Between me and my closest six girlfriends, we've tried almost all of the non-surgical rejuvenation techniques available today. With their help and after many hours of research, I'm now in a position to give you an exhaustive comparison of the most popular six of them: dermabrasion, microdermabarasion, laser resurfacing, IPL, Obagi Nu-Derm and chemical peels.
Dermabrasion is a mechanical procedure that uses a power-driven, hand-held machine with a rotating metal wheel, diamond fraise or a wire brush to remove the top layers of the skin. It can be performed using a general or local anesthetic, depending on area.
Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are both peeling procedures: the former is a gentle mechanical peel that uses a stream of crystals (or a diamond tip wand) and suction to gently peel the skin, while the latter involves using a mild acid solution to exfoliate the skin.
Laser skin resurfacing and Intense Pulse Light work with high intensity light emissions which either vaporize the top layers of the skin in order to remove scars and wrinkles, or stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin.
Obagi Blue Peel and NuDerm use TCA, hydroquinone and tretinoin to correct skin imperfections and conditions but it's more invasive and risky.
The downtime associated with each procedure depends on the depth of the injury caused to the skin. For example, microderma abrasion has virtually no downtime, while a deep chemical peel can keep you at home on painkillers for as long as 2 weeks (which is why I'd never consider having it). After a dermabrasion treatment, the skin is red and swollen for around ten days.
Dermabrasion, chemical peels and laser resurfacing can cause permanent damage like scarring or pigmentation changes if performed unprofessionally. Microdermabration has the advantage of not having any of these risks. On the other hand, being the least invasive procedure, microderm abrasion has limited effectiveness on removing deeper acne scars, wrinkles, age spots or stretch marks.
By resurfacing a thicker layer of skin, laser skin rejuvenation, dermabrasion and deep chemical peels can visibly reduce larger and deeper skin imperfections. But these three procedures are also more expensive than a microbrasion treatment. For example:
Prices for Chemical Peels
Prices for Dermabrasion
Prices for Laser Resurfacing
Microdermabarasion costs $300-$1,950 per year(it's not as effective as other procedures, works on superficial imperfections only)
Of all the non-surgical procedures described above, microdermabrasion is the only treatment that can also be done at-home using personal kits or machines.
A: By removing the top layer of the skin, microdermabrasions diminish or even remove superficial acne marks. Deeper acne marks require a more invasive procedure, like deep chemical peeling or laser resurfacing.
A: Men can have microderm abrasions just as women can. The procedure and results are the same, there are no side effects or risks. The procedure and results are the same, there are no side effects or risks.
A: Both home and spa microbrasion work on the same principle and have the same reported results: reduction of fine lines, superficial scars, age spots and acne scars. But home microderm abrasions procedures cannot offer the same effectiveness you get from spa micro derma abrasion treatments on more severe skin imperfections.
A: No, if performed right, microabrasion does not age your skin.
A: OTC microderm abrasian products should not be used on your eye-lids even if it's especially formulated as a facial microdermabarasion set. Using a face micro dermabration set on your eye lids may result in irritation or scarring (the lids are too thin and can easily be damaged). Clinic micro dermabration is not suitable for use on eye lids either.
A: This procedure exfoliates the top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells. Microdermabarasion system stimulates collagen production, essential to healthy skin and also evens out skin texture and tone.
A: Microdem abrasion equipment can only be operated by people with specific theoretical and practical training. Since this procedure is still relatively new, regulations regarding microabrasion certification vary from state to state. Generally speaking, for a person to perform professional in-office micro abrasion. one needs to conclude a supervised 14 to 30 hour training and pass a practical exam with the institution offering the course. This institution can be a large spa, a vocational school, a dermatology clinic, a beauty academy or a device manufacturer.
A: Microdermabarasion tool works on hyperpigmentation. The micro-crystal flow abrades the top layer of the skin where unevenly pigmented skin cells are stuck. Several specialist microdermabarasion sessions are required to even out skin tone and get rid of hyperpigmentation.
A: Micro dermal abrasion kits stimulate collagen growth which is why it works on large pores. Collagen production is stimulated through skin exfoliation. Furthermore, the vacuum function of most microdermabration units sucks out hardened oil, dust and other dirt which may clog your pores. This way, the oil in the glands can again reach the surface of your skin and your pores can return to their natural shape and size.
A: Yes, results are visible after the first microdermabarasion. especially if we are talking about beauty salon microdermal abrasions which is more effective than at-home sets. Best results are obtained after 6 to 12 sessions (depending on your expectations and severity of skin imperfections), respectively one month of use for one of the OTC micro dermal abrasion system.
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Information and advice on microderabrasion and skin resurfacing
Microdemabrasion is a safe alternative to chemical peels & laser rejuvenation for acne scars & fine lines
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My micro dermabrasion kit reviews: Neutrogena - Youthful Essence - Dermanew