your individual needs and goals.

Pros and Cons of Microdermabrasion

There are both pros and cons to this treatment. Some pros are that it is affordable, can be done in a short amount of time, and does not require any recovery time or long-intervel treatment schedule. Some cons are that it can cause skin irritation, does not work for everyone, and may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin. Overall, microdermabrasion is an effective and safe procedure for many people.

Generally, users will need to undergo a series of procedures (usually every two to four weeks) to achieve the desired microdermabrasion results. Now that you know – ‘what is microdermabrasion good for’, let’s go further and see how it actually works.

Microdermabrasion vs. Dermabrasion

Microdermabrasion and dermabrasion are both treatments for skin rejuvenation that use abrasion to remove the top outer layers of epidermis. But what’s the difference?

Microdermabrasion is a less aggressive treatment that uses tiny crystals to exfoliate the skin. Dermabrasion is a more aggressive treatment that uses a rotating brush or diamond fraise to remove the top layer of skin. Microdermabrasion is less expensive than dermabrasion, but the results are similar.

Which treatment is right for you depends on your goals and your skin type. Microdermabrasion is good for mild to moderate wrinkles, sun damage, and acne scars. Dermabrasion is good for deeper wrinkles, severe sun damage, and deep scars.

Preparing for Microdermabrasion Treatment

While microdermabrasion is generally considered safe, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your treatment and make the most of it. Here are four tips for preparing for microdermabrasion:

  1. Exfoliate regularly before your treatment. Exfoliating helps take away the dead cells that will be removed by the microdermabrasion treatment.
  2. Avoid sun exposure for a few weeks before your treatment. Sun exposure can increase inflammation and sensitivity in the skin, which may make the treatment less effective.
  3. Drink plenty of water before and after your treatment. Drinking water helps keep the skin hydrated, which can help improve the results of the treatment.
  4. Avoid wearing makeup and cosmetics after your treatment. Wearing makeup may block the pores, which will make it more difficult for the microdermabrasion to remove the dead cells.

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?

Microdermabrasion is a popular spa treatment that involves the exfoliation of the epidermis, known as the stratum corneum, using diamond microdermabrasion tips or a stream of fine crystals with a wand. The system may also include an abrasive scrub or cream and an application tool. The sensation of this procedure may feel like a mild scratch on the skin to some consumers. Yet, the effect of this also often depends on the type of product used on the type of skin.

Since microdermabrasion involves deliberately smoothening out the surface with fine aluminum oxide crystals, and sometimes vacuum suction to the layer of the epidermis, some consumers may take some time to get used to the feeling of it. There are two options that consumers could choose from to receive the microdermabrasion procedure.

Visiting a dermatology clinic and purchasing a skincare product with a ‘microdermabrasion’ label on it. For the latter option, since it is relatively affordable, and there is a wide range of brands that sells these types of product in the market, consumers have a commodity of options to choose from.

Do-It-Yourself Microderm treatments are also easy to apply as most of them work just like your regular facial wash and lotions. The only concern about it is due to the nature of dermabrasion in the past. Dermatologist advises consumers to be conscious when using such regimen themselves because in the olden days with dermabrasion, people with darker complexion tend to receive bad results such as scarring and discoloration.

Since most microdermabrasion treatments also work like chemical peels or facial masks, there is a possibility of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation – a health term used to refer to the increased production of melanin, resulting in darker skin discoloration.

The result of the processes may sometimes be intense and prolonged. Most experts would say that microderm cannot be recommended to those with lupus, open wounds, rosacea, and eczema due to a stimulation of blood flow over the face – which, if you suffer from any of those may cause skin irritation and worse, even griever problems.

Although diamond tip microdermabrasion is said to work on every skin color and all skin types is a different procedure compared to dermabrasion, there are still chances that not all of them use the same kind of ingredient and technique.

So it is necessary to discuss these possibilities with your doctor first – seek medical advice before buying a product. Microdermabrasion was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996. Since that time, hundreds of versions of microdermabrasion machines have been manufactured.

There are several methods to carry out this procedure:

Diamond-Tip Handpiece

Diamond-tip handpieces have bristles that are adapted for gently exfoliating dead cells in your skin. At the same time, this method also effectively suctions them away. The force applied to the handpiece combined with the duration that suction is used on the skin may affect the depth of abrasion created by this kind of microdermabrasion applicator. These applicators are used on more delicate human skin, such as eyelids.

Crystal Microdermabrasion

Crystal microdermabrasion uses a delicate crystal tip to spray on fine crystals to cure the skin’s outer layer. Like the diamond tip, the dead skin cells are suctioned right off. There are different types of crystals that may be utilized. These include sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride and aluminum oxide.


Hydradermabrasion is a minimally invasive skin resurfacing treatment that uses gentle suction and water to remove the top layer of skin. The treatment is often used to improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin, brown spots, and fine wrinkles. Hydradermabrasion can also be used to improve the appearance of scars.

What Is Microdermabrasion Good For?

Who Should Use Microdermabrasion?

Anyone with common skin problems such as acne, blackheads, stretch marks, skin redness or rashes, signs of aging, and other skin conditions and concerns should use microdermabrasion. Although you’ll notice a huge improvement in the elasticity and clarity of your skin, the procedure has proven to be pain-free.

People With Acne-Prone Skin

Microdermabrasion procedures can help to unclog your pores and get rid of mild acne breakouts. Several factors are contributing to acne-prone skin include one’s food intake, hormonal imbalances, stress, and more. While using microdermabrasion at-home kits and machines, it is also essential to get proper nutrition, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly.

People With Skin Redness or Rashes

Several factors contributing to rashes could be due to the cosmetic procedure you undergone and product that you are using. Since some products like detergent (e.g., your clothes), body wash, and facial wash get in touch with your skin, if such products contain artificial chemicals and harmful ingredients (e.g., parabens, artificial fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate, polyethylene glycol, formaldehyde, etc.), microdermabrasion alone is not going to help your skin condition get better.

To tackle this issue along with microdermabrasion treatment, you will also need to eliminate some products with harmful ingredients and choose vegan-friendly skincare ones. Avoid scratching your nose, chin, forehead, hand, or neck area even if itching occurs, and apply some soothing cream like menthol.

People With Aging Skin

Overexposure to the sun and repetitive muscular motion are the key factors of aging skin. Since wrinkles and fine lines are a natural part of aging, there is no way to eliminate them but slow down the process of it. With microdermabrasion, you will be able to exfoliate the epidermis layer to stimulate collagen production – keeping the layer of epidermis firm and smooth.

To tackle signs of aging, you should always remember to apply sunscreen whenever you go outdoors to avoid sunburn and moisturizers to keep your fair skin supple and elastic too.

People Who Have Dull Skin

People with dull skin often have a tired appearance and can look older than they are. The complexion can be uneven, and the skin’s appearance may be dry, oily, or combination. There are many reasons why someone might have dull skin, including genetics, age, lifestyle, and skincare habits.

The good news is that there are many things you can do to improve the appearance of your fair skin. Microdermabrasion is one of the best ways to treat dull, dry, and aging skin. It is also excellent for treating acne scars and age spots.

People With Sun Damaged Skin

People with sun damage, also known as photoaging, tend to have a leathery appearance with wrinkles, blemishes, and age spots. Sun damage can also cause precancers and cancers. Photoaging is especially common on the face, neck, hands, and arms.

Microdermabrasion can help improve the appearance and texture of the skin, making it appear more youthful. It can also help reduce the appearance of dark spots and freckles. Microdermabrasion is a safe and effective method for beautifying the skin, helping you look your best.

People With Blackheads and Whiteheads

Blackheads form when a pore becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The top of the plug turns dark as it oxidizes, hence the name blackhead. Whiteheads form when a pore becomes clogged but the top of the plug remains closed. This trapped oil and skin cells turn white as they age.

Microdermabrasion is an excellent treatment to gently remove both types of plugs. It also stimulates the production of new skin cells, which helps to stimulate collagen growth that provides elasticity and flexibility to the skin.

People With Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are a common skin condition that can affect both men and women. They often occur when the skin is stretched suddenly, such as during pregnancy, puberty, or weight gain. Stretch marks can also be caused by mechanical stress, such as from repetitive overuse of a muscle. If you have stretch marks, they can make your skin look uneven and unsightly. A microdermabrasion treatment can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks by exfoliating the skin and removing dead cells, which will improve its texture.

People With Enlarged Pores

People with large pores can have a number of skin concerns. Enlarged pores can make the skin look rough and uneven, and they can be difficult to clean. They can also become clogged with oil and dirt, which can lead to blackheads and acne. Luckily, there are a number of things people can do to reduce the appearance of pores.

Aside from exfoliation, microdermabrasion is one of the best ways to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. This very safe procedure can be combined with other treatments, such as chemical peels, light therapy, and/or laser resurfacing therapy.

Woman Getting Facial Treatment

How Much Does Microdermabrasion Cost?

The cost of microdermabrasion varies depending on the location, the type of device used, the size of the area being treated, the type of microdermabrasion, and the physician. Generally, microdermabrasion costs between $75 and $200 per treatment. Most insurance plans cover the cost of microdermabrasion. 

Some plans may require a co-pay while others have a flat fee. These services should also be covered by most health insurance plans. Be sure to check with your medical insurance provider before scheduling a treatment. For more information and pricing, please contact an expert today.

What to Expect After a Microdermabrasion Procedure

Most people will experience some redness and swelling after the procedure, but these symptoms should subside within a few days. A pro-tip is to avoid sun exposure. New skin will begin to grow and replace the removed cells in about a week. Microdermabrasion is typically performed every four to six weeks for best results. The results of microdermabrasion are temporary, lasting only around six weeks.

The Risks and Side Effects of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that involves the use of a handheld device to gently remove the top layer of skin. While the procedure is generally safe, there are some risks and side effects associated with it. These include skin irritation, sunburn, minor bruising, scarring, and other medical conditions related to your epidermis. Microdermabrasion can also cause the skin to become more sensitive to the sun, so people who have this procedure should take precautions to protect themselves from UV radiation.

Like all procedures, there are some precautions and contraindications that should be taken into consideration when having it done. People with a history of skin cancer or melanoma should not have microdermabrasion done. In addition, people who have had radiation therapy on their face should also avoid having this procedure done. People who are allergic to any of the ingredients in microdermabrasion and individuals with a history of infection, health conditions, or inflammation of the skin should be prohibited from undertaking the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is microdermabrasion good for your skin?

Yes, microdermabrasion procedure is good for your skin as these treatments gently sand the top layer of skin. However, it may not be suitable for all skin types. Although microdermabrasion is very closely related to dermabrasion since the procedure of treatment for both involves the removal of the dead outermost layer of skin cells, the techniques used for both are very different. 

Microderm is a new specialist technique that is painless and non-invasive that helps enhance the appearance of the face through excellent line reduction, taking away early sun damage, and treating mild to slight marks. 

Side note: Those with deep acne scars and wrinkles may refrain from microdermabrasion treatment.

What are the benefits of microderm?

The benefits of a microdermabrasion procedure include breakout reduction, stimulating skin cells [1] to slow premature aging symptoms, and producing an even skin tone for consumers who use them. Also, it reduces skin pigmentation and unclogs pores to heal acne and blackhead issues. 

Microderm provides treatment for fine lines, acne scarring, dry skin, wrinkles, stretch marks, and burnt skin surfaces, uneven skin tone, among others. It is also known to strengthen the epidermis and give your complexion a more natural glow.

How long do the effects of microderm last?

The effects of typical microderm usually last about five minutes to an hour. As compared to dermabrasion, there is no downtime needed after undergoing a microdermabrasion process. Do note that depending on the individual, their epidermis may be a little pinkish and dry for the next 24 hours after the treatment. To some, they may even start to apply makeup after the procedure. It is essential to apply moisturizer after each session every time.

How do you take care of your skin after microderm?

Step 1: Apply moisturizer

Step 2: Keep your skin cool and comfortable

Step 3: Try not to expose your skin to the sun, heat, and pollution for a few weeks after the procedure – Use a sunscreen whenever you go outdoors

Step 4: Tone down on your skincare routine a little – relax and stay hydrated

Step 5: Do not scratch your skin

Does microdermabrasion hurt?

No, microderm treatment does not hurt anymore. However, consumers should expect a little bit of tenderness, swelling, and minor bruising on their face for a few hours (and maybe days) after the treatment.


Microdermabrasion is a complex term that is often mistaken for dermabrasion due to its history. However, microderm is one of the least painful yet most effective skincare treatments sufficient to showcase the changes on your face. It has a gentle approach to exfoliating dead skin cells and has been widely used in spas to improve the overall complexion and skin texture of consumers.

As long as you perform this procedure according to its instruction, and read the reviews and the medical information well before you purchase the product, this painless treatment should give you no significantly increased risk. It is a common misconception, but the anti-aging benefits of this skin treatment are to provide solutions for wrinkles and pigmentation – not tightening of sagging skin. Microdermabrasion cost usually depends on several factors, including the number of sessions required, the aesthetician involved, and whether other treatments are needed.

Whether you are visiting a dermatologist or doing your own resurfacing treatment, it is crucial to do it regularly (2 – 3 times a week depending on your skin type) to prevent reoccurring development of acne, wrinkles, and scarring. For better results, since microdermabrasion mainly targets the outer layer of the epidermis, you can use them correspondingly with other products that you like.

Just remember to consult your aesthetician, health and wellness professionals or any dermatology association about it and follow the instructions given carefully as not all microdermabrasion cream works in the same manner. Additionally, it’s advisable to read microdermabrasion reviews online and check out before and after photos to see exactly what you can expect from each procedure.