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The EV guide to microdermabrasion

Everything you need to know about this gold standard, affordable exfoliating method that leaves skin glowing

One of the best routes to glowing skin is exfoliation, which is why microdermabrasion has been a popular treatment for the last two decades. It smooths skin, decongests pores, reduces pigmentation and scarring and is widely available and affordable.

What is microdermabrasion?

Using a range of different applicators, microdermabrasion is a relatively gentle physical exfoliating device that removes the uppermost layers of dead skin by gently ‘sand blasting’ them off. In so doing the treatment can improve the appearance of sun damage, acne scarring, and melasma. It also improves blood flow which improves cell communication, boosts collagen and elastin production – helping to smooth lines and wrinkles.

How does microdermabrasion work?

Typically performed as part of a facial treatment on clean skin, there are multiple different methods depending on the device used…

Diamond-tip handpiece
A diamond-tip handpiece is designed to gently exfoliate dead cells then suction them off simultaneously. With this version, pressure applied to the handpiece impacts the depth of abrasion which is beneficial for very sensitive skins as the practitioner can tailor the depth to the individual, and can be used in more sensitive areas of the face, like the eye area.

Crystal microdermabrasion
Crystal microdermabrasion gently sprays minuscule aluminium oxide or sodium bicarbonate crystals onto the skin to gently slough away dead skin cells. Cells are then suctioned off immediately.

Who makes a good candidate?

As a gentle and light exfoliating option, this suits most skin types and tones and will benefit anyone with lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, congestion, blackheads, acne, acne scarring, sun damage, and dull skin.

How much does microdermabrasion cost?

According to the NHS, a single microdermabrasion treatment in the UK costs £60. However, generally this is just one element of a facial, so you’ll find that it’s offered as part of a facial treatment or available as an add on to a facial.

How to prepare

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure, so there isn’t much you need to do beforehand. It is usually best not to exfoliate at least a few days before and some practitioners might advise not to use retinol in the run up to your treatment.

What are the side effects?

Redness, tenderness, and mild swelling can occur but subsides within a few hours of treatment.

What to expect post treatment

There is no downtime, but it’s important to keep skin well hydrated post treatment and apply sunscreen too as skin can become more sensitive to the sun post treatment. The more sessions you have the better – while some results like glowing skin and a reduction in congestion can be seen immediately, other concerns like pigmentation, lines and wrinkles will take longer to treat and should be tackled with a multi-pronged approach.

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