Home vs. Professional

Achieving Younger Skin with Home Care vs. Trained Professional

Professional vs. At Home Kits

There are many at-home microdermabrasion kits on the market. Are they worth the cost?

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, microdermabrasion was one of the top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in 2011, with almost 500,000 people getting the skin-smoothing treatment. Those numbers don’t surprise us; microdermabrasion is one of the quicker ways to achieve smoother, younger-looking skin (i.e. complexion perfection).

But the more popular a procedure becomes, the more likely you are to see at-home versions popping up on store shelves, and microdermabrasion is no exception. So what’s your best option? Do you head to the drug store to grab a kit you can try at home, or do you make an appointment with a pro? We’re here to help you decide which path to gorgeous skin is best for you.

Why Microdermabrasion?

It’s always important to exfoliate (add this step to your skin care routine), but sometimes your standard scrub or exfoliating product just doesn’t cut it and you need to up the ante. That’s where microdermabrasion comes in. It’s hands down one of the best ways to exfoliate your skin. The quick, painless procedure removes the top layer of sun-damaged and dead skin cells, revealing brighter, healthier skin. “Microdermabrasion is effective at improving and reducing fine lines, age spots or brown spots, and other superficial skin blemishes,” says Dr. Brian Zelickson. “Immediately following a microdermabrasion session the skin will feel smoother and have improved texture.”

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At-Home Microdermabrasion Basics

Microdermabrasion home kits and cloths are a popular alternative to professional treatment. They can be more affordable (some as low as $30), and they do offer convenience, but anything you do at home likely won’t be as effective as what you’d get with a professional.

Home kits usually contain two basic components: an abrasive cream or scrub, and a buffing or “massage” tool for application. The cream in these kits does contain the same aluminum oxide crystals that are used in professional microdermabrasion techniques, but the concentration, application, and cream ingredients may vary and probably won’t be quite as powerful as office professionally administered microdermabrasion. It’s also important to note that in rare cases home kits can may cause redness, damage, irritation, or even an allergic reaction.

Some popular at-home options include the following:

  • Dr. Eric Bernstein’s LaseResults™ System: This program contains AHA acids to exfoliating and rejuvenate the skin. It was recently featured in Oprah, Allure and Ebony Magazines.
  • Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Cream: This formula contains pharmaceutical-grade crystals, lactic acid and soothing botanicals to polish away dead skin cells.
  • Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion Body Exfoliating Cream: Like the facial formula, this polishing treatment sloughs away dead and dull skin cells from head to toe.
  • NuBrilliance Microdermabrasion System: This kit features a diamond tip that gently exfoliates the outermost layer of skin using real, laser-cut diamonds, which promote the growth of healthy cells.
  • PMD Personal MicroDerm 5- Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System: The handheld device works to smooth away dead skin cells, diminishing age spots and other signs of aging.
  • Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion and Peel System Kit: The two-step system works together to provide a combination of microdermabrasion and mini-peel treatment.
  • Hydroxatone Revitalizing Microdermabrasion: This “micro polish” gently exfoliates the skin to slough away dead skin and smooth the complexion.

Microdermabrasion cloths are another at-home option, but these are non-chemical and non-crystal. Each cloth is made of tightly-woven microfibers that exfoliate the skin and remove surface cells. The cloths can generally be reused over time (which is cost-effective), but they can be tricky to get the hang of. Too much pressure can scratch or damage skin, and cloths that aren’t carefully disinfected after each use can harbor harmful bacteria.

Microdermabrasion with a Professional

Booking an appointment with a professional is often your best bet, but sometimes the cost and time is too great a commitment. Not only will you be reassured to have the treatment professionally administered, but you’ll be dealing with someone who has experience on their side. Not to mention, physician supervised clinics will often combine microdermabrasion with other procedures, such as chemical peels, getting you the most bang for your beauty dollar.

When it comes to anything you’re going to be doing to your face, a consultation with a physician trained in proper skin care is always the best option, whether you want to try an at-home kit or not. But when it comes to pro treatments, the benefits speak for themselves.

  • You’ll end up with an overall fresh, healthy-looking glow.
  • It’s a nonsurgical, safe, effective procedure you can have done on your lunch break.
  • It’s effective on all skin colors and types.
  • It’s quick and painless with no downtime.
  • It’s a great option for skin sensitive to chemical procedures.

When to see a Professional

No course of treatment or anything you buy at the store is going to be as effective as something designed specifically for you by an expert skin care physician, and at-home treatments often fall short of professional techniques. But if you have any skin care concerns that go beyond wanting to buff and polish, and especially if you have sensitive skin, forget about at-home kits. Some of them can cause further damage and irritation to sensitive skin, which is just going to land you in a professional’s office anyway.

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