What Is It
Let’s look at the root words. Micro obviously means “small or tiny.” Derm has to do with the skin; think of words like “dermatologist.” The last suffix is abrasion. This is the really important part. Think of the word “abrasive.” You probably picture sandpaper or your really strict and mean 5th grade teacher. Abrasion is something that is rough and rubs and scrapes away at something.
If we put it all together, microdermabrasion is the miniature scraping away of the skin. And that is exactly what happens. In a spa or clinic, your face will be covered with small, rough grains that are then rubbed across your face to buff your skin. This erases the top layer of old dead skin, uncovering a smooth, beautiful, and less-damaged layer of skin undernearth. This works because your body recognizes the damage done to the top layer of skin, so it essentially goes into overtime to work to quickly replace the lost skin cells. As these cells are literally brand new, they are much healthier and look a lot better.
There is no need to worry about these granules getting under your skin or of your lower skin layers being damaged. Microdermabrasion only affects the uppermost skin layer.
The Multiple Benefits
The benefits of microdermabrasion are very similar to those of chemical peels. It removes much of the discoloration present in your skin, as well as many signs of sun damage. Your skin will look and feel smoother and softer. All of the skin products you use, such as moisturizers or medicinal creams, will be more effective, as there is one less layer of skin, and the skin is newer and more receptive to outside influences.
While the most effective microdermabrasion is done in-office, there are also many at-home kits available. Whatever choice you make, make sure to consult with your dermatologist and wait for your skin to regenerate and heal before going through the process again.