What Is The Best Microdermabrasion Kit for Home Use?

I'm not an absolute expert on home microdermabrasion kits but I've tried so many of them to at least deserve the most experienced user award. I have never bought a personal microdermabrasion system without thoroughly researching it first (this includes official websites, blogs, forums and conversations with others who've tried it).

One thing I do religiously these days is a patch test (I use the product on a small area behind the ear and see how the skin reacts). This has saved me days of recovery from products that would have caused irritation or breakouts if I had used them on my face.

When I couldn't afford yet another microdermabrasion product or when I came across one that didn't suit me, I asked one of my 5 best girlfriends to try it instead. This is what we think the best home micro dermabrasion product is (see my review of Personal Microderm System, the latest I've tried).

Finding The Best Home Microdermabrasion System

One thing to remember is that most manufacturers claim their microderm abrasion kit is the best. Some, at least, don't blatantly lie by saying their product is the overall best, but that it's the best for a specific condition like fine lines, acne scars and wrinkles, clogged pores or age spots.

Usually, home microderm kits fall in one of these 4 categories:

  1. Complexion - These home micro dermabrasion products are the least effective of the bunch. They work on dull, blotchy skin and improve the overall complexion and appearance. They are nothing more than a good facial but have very little in common with microdermabrasion. Prices range between $20-$75; brands include L'Oreal Refinish, Olay Regenerist Peel, Clinique, Epidermx II, Dr. Brandt
  2. Pores - The microabrasion kits in this category are slightly more effective because they peel better and your pores will be the first to benefit from it. These systems help with clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads and enlarged pores. Prices range between $45-$85; brands include Microdelivery Peel, Estee Lauder, Lancome Resurface C, Mary Kay.
  3. Skin tone - These home microdermabrasion kits are in a different league altogether. Their peeling effect is significantly better compared to the kits in the first 2 categories. They help with hyperpigmentation, irregular skin tone, age and sun spots. Prices range between $14-$75; brands include Neutrogena, Ponds, Microdermx, Micro Pearl Abrasion.
  4. Skin surface (the heavy-weight league) - These are, by far, the best home microdermabrasion products. They really resurface the skin and are as close to the professional procedure as a commercial product can get. They help fade superficial scars (acne scars), fine line and wrinkles and bumps. Prices range between $40-$130; brands include Youthful Essence, Dermanew, Dermapower, Visage Naturel. Of all the products I've used so far, Youthful Essence is my favorite. And even though it's priced at $170, I'm quite pleased with the latest one I've tried,

Most companies have an at-home microdermabrasion kit designed for use on the face (and maybe the neck) but only a handful have a body microdermabrasion kit as well (Neutrogena and Dermanew). Be careful not to make the same mistake my friend Donna nearly did (she nearly bought the Dermanew Body system instead of the Facial Rejuvenation System).

The term of body microdermabrasion can be misleading. It doesn't refer to a product you can use anywhere on your body, but from the neck down. Body micro dermabrasion formulas are more aggressive and can cause skin damage when used on the face whereas facial micro abrasion formulas are gentle and they probably won't have any effect on the arms, chest or back.

Me and my friends believe that the best microdermabrasion products are those that closely imitate the professional procedure -- and its results. Most microabrasion kits use the same type of crystals used in the office treatment but the way the cream is used varies significantly.

With some products you use your bare hands to apply the micro dermabrasion cream while with others you use a sponge or cloth. Dermanew and Youthful Essence have the most advanced resurfacing tools I've seen. However, some products that are basically a microdermabrasion scrub have surprised us in how well they work for what they are (particularly Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel, Lancome Resurface C, Microdermx, Micro Pearl Abrasion).

I am always eager to try new at home microdermabration products and I am impatient to see results, even though I should know better. It takes a few weeks of regular use to start seeing what the product can do. I (almost) always follow the instructions to the letter and never use it more often than I should. After a few weeks you either see no or mild improvement, or something slightly more dramatic (a faded scar, fewer lines or more even skin tone).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is Microderma Dangerous For Young People?

A: Microabrasion is safe for young people of all skin types but most doctors recommend it for patients aged 14 and older, mainly because they want to make sure that all major hormonal changes are over and the results of the procedure are as good as they can be.

Q: Is Do-It-Yourself Microdermbrasion As Effective As Doctor's Office?

A: Both DIY and doctor's office micro dermal abrasion work on the same principle and have the same reported results: reduction of fine lines, superficial scars, age spots and acne scars. But personal microabrasion procedures cannot offer the same effectiveness you get from doctor microdermbrasion treatment on more severe skin imperfections.

Q: Microderma Is It Effective On The Feet?

A: Personal micro derma brasion creams can be used on your feet as long as it's especially formulated as a body microderm product. Using a facial microdermation tool on your feet will not have the desired effects because it's much too mild to have a significant effect on your feet. Doctor-performed microderm abrasion is not suitable for use on the feet because the skin is too thin in that area. However, having microdermasion on your heels should work but better ask your doctor first.

Q: Does Micro Pearl Abrasion Microdermabasion Work?

A: The Home microdermabrasian cream from Micro Pearl Abrasion is effective for some people and isn't for others. There are many happy customers who say that Micro Pearl Abrasion creams does make their face feel smother and look young. On the other hand, there are some unhappy people who say the kit is either too harsh, causing them skin irritation and breakouts, or not very effective in reducing superficial scars and fine wrinkles. The only way to find out if the kit is effective for you is to try to obtain a free sample and test the formula on your skin.

Q: Is Microdermal Abrasion Effective If You Have Psoriasis?

A: Psoriasis patients should not have micro dermabration This procedures is somewhat invasive to the skin (any skin rejuvenation treatment is to some extent) and can worsen their condition. This applies to over the counter micro derma brasion as well, despite its mild effect.

Q: What Happens To Your Skin During Microdermabration?

A: Dermatologist office micro skin abrasion is performed by a trained aesthetician or beautician who uses a hand-held, sandblaster-like device to spray and circulate a high pressure flow of aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin. The crystals gently exfoliate the very top layer of the skin. This hand-held tool also contains a vacuum system that sucks away the debris, dead skin cells and used micro crystals.

Q: How Good Is Microabrasion For Hyper Pigmentation?

A: Macrodermabrasion product is effective on hyper pigmentation. The micro-crystal flow abrades the top layer of the skin where unevenly pigmented skin cells are stuck. Several dermatologist-performed microbrasion sessions are required to even out skin tone and get rid of hyper pigmentation.

Q: How Can Microdermal Abrasion Help Cure Enlarged Pores?

A: Micodermabrasion tool stimulates collagen growth which is why it's effective on enlarged pores. Collagen production is stimulated through skin exfoliation. Furthermore, the vacuum function of most microdermal abrasion tools 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.

Q: What Does Microdermabration Do For Your Face?

A: By resurfacing the top layer of the skin, home microdermabrasia does help the skin. After a full treatment of 6-12 sessions, most people notice significant improvement in skin tone and texture. The face looks younger, feels smoother, and has fewer superficial scars, fine wrinkles, enlarged or clogged pores. More severe skin imperfections require more invasive procedures like laser or chemical peeling. Self microderm abrasions is also not as effective as specialist microdermation.

Q: Can You Have Microderma After Accutane (Isotretinoin)?

A: Microderma brasion is not recommended for patients taking Accutane. This acne treatment works by reducing the amount of oil produced by the skin's sebaceous glands which reduces the skin's ability to recover after body or facial exfoliation. Having micro abrasion while on Accutane may cause permanent scarring. This applies to over the counter system and professional treatment.