Microdermabrasion- Review

I’ve been lucky enough to have monthly microdermabrasion treatments at my local beautician with lovely Agi, here in Debrecen. Agi, owns the beautybar salon, and is well known among the international student community here for giving great treatments.

I started 3 years ago, I think it was, and the results are so great that I will continue my monthly treatments even after I leave this country.

Microdermabrasion is a simple and safe, office cosmetic procedure that has gained popularity in the last 5 years. In this procedure aluminum oxide crystals or other abrasive substances are blown onto the face and then vacuumed off, using a single handpiece.This procedure has been widely utilized for a variety of cosmetic objectives, including the improvement of photoaging, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, pore size reduction and stretch marks.

The idea is that if you remove or break up the stratum corneum (the uppermost dead-cell layer of the skin), the body interprets that as a mild injury and rushes to replace the lost skin with new and healthy cells. In the first hour after treatment, there is mild edema (swelling) and erythema (redness). Depending on the individual, these side effects can last anywhere from an hour to two days. With the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of the skin) gone, the skin's surface is improved. The healing process brings with it newer skin cells that look and feel smoother. Some of the skin's visible fine lines, post inflammatory- hyperpigmentation and to some extent, pigmentation due to tanning are removed.

After a series of exfoliation treatments, histologic changes in the skin are evident: a compacted stratum corneum (uppermost part of skin-dead skin cells), smoother epidermis (upper part of skin –living cells), increased dermal (lower part of skin) thickness with fibroblast production of new collagen and elastin, and increased skin hydration with improved epidermal barrier function. The result is a clinical improvement in benign epidermal pigmented lesions, and skin texture, and possible improvements in fine lines, pore size, superficial acne scars, and acne vulgaris.

Also, without the stratum corneum acting as a barrier, medicinal creams and lotions are more effective because more of their active ingredients and moisture can find their way down to the lower layers of skin. As microdermabrasion temporarily removes some moisture from the skin, it is important to apply moisturizing creams. Agi always stresses this point after my treatments, and urges me to reapply moisturizers hourly the same day of the procedure.

What happens during microdermabrasion:

1. I am placed comfortably on a beauty chair/bed, and covered with a blanket. (This is often too comfortable as I tend to fall asleep, while the post dermabrasion facemask gets to work)

2. Agi starts off by cleansing my face, and toning with an alcohol containing toner. This step is important as it removes oil and dries the top most skin layer,  to mediate removal by the dermabrasion- crystals.

3. Next she sets the machine to an appropriate program. There are programs for acne scars, for deep lines, for sensitive skin, as well as a manual setting option which I have been using. The crystals are placed on your skin and suctioned up again with vacuum, simultaneously sucking up your dead skin cells. It feels a little bit like a cat licking your face, if you’ve ever had that sensation.. a little bit like sand-paper being rubbed against your skin, but softer. The vacuum works to pull and raise a small section of skin to work on. It shoots a stream of crystals across the targeted skin patch and it collects the used crystals and dead skin for disposal.

4. After the treatment Agi uses a mixture of liposome containing moisturizer and hylauronic acid on my face, which she spreads around using an ultrasound device to generate deeper delivery of the products. Ultrasound in dermatology has also been shown to increase skin tightness.

5. When all the product is used and absorbed she mixes a moisturizing mask (I forget which one) which she lets stay on my skin approx 20 min (and hence I fall asleep at this stage).

6. After removal of the face mask, she adds a layer of sunscreen (often Ahava antiaging moisturizer SPF 50, $33.99 from beautybay with free world wide delivery) which is mandatory in the weeks after microdermabrasion as new skin cells are exposed, and will be fragile to the effects of UVB/UVA radiation.

Microdermabrasions are best performed in the fall and winter due to less sunlight exposure, but can also be performed during the spring and summer months, but you must then be sure to use your SPF daily.

The day of my microdermabrasion I moisturize continuously using any type of cream containing hyaluronic acid, or urea which are great mosturizing agents, my favorites at the moment is Eucerin Aquaporin Active Rich Hydrating Cream£13.34 from Amazon, and Ahava intensive moisture mask. $32.30 from beautybay.

I notice big differences in my skin after treatment. I've seen: increased feeling of firmness, increased luster of the skin, more even skin tone, and generally a more 'plump' face, in a good a way! There is also reduction of marks and blemishes after treatment.

I Love this facial! Have a try, you might benefit from it too!


Focused Ultrasound Skin Tightening

George J. Hruza, MD

Published in Journal Watch Dermatology March 19, 2010

Aesthetic Procedures in Office Practice

REBECCA SMALL, MD, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California

Am Fam Physician. 2009 Dec 1;80(11):1231-1237.

Selective removal of stratum corneum by microdermabrasion to increase skin permeability

Harvinder S. Gill,1 Samantha N. Andrews,1 Senthilkumar K. Sakthivel,2 Andrew Fedanov,3 Ifor R. Williams,2 David A. Garber,3 Frances H. Priddy,4 Seth Yellin,5 Mark B. Feinberg,3,4 Silvija I. Staprans,3,4 and Mark R. Prausnitz1,6,7

Eur J Pharm Sci. 2009 September 10; 38(2): 95–103.

Published online 2009 June 25. doi:  10.1016/j.ejps.2009.06.004

PMCID: PMC2731013



Preeti Savardekar Consultant Dermatologist, Mumbai, India

Year : 2007  |  Volume : 73  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 277-279