Every skin care provider and spa owner should know what is available, the best uses for microdermabrasion, and how to get the best results for your client's skin and business reputation.
What is in the Market?
Basic microdermabrasion machines are available in two forms: crystal and crystal-free. You can control your treatment intensity by two means: (1) the volume of crystal or coarseness of the tip abrading the skin, and (2) the number of passes made over the skin. Abrasion (or microscopic wounding of the epidermis) is a catalyst for epidermal repair, improved barrier function and appearance, and thickening of the skin. Any machine should have variable controls to customize your treatment, but the quality of machine you purchase depends on the manufacturer and the long-term support they offer.
Crystal microdermabrasion utilizes aluminum oxide (co-rundum) in a dual vacuum loop to blast crystal onto the skin surface, abrade the skin and suction the excess crystal back through the system. Aluminum oxide has a drying effect to the skin, making the treatment ideal for oil control and managing facial breakouts. Overall, crystal microdermabrasion is the oldest and most ideal means for facial rejuvenation with no downtime.
Anti-aging facials and products are highly demanded in the skin care industry, making crystal-free (also known as diamond tip) treatments a commodity to most skin care providers. Without crystal, this technology uses a stainless steel wand with variable abrasive stainless steel tips to treat different types of skin. The machine is versatile enough to exfoliate an entire face, or spot-treat problem areas like fine lines around the mouth, ears and eyes. This is a fine-tuned task that is not easily achieved or recommended with crystal machines because of the moving debris and potential for eye and sinus irritation. Additionally, without crystal debris, ultrasonic infusion is made possible as a grand finale to the facial treatment, giving the client an exceptional rejuvenating and hydrating result.
Knowing the difference between the two primary types of microdermabrasion, how do you determine the difference between medical, aesthetic and home treatments? Simple, it is all in the variable machine settings for treatment control and skill of the operator. Knowledge of the anatomy and function of the skin, understanding what the realistic expectations are, and knowing what the contraindications are of microdermabrasion is critical to the success of the treatment. So, whether you are in the market for a microdermabrasion machine or want to learn more about the many uses for the machine you purchased, the first and most fundamental question you must ask yourself is, "what will benefit my client's skin and give them the result they are seeking?"
Whether you are faced with acne, sun damage or mature skin, every skin can benefit from the timeless wonders of alpha and beta hydroxy acids. After cleansing, prepare the skin with a mild glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid peel before performing microdermabrasion passes.
Applying a chemical peel before microdermabrasion is a great way to accelerate exfoliation and offer antimicrobial benefits to the skin surface in preparation for the passes. Fully neutralize the peel before proceeding to microdermabrasion. Some practitioners recommend applying the peel after microdermabrasion. Depending on the number of passes performed and skin condition, the chemical may cause burning or over exfoliation and increase the downtime generally associated with the treatment.
Although all skin can benefit from a peel before microdermabrasion, not all skin types are candidates for microdermabrasion. Acne can be a difficult condition to manage. Clients must be diligent with home care and you – as a professional skin care provider – must understand the condition and its limitations in the treatment room. Mild acne and oily skin greatly benefit from crystal microdermabrasion. As a rule, crystal microdermabrasion is drying to the skin, making crystal treatments beneficial in oil management. Unfortunately, crystal-free microdermabrasion is not recommended for acneic skin because the skin is oily and may harbor dreaded bacteria. As the crystal-free tip passes along the skin, there is an increased risk of spreading bacteria over the facial surface. Inflamed acne, acne rosacea, or clients with capillary damage are not candidates for any microdermabrasion treatments. The abrasion process causes friction on the skin surface to stimulate the inflammatory response. This can aggravate inflamed skin and may worsen capillary damage. Avoid using both forms of microdermabrasion on these skin conditions and opt an alternative treatment like ultrasonic rejuvenation, intense pulsed light, or laser therapy.
Excess crystal on the skin surface can be troublesome to remove. You do not want the particles to enter into the delicate eyes or sinuses of the client, and brushing them away can leave a mess in the treatment bed. Give the client a "microdermabrasion wash" using a cleanser, water and the crystal residue. This is a simple way to give a finishing polish to your passes, offer additional care to certain problem areas, and avoid having crystal reside in unwanted places. At home, the client can get this same exfoliation effect with "microdermabrasion in a bottle," or a corundum-based lotion or gel. Using this with a mechanical scrubbing brush has been touted as "home microdermabrasion." Are they as beneficial as a machine? The rules to treatment intensity are the volume of crystal and number of passes. It may take more effort and product, but several microns of skin could be removed with a lot of time and diligent scrubbing. Fortunately, the microdermabrasion machine is an easier and more convenient means to achieving the desired depth of exfoliation.
At the end of the procedure, the most important thing to remember is that microdermabrasion improves the barrier function of the skin and improves product absorption. Brightening agents, amino peptides, vitamins and beneficial extracts will all be better absorbed by the skin after the procedure, accelerating the clients results. Imagine the world of benefits a mature skin can experience with crystal-free microdermabrasion, followed by ultrasonic penetration of hydrating hyaluronic acid and collagen building amino peptides. Incorporating ultrasonic into an anti-aging treatment can only be achieved with crystal-free microdermabrasion, but both forms can improve product absorption at home. Up to 80 percent of the results your client can see comes from home care. If you are performing treatments without it, the results from the combined effort of microdermabrasion treatments and cosmeceuticals are not being fully achieved.
Our skin is always changing. From the cellular level to what we can visibly distinguish on the surface, these changes deserve to be addressed and changed with the epidermal remodeling benefits of microdermabrasion. This technology offers a profitable and in-demand result for a variety of skin types and can visibly diminish fine lines, improve skin texture, refine pore appearance and brighten superficial pigmentation. Perhaps the most beneficial result to microdermabrasion is in the improved epidermal barrier function. With the keratinized superficial layers of the stratum corneum exfoliated, the skin absorbs topical skin care products more efficiently. At home, after their treatment, clients can get the maximum benefits out of their skin care products. As a finishing word of professional advice, keep your treatment room equipped with the right technology and ingredients to have the capability to give a beneficial solution for every clients need.