Microdermabrasion: What is it, how does it work, and what are the benefits?

Microdermabrasion: What is it, how does it work, and what are the benefits?

It’s not just pizza and limoncello we can thank the Italians for… we can also say Grazie Italia for microdermabrasion, which was invented in Italy back in 1985. So what exactly is microdermabrasion, and how does microdermabrasion work? 

What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical facial resurfacing technique, usually performed in 6-10 sessions - either in clinic or at home. Microdermabrasion became a staple at skin care clinics through the 2000s, and remains one of the most popular skin treatments today. 

Microdermabrasion is a physical exfoliation that uses a device with a microcrystalline tip to buff away the top layer of your skin. By lifting away dead cells and unclogging your pores with vacuum suction, microdermabrasion improves your skin tone and texture. It also minimises the chance of acne forming bacteria developing within the pore and triggering breakouts.

Despite the fact that there have been many recent advances in skincare, microdermabrasion remains one of the most popular anti-aging treatments offered today… probably because it’s gentle, convenient, non-invasive and a reasonably affordable way to keep your skin looking young and fresh. 

Better yet, Microdermabrasion is safe for nearly all skin types and has little risk of complications. It’s safe, pain-free and requires no down-time. 

But… does microdermabrasion REALLY work?

Absolutely. Skin specialist to the stars, Christine Chin, says microdermabrasion is the key to glowing, healthy-looking skin. She uses the treatment on top models, including Naomi Campbell. 

“The combination works wonderfully by exfoliating and improving the cell turnover rate,” she says. “Such combined treatments work great to prevent fine lines and wrinkles as well as renew the skin to reveal fresh, young skin from within.”

Microdermabrasion is also a go-to skin treatment for celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence, Brie Larson and Cameron Diaz. 

Even Victoria Beckham, who has long struggled with acne scarring and discolouration uses microdermabrasion as a way to diminish fine lines, wrinkles and shallow acne scars, as well as minimize her enlarged pores and unclog her skin.

So, how does microdermabrasion work? 

Microdermabrasion uses a diamond or microcrystalline tip to polish and exfoliate the top layer of tired, dull skin. The treatment effectively resurfaces your skin, revealing the newer and healthier skin below. The vacuum suction unclogs your pores and increases blood flow, which prompts increased production of collagen. As we know, Collagen promotes skin elasticity, minimising the appearance of fine lines and sagging skin. There’s no doubt about it, Collagen is the key to plump, radiant skin.

The procedure itself is pretty simple, regardless of whether it is done in a clinic or at home. 

  1. First the skin is cleansed. For best results, it’s worth having a hot shower, steaming your face or using a hot face cloth on your face for 10 minutes before use. This will open your pores and prime your face for treatment.

  2. Once your face is totally dry, you (or your clinician) will pull your skin taut and glide the tool over your skin along the natural lines of your face, using an upwards and outwards motion. Smooth, swift strokes are best to avoid prolonged time on one patch.

  3. Once you have finished your treatment, we recommend you splash your face with cool water and pat dry. Your treatment should be finished with a rich serum or moisturiser to lock in moisture and achieve that post-facial glow. 

Do not use any products containing retinol, AHA, Glycolic acid, Benzoyl or any other active ingredients that will inflame or irritate your skin. Your skin is healing, so focus on hydration and drinking plenty of water. Your skin will be more sensitive after, so stay out of sunlight, or apply SPF 50+.

Give your skin at least 4-5 days to replenish and rejuvenate before using your kit again. 

What are the benefits of microdermabrasion? 

After just one use, your skin will feel more supple and smooth, and your complexion will look brighter and healthier. The best results however will come between 6-10 treatments, performed weekly or fortnightly.

Regular microdermabrasion can:

  • Exfoliate dead skin cells 
  • Improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Minimise pigmentation and age spots 
  • Clear blackheads and congestion
  • Minimise enlarged pores 
  • Reduce acne and acne scarring
  • Improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin or hyperpigmentation
  • Smooth out uneven skin tone and texture

What’s more… According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exfoliation allows skincare products to be able to penetrate more deeply, improving their effectiveness. Some studies have shown that regular microdermabrasion can allow up to 50% deeper absorption for your skincare products. 

What’s the difference between regular exfoliation and microdermabrasion? 

By removing dead skin cells from the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, exfoliation clears your skin of dead cells and assists in your skin’s natural cell turnover process. In our teens and early twenties, a normal cleansing scrub or loofah may be enough to do the trick. 

As we age, however, a more intense method may be required to achieve the same results.  

Why? Because as we grow older, the process of cell regeneration slows down… meaning that the body is slower to shed dead skin cells and generate new ones. When old skin cells start to pile up, the surface of the skin can end up looking dull and dry causing the first signs of ageing.  

While regular exfoliation will buff away the dead skin cells closest to the surface, leaving the skin cleansed of dirt and excess oils, microdermabrasion will not only remove these dead skill cells but also stimulate the growth of a fresh, new layer. 

This process also prompts the production of collagen, which results in plumper and more radiant-looking skin (how many times will we talk about collagen being the key to radiant skin? As many as we need to!)

By encouraging regeneration of the epidermal cell structure, microdermabrasion will provide far superior results to a regular facial exfoliant. 

How is a handheld microdermabrasion kit different from an in-clinic treatment? 

Historically, microdermabrasion was only performed in a clinic by a qualified skin specialist. However it’s 2021, and at-home treatments have come a long way.

Both at home and in-clinic microdermabrasion treatments use the same principle and techniques to achieve results, and these days you can find at home microdermabrasion kits that are almost as advanced and effective as their salon counterparts. 

When you go to a clinic, you will be paying a high price for the expertise of a professional, who has done the treatment many times before and will be using an industrial-grade microdermabrasion kit. 

With a little time and effort, you can learn the technique and get that same fresh, facial feeling in the comfort of your own home.

Between 6-10 microdermabrasion treatments are recommended to optimum results. At $100-$150 a treatment, it is a big investment. With an at-home microdermabrasion kit, you can achieve similar results for the price of just one visit to the skin clinic. 

But if you are opting for an at-home kit, please make sure it is a quality device with good reviews and a money-back guarantee. Cheap replicas can do more harm than good.


What results can I expect to see after microdermabrasion?

One of the best things about microdermabrasion is the fact there is little to no recovery time, and you’ll notice an improvement in your skin tone and texture immediately after treatment. 

If it’s your first treatment, your skin may turn pink with slight swelling, similar to light sunburn. During this time, you should apply a hydrating serum and rich moisturiser to ensure your skin is properly hydrated.

However, while your skin will look and feel better after just one treatment (who doesn’t love that post-facial glow?), microdermabrasion does require ongoing sessions to see a dramatic improvement in the skin. This is because new skin cells are constantly developing.

With ongoing treatments, you can expect an improvement in skin texture, a reduction in fine lines and acne scarring and an improved appearance of age and sun spots. 

Now you know what microdermabrasion is, how microdermabrasion works, and the benefits of microdermabrasion, are you ready to try it out for yourself?

Remember, with the KALINNI money-back guarantee - you can try it absolutely risk-free. 

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get glowing. 

*If you're not sure if Microdermabrasion is best for you, speak to a dermatologist or aesthetician.