Good News: Microdermabrasion for Acne Scars Actually Works
It's difficult to know the best skincare route to take for every issue that may come up—from fine lines and wrinkles to breakouts and acne scars. As blemishes come and go, often they'll leave red marks and scarring in their place, and each one can differ in severity.
But what's the best option? I've read a lot about microdermabrasion to treat acne scars, so I reached out to a few of skincare's biggest power players to find out more. Below, they discuss the best treatments for those annoying acne scars.
Is microdermabrasion your best option?
First, I talked to Christine Chin, a New York–based esthetician who has treated the faces of Gisele Bündchen, Erin Wasson, and Karolína Kurková. She's known for her unbelievable attention to detail, as she clears every last pore in her sought-after facials. "Yes, I recommend it for light to slight acne scars, as microdermabrasion removes and renews the surface level of skin," Chin says. "However, it's not recommended for deep scars. Light or tiny bumps on the surface level can be more easily removed by treating the top layer of the skin. Because it renews the surface layer, your skin will appear more smooth and more even in tone. Surface marks will fade, and dead skin will be removed. Use a scrub before the treatment and three to four days post-treatment. Lasers will be needed for deeper scars."
Since she agreed it wasn't the best possible choice for acne scarring, I did a bit of research to find a better option before deciding whether or not to opt for lasers.
If not, then what is?
"Dermalinfusion simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses condition-specific serums into your skin for maximum penetration and absorption," Sona Tolani of Envy Medical says. It's similar to microdermabrasion, as it abrades the top layer of skin to slough off superficial skin cells (which helps prevent the pore congestion that leads to breakouts) and stimulates collagen production. The difference is that at the exact and optimal time, professional-grade serums (personalized to your specific skin concerns) are infused into the skin. "It's this precision timing of sloughing and serum infusion that ensures skin is at its peak moment to receive treatment from the targeted serums," Tolani says. Simply applying products onto your skin doesn't allow for maximum penetration, but Dermalinfusion's technology drives serums deep into freshly revealed layers of skin where they will have the most impact. "It helps remove bacteria from the skin, unclog pores, and prevent any future scarring—three key elements in relieving acne conditions—as well as visibly minimizing existing scars," Tolani says.
If you're not quite ready for lasers (though the results can be quite extraordinary, ask Chin)—opt for microdermabrasion for light scars and Dermalinfusion for those a bit more severe. It's completely painless (kind of like the feeling of a cat's tongue across your skin), and no chemicals are used because the device relies on the diamonds to abrade the skin. "You may experience some mild pinkness since the blood is circulating," Tolani says. "But this is normal and dissipates in about 30 minutes. There's absolutely no downtime: You are free to go about your day immediately following the treatment." As always, check with a doctor or dermatologist before making any decisions. They'll be able to tell you what's best for your personalized treatment.