Microdermabrasion Alternatives

If you’re craving brighter, smoother, softer skin, then microdermabrasion might be just what you’re looking for. A fairly quick and simple procedure, it delivers fast and noticeable results. Best of all, it doesn’t hurt.


Do you ever look at famous people and think to yourself: I want skin like that! But if your high-maintenance skin has you thinking that a movie star complexion is impossible, think again. Microdermabrasion is a simple, professional, and painless way to get great results, fast — especially if you’re not interested in any of the more advanced cosmetic procedures.

What’s the Deal With Microdermabrasion?
Professional microdermabrasion is a nonsurgical procedure that can be performed by a dermatologist or a licensed aesthetician. It doesn’t require any anesthesia, and there’s little to no downtime — unlike dermabrasion, which is a more-invasive surgical skin-planing procedure that can take up to 10 days to recover from.

Microdermabrasion is basically an exfoliation technique, albeit a sophisticated one. It’s ideal for deep-cleaning your pores and a myriad of other things. Microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and creases. It can erase sun damage and minor scars. And it can help brighten your complexion, rejuvenate your skin, give you a more youthful look, and of course, make your skin feel soft and smooth. And it doesn’t matter what type of skin type or coloring you have — microdermabrasion can be used on all skin types and complexions. However, if you have a skin condition, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea, you should definitely consult your dermatologist before scheduling a microdermabrasion.

Before Your Microdermabrasion
The American Academy of Dermatology also encourages people to discuss their skin concerns during their microdermabrasion consultation. It’s important that you reveal any relevant medical history related to your skin, such as past cosmetic procedures, a tendency toward scarring easily or developing keloids (raised scars), or if you’ve taken isotretinoin (Accutane) for severe acne, since these may increase the risk of side effects and interfere with treatment results.

What Happens During Microdermabrasion
Before treatment, your skin will be cleaned to remove any dirt, makeup, and surface oils, and you’ll be given protective eyewear. The microdermabrasion process is similar to sandblasting in that a small handheld device is used to “sand” your skin with a spray of fine crystals; the device also simultaneously vacuums them up. The crystals help loosen and remove dead skin cells, bacteria, and other debris from your face. The procedure isn’t painful, and it takes only about a half an hour. Afterward, your skin may be flushed, and it may feel a little like you got sunburned, but that should go away within 24 hours. You will also need to pay special attention to your skin following the microdermabrasion treatment. Be sure to keep your skin moisturized, and be extra careful about protecting your face from sun exposure after the procedure.

Microdermabrasion Alternatives
If you’re not interested in a professional microdermabrasion treatment, you may consider using microdermabrasion cleansing cloths, polishes, and other products as a milder alternative. You can find these types of products at your local drugstore, and they can achieve some similar exfoliating effects.