In 2006, microdermabrasion ranked as the forth most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Yet, microdermabrasion treatments are not exclusive to the spa or doctor’s office. In fact, microdermabrasions have dropped down the list of top aesthetic treatments because new at-home treatments allow men and women to perform their own microdermabrasions.
So how often should you perform microdermabrasion treatments on yourself? The answer depends on you. And by implementing the following four-step plan, you can become your own microdermabrasion expert.
1. What is you main objective for performing the dermabrasion treatment?
Before buying any skin care product, you want to know what you expect from the product, otherwise you really can’t judge its benefits. What is the desire driving your microdermabrasion purchase?
Wrinkle reduction, acne scar removal, skin lightening, retexturize damaged skin, minimize freckles or age spots
2. What is your skin type?
The next determinant of how often you should use face abrasion techniques is your skin type: Sensitive, oily, dry, rough, leathery texture or a combination of these.
3. Pick a dermabrasion treatment based on your skin type and microdermabrasion goals
Naturally, if your skin is sensitive and you just want to treat freckles, you may not want to use a deep microdermabrasion product that might irritate your skin and cause hyperpigmentation. Then again, if you have rough textured skin, you don’t want a dermabrasion treatment that barely exfoliates your skin.
Here are some general guidelines for matching a dermabrasion treatment to your skin type:
Sensitive skin type– microdermabrasion creams with small, smooth edged exfoliating agents, like baking soda crystals. Use creams containing no fragrances.
Dry skin types– use a cream- or non pore clogging oil-based microdermabrasion treatment. This will remove the damaged layers of the skin while still imparting moisture.
Oily and rough skin textures– damaged, oily skin contains an extra barrier that microdermabrasion treatments must penetrate in order to work. For these types of skin, look for microdermabrasion products that contain larger, more abrasive exofiating agents like crushed apricots or pomegranate. These larger, more aggressive dermabrasion treatments will help remove oils and tough skin layers better than milder facial scrubs.
4. Repeat microdermabrasion treatments based on your skin’s response and repair rate
Once you have matched the right dermabrasion product to your skin type and skin goals, you have to monitor your skin to find the optimal frequency for repeating your microdermabrasion treatment.
One rule of thumb for performing a dermabrasion treatment is to look at your skin for signs of irritation or excess sensitivity after microdermabrasion treatments. For example, immediately after a microdermabrasion treatment, it is normal for your skin to look flushed, red and feel sensitive.
In two to three days, these symptoms should subside and your skin should look better. On this day, when you skin looks better, you can repeat the microdermabrasion treatment once again. In some cases, you may be able to use the microdermabrasion treatment once per day to reach your cosmetic goals.
The key is that you want to give your skin adequate time to repair itself after each dermabrasion treatment. Once your skin has calmed down from the previous dermabrasion and your skin is no longer, inflamed or overly sensitive, you can proceed with another at-home microdermabrasion treatment.
While you probably would not get a medial grade microdermabrasion treatment every day or even twice a week, at-home microdermabrasion treatments are much milder, so you can simply increase the frequency of the treatments to emulate professional grade results at home. In short, you will get better results from your microdermabrasion treatments once you customize them to your specific goals and skin type.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 11 Million Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures in 2006 – Up 7%. plasticsurgery.org/media/press_releases/2006-Stats-Overall-Release.cfm. March 22, 2007.[Accessed July 18, 2007]