Home microdermabrasion can be a rather effective treatment for a variety of skin problems. Microdermabrasion can address melasma (a personal concern of mine), acne, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and it is good for overall soft skin and brightening. Aside from exfoliating well, dermabrasion removes the dead skin cells through suction, which allows other treatment products to absorb better. I purchased a home microdermabrasion system, the Personal Microderm which I have used a couple of times now. So far, I think it is a keeper and plan to test it more, so watch for a follow up review in a few months. The device costs $179, which is considerably cheaper than having professional treatments done (those often run over $100 per treatment). The device is also now covered and is our top recommendation in our complete home microdermabrasion buyer's guide. You can view that and learn about a number of additional devices here: Home Microdermabrasion Reviews.
Using the Home Microdermabrasion System: The Personal Microderm is incredibly easy to use. Simply plug it in and choose from two types of disks - The blue moderate disk for sensitive skin, or the green coarse disk for tougher skin. These disks also come in two sizes – small for facial areas, and large for body areas. Hold the skin tight and move the device in vertical or horizontal lines across the face without lingering in any one area. The device exfoliates the skin, while creating a suction, so it very much feels like you are vacuuming your face. The treatment can be made gentle by using a blue disk with light pressure, or more aggressive by using a green disk with heavier pressure. Home microdermabrasion treatments initially should be done once each week.
I started with the small blue disk and quickly moved up to the green. I have pretty tough skin and did not feel like I got a good treatment until I moved to the green. Sensitive types will want to stick with the blue though. The small disk works well for much of the face, but I moved to the large disk for my main cheek areas and forehead. I had a bit of difficulty with either size keeping suction on my forehead area, but I eventually got it, and I had no problems anywhere else. It doesn’t take long to treat the entire face—maybe 10 minutes tops.
Effectiveness of the Personal Microderm: In terms of results, I noticed softer skin immediately. For achieving nice soft skin, this is the best home exfoliation that you can get in my opinion. The device is effective at removing dead skin cells, and the suction removes them from your face. In regard to melasma, I did not notice any improvement on my main areas, but I also have only done three treatments. As much as anyone with melasma would like a quick cure, there isn’t really anything that can be done at home that will get rid of melasma or serious hyperpigmentation in that short of a times. I would not expect to see anything noticeable before eight treatments or more. What I did notice in three weeks was a little bit of lightening (we are talking rather tiny here, don't get overly excited) in a new area of pigmentation (those typically lighten easier) and some general improvement in my acne. Although next week I will be posting about how other products have pretty much cured my acne anyway. But the overall skin smoothing and such was pretty impressive even upon the first treatment. I’ll post an update a few months from now on how it works on tougher areas of melasma. I had some success a few years ago with professional microdermabrasion, but it wasn't overwhelming and I wasn't consistent in getting treatment, so I am curious about how the home system will work on that. Regardless I find it a worthwhile investment in terms of general skin care.
After Effects or Side Effects of Home Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion can be a bit deceptive in that it feels gentler than it really is, especially with the home microderm device, so start gentle and move up to more aggressive over time. After a treatment, it is normal for your skin to be a bit pink. Because of that, be careful with applying treatment serums immediately after a microdermabrasion treatment. Instead, apply a soothing moisturizer and be sure to wear sunscreen. You should be wearing sunscreen all the time anyway, but Microdermabrasion makes the skin more sensitive to sun, making this even more important, especially if you want to have any hope at treating dark spots, such as melasma.
Recommended Adjunct Products: For those battling melasma, I recommend trying PCA Skin (pHaze 13) Pigment Gel (Hydroquinone version) PCA Skin (pHaze 13) Pigment Gel HQ Free (Hydroquinone free version) as a serum, along with your favorite gentle moisturizer in order to maximize the effect of the microdermabrasion. I personally use DHC White Sunscreen for my oily skin to get moisture, sunscreen and lightening all in one. Anyone fighting wrinkles who like retinoids may like Derma Doctor Poetry in Lotion, although I also recommend caution using a retinol product too close to any given microderm treatment since retinol can also irritate the skin—be especially careful with that if you have sensitive skin. Those with acne might want to try Arcona products. I’ll be raving about those next week!
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