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You might be sitting there thinking “Girl, what is microdermabrasion? It has ‘abrasion’ in it… Are you sure this is something I can do to my face? It sounds… Painful.”
I can feel the skepticism coming through the screen - but let me tell you that it is one of the single best things that you can do for your skin. For real.
Blackheads?Gone. Wrinkles? Byeeeee. Dry spots? See ya.
I’m not exaggerating when I say microdermabrasion is the solution for all of these skin concerns - and more. If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and cursed your bad skincare habits (because believe me, I have!) then stop worrying - microdermabrasion is the answer. And girl, you can even do microdermabrasion at home. Yup, a salon-level, non-invasive but insanely effective treatment right in your own bathroom - let me show you how.
Trophy Skin MicrodermMD at Home Microdermabrasion Beauty System
Silk’n Revit Professional Grade Microdermabrasion Device
Microderm GLO Diamond Microdermabrasion System by Nuvéderm
PMD Personal Microderm Classic Device
Trophy Skin RejuvadermMD at Home Microdermabrasion Beauty System
How Does Microdermabrasion Work?
So, if you have any semblance of a skincare routine, you’ll be very familiar with the concept of exfoliating and scrubbing your face with some gritty nutshell paste in a pedestrian attempt to get rid of dead skin and (hopefully) reveal soft, glowing skin afterward. Well, microdermabrasion takes that to the next level.
How microdermabrasion works is by using accurately-targeted, hyper-efficient physical exfoliation, using a machine that runs a diamond or crystal-tipped wand over your skin, while simultaneously sucking away all the gunk that it picks up. It is literally a wrinkle-erasing, glow-inducing magic wand - Lumos isn’t just for Harry Potter!
With regular use, the long-term results are literally breathtaking. Luminous, glowy skin, 24/7 - now that is the kind of positivity I need in my life! Microdermabrasion is also the best-kept celebrity secret to looking amazing on the red carpet - makeup goes on just that much smoother, and there’s a lit from within glow that microdermabrasion gives you.
One of my favorite things about microdermabrasion is that you can actually use it as a treatment fairly close to your actual event date - unlike traditional and more intense facial treatments that have annoying downtime due to more intensive irritation and skin extractions. To all the future brides out there, this is what you want to get done before your wedding to look your absolute best in those wedding photos!!
Can Anyone Get Microdermabrasion Done?
The main prerequisite for dermabrasion is to not have any active acne - the tool will just end up spreading the acne bacteria around your face, possibly making your breakouts even worse, the exact opposite of what you want.
There are a few other requirements for it as well - if you're a skincare junkie like me, it's good to be aware of these just in case you're already using a treatment that isn't compatible, and you can make the necessary changes to your already fantastic skincare routine.
If you currently use a product containing Glycolic Acid, or Retin-A (both of these already exfoliate and increase cell turnover) dermatologists recommend stopping use for a few days before going in with a microdermabrasion treatment to avoid the risk of over-exfoliating - it’s never fun, believe me… But if you take the right steps, you can avoid over-exfoliating completely.
How Do I Know If I Need Microdermabrasion?
What I personally love about dermabrasion is that it’s basically the fix for any skin issue, at any age - seriously. Any machine that you invest in today, will pay for itself over, and over, and over again because it is just so good at addressing any skin issue comes up as your skin naturally changes over time. Plus, you’ll save a fortune by not needing to pay for pricey dermabrasion sessions at your local dermatologist's office or skin care clinic - these devices pay for themselves tenfold.
Look over this list, and if you can honestly tell me that you’ve never experienced any of these, I’ll eat my hat.
Skin concerns that microdermabrasion is absolutely amazing for:
- Clogged and enlarged pores
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- Photo-damaged skin
- Dark marks left behind by acne
- Dull, lackluster skin
- Rough skin texture
- Excessively oily skin
- Dry, flaky skin
So, per my “eat my hat” claim, I’m pretty sure that almost everyone falls into at least one of these categories - I definitely do! Microdermabrasion is also a game changer for helping your skin care products absorb even better into your skin - without all that dead skin in the way, your skin gets to take advantage of every single drop of skincare that you apply. Just imagine how amazing your skin is going to look when you have your own personal microdermabrasion machine at home, ready to go whenever you need. Yes, queen!
Is Microdermabrasion at Home Effective?
Absolutely, yes. If you know what exactly you are looking for in terms of what type of exfoliating tip, how much suction, how many speed settings, then you’ll definitely find something that is just as effective (or better, not gonna lie) than the machine that you would find at a dermatologist office. And don’t worry - we’ll go through finding the best at home microdermabrasion machine together. I know, I know - DIY microdermabrasion sounds kind of crazy, but trust me - you’ll never pay for another expenny session at a skin care clinic again.
How Do I Choose a Good Microdermabrasion Kit?
In my opinion, there are five supercritical (yes, not just regular critical!) factors to look at when it comes to buying an at-home microdermabrasion kit - not all microdermabrasion kits are made equal!
The five criteria that I’ll be using to compare are: the type of tip it uses to exfoliate, the strength of the suction power, what’s included at the time of purchase, user-friendliness factor, and how long the warranty runs for. I’ll go through all of these in a little more depth to help you choose what is the best at home microdermabrasion kit.
1) What kind of tip does it have? Diamond tip microdermabrasion is currently the preferred option by both professionals and for at home treatments - I mean, not only does it make the whole experience sound uber-luxurious, there’s a good reason for why it’s the most popular choice.
Your typical diamond tip microdermabrasion machine is both durable and hygienic, making for long-lasting and easy to clean tips (as with all skincare tools, cleanliness is next to godliness!) A new, up and coming choice is aluminum oxide crystal, which is hypoallergenic and does not create any airborne, messy crystals that older machines used to do.
2) How strong is the suction power? Suction power of microdermabrasion machines is measured in “in/Hg” (which literally means “inch of Mercury” - your science fact for the day!) This is a double-sided coin - on one hand, too strong of a suction power and an inexperienced hand will leave you looking like you lost a fight with an octopus.
On the other, too weak of a suction power will have zero effect, leaving you wondering why the heck you dropped so much cash on a machine that does so much nothing. So ideally, you want a machine that has adjustable suction settings to really tailor the experience for you and your skin.
3) What does it come with? Not gonna lie, whenever it comes to skincare devices (or any devices really!) I’m always checking out what it comes with for me ready to use straight out of the box - how many tips? How many filters? Is it enough for me to get a really good feel for the product, before needing to top up?
I also think it's a smarter use of my money when I buy something that comes with a lot of accessories from the get-go, instead of having to buy a new refill (straightaway or separately!) from purchasing the machine.
4) Is it easy to use? There is potentially nothing worse than trying to use your new skincare gadget, only to be confronted by just too many buttons and options when all you want is gorgeous, clear skin. Is that too much to ask? The best home microdermabrasion kit should be simple and easy to use - perfect for getting that glow!
The best case scenario is that the microderm home kit has a guided, automatic mode to help you make sure every single inch of your face is treated quickly and properly - your very own esthetician, packed right into the device itself. How easy would that make using a microdermabrasion device?!
5) How long is the warranty for? I know, I know, warranty stuff is kind of boring but you know I’m all about being a smart shopper - when you’re making an investment into something as important as your skin, you need to make sure that you’re spending your money on a reliable product. You need to know that it’s not some cheap gadget that’s going to crap out just a few months into use - I’ve had that happen before and it was a royal PITA.
A warranty that lasts at least a year is a necessity in my eyes. Some of the microdermabrasion machines that I checked out had warranties for up to 3 years - read on to find out which ones!
Wait… So How Do I Actually Use A Micro Dermabrasion Home Kit?
All of these machines will come with their own suggested instructions, but the gist of using any microdermabrasion machine will go as follows:
On clean, dry skin, sweep the head of the machine in upward motions along your skin, starting in the middle of the face and going out. You’ll want to
a) pull the skin slightly taut to help the machine work properly and
b)never go over the same area twice.
You also won’t need to apply any heavy pressure to your skin in order to ensure the machine exfoliates your skin - a light, consistent contact with the skin is all that’s needed. Goofproof, am I right?
The best tip that I ever got about using an at-home microdermabrasion kit is to practice on your legs or arms first - the point is, somewhere less sensitive than your face. That way, when you’re ready to take your new-found microdermabrasion skills to the more delicate skin on your face, you’re already confident using your microderm device.
The key to avoiding sore, bruised skin is by always keeping the device moving, and if you can get that down, then nothing can hold you back from the skin of your dreams with one of these handy little devices.
Dermabrasion at home is easy to master - and you’ll reap the rewards for it for years to come (I’m not exaggerating!). You can literally get the best microdermabrasion at home, in the comfort of your own bathroom! Or bedroom. Or lounge. Wherever you decide is the best spot to get your routine done!
How Often Should I Use Microdermabrasion at Home?
If you’re totally new to microdermabrasion, you can start off by using your chosen device once a week with your new microderm home kit. I know - it doesn’t sound like a lot, but at the level that it’s exfoliating your skin, it’s the perfect frequency to start with. In fact, It’s more than enough in order to get amazing results - yes, just by using the device once a week!
Honestly, I don't know if I could tell the difference between a clinical microdermabrasion before and after and a microdermabrasion at home before and after set of photos - microdermabrasion at home is really that good. The key here is consistency, NOT overwhelming your skin by trying to go ham and using microdermabrasion as frequently as possible.
Twice a week is theabsolute max times per week that you should be using any type of microdermabrasion device - when it comes to something like microdermabrasion that is always renewing the topmost layer of your skin, it’s incredibly important to give it time to heal to maximize the benefits of the treatment. As I said - it’s so tempting to just go in as frequently as possible to try and speed up the results, but that never turns out how people hope it will!
How Should I Work it Into My Routine?
When you decide to use microdermabrasion, you basically need to accept that it’s going to be your only form of exfoliation. You’ll have to ditch all the extra scrubs, AHA and BHA toners, and even tone down the use of an exfoliating brush cleansing brush if you already use one. I’ve brought it up time and time again, but you don’t want to over exfoliate.
When you do that, you damage your skin barrier, totally compromising it and making it more susceptible to acne, dryness, and irritation - some of the very things that you're trying to avoid and prevent. You also can't forget the ever important after-care step of using sunscreen (which you should already be using every day, FYI!)
The KEY things that you need to remember when beginning to incorporate microdermabrasion into your routine are to:
- Always use your device on a clean, dry face with clean hands, since you’ll be touching your face!
- Preferably do all your sessions at night, as your skin will be more sensitive to UV damage right after finishing a session.
- Use a nourishing peptide or hydrating serum right after to soothe and moisturize skin. Avoid using anything that is low pH or is even mildly exfoliating - your skin will be too delicate to handle it. A hydrating sheet mask is a perfect way to finish off a microdermabrasion session, IMO!
- Use a dedicated SPF product every day to protect your freshly exfoliated skin and prevent further formation of hyperpigmentation and photodamage. And yes, a dedicated product - that SPF 15 in your daytime moisturizer isn’t gonna cut it!
Now that all that’s out of the way, let’s jump right into checking out these high-tech, glow-inducing machines aka micro dermabrasion home kits!
Which Microdermabrasion Home Kit Should I Choose?
Let me tell you - this micro dermabrasion home kit literally oozes luxury. I mean, justlook at it - white with rose gold detail? I can just picture it on the marble countertop of the master bathroom in my totally imaginary penthouse apartment overlooking the ocean… Oops, I got carried away there.
This is one of the most well equipped, yet user-friendly microderm machines that you can buy online. It literally looks like one that you’d find in an estheticians office, but way easier to use. It has an LED display that shows you an automated routine so you know exactly where to guide the machine to treat your skin - an automated routine like this is so incredibly helpful for avoiding overuse, which can lead to stinging and bruising.
It even has a 5x magnifying mirror (which is both amazing and mildly terrifying) so you can see every single pore up close and personal - really letting you get right in there and not missing a single spot. It has a whopping 8 differing levels of suction, so it’s perfectly adjustable for all skin types and perfect for at-home microdermabrasion newbies.
If you have sensitive skin but don’t want to be left out of making use of the miracle that is home dermabrasion, then this is the best home microdermabrasion machine home kit for you. While almost all of these devices will have lower settings to accommodate for more sensitive skin, it’s almost too tempting to go in with the strongest setting for maximum effect.
More often than not, this kind of strategy completely backfires, leaving some unfortunate souls with stinging, sensitive skin and even bruising from using too high of a suction power. You don’t want that to be you!
I’m happy to say that this has (at least this far) never been me - even though I’ve definitely been tempted! That’s where this handy device comes in. It has the lowest suction levels of all the listed devices, but that’s what makes it perfect for even the most sensitive and delicate skin.
It also comes with three different types of tips, optimizing the experience for your specific skin concerns. These microderm diamond tips are also easily sanitized with a bit of rubbing alcohol after every use, ensuring that your machine is 100% clean every single time that you use it, avoiding spreading germs around on your face and ultimately causing more skin issues than you started with!
In any lineup, there’s always a solid contender that does it all - and in this case, I think it’s the Microderm GLO. What I like most about this particular microdermabrasion machine is that it literally puts the power of dermabrasion straight into your hands - the ergonomically shaped machine can be charged and used wirelessly. Of all the microdermabrasion home kits that I’m going through in this post, this is the only one that doesn’t need to be plugged in to use.
While I totally get that a wired machine is ideal for microdermabrasion to provide consistent power for a full treatment, who wouldn’t want to be able to plop down on the couch for a quick microderm session while watching your fave show? It comes with an LED display and a guided routine, so you won’t run the risk of being too distracted to do a full, at home dermabrasion sesh.
When you buy a Microderm GLO, it comes with 50 filters and the three types of tips offered by Trophy Skin - the Standard Diamond Microdermabrasion Tip, the Pore Extraction Tip, and the Pore Infusion Tip. Having all three of these specialized microdermabrasion tips in your arsenal will help refine and polish your skin even more than just the standard microderm diamond tip - win!
So this particular little microderm at home device is kind of the odd one out because it’s the only one that doesn’t use diamond tips to help you get that flawless glow - but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t perform. The PMD uses hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, non-airborne aluminum oxide crystals (whew, what a mouthful!) to polish your skin to absolute perfection.
Before the development of diamond tips for microdermabrasion, older models using crystals tended to leave a fine spray of crystals everywhere - on countertops, clothes, and even leaving a fine residue on skin (which could lead to irritation and pimples!) but these newer models of personal microderm devices have been developed with none of these issues - making it a totally fab, non-diamond option for glowing, flawless skin.
What I really like about this one is even though it only has a single speed setting - which admittedly, keeps things really nice and simple - it has an absolutely enormous variety of dermabrasion tip options to choose from for both face and body.
There are literallyso many levels of coarseness to choose from - the finest for the most sensitive skin, to far coarser grits that are meant for tougher skin on the body. If that kind of flexibility is what you’re looking for, then this is the best microabrasion at home tool for you.
This little beauty is the perfect microdermabrasion device to tuck into your suitcase for trips - it packs as much suction power as a professional level microderm device, all in a machine that fits neatly in your perfectly manicured hand.
You can basically think of this device as the more compact version of the Microderm GLO, but without the LED screen and automatic guide. Like the GLO, it comes with 50 filters and the three types of tips offered by Trophy Skin - the Standard Diamond Tip, the Pore Extraction Tip, and the Pore Infusion Tip. Again, like the GLO, having these three specialized tips really helps to get the most out of the device for smoothing and exfoliating your skin.
This device (in my humble opinion) meets the perfect balance between capabilities and compact size - yes, there are other devices that are just as small and also corded, but they just don’t have the same range of suction power to really get in there and help your skin get some serious glow. Of all the microdermabrasion at home machines I've gone through, this has the most functions in the smallest package - something that I’ll always be impressed with.
At Home Microderm Machines to Avoid
Okay, remember when I said before that not all microderm machines are made equal? It’s true. After going through all those other simply fantastic microdermabrasion machines that come with my personal glowing recommendations, there are a couple to avoid. These machines sadly just don’t meet the standards that I set when I was looking for the perfect at home microdermabrasion system, plus they just weren’t made to last - MAJOR thumbs down from me!
Both the NuBrilliance Handheld and NuBrilliance Microdermabrasion Skin System devices performed unreliably - loss of suction, power cutting out, and incompatible microdermabrasion diamond tips were their downfall and I ultimately cannot recommend them for you beauties to take home and use.
Looking at other microdermabrasion at home reviews for these devices, I wasn’t the only one to experience issues like this - so safe to say, steer clear! Stick to any of the other ones that I recommended instead. They won’t lead you astray!
So, Which Microdermabrasion Home Kit Do I Choose?
Honestly, all of these at home microdermabrasion machines are fantastic value for money and will save you a fortune on microdermabrasion appointments at a skin clinic (I mean… You could use that money on a tropical holiday - at least, that’s what I would do!) It’s really, really hard to choose just one - they ALL deliver on their promises for smoother, brighter, skin.
At the end of the day, they're all incredibly high quality, salon-grade devices that when used carefully and properly as I outlined before, WILL help you tackle any skin issue that you're facing - dull, dry skin, clogged pores, wrinkles - you name it, microdermabrasion is the answer.
Personally, the one that I think you absolutely cannot go wrong with is the Microderm GLO. Like, if I could bring one device to a deserted island (with a power socket on it somewhere, obviously) this would be it!
I absolutely love the fact that it’s a chargeable, wireless device, plus it’s completely goof-proof with its auto mode to tell you exactly when to move to the next area of your face. No bruising or damaged skin here! And I’m not gonna lie - I love using devices that add just that little bit of a luxury experience to my week, for a fraction of the price.
The bottom line is - the Microderm GLO is an exceptionally high-quality at home microdermabrasion device that’s fully capable of delivering an amazing treatment to your skin, as well as ensuring a completely blissful, spa-like experience right in your own bathroom. I mean, who doesn’t want that?
Here’s to better skin days ahead with microdermabrasion!
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Check out our other articles about choosing (and using) your perfect microdermabrasion machine:
Microdermabrasion for Stretch Mark Removal: Pros, Cons, and 3 Best Devices
Microdermabrasion for Acne Scars, Blackheads, Pores: 5 Best Machines Out There
PMD Microdermabrasion Devices: My 2 Picks & 2 Passes
About the author Stephanie Morin
NYC-based beauty and skin care blogger, Stephanie delivers a healthy dose of practical beauty tips coupled with medical insight for some serious skin care inspiration!