The word may sound scary, but the procedure isn’t. Microdermabrasion is a safe, non-invasive procedure that removes fine lines, evens skin pigmentation, and stimulates skin renewal.

Microdermabrasion was first developed in Europe in the 1980s and has quickly become one of the most popular alternatives to plastic surgery to diminish signs of aging.

Understanding your Skin

Before you can really understand microdermabrasion, you need to understand your skin’s structure. Your skin is made up of 2 primary layers: the dermis and the epidermis. The dermis is the deeper layer where your hair follicles and sweat and oil glands are located. The epidermis lies above the dermis, protecting it. The topmost part of the epidermis is really dead skin cells. This layer is where microdermabrasion works.

How Microdermabrasion Works

Microdermabrasion uses either small crystalline particles or diamond-coated paddles to remove or exfoliate the top layer of dead cells. Just as sandpaper smoothes wood’s surface, these particles remove the uppermost layer of the epidermis. This exfoliation action stimulates your body’s natural healing process—for skin that means your body makes more collagen and better-hydrated cells rise to the surface, giving your skin improved texture and elasticity. Microdermabrasion devices generally have a built-in vacuum that removes the dead cells (and leftover abrasive particles) so they won’t clog pores. Sometimes microdermabrasion is combined with other facial treatments like chemical peels to maximize the benefits.

Microdermabrasion and Me

If you are considering microdermabrasion, consult with your trained aesthetician. While most people are good candidates for the treatment, there are a few conditions that may delay microdermabrasion treatment. If you are planning to undergo your first microdermabrasion treatment, know what to expect:

  • The procedure generally takes 30 minutes, during which you will feel some scratching and vibrating as the uppermost layer of the epidermis is buffed away.
  • You may experience some redness immediately following the treatment (you may look like you just left the gym).
  • Your skin may be more sensitive to the sun, so make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen.

Your skin care professionals may have other tips about taking care of your skin following a microdermabrasion treatment. Always follow their instructions to maximize the benefits of treatment.