- Microdermabrasion is a safe, noninvasive skin procedure that treats several skin complaints such as hyperpigmentation, scars and melasma
- Two or more sessions are required, based on severity, to achieve significant results
- Repeat sessions are needed to maintain results
- At-home treatments are available, but will require more frequent sessions to see noticeable improvements
Microdermabrasion is an exfoliating treatment that removes the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin, to treat a number of skin complaints; it is also an effective anti-aging treatment.
When looking at microdermabrasion, how often to have a session will depend on the severity of your skin condition, your aesthetic goals and how well you take care of your skin.
Microdermabrasion is gentle, painless and safe for all skin types but is limited in its efficacy as it treats only the superficial layer of skin and not deep within the dermis. This treatment can be used anywhere on the body.
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a resurfacing technique that uses either a handheld diamond-tipped handpiece or a very fine spray of crystals to gently remove the outermost layer of skin. A vacuum is used to suction away the microcrystals and abraded skin from the face.
A session typically takes about 30–45 minutes, is painless, and safe for all skin types and tones.
As a noninvasive procedure, microdermabrasion can be described as a superficial debridement. It offers many benefits: it treats a number of skin concerns and is an effective anti-aging tool to rejuvenate skin and brighten the complexion. It is one of the most popular nonsurgical procedures in the United States.
There is one downside though. As a noninvasive treatment, it has minimal healing time. Studies indicate that results are more modest than those produced by more invasive techniques and as such, results are temporary. Efficacy and durability of outcomes are related to the depth of the wound, the length of the healing period or both.
For example, dermabrasion penetrates deeper within the skin’s layers and induces greater injury which brings about greater improvements once skin has healed.
In addition, skin typically renews itself every 30 days, therefore repeat sessions are required to maintain a clear complexion, treat skin issues and to maintain results.
Benefits of microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is an effective anti-aging treatment as it stimulates collagen production to thicken and strengthen skin, and improve elasticity. This in turn, smooths and plumps skin to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a rejuvenated appearance.
This is a gradual process that occurs over several weeks after just one procedure.
The removal of the top layer of skin softens the look of hyperpigmentation, stretch marks and scars. Cells are cleared of oils, debris and blackheads, and pore size is minimized. Improvements are typically reported as being mild to moderate.
In response to the superficial skin injury, microdermabrasion stimulates the skin’s natural process of cell growth and renewal. Skin will appear more even in texture and tone as well as brighter.
Lastly, microdermabrasion clears the skin of dead skin cells and debris, allowing topical application of medicated or regular skin care products to penetrate more easily and enhance their efficacy. This is also true for other professional treatments such as cavitation peeling.
How Often to Get a Microdermabrasion Facial
You may choose to have microdermabrasion as a one-time facial to deeply cleanse and exfoliate your skin. This will lift out blackheads, flaky skin and excess oils. You can expect to achieve noticeably smoother and clearer skin, and in the following weeks collagen production will increase to add some plumpness.
However, these effects will not remain due to skin renewing every 30 days. To maintain these results, and to target specific skin complaints, you will need to have regular treatments.
The amount of sessions you will have will depend on the severity of your skin complaints and your personal goals. That being said, skin needs time to heal between sessions.
In one study, microdermabrasion was shown to cause significant damage to the skin barrier function but this was resolved within 24 hours. Researchers concluded that repeating treatment would only be safe at two-week intervals, allowing the skin time to recover its barrier function. Therefore, doing so earlier would be ill-advised.
How long do the effects of microdermabrasion last?
The results from microdermabrasion treatments typically last 1 month; at that time you can undergo another treatment to maintain a smooth and glowing complexion.
As well, this is a progressive treatment. Best results will be attained with treatments scheduled at regular intervals to reduce the appearance of dark marks, scars and stretch marks – skin irregularities that require multiple treatments to reduce their appearance.
How Often to Do Microdermabrasion at Home
Diamond-tipped microdermabrasion kits are available for at-home microdermabrasion sessions.
While they do provide positive results, these results are typically milder than professional treatments. As such, at-home microdermabrasion treatments can be performed every 2–4 weeks.
While at-home treatments are cost-effective, they are associated with increased risks, as incorrect use or overuse can result in damaged, irritated skin. It is important to allow your skin to heal completely between sessions.
The benefits of receiving professional microdermabrasion includes the skill of the care provider as well as more dramatic results.
Side Effects of Frequent Microdermabrasion
Unwanted side effects can occur if you subject your skin to too many microdermabrasion treatments. These include:
- Dry, cracked or scaly skin
- Erythema (redness)
- Minor bruising
Microdermabrasion is a skin resurfacing treatment that is safe for all skin types and tones. It can brighten and smooth the skin, and boost collagen production to provide plumpness and elasticity to skin.
Repeat treatments are necessary to maintain a bright and smooth complexion, as skin renews itself every 30 days.
Since microdermabrasion removes just the topmost layer of skin, it can only provide mild-to-moderate improvements to skin irregularities such as scars, dark marks and stretch marks. However, with regular treatments scheduled every four weeks, greater results can be achieved, as this is a progressive treatment.
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- Kołodziejczak A, Wieczorek A MSc, Rotsztejn H PhD. The assessment of the effects of the combination of microdermabrasion and cavitation peeling in the therapy of seborrhoeic skin with visible symptoms of acne punctata. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2019 Aug;21(5):286-290. doi:10.1080/14764172.2018.1525751
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