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Microdermabrasion may be considered a form of skin polishing where the superficial layer of skin is gently abraded away. Similar to a chemical peel, it is a non-surgical procedure that can be used on any area of the body although the face is the most popular location. This treatment can be especially useful for women with brown skin and has been used to diminish a variety of flaws. It can treat dull and leathery skin, reduce mild acne scaring, lighten blemishes and discolorations, smooth fine wrinkles, even skin tone, and reduce acne and razor bumps. It has also been used to exfoliate plugged pores and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores. Microdermabrasion not only helps to remove unwanted irregularities in the skin, but also stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. It is also an excellent alternative for people with skin that is sensitive to or unable to tolerate chemical peels.

When you undergo microdermabrasion, a closed vacuum device or machine is used that gently sprays aluminum oxide crystals through a tube, into a hand piece and onto your skin. The machine mixes the gentle abrasion of the particles with suction to remove the dead and damaged outer layers of your skin. The skin debris and particles are then sucked back into the tube and into a waste canister for disposal. The crystals gently polish your face and the suction stimulates blood flow and collagen production. In most cases, treatments last about 15-30 minutes and do not require anesthesia. As with many other rejuvenation techniques, more than one treatment may be required to restore your skin to its natural beauty. Most physicians will recommend between 6 to 12 treatments, spaced 3-4 weeks apart, to achieve the desired results. After you complete the initial treatments, your doctor may recommend additional periodic “touch-up” treatments to maintain your results. Similar to chemical peels, microdermabrasion is often combined with topical creams and lotions to maximize results.

Microdermabrasion is a quick and simple procedure, but side effects are possible. Some women experience mild redness or red-streaking after the procedure. This can then result in dark patches or brown streaks, which will take several weeks to resolve. Additionally, minor irritation and dryness can occur with your microdermabrasion procedure.

Many people have turned in recent years to minor, non-surgical procedures when other measures have not given them satisfactory results. Treatments like chemical peels and microdermabrasion require little or no recovery time and are an attractive option for women who have more severe pigmentation and skin problems. Since these procedures still modify your skin, it is important to review all your options with a dermatologist before you decide to improve the appearance of your skin with these treatments.

“At-Home” Chemical Peel and Microdermabrasion Kits
In the past year there has been an explosion of at-home chemical peel and microdermabrasion kits. These kits are essentially milder or modified versions of the in-office procedures so they do not produce the same results as the in-office versions. The at-home microdermabrasion kits do not provide a suction machine or device but usually provides crystals that are manually rubbed onto your skin to exfoliate the dead layers of skin. Usually, the at-home kits come with a sponge or battery operated applicator, used to exfoliate the skin. Some of the crystals can be very abrasive so caution must be taken when using them. The chemical peel kits provide mild concentrations of fruit acids or lactic acid to be applied to the face for exfoliation. Below is a chart of the more popular brands of at-home kits and their ingredients. All of these kits have similar procedures, but the instructions on the box should be carefully followed. Also, make sure you consult with your physician before you begin using an at-home kit, as well as if any problems arise.

Kit name Includes Active ingriedients Basic Directions

L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise ReFinish Micro-Dermabrasion Kit

Gentle Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator (2.0 fl oz, 59 mL)

Post-Treatment SPF 15 Sunscreen Moisturizer (1.7 fl oz, 50 mL)

Water/Aqua, Alumina, Mineral Oil/Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Shea Butter/Butyrospermum ParkII,
PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Biosaccharide
Gum-1, Ammonium Polyacryloydimethyl Taurate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Disodium EDTA, Ethylparaben. 

Wash face. Gently massage the Dermabrasion Exfoloiator into your skin, remove with washcloth and warm water. Afterwards apply the Post-Treatment Protective Moisturizer

Neutrogena Advanced Solutions At Home MicroDermabrasion System

Micro-Oxide Crystallized Cream Net Wt 2.6oz (75g)System Applicator and StandSoft Foam Sponge Heads (2)

AA Batteries (2)

Micro-Oxide Crystallized Cream Contains: Aluminum Oxide, Water, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Safflower Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Wheat Germ Extract (Triticum Vulgare), Wheat Bran Extract (Triticum Vulgare), Lecithin, Cetyl Alcohol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Retinyl Palmitate, Fragrance

Wash face and apply microdermabrasion cream. Use spongehead and applicator to gently abrade skin. Wash off remaining cream. Use for 5 days, take a week off and then resume use three times a week

Pond's Purely Polished Micro-Dermabrasion Anti-Aging Kit

Facial Scrub


Water, Polyethylene, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Stearyl Stearate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Tea), Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Extract (Jojoba), Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract (Bamboo), Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape), Betula Alba Extract (White Birch), Cucumis Oblongus Extract (Cucumber), Rose Quartz, Dimethicone, Saccharomyces/Potassium Ferment, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tricetylmonium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Wash face. Wet the sponge applicator and cover sponge surface with a generous layer scrub of product.  Use applicator to gently massage face for 45 seconds.  Rinse thoroughly with warm water.  Use morning or night, 3-4 times per week for a 2 week period.

Clean applicator after use.

Philosophy: The Microdelivery Peel

One microdelivery peel; bicarbonate vitamin c crystals2 oz/56g and rapid activation gel 2 fl oz/59.2ml bicarbonate vitamin c crystals:  peg-6, sodium bicarbonate, oleth-20, glyceryl stearate se, silica, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, beta carotene, isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate rapid activation gel:  water (aqua), lactic acid, hydroxyethylcellulose, linoleamidopropyl pg-dimonium chloride phosphate, polyquaternium 10, propylene glycol, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben Wash and dry face.
Apply a teaspoon of crystals to clean, dry skin. They should cover your face like a mask. Gently massage entire face for up to 60 seconds.  Next, apply the activator gel on top of the crystals.  A foam will form and you will feel a warm sensation.  Leave foam on for 2-3 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. The kit should be used used 1 to 2 times a week.

Neova Microdermabrasion Scrub

One container facial scrub.

Water, Aluminum Oxide, Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Mentha Piperita Oil (Peppermint), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, PEG-150 Distearate, Triethanolamine, Butylene Glycol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth 7, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Glycerin, Methylparaben, Benzoic Acid

Apply cream to washed face. Massage into skin using circular motion for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove cream with damp cloth and rinse thoroughly. 

Use 2 to 3 times per week as tolerated.

DermaFresh Microdermabrasion System

1 applicator sponge 1 cleansing brush 1 massager head 2 ~ 2 oz. exfoliating cream

Bonus travel case with mirror

DermaFresh Exfoliating Cream ~ Purified water, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Grape seed extract, Mineral Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidurea, Trolamine, Disodium EDTA

Use cleansing brush and soap wash face. Next apply the exfoliating cream and sponge to remove dead skin. Lastly, use massager to polish skin.

The two most commonly asked questions regarding the at-home kits relates to their safety and efficacy. In general, the at-home kits have the potential to improve, to a limited extent, the appearance of your skin. They cannot and are not meant to duplicate the results of the in-office procedures. Although these kits are indeed milder than similar procedures obtained in the dermatologist’s office, side effects can occur. These include skin irritation, redness, allergic reactions and skin discolorations. With all products and procedures, ask your dermatologist if it is appropriate for your skin and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly.

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