It’s that time of year when we want our skin to shine—and not in that oily kind of way. Extreme cold weather, travel to different time zones and excessive holiday eating and drinking can wreak havoc on our skin causing dullness, breakouts, uneven tone and fine lines and wrinkles to be more prominent. Is there a way to get that pre-holiday glow back? It may just be with a microdermabrasion treatment—performed professionally or at home.
Professional microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, non-surgical treatment performed at a doctor’s office or spa, which uses an abrasive—usually in crystal, diamond or bristle form—to remove the outermost layer of dead skin revealing smoother, younger, more radiant skin.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), in 2009 microdermabrasion was one of the top five non-surgical procedures for both men and women. This anti-aging treatment has become increasingly popular because it treats a wide variety of skin conditions and shows visible results without having to go under the knife. “People are looking for procedures with no down time, something they can do quickly and go back to the office,” says Maryland-based board certified dermatologist Dr. Hema Sundaram. “Microdermabrasion delivers noticeable results just after one treatment and is a nice pick me up before a big event.”
The popular rejuvenation procedure usually takes about 20 to 30 minutes and works well for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin, and is fine for all ages. Microdermabrasion helps treat uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles and shallow acne scars. After one treatment, skin is left smoother, more luminous and pores are more visibly reduced.
Dr. Sundaram performs her in-office treatments with DermaSweep, a crystal-free, brush-tip microdermabrasion system available only at select doctor’s offices, followed by an epi-infusion of a topical solution based on the individual’s skincare needs. “This treatment is very individualized and great for any skin condition or skin type,” says Dr. Sundaram.
Microdermabrasion procedures are especially great for the winter months, but can be done year round. However, Dr. Sundaram recommends using a higher SPF in the summer months, and does not recommend getting a treatment done the week before traveling to a sunny destination.
Today, it’s easier to get glowing skin without going to a spa or physicians office. Try the following affordable and easy-to-use scrubs and potions for doctor-worthy results at home.
Use the DDF Revolve 400X Micro-Polishing System twice a week and you will instantly notice smoother more radiant skin. The two-speed device is said to deliver eight times better exfoliation than a scrub alone. I really like how this intense face polisher left my skin smooth and pores visibly smaller after just one use. The kit includes DDF Polishing Crystals, two foam exfoliators and a deep cleansing brush. $95 www.ddfskincare.com
Goldfaden’s Red Tea-Infused Daily Exfoliant is gentle enough to use a few times a week, but still yields skin glowing results. The ultra-fine, yet intense, scrub contains ruby crystals to remove dead skin cells, Organic Red Tea, a powerful antioxidant, and moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid to plump skin. I like how this felt powerful on my skin, but did not cause any redness. $65 www.goldfaden.com
Olay Regenerist Microdermabrasion & Peel System tackles aging, lackluster skin with a powerful two-step treatment. First, you apply the fine crystal scrub, made of sodium bicarbonate and vitamins E and B3, to polish dead skin, followed by a peel activator serum, which contains lactic acid to help aid in cell renewal. After one use, my skin was noticeably smoother and my fine lines and wrinkles were not as apparent. $24.99, www.regenerist.com
Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Exfoliating Discs are round pillow-like discs with one textured side that exfoliates skin while the other, made of natural silk, smoothes and refines. Each disc contains a triple-action compound of brewers yeast extract, TMG and rice bran. With only 8 discs, I find it to be a bit pricey, but I did notice my complexion more radiant the next day. $64 for 8 discs www.sca.shiseido.com
For those looking for a crystal-free scrub that is gentle enough for sensitive skin Fresh’s Soy Face Exfoliant is a good choice. This thick paste-like exfoliator contains jojoba, rose hip and cucumber seeds to resurface skin; soy proteins to revitalize; and cucumber extract to soothe and calm. It made my skin glow while leaving a refreshing scent. $42, www.fresh.com