Microdermabrasion presents a straightforward in-office skin treatment, involving the physical exfoliation of skin to potentially resolve concerns such as uneven tone and texture, age spots, dull complexion, and fine lines. Let’s dive into what microdermabrasion is, covering its mechanics, potential side effects, and more.

What Is A Microdermabrasion Facial?

Microdermabrasion first emerged from Italy in 1985 and made its way to the US around 2000 where it quickly became popular as the new way to exfoliate skin that was physical rather than the previously established chemical peel path.  It works by literally sand blasting skin similar to a woodworking shop machine. There is an advantage to physical exfoliation as it eliminates the possibility of any allergic reaction for people who are chemically sensitive. A microdermabrasion machine via a handheld instrument blows tiny sand bits at the surface of our skin while simultaneously vacuuming the exfoliated skin cells and sand bits neatly back into a reservoir for disposal.

Alas, more recently, microdermabrasion eventually became less popular for fancy new breeds of chemical peels  that could be cocktailed endlessly to be customized for depth, intensity, and trendy specialty ingredients. Today, many menus offer both in one session so that chemical peels and microdermabrasion are implemented one right after the other with microdermabrasion being first. Once any given piece of equipment, including lasers, have been purchased there is an obvious priority to continue its use  in order to capture profits.

Exfoliation has been the primary strategy to elicit new skin cell production for over a hundred years yet there is finally an upgrade that renders exfoliation largely obsolete. The absorption of topical Dermal Nutrients elicits sustainable and steady new skin cell products but without the long list of problems that exfoliation causes including accelerated dermal thinning due to over-exercised skin. 

What Happens During A Microdermabrasion Facial?

During a microdermabrasion facial the precious acid mantle is destroyed, stripping skin from beneficial oils and throwing off balanced oil production that is critical for skin health. It is imperative that hydration and barrier restoration be immediately implemented after a treatment to minimize detrimental effects though this step cannot guarantee that the damage has already been done but this step certainly can help minimize when done properly. Skin that has been freshly treated has an intense sensitivity to all ingredients including essential oils, astringents, and acids which is why it is used first before these active ingredients. Tragically, this only boosts the damage these ingredients can already do. Often skin spirals downwards after aggressive exfoliation and microdermabrasion is exactly that. The skin professional can adjust the setting and use a light or heavy hand but make no mistake this procedure is meant to detach as much of the epidermis as possible without leaving marks.

Personally, exfoliation fixation is boring and depressing because this strategy could never result in deep healing. At best it can give skin a bright trauma shine that is short lived but will continue to deteriorate skin health over time. Ugh. Yawn.

Self-purifying and self-mending skin can only be accomplished by topical hydration, profound dermal nourishment, barrier restoration, and the removal of all the skin gunk that accumulates for skin that is exfoliation fixated.

Is Microdermabrasion Bad For Your Skin?

Is Microdermabrasion obsolete? In my opinion, yes. It is dinosaur thinking that leans into exfoliation as the only answer to all skin problems. To be fair, it was all we had for many years and It was a necessary developmental stage for skin care. This box has been outgrown. .

Final Thoughts On Microdermabrasion Facials

While microdermabrasion was once hailed as a revolutionary skin treatment for skin rejuvenation it would be more accurate to say today that it was just another twist on the tired exfoliation answer.  Nonetheless, microdermabrasion has been successfully installed into every skin menu landscape everywhere.  It is widely available, affordable, and commonplace. Indeed it is far easier to dumbly exfoliate than to invent truly revolutionary practices and ingredients that provide lasting skin health impact.

The aggressive nature of microdermabrasion, by-passing the vital role that a thriving acid mantle provides and amplifying the negative effects of astringents, essential oils, and acids, forces serious skin health practitioners to contemplate long-term skin health. Many lifelong practitioners are recognising the short-term effects and benefits of exfoliation are shifting their curiosity and focus towards new practices and ingredients that are truly regenerating both short term AND long-term. The quest for the ultimate skin care plan that synergizes both of these aims also recognizes skin as the ecosystem it is.

As we navigate the ever-evolving nuances of skin care I would encourage everyone to choose food over bombs for our skin.