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Understanding Microdermabrasion

Feb 2, 2008
What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a type of exfoliation of the skin. It is sort of like a "sand blasting" the skin using tiny crystals in a self contained unit. A specialist will apply these tiny crystals to your skin with a special machine, and then vacuums them back up with the same machine. This helps exfoliate the top layer of your skin. The specialist will adjust the amount of suction and crystal usage based on the client's skin.

The small crystals I've mentioned are made of different materials. They can be made of aluminum dioxide, sodium chloride or corundum. When these crystals go against the skin, they help remove the dead skin cells that are on the top layer of your skin. It can be used on all skin types, though it must be adjusted for people with sensitive skin. When it comes to skin care, this is a method which is good for sun damaged skin, skin with acne scarring, fine lines, and also coarse skin.

Why do we want to exfoliate our skin? Your skin is constantly turning, and as we get older, this becomes a slower process. By leaving the older layers of skin on top, we have a dull and aged appearance. Exfoliating your skin, or gently removing that layer of dead skin cells allows your fresher skin to be exposed, which gives you that "glow" or a healthier appearance. There are many ways to exfoliate your skin, microdermabrasion being one of them.

While we can do mild exfoliation at home with gentle scrubs or with chemical enzymes, you can opt to go to a spa, medi-spa or dermatologist for other methods of exfoliation. This is a surface procedure, and isn't a deep exfoliation. You can usually have this done at a local spa. As with any procedure like this, be sure to use your sunscreen regularly, so that your newly exposed skin doesn't become damaged.

Like everything, you'll want to consider contraindications. You don't want to use microdermabrasion on a client with Rosacea, a client on Accutane, a diabetic who may wound easily, or someone with inflamed acne.

Exfoliation is an excellent way to freshen up your look. Your skin will have a radiant glow, along with a smoother surface for make-up application. If you've been thinking your skin is looking a bit dull or rough lately, maybe it's time to try microdermabrasion. It's amazing what a difference exfoliation makes.

Like any procedure you may think about having, be sure that the person operating the microdermabrasion machine is licensed. Feel free to ask them how many times they've performed the procedure and ask any questions you may have. During the procedure, you'll be able to let them know if you need the flow of crystals adjusted if you're uncomfortable. Most people don't request that, and may ask for it stronger. If you're a client thinking that stronger is better, trust your skin care specialist to know what is best, as you don't want to damage your skin by being too aggressive.

If you are the one performing the procedure, always make sure you have a signed consent form before starting.
About the Author
Deborah Schwabe is a licensed Skin Care Specialist in New Jersey. You can find her ultimate resource guide and more information at The Esthetician Channel, which includes books, information, links, networking, and other great esthetician resources.
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