A Complete Guide to Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is the process of manually removing or exfoliating the top dead layers of the skin. It is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure usually done in esthetic clinics that helps:

This guide has been medically reviewed by Dr. Mona Gohara, MD — a medical expert for ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Vogue, O the Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Allure and Real Simple.

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Benefits of

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  • Improve the skin texture and tone
  • Address fine lines and wrinkles
  • Lighten age spots
  • Improve melasma and sun damage
  • Refine acne scars and stretch marks

Discovering your best skin starts with knowing your skin type.

Types of Microdermabrasion Machines

Crystal Microdermabrasion

Involves blasting fine particles of sodium bicarbonate or aluminum oxide to sand off the skin while a vacuum suctions the particles back to a chamber, along with the dead skin. This is usually performed by trained skin specialists because there is a danger of getting sand in the eyes or it may be inhaled, which can be dangerous.

Diamond Microdermabrasion

On the other hand, involves manually abrading the skin with a diamond tip for a more precise exfoliation. The suction vacuums the dead skin into a filter and at the same time stimulates blood circulation to help with collagen production. Most in-office microdermabrasion services use this type of microdermabrasion because it is safer and it is more convenient.

Hydro Microdermabrasion

There is also a crystal-free microdermabrasion procedure called hydro microdermabrasion or hydradermabrasion that uses water jets to remove the outer layer of the skin. Depending on the device used, it can also infuse skincare serums while removing the dead skin debris.

Other types of microdermabrasion devices involve sanding equipment, an abrasive brush, or rotating discs that help buff dead skin. There are also chemical peels in the form of facial scrubs with microbeads that also exfoliate the skin.

Because of the popularity of microdermabrasion in esthetic clinics, many companies now expanded to at-home devices that can deliver the same results at home. Although these at-home microdermabrasion tools aren’t as powerful as professional-grade devices, they still work great and provide great results.

Now more than ever, microdermabrasion is more affordable and accessible than it was a few years ago. You can get the same spa results in the comfort and safety of your own home. No need to book an appointment too because you can do it on your own time.

Uses and Benefits

Uses and Benefits

Microdermabrasion helps improve the overall condition of the skin over time. It smooths, brightens, and provides a more even-toned appearance.


  • Buffs dead skin to reveal a radiant complexion
  • Improves texture and skin tone
  • Softens harsh facial lines and wrinkles
  • Lightens Age Spots with continued use
  • Exfoliates to reveal youthful skin
  • The perfect complement to your favorite skincare topicals

By removing the outer layer of the skin, you are hastening the cell turnover and helps remove dead skin that may dull the complexion. It improves the overall texture of the skin, removes bumps and debris that may clog the pores, and it helps make pores appear smaller.

Exfoliating the dead skin also helps fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, acne scars, and stretch marks.

Sun-damaged skin may also be reversed by microdermabrasion. Age spots or liver spots may also be improved or lightened although this is not an overnight process. It may take 4 months or more to see an improvement.

Along with exfoliation, the suction component of microdermabrasion will also improve blood circulation thus boosting collagen production. It will help with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as plumping the skin. It gives you a more glowing complexion too.

Microdermabrasion can also be used to maximize the benefits of anti-aging products or any skincare topicals. By removing the dead skin, the active ingredients in skin care products will penetrate the skin better. You will see faster results and you get better value for your money.

Microdermabrasion vs. Dermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that can be done in professional clinics by a trained specialist. Since it is non-invasive, it doesn’t require local anesthesia. It can be even performed at home by any individual, given that they don’t have mobility issues. It is also suitable for any skin type and color.

Dermabrasion is similar in the sense that it also removes the top dead layers of the skin however it uses more intensive methods to do so. It often requires the use of local anesthetic as it is a type of surgical skin planing. It is only recommended for people with fair skin who want to remove tattoos, improve skin scarring, acne, and other skin imperfections.

Microdermabrasion may range from $100-$200 per session. An average professional microdermabrasion treatment costs about $167, depending on where you go. Some have added costs depending on the services they include with the treatment.

At-home microdermabrasion devices range from $50-$400, depending on the brand.

The thing with microdermabrasion is it’s not enough to get only 1 or 3 sessions in your lifetime. To keep getting great results, you need to incorporate it into your skincare routine. Depending on your skin type and the brand of at-home device you are using, you can do 1 up to 3 sessions in a week.

If you want to keep getting baby-smooth skin or if you want to improve your overall skin condition, investing in your own at-home microdermabrasion device might be the best option. In just 1-3 uses, you are getting more value for your money instead of opting for a professional treatment. Since you own the device, you can have unlimited use so that’s a better return on your initial investment.

Can You Do Microdermabrasion At Home?

If you have sensitive skin or pre-existing skin conditions, we recommend consulting with a dermatologist prior to doing at-home microdermabrasion. However, if you have normal skin, or have been getting professional microdermabrasion treatments, having an at-home microderm device is going to be a game-changer for you.

So, yes! Given that you don’t have any mobility issues, microdermabrasion is safe to do at home. All you need to do is follow the instructions of your microdermabrasion device and you are good to go.

For some people, doing at-home microdermabrasion may be daunting especially if they haven’t tried microdermabrasion before. But it is really easy to perform.

For at-home diamond microdermabrasion devices, make sure that the diamond tip is flushed on the skin. Brace your skin with your free hand and swipe with a slow, short, even stroke, no more than twice in the same area.

Adjust the suction level depending on your tolerance but for new users, start with the lowest suction level first. You need to acclimate to the feel of the suction before going a level higher.

The suction levels of at-home microdermabrasion devices are not as powerful as professional devices but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get you the results you are looking for. Most at-home devices are designed that way for safety purposes.

It is easy to cause skin damage if you crank up the suction power. It may lead to bruising, bursting capillaries, and a lot of pain. Plus, there are areas of the face that are more sensitive thus requiring lower suction levels, such as the sides of the eyes.

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Alai, N. (2022) Microdermabrasion: Health Benefits


Dana, L. (2021) Yes, You Can Do Microdermabrasion At Home


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Palmer, A. (2022) How the Two Types of Microdermabrasion Work


Palmer, A. (2022) What Happens During a Microdermabrasion Treatment?


Patel, R. (2021) What is Microdermabrasion


Trilogy Medical Center (2022) Hydrodermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion