How does it work?
Microdermabrasion is a bit like having a miniature Hoover run over your face. The unit itself has an aluminium crystal or diamond head which sloughs off the dead skin and impurities from your face. The unit also sucks away all the rubbish that has been loosened, leaving you with softer, tighter and more even skin. It’s also thought to stimulate the production of new skin cells and collagen – boosting your skin’s natural cycle.
First, your face will be treated with a moisturising lotion to soften up the upper layers of skin and then the microdermabrasion unit is run in smooth, firm strokes over your skin. Though the unit feels rough against your skin, it’s not painful – in fact some people say it feels like being licked by a cat’s rough tongue (but not as stinky).
A session will normally last between 30 minutes to an hour. Immediately afterwards your skin might be a little bit flushed or feel tingly, but with a protective coat of SPF lotion, you’ll be ready to get back out and show off your skin straight away.
Although you’ll find your skin looks smoother after one treatment, practice makes perfect; in fact, microdermabrasion is a progressive treatment so you’ll get better results with each treatment. Most clinics will recommend a course of six weekly or fortnightly treatments – especially if you have dark patches or acne scars to clear. After that, monthly treatments should be enough to keep your skin flawlessly smooth and glowing with health.
Is it for me?
The hunt for luminous, ‘sweet 16’ skin can often involve harsh treatments like acid peels or laser resurfacing, but microdermabrasion is much less aggressive. Being gentle means it’s suitable for a whole range of skin problems, including: fine lines and wrinkles, brown spots, shallow acne scarring, sun damage, dull skin, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and congested pores.
The delicate action of the treatment also means it can be used on the skin around the eyes, neck and décolletage too – perfect if you’ve been a little shy about undoing that extra shirt button recently.
As with all abrasive treatments though, there is the occasional no-no: rosacea, extensive telangiectasias, warts, rashes, inflamed acne, sunburn, windburn and skin infections can all be made worse by the treatment. If you have sensitive skin you may want to give it a miss.
Good to know
For a week either side of having your face re-surfaced to its gorgeous best, you should avoid using any harsh exfoliating products.