The basic definition of microdermabrasion is that is a skincare treatment offered by a licensed esthetician or a dermatologist during which the skin is sprayed with a blend of exfoliating crystals to help exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells.
Risks versus Results — The biggest question when you are considering any cosmetic procedure is the risks versus results balance. Microdermabrasion is much gentler and less invasive with almost no downtime afterwards, compared to the more intense dermabrasion. It is known to help address fine lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet, light acne scarring, uneven skin tone, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. There is little to no downtime involved, although liberal use of sunscreen is always advised after significant exfoliation.
The At-Home Versions — There are devices and products that offer a similar level of exfoliation at home. I have not tried the at-home devices, however a few of the products I have been pleased with include Rodan + Fields Enhancements Microdermabrasion Paste, Naturallogic Organic Micro Polish Face Scrub, and Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator. I found all of them to be effective yet gentle, and would purchase them again.
Personally, I’ve experienced this procedure from an esthetician, and I would certainly do it again if I found a particularly good rate. It was only mildly uncomfortable during, and it left my skin super soft and smooth. There was no significant peeling or redness afterwards, which is always a bonus for this pale-skinned Texan. However it did not address my hyperpigmentation concerns like I had hoped, but I also realize that one treatment cannot fix everything.
Overall, I would probably prefer to use the at-home microdermabrasion products and save my money for a treatment more suited for my sun damage such as the HydraFacial MD® or an IPL Photofacial.