From Micro to Hydro

Written by   Adriana Perez-Nakamura, licensed aesthetician

From Micro to Hydro

by Adriana Perez-Nakamura, licensed aesthetician 

With so many treatments to choose from, it can be overwhelming for a spa manager or owner to decide what new services to bring into the spa. There is a fine balance between what clients want, what will give the best results, the cost per treatment, and the return on investment. The spa also needs to consider whether a certain service is a trend or a tried-and-true treatment that will be worth the investment long-term. 

This article will break down two different exfoliation services that have been around for some time: microdermabrasion and hydrodermabrasion. While neither treatment is necessarily better than the other and both share similar results and features, it is important for spa owners to fully understand each treatment in order to choose the most appropriate service for their clientele as well as their bottom line.


Microdermabrasion and hydrodermabrasion are two separate methods of mechanical exfoliation. Microdermabrasion exfoliates skin with either an abrasive diamond-tip wand or with a wand that sprays crystals (usually made of aluminum oxide) onto skin. Hydrodermabrasion exfoliates by spraying a saline solution combined with other skin care ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids at a high pressure to slow away dead skin.

Both exfoliation methods are essentially going to have the same effect on skin, which is disrupting the stratum corneum. This disruption stimulates the production of new cells deep within the living layers of skin, as well as cellular turnover. The result is increased blood flow in the dermis and better cellular nutrition, which enhances skin’s elasticity and texture. However, the one major difference between the two is that hydrodermabrasion infuses skin with moisture and hydration as it exfoliates. 

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Adriana Perez-Nakamura has been an aesthetician for over 12 years and has owned and operated her skin care studio (Skincare By Adriana) since 2013. In addition to her aesthetics career, she is a freelance beauty and skin care copywriter specializing in SEO. For facts and other information in this article, she consulted with Altair Instruments, leaders in microdermabrasion technology.

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