Latest update: April 11, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jennifer Trent MD, FAAD
How it works


Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, exfoliating treatment that helps loosen and vacuum away dirt, oil, and dead cells from the surface layer to reveal more even-toned, smooth skin. This gentle resurfacing helps to generate new cells. It also encourages elastin and collagen production by causing controlled micro-injuries.

Microdermabrasion can treat other skin issues as well. These include pigmentation, mild acne, fine lines, and age spots. The treatment enhances the ability of the skin to absorb skincare products because the top layer of the skin is removed.  If the products absorb better, they will work better.  Microdermabrasion treats the face, neck, chest, back, and hands.

There are two techniques used in microdermabrasion treatment. These are the machine-assisted crystal and the diamond dermabrasion.

The crystal dermabrasion method diffuses fine crystals onto the skin. The particles and dead skin cells infuse together, and the tool vacuums them away. Patients wear eye goggles to protect their eyes from fine particles during treatment.

The diamond dermabrasion method uses a wand with a diamond tip to exfoliate the dirt and smooth the skin. The damaged cells are vacuumed away using the same wand.

There is also a new method called hydradermabrasion. This technique combines hydrating serums with exfoliation. It encourages collagen production and improves blood circulation in the skin. 

A typical microdermabrasion session takes 20 minutes to an hour. Before the session begins, the doctor will first cleanse and steam the patient’s face to open up the pores. Once the treatment is over, patients may experience slight redness, sensitivity, and swelling, which will subside in a few days. The results of the treatment are temporary. Doctors recommend 5-16 treatments every 2-4 weeks for noticeable effects.
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What Microdermabrasion Looks Like Up Close | Macro Beauty | Refinery29

Rissa is a 27-year-old client, diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. This can cause the related symptom of male pattern hair growth along her jaw. She tells us about her hopes for the treatment. Joanna Vargas, an aesthetician, explains why she likes Microdermabrasion. She speaks to Rissa about what she'd like to achieve. The video shows the whole process from cleansing to application to completion.

Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel split face experiment

Dr. Gavin Chan, from the Victorian Cosmetic Institute in Melbourne, Australia, carries out an experiment to see which process is better; Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peel. He does this by testing both on a subject in a split-face experiment. He explains both procedures and talks about their purposes. The video shows both procedures. The patient gives feedback following the result.