What is Microdermabrasion? Natural Homemade Alternatives In 2021
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Exfoliation is an essential part of any skincare routine. There are numerous ways, procedures and product that can be used to exfoliate your skin. One such treatment is called microdermabrasion.
The procedure makes huge promises of rejuvenating the skin, promoting collagen production and decreasing hyperpigmentation while making skin radiant and supple. But how much of these claims are true?
Let us take a closer look at what microdermabrasion is, is it worth giving a try and what are some of the alternatives of microdermabrasion we can use.
And now it's a time to dive in into natural alternatives. Keep reading to discover what are the best to start with and why.
What is Microdermabrasion?
In simple terms, microdermabrasion is a physical exfoliation treatment that involves scaling of the upper layer of the skin. It exfoliates and removes the upper epidermis called stratum corneum in a noninvasive manner and therefore does not go deep down into the skin. It is often referred to as skin polishing as well. The procedure leaves the skin glowing and supple.
Developed as a clinical treatment, Microdermabrasion was initially used to treat the raised scars of burn victims and smooth their skin visibly. However, it did not take long for doctors to recognize the effectiveness of the procedure brought dramatic cosmetic improvements to the skin. This realization leads to an extensive clinical trial which proved microdermabrasion to be efficient as well as safe for general use. In 1998, the microdermabrasion procedure was reclassified as a spa treatment and had since been immensely popular among the skin treatments.
How it works
Microdermabrasion can be done using two techniques. Both procedures require a special applicator. The first technique uses a fine jet of aluminum oxide crystal that hits the skin with certain pressure and painlessly exfoliates while resurfacing the top layer of the skin. The second technique uses a diamond tip, which is essentially an abrasive surface made of diamond that gently scrubs or sands the skin. Both types also use a micro vacuum to remove the dead skin cells along with the aluminium oxide crystals in the first technique.
Since the procedure removes the dead skin cells, microdermabrasion stimulates the production of new skin cells while promoting the growth of collagen and regulating blood supply to the skin. Collagen production tightens the skin. The treatment is said to enhance the skin texture and color and reduce age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. It can also help in skin conditions like crow’s feet and melasma (patches of discoloration caused by hormones, UV rays, and inflammation) and improve the appearance of acne scarring as well as skin damage. Post microdermabrasion you can expect your skin to glow and become more supple and vibrant.
Who should use it?
Microdermabrasion is generally a safe procedure for all types of skin. It can be used to treat low-grade skin concerns like acne scars and dark spots. People with uneven pigmentation, clogged pores, sun damage, or fine lines can use this treatment to get a smooth and evenly toned skin. It can also be used prior to other procedures, for example, peeling for acne scars. Melasma Patients and those who use retinoids like Retin-A can also take this treatment to get healthy skin. Also, keep in mind, this is not a one-time treatment. To get the best results, it is recommended to get microdermabrasion at least once a month.
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Why should you not try it?
Like every medical or cosmetic procedure, microdermabrasion also has some side effects you need to be aware of:
Right after the procedure, you may find your skin to be a little on the pink side, similar to a sunburn. However, it is not something to worry about; the redness will fade away in a few hours. The redness might be enhanced if done on overly sensitive skin or by an untrained person who uses aggressive microdermabrasion technique.
Removal of the top layer of the epidermis exposes the skin to the sun. Your skin becomes photosensitive and hence becomes more susceptible to sunburn. So, it is highly advised to use a high SPF sunscreen for at least a month after the treatment. You may also want to use a cap or umbrella just to be extra careful.
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Flaky and Dry Skin:
As the top layer of the skin is removed during the procedure, it increases the rate of transepidermal water loss. So, it is quite common to experience dry or flaking skin for a few days following the treatment. Remember to use moisturizer regularly during this time. Those with oily skin might see it as a benefit as it would mean less oily skin for a week or so.
Microdermabrasion involves vacuuming of the skin to remove dead skin cells as well as debris from the freshly exfoliated skin. The pressure from vacuuming might lead to bruises in the areas where the skin is thin, for example, around the eye area.
Another side effect of microdermabrasion in certain people is the appearance of cold sores. If you are someone who has cold sore-prone skin, you might want to avoid this treatment altogether of asking your doctor to prescribe you some medicine to prevent cold sores prior to treatment.
Usually caused by aggressive, clumsy treatment, the procedure may cause small skin abrasions. This side effect is totally avoidable, given that you get your treatment done by a skilled professional.
If you think you can deal with these side effects and are ready to book your microdermabrasion appointment.
What are the alternatives?
If you do not want to spend money on monthly microdermabrasion services, we have a few alternatives for you that basically involve DIY exfoliation:
1. Exfoliate more often:
For some time, exfoliate your skin every other day. You may continue with this routine for a week, then take a break for the next week. After the resting period, you may go back to a skincare regime involving exfoliation once or twice a week.
2. Aggressive Exfoliation:
Another alternative requires you to carry out an "aggressive" kind of exfoliation occasionally. You may experience skin redness or bruise for some days after this method.
3. Exfoliate for a longer time:
A gentler alternative involves applying your mask for a longer time; for example, keep the mask on for 20 minutes instead for 10 minutes. Also, increase the time of scrubbing after the mask, let’s say increase the scrubbing time to 7 minutes instead of the usual three minutes.
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Microdermabrasion at home recipes
1- Baking Soda Mask for Microdermabrasion:
- Baking Soda - 2 Tbsp
- Honey (Raw) - 1 Tbsp
- Lavender essential oil - 1 drop
HOW TO MAKE IT
Pour two tablespoon of baking soda in a small ball (if you have sensitive skin, you may swap baking soda with oat powder). Add one tablespoon of raw honey and mix the ingredients well to make a paste of desired consistency. Add 1- drops of lavender oil to the paste and mix well.
The baking soda and honey will gently exfoliate the skin while lavender will have a soothing effect on the skin. Additionally, honey will also help in reducing dark spots.
HOW TO USE IT
After removing the makeup and cleansing your face, pat it dry. Take the DIY microdermabrasion mask in your hands and apply it on your skin gently in circular motions. Rub it into your skin gently for a few minutes while avoiding the eye area. Wash the face with water to get soft and glowing skin. You can use this mask once a week.
2- Nutmeg Mask for Microdermabrasion:
- Nutmeg powder - 2 cloves
- Coconut or Hemp milk - 2-3 Tbsp
HOW TO MAKE IT
Crush the nutmeg to make a fine powder. Add coconut or hemp milk to it to make a smooth paste of your required consistency.
The fine grains of nutmeg would deeply exfoliate your skin while the lactic acid in the milk would help in treating acne.
HOW TO USE IT
After removing the makeup and cleansing your face, pat it dry. Take the DIY microdermabrasion mask in your hands and apply it on your skin gently in circular motions. Rub it into your skin gently for a few minutes while avoiding the eye area. You may leave the mask on for ten to fifteen minutes. Wash the face with water to get soft and glowing skin. You can use this mask once a week.
3- Brown Sugar Scrub for Microdermabrasion:
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Almond oil - 2-3 Tbsp
HOW TO MAKE IT
Crush the brown to make a fine powder. Add about three tablespoons of almond oil to it to make a smooth paste of your required consistency.
The refined grains of brown sugar would deeply exfoliate your skin. The glycolic acid in brown sugar also has exfoliating properties. The almond oil will improve your complexion and skin tone.
HOW TO USE IT
Use it like any regular scrub to get smooth, radiant and supple skin!
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