The 10 Best Microdermabrasion Machines
This wiki has been updated 35 times since it was first published in June of 2015. A gentler, at-home alternative to the more drastic treatments performed in dermatologists' offices, microdermabrasion machines can leave your skin looking clearer, softer, and brighter by gently removing debris and dead cells. They may also help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, and open up your skin to be more receptive to moisturizers and other products. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 09, 2020:
It's important to keep in mind that these devices are capable of only so much, as factors like sleep, diet, stress, moisture, genetics, and others make a significant impact on skin health, and a good, physical abrasion process is only as effective as the skincare products you rub on your face after the dead skin cells have been removed.
That said, there are still methods to determine which of these machines will give you the best chance of improving your skin. To that effect, we scrutinized things like suction levels and tip options, which serve to increase the chances that a given model will be suitable to your particular skin type. Of course, some models can be pretty ineffective, even with multiple settings, like the Silk’n Revit Fresh, which we removed for lacking the kind of suction and abrasion that the majority of users would likely need.
In its place we added the Appolus Premium Diamond, the two heads of which let people use the device all over their body with great results. Still, the Microderm Glo maintains its superiority over other models thanks to its useful display and charging cradle, and its undeniable ease of use.
How Microdermabrasion Works
These are a little more tricky to use, as they rely on the user to constantly apply even and steady pressure as they pass over the skin.
Once reserved mostly for Hollywood actors, microdermabrasion has made a huge impact on the consumer market over the last decade, especially with invention of home microdermabrasion machines. It is the ideal alternative to more invasive procedures like chemical peels, Botox, and plastic surgery, as it can achieve similar results, but for a fraction of the cost.
The term microdermabrasion refers to the application of minute rough granules to the skin to buff away the outer layer. When a person uses a body scrub with tiny grains in it to exfoliate and scrub away dead skin cells, this is technically a form of microdermabrasion. When salons advertise microdermabrasion, they are usually referring to the use of specially designed machines that are capable of buffing away the outer layer of skin, which is called the stratum corneum. This layer of the skin acts as a buffer between the harsh environment of the outside world, and the sensitive lower layers of the skin. It effectively keeps everything except the smallest molecules out. Just as much as it protects the skin from harmful substances, it also blocks many beneficial substances from passing through to the lower layers of skin.
Microdermabrasion machines utilize a tool that shoots out a tiny stream of granules, generally sodium bicarbonate, aluminum oxide, or sodium chloride, at the skin to gently sandblast it. This is the component that buffs away dead cells and the outer layer of skin. They often make use of a vacuum, as well. The vacuum has two main functions. It pulls up small sections of the skin to create a mild swelling, helping to bring impurities to the surface and make them easier to remove. It also collects the dead skin cells and used granules. Depending on the design of the machine, the abrasion and suction can happen simultaneously or in separate passes.
Another type of microdermabrasion machine utilizes a diamond-tipped wand for abrasion instead of a stream of particles. These are a little more tricky to use, as they rely on the user to constantly apply even and steady pressure as they pass over the skin.
Benefits Of Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion machines scrub away the outer layer of skin, making any creams or lotions applied to the skin after use more effective. There is no longer a barrier to block the beneficial substances from penetrating into the lower layers of skin. Since the layer of skin just below the stratum corneum is often where small scars, blemishes, and other imperfections can be found, it makes it possible to remove them. A cream that might normally have little to no effect on a skin blemish if used without microdermabrasion can work wonders if applied after a session.
For some, an hour or two of redness and slight swelling may occur.
It is also believed that breaking up the stratum corneum jump starts the skin's healing process. This is because the body interprets it as an injury and begins producing healthy new cells to replace the ones that have been damaged, resulting in fresher, vibrant-looking skin.
There is no preparation needed before a microdermabrasion session, allowing one to do it anytime it fits their schedule, without having to plan ahead. This is especially true of home machines where no salon scheduling is required. Unlike more invasive dermabrasion and chemical peels, a microdermabrasion session is painless and, in most people, produces instant results after just one session with no healing time needed. For some, an hour or two of redness and slight swelling may occur.
Microdermabrasion is also suitable for all skin types, from dry to oily. It will help to clean the pores and result in smoother skin. If performed regularly, one can expect to have noticeably more vibrant skin with a healthy sheen day after day.
How To Do A Microdermabrasion At Home
Each microdermabrasion machine will come with instructions specific to operating that particular model, so make sure that in addition to following these tips, you also take the time to read through your instruction manual.
Any more than two passes and you risk causing excessive irritation.
The first step before starting with a microdermabrasion machine is to thoroughly wash the skin with a gentle, oil-free cleanser. This helps ensure your skin is free of any substances that could cause irritation while you exfoliate. It also removes any skin oils or other layers of dirt which can make microdermabrasion less effective. Harsh cleaners should be avoided as they have a tendency to dry out the skin making it more sensitive during microdermabrasion.
Next, towel dry the skin and allow it to completely finish air drying before you start with the machine. Clammy, overly moist skin may limit a machine's effectiveness. Once the skin is fully dry, it is time to begin the microdermabrasion process. Use the free hand to pull a section of the skin tight before gently rubbing the machine over it in one or two passes. Any more than two passes and you risk causing excessive irritation. Continue this process one area at a time, until you have covered your entire face, or whichever body location you are treating.
After you have finished, treat the skin with a toner and a moisturizer, plus any other skincare products you would like to use. The toner will help to balance your skin's pH and the moisturizer will lock in the moisture and prevent the open pores from over-drying your skin.