As much as we hate to admit it, our skin's troubles can sometimes get the best of us. Sure, we have other things on our minds—our careers, our love lives, our friends, our Netflix queue—but as soon as we break out, those blemishes can often conflict with those more pressing thoughts. Enter the at-home microdermabrasion kit, one of the latest trends to help keep our skin clear and our minds at ease.
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion involves using a mildly abrasive tool to gently remove the top layer of your skin. It can exfoliate the skin, reduce signs of aging, fade dark spots and scars, and help the skin appear more even in tone and texture.
"I love when patients are proactive and complement in-office treatments with at-home maintenance treatments," says dermatologist Jennifer Herrmann. "At-home microdermabrasion is a perfect tool that helps keep skin glowing by gently lifting dead, dull skin cells from the outermost skin layer. By removing this layer, microdermabrasion also allows topicals to penetrate more deeply and increase their efficacy."
Meet the Expert
Dr. Jennifer Herrmann is a board certified, fellowship-trained dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon as well as a lecturer with more than 20 peer-reviewed studies and book chapters.
How Microdermabrasion Works
"Home devices typically polish and buff the skin using a stream of fine crystals or a diamond tip, and some systems may also have suction to vacuum loose skin cells from the face—but they penetrate very shallowly in comparison to in-office tools. Plus, some at-home kits have reusable tips, which if not cleaned well can introduce bacteria into the skin" she says. "In-office tools have more power and can penetrate more deeply, if desired, and their tips are also sterilized to maximize safety."
Frequency of Microdermabrasion at Home
Home-based microdermabrasion, which Herrmann recommends should be done once to twice a week, can help topical products better penetrate the skin, while providing a coveted glow. However, she also advises to not get too addicted to that post-kit sheen. "Although the glow that's achieved after removing the outer layer of dead skin cells can be addicting, it's important not to overdo it," Herrmann notes. "Too many weekly uses can leave skin raw, red, and more susceptible to allergens. Remember to use a good moisturizer after treatments, too, to help keep skin protected."
Although the glow that's achieved after removing the outer layer of dead skin cells can be addicting, it's important not to overdo it.
Since at-home microdermabrasion can be new territory for most people, we asked Herrmann to recommend her favorite kits so that you can try this trend out for yourself. She adds that it's best to consult a dermatologist with your pick before using it and to remember to pair this routine with a regular office visit.
If you're new to at-home kits, this is a great place to start. "This device is high quality, compact, and easy to use with an automatic guide," Herrmann says. "Its diamond tip is of high quality, but there's only one. Some other devices have multiple tips that are meant to be used on tougher or more sensitive skin types."
"This is really one of the most powerful at-home devices and has multiple diamond tips, wands, and filters," Herrmann notes. This device is easy to use, so it's also a great choice for beginners.
This device is compact, making it perfect for travel. "The device uses small aluminum oxide crystal-coated disks that spin and scrub away dulling dead cells," Herrmann adds. "It has multiple disks that are perfect for many skin types and body areas."
You can't go wrong with this device if you're a beginner on a budget. "It uses 12 single-use puffs and micro-vibrations to remove dull skin, leaving it clean and bright," Herrmann says.
"This is another great, compact kit with multiple parts," Herrmann says. It contains three diamond tips and five vacuum options to target more.
This device is ergonomic and small, making it ideal for travel or minimal bathroom storage space. It also has a budget-friendly price-point.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. Microdermabrasion: overview.