What To Look For in Microdermabrasion Creams

The abrasive cream is, without a doubt, the most important ingredient in a personal microdermabrasion kit. Most systems available today use an abrasive cream with one exception -- Dermapower, which only uses a battery-operated hand-held tool, similar to the ones used in clinics and spas.

I believe corundum (aluminum oxide) crystals are the best abrasive ingredient because they are second only to diamonds in terms of hardness (which ensures an effective peeling effect). Some kits use crushed pearls (which makes them expensive), bicarbonate sodium crystals (which can be too soft, but more suitable for sensitive skin), and even pumice crystals (one of the most abrasive types of crystals). Usually, the more irregular the surface of these crystals, the better the peeling effect.

Some scrubs like Derma-E use a blend of different crystal types (aluminum oxide crystals, silica crystals, pumice crystals and pearl powder) in order to increase effectiveness, but this can make the cream overly abrasive.

While some companies like Derma-E use micro-crystal blends, others combine the abrasive power of micro crystals with mild acids, in order to enhance the exfoliating effect of their product. The double peeling effect which results can, indeed, be more effective but it can also cause damage to some skin types. The best microdermabrasion creams, in my opinion, only use mechanical exfoliation based on a single type of micro-crystals (preferably aluminum oxide crystals).

There are other ingredients besides crystals to watch out for. For example, some creams also use natural extracts, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients (green tea, grape seed and wine, wheat germ, jojoba, bamboo, cucumber and almond extracts) designed to help sensitive and normal skin types cope with the peeling. Products with many natural ingredients are less allergenic and less likely to cause irritations which is why I prefer them. One such product is Dermanew.

Some companies also add vitamins to their microdermabrasion creams (particularly K, E and C). One vitamin I would stay away from, though, is Vitamin A because it causes the skin to exfoliate. Coupled with the mechanical peeling from microderm, Vitamin A triggers a double-peeling effect which can actually damage the skin. Vitamin K, on the other hand, is very good -- it helps the skin's natural recovery while Vitamin E restores elasticity in the skin. Vitamin C helps boost collagen production and protects the skin from free-radical damage.

A common complaint about microderm abrasion cream formulas is that they're oily. If you use it in the evening, though, it's more bearable (no one can see your face shine like a bulb).

The most common complaint about microdermabrasion creams, though, is that they cause adverse reactions like irritations or breakouts. Often, this is because the micro dermabrasion cream uses chemicals and irritants which don't suit a freshly peeled skin. Some companies try to counter such side effects by making it less abrasive (less abrasion means the skin is less sensitive to chemicals) but this doesn't always work.

How To Use Microderm Abrasion Creams?

There are several ways to use a microderm cream: you massage it into the skin using your bare hands, sponge or a special vibrating micro dermabrasion tool.

According to most kit instructions, home microderm takes around 10 minutes from start to finish. You first prepare your skin for exfoliation and then use the microdermabrasion cream for a few minutes. You can use your microderma abrasion kit in the evening or morning (I like to have it at night and be surprised - or disappointed, as may be the case - with the results the following morning).

I've found that most micro dermabrasion cream formulas can be used on dry or damp skin and must be massaged with slow, upward motions for about 3 minutes. One mistake many women make (myself included) is to overdo it with the abrasion. The crystals are very fine and you may not feel them at the time but they are working. Too much pressure or prolonged abrasion can damage the skin, cause irritations or even injuries.

Most micro dermabrasion creams are designed for use on the face but can also be used on other body areas (unless otherwise stated). There are also about 3 body microdermabrasion creams available. Whatever you do, please don't use them on the face. The skin on your body is thicker and requires more aggressive peeling. Using a body microdermabrasion cream on your face may cause irritation or breakouts due to the advanced peeling effect.

Next, some of the personal microdermabrasion kits I've tried.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Can Microdermbrasion Help Cure Hyperpigmentation?

A: Microderma abrasion cream works on hyperpigmentation. The micro-crystal flow abrades the top layer of the skin where unevenly pigmented skin cells are stuck. Several specialist microbrasion sessions are required to even out skin tone and get rid of hyperpigmentation.

Q: How Can Micro Dermal Abrasion Help Remove Blotchy Skin?

A: This procedure exfoliates the top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells. Micro derma abrasion tool stimulates collagen production, essential to a beautiful face complexion and also evens out skin texture and tone.

Q: Does Micro Dermabration Help With Clogged Pores?

A: By exfoliating the top layer of the skin, microdermasion system cleans deep into the pore and removes excess oil and dirt which causes clogged pores. Most pores are unclogged while the more stubborn ones become less visible.

Q: Does Microabrasion Help With Tattoo Removal?

A: You can safely have microderm abrasions on skin with tattoos with no risk or side effects. This skin rejuvenation procedure is too mild to affect tattoos.

Q: Does Microdermabrasion Help If You Have Dry Skin?

A: Beauty Salon microdermabarasion device is appropriate for all skin types (including those with dry skin ) because this procedure sandblasts only the outermost skin layer which is made of dead skin cells. There's no damage to live tissue which could cause scarring or severe irritation. The exfoliation process involved in beauty salon microabrasion helps the skin renew itself quicker and more effectively.

Q: How Can Microderm Help Remove Age Spots?

A: Age spots can be made less visible or even removed entirely through several micro abrasion treatments - the flow of crystals exfoliates the top layer of the skin and evens out irregular skin pigmentation.

Q: How Can Micro Dermabration Help Eliminate Acne Marks?

A: By removing the top layer of the skin, home microderm abrasions diminish or even remove superficial acne scarring. Deeper acne scarring require a more invasive procedure, like a deep chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing.

Q: Does Microderm Abrasion From Neutogena Work?

A: The Home microdermoabrasion systems from Neutrogena is effective for some people and isn't for others. There are many happy customers who say that Neutogena system does make their skin look younger and feel smother. However, there are some unhappy consumers who say the kit is either too aggressive, causing them skin irritations and break-outs, or not very effective in removing fine scars and wrinkles. The only way to find out if the product works for you is to try to get a free sample and test the formula on your face.

Q: How Is Microderm Different From Alpha Hydroxy Acids?

A: Alpha Hydroxy Acid is used as a light chemical peel. It removes the uppermost layer of skin. Light chemical peels and microabrasion are both non-invasive procedures that can also be performed at-home with special consumer kits. Neither has any major risks or side-effects and both have limited effectiveness. They can help diminish or even remove superficial scarring and wrinkles, age spots, stretch marks and uneven skin texture. For deeper skin imperfections, you may need a more invasive procedure.

Q: Which Microdermabasion Works?

A: The only one who can give you the right answer on this one is your doctor. He or she can tell you whether home kits or professional (crystal or diamond microderm abrasian ) treatment is best.