Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure, during which, the outermost layer of dry and dead skin cells is gently removed. It is a non-chemical treatment that can offer smooth, supple, younger-looking, radiant, and healthier skin. During a microdermabrasion session, the dermatologist or the skilled esthetician sands the skin and gently removes the thicker outer layer with the help of a minimally abrasive instrument. The procedure does not cause pain. As it takes only around 30 to 60 minutes, it is commonly referred to as the ‘lunch hour facial’.
Microdermabrasion, also known as microderm, works great for acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, sun damage, stretch marks, age spots, excessive pigmentation, dull skin, uneven skin tone, sagging skin, black heads, etc. It eliminates the need for high-priced peels, face-lifts, fillers, lotions, anti-aging creams, or injections that are used to look young and fresh. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about expensive spa treatments or visits to a dermatologist. A premium microdermabrasion machine can do that for you.
There exist two types of microderm treatments―crystal and diamond-tip. Machines suitable for both these types are available in the market.
In crystal microdermabrasion, usually, aluminum oxide crystals (also known as corundum, the second hardest mineral after diamonds) are blasted out onto the targeted skin area with the help of a special, hand-held device called a wand. The same wand sucks the dirt, dead cells, and used crystals. This is the traditional method of microderm. Sometimes, sodium bicarbonate crystals are used in place of aluminum oxide crystals. Although they are softer and less effective, they are especially used to treat hyperpigmentation. As they are water-soluble, they can be easily washed off after the treatment. In case of aluminum oxide crystals, a crystal residue is left behind, which needs to be disposed off.
The newer diamond-tip microdermabrasion machines are gaining popularity worldwide, as they offer the strongest dermabrasion. Instead of a stream of particles, they use a single, diamond-tipped wand on the skin. The operator moves the tool over the targeted area with even and steady pressure, and removes the outermost layer of the skin. The treatment is not at all painful. It may only cause a mild warming or tingling sensation.
Tips to Choose a Microdermabrasion Machine
Hundreds of microdermabrasion machines are available in the market, but the basic principle that is used in these machines is the same. They act as an electronic vacuum cleaner and clean the skin by suction. Machines that are designed for home use are small and portable.
Although the crystal type is less expensive than the diamond-tip one, it requires refilling, as the crystals can be used only once. Different types of crystals can be used and the type depends upon the nature of one’s skin. So, you should take into consideration the cost of refills before buying the machine. Diamond-tips generally do not require regular replacements. The diamond used can be real or synthetic, and so the price may vary from machine to machine. The diamond-tip wand can be disposable or reusable. A crystal-technology machine may end up costing more in the long run. Some home kits contain only a jar of the product to be applied by hand, while some include a small mechanical or battery-operated applicator. The cost of the system mainly depends upon the brand and the accessories provided.
With crystal technology, you can access the skin patch at almost any location on the face, chest, or hands, and even the deeper wrinkles. But with diamond microdermabrasion, you can abrade the areas closer to the eyes and lips more accurately. Modern machines come with a digital display indicating suction power and timer for treatment areas.
In crystal technology, the crystals may leave the system and may disperse (usually they don’t) into the surrounding atmosphere. But if you use the diamond-tip machine, there is no risk of stray crystals causing damage or being ingested. Some doctors say that the crystals are harmless, while others believe that they can be harmful. It is still a subject of fierce debate.
Strength of the Machine and Skill Required
The polishing action of the crystals is much more dependent on the type of machine used, while diamond treatments are more dependent on how skilled the operator is. So, if you are buying a diamond-tip machine, you need to acquire the skill of exerting steady and equal pressure all over the skin. If you are opting for a crystal system, check the force of the crystal flow. The operator can control the crystal flow (the machine has various intensity levels, one can change the water levels, and adjust the vacuuming action), but the depth of exfoliation is controlled by the strength of the vacuum. So, you need to check the strength of the suction.
The crystal machine pulls the selected part of the skin which results in a mild swelling. It fetches the impurities to the surface, shoots the crystals, and collects the used crystals and dead skin. Some machines perform these tasks with only one circuit. The machines which have two different circuits, one to shoot the crystals and another to collect them, are more powerful. Some expensive diamond-tip systems come with interchangeable tips (with various grades of roughness). You need to choose the correct one for your skin type and condition. However, diamond-tip technology is not suitable for the skin that has pits formed by acne. The flat end of the machine cannot enter every crevice or pit. And if your skin gets bruised easily, then you should stick to traditional technology.
Crystal or Diamond
While both types of machines produce the same results, it is better to buy a diamond-tip machine, because the procedure is less uncomfortable as compared to crystal microderm. All microdermabrasion machine reviews will say that the diamond-tip system is more safe, as it reduces the chances of leaving behind some crystals on the face, which can cause irritation. Moreover, handling the conventional crystal microdermabrasion machine might be difficult for home-users. And as diamonds are harder than crystals, they can offer better results.
Some systems need repeated cleaning and disinfection after every use, while others come with disinfectant coatings. In diamond-tip systems, the tip may get contaminated with the bacteria from the exfoliated skin. This can easily spread to other areas of the face or body. For these systems, replacement filters can be expensive. One may even find it difficult to replace the filter.
The type of skin rejuvenation you enjoy after the microdermbrasion treatment that is performed in clinics and spas is just fantastic. You won’t get the same result with the machines that are meant to be used at home. You might be able to see the results after several sessions. But you should not use the system more often to further improve your complexion. This might bruise or discolor the skin. Improper use of the vacuum action can also cause blemishes. The eyelids should never be treated with microdermabrasion. You are supposed to use these face transformation devices wisely and follow the instructions strictly. Also, you should stay out of the sun after this treatment.