By Jennifer Weatherhead
Thinking about purchasing an at-home microdermabrasion kit? Here’s what you need to know before you scrub away.
Take a look at any celebrities and you’ll find perfectly glowing, youthful skin-no matter what their age. How do they do it? Well most are lucky enough to be able to treat themselves to regular skin-care treatments, and microdermabrasion is one of the most popular techniques. It’s thorough enough to remove layers of the skin, yet gentle enough to involve no downtime afterwards.
With Neutrogena spokesmodel Kelly Preston singing the praises of at home kits, they certainly seem worth a try. But first, follow our list of dos and don’ts for these DIY kits so you’re not left red in the face.
A ‘lite’ version of the more extreme dermabrasion, microdermabrasion sloughs off dead skin cells on your face by using a polishing system of cream and microsized scrubbers (diamonds and crystals). Used in a circular motion, the micro-scrubbers buff away the dead cells, revealing new, younger looking skin and giving a rosy glow. Celebs such as Dita von Tesse (who has said she loves the way it makes her “skin look and feel afterwards”), Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow use it for their famously flawless faces.
What are the pluses and minuses of an at-home kit versus a professional treatment? A dermatologist’s office or a specialist spa will be able to give you a more customized treatment, whereas an at-home kit purchased at the drugstore or the beauty counter isn’t tailored to a specific skin type. Also, microdermabrasion at a dermatologist’s office can give you something a DIY kit can’t-suction. “This is a key difference,” explains Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue Dermatology in Toronto. “The suction will lift the dead skin away after it has been buffed. This results in cleaner, fresher skin, whereas with an at-home kit, the dead skin is buffed away, but not completely removed.” That said, there are some decent at-home offerings available.
For Sensitive Skin
Use a mild, soothing cleanser, such as Cetaphil or Spectro Jel. A gentle cleanser will bring moisture back into the skin and leave a cooling effect to help distressed skin. Also use an oil-free, cooling moisturizer to help calm irritated skin. Visit a dermatologist. They can offer some soothing treatments (and medication if needed) in-office and help you understand why your skin has reacted the way it has. Don’t use the microdermabrasion kit again and stay clear of exfoliating until the skin condition improves.
Know your skin. Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue Dermatology recommends seeing a dermatologist before purchasing an at-home kit from the cosmetics counter.
Get over-zealous. Scrubbing to try to get rid of acne of dull skin could really leave you red in the face. “You can strip your skin of its natural oils,” says Cohen.