Microdermabrasion Facial: What Is It, Benefits, And How Does It Work?

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Rhonda Q. Klein, MD, MPH, FAAD, Dermatologist
Written by Ramona Sinha

Anyone who is pretty serious about skin care isn’t shying away from cosmetic procedures nowadays. No, I am not referring to cosmetic surgeries and other invasive procedures. I am referring to a quick, easy, and non-invasive cosmetic procedure that can take away dullness and help with anti-aging. It is called microdermabrasion. Read on to find out more about this procedure.

In This Article

  1. What Is Microdermabrasion?
  2. Microdermabrasion Facial: The Procedure
  3. Benefits Of Microdermabrasion
  4. Microdermabrasion Side Effects
  5. Things You Should Consider Before Trying Microdermabrasion

What Is Microdermabrasion?


Microdermabrasion is a very gentle and non-invasive procedure. The aesthetician uses a device with an exfoliating tip to gently buff away the layers of dead skin cells from your skin. The machine can either have a tip with fine crystals or diamonds.

When the device is used on your skin to remove the uppermost layer, your body interprets it as an injury. To quickly help that area recover from injury, your body tries to produce new and healthy skin cells, and you get fresh and vibrant skin. The entire process takes 30 minutes to finish.

Depending on the type of device used, microdermabrasion is of three kinds:

  • Crystal Microdermabrasion

This is an ablative procedure. Ablation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface. The device used in this procedure contains aluminum oxide crystals. These crystals are released on your skin surface at a very high speed and high temperature. It is a vacuum effect that blasts off the dead skin cells and sucks up the rest.

  • Diamond Microdermabrasion

This is an abrasive procedure. It “sands” away the dead cells from your skin. A wand-like device with a diamond tip is used to clear the dead skin cells. It has a special vacuum that sucks the dirt and dead skin cells.

  • Hydradermabrasion

This is a gentle version of diamond microdermabrasion and is similar to it. It is done with a device that has a vacuum pump tip containing bristle-like heads. These bristles deliver a mixture of serums containing hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid or any other ingredient to your skin. This method exfoliates your skin, helping it absorb products better. In this type of microdermabrasion, the vacuum plays a crucial role. The airflow is reversible, which pushes and pulls your skin. This boosts circulation and collagen production.

Usually, skin care professionals, dermatologists, and licensed aestheticians perform this procedure. It takes about half an hour to complete. Here is what goes on during the procedure.

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Microdermabrasion Facial: The Procedure


Before the procedure starts, you need to remove every trace of makeup from your skin. So, go to the clinic without makeup and then clean your face with a mild cleanser.
Since this is a non-invasive procedure and painless, it is not necessary to use local anesthesia.

  • You will be asked to lie on a reclining chair.
  • The aesthetician will then stretch the target area carefully with one hand and use the microdermabrasion device with the other to clear your skin.
  • Once the process is over, a hydrating serum or moisturizer and sunscreen lotion are applied to the skin.

This is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures that come with a host of benefits.

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Benefits Of Microdermabrasion

1. It is Less Aggressive

Compared to dermabrasion, microdermabrasion is less aggressive on your skin. This makes it suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

2. It Improves Circulation

Microdermabrasion boosts blood circulation to your skin, which improves its internal health. Improved flow of blood means your skin cells receive more oxygen and nutrients. This enhances the elasticity and cell processes of your skin.

3. It Enhances Product Efficacy

Once the layers of dead skin that have accumulated on your skin are gone, and your pores are clear, your skin can absorb products much better. This means, if you are using any product for acne or some other skin issue, you can expect better and quick results.

4. It Shrinks The Pore Size

Microdermabrasion not only unclogs your skin pores but also shrinks them. We all are born with a certain pore size. But eventually, a lot of external factors (such as skin inflammation, pollution, and hygiene issues) enlarge them. Microdermabrasion clears the skin, eliminating all the factors that were causing pore enlargement. Shrinking of the pores minimizes excess sebum production.

5. It Removes Spots And Pigmentation

Microdermabrasion smoothens the skin surface, and once the dead skin cells are gone, you can see an immediate brightening effect. It stimulates collagen production and cell regeneration, which reduces visible spots and other signs of aging.

Above all, it is completely safe. However, there are a few side effects that you may experience. But don’t worry. These are just temporary effects that you may see on your skin surface right after the treatment. These are gone in a day or two.

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Microdermabrasion Side Effects


Immediately after the treatment, you may experience:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Minor bruises
  • Skin tightness
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Small abrasions
  • Telangiectasia (broken blood vessels)

It is unlikely to develop telangiectasias. However, severely sun damaged or fragile skin, those on blood thinners, and those with other medical conditions may be predisposed to developing broken blood vessels.

Now, there are certain things you should keep in mind before getting microdermabrasion to ensure that you get the best out of the procedure.

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Things You Should Consider Before Trying Microdermabrasion


1. Do Not Exfoliate Before The Treatment

If you are considering microdermabrasion, you have to hit the pause button on your exfoliation regimen before you undergo this procedure. This means no scrubs, peels, retinol, or any other enzymes at least a week before the treatment. Exfoliation will reveal healthy cells, and microdermabrasion can irritate those healthy cells.

2. Be Careful Of The Sun Rays

After microdermabrasion, your skin remains oversensitive for a few days. The sun rays can cause damage to the already compromised skin. So, you have to make sure that you use sunscreen, big hats, umbrella, and whatever it needs to protect your skin from the sun.

3. Keep Moisturizer Handy

After microdermabrasion, the natural moisture cover of your skin is removed. So, your skin will need extra hydration and moisture.

4. Stay Away From The Procedure If You Have Skin Issues

This includes dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, severe cystic acne, herpes, and open sores. Microdermabrasion will aggravate the conditions.

This procedure results in the rebirth of your skin. Now is the best time to start afresh and not repeat all the skin care mistakes you have done in the past. At the end of the day, if you do not follow a proper skin care regimen, no cosmetic procedure can save your skin. So, give your skin a new lease of life and try microdermabrasion today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How often will I need to have microdermabrasion done?

Once monthly is sufficient for most people.

How much does microdermabrasion cost?

The cost of the procedure may vary – somewhere between $75 and $200.

How long does the effect last?

The effects may last for 6-12 months or longer, depending on how well you take care of your skin.

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Dr. Rhonda Q. Klein

(MD, MPH, FAAD, Dermatologist)
Dr. Klein received her BAS in bioengineering and MD from the University of Pennsylvania with honors, and her MPH from Columbia University. She completed her medical internship at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and her dermatology residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she served as Chief Resident. Dr. Klein remains active in academia and research and was... more