What Is a Microdermabrasion Facial?

Our skin takes a lot of abuse from sun damage to the inevitable results of aging. Learn how a microdermabrasion facial leads to smoother skin and even tone.


Treat yourself! According to dermatologists and aestheticians, your face could benefit from a facial once a month. However, which treatment you choose could make all the difference.

With a microdermabrasion facial, you can address a multitude of skin concerns with a single treatment.

Here’s everything you need to know about microdermabrasion facials.

Once you’re in that chair, you can sit back, relax, and say hello to a new glow!

What is a Microdermabrasion Facial?

Microdermabrasion renews your skin tone and texture. Don’t worry; it’s minimally invasive. 

The treatment requires a special applicator. Its abrasive surface will sand away the thick outer layer of your skin. Then, it’s all about rejuvenation to improve your skin’s appearance.

There are at-home microdermabrasion kits available. However, these at-home devices lack the large motors and power for precise exfoliation.

Making an appointment with this machine, on the other hand, will do a better job at penetrating the skin.

This facial treatment is safe for most skin types and tones.

Despite the deep skin penetration, microdermabrasion isn’t painful. Your skin might react with sensitivity and redness to the deep exfoliation, though. Make a note to apply sunscreen and a soothing moisturizer after your treatment. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, this treatment cost an average of $131 in 2018. Where you get your treatment can make a difference.

Microdermabrasion vs. Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is a little more intensive when removing the top layer of skin. In some cases, this more intensive method might be more suitable to achieve your skincare goals.

Speak to your dermatologist about which option is best for you.

Your dermatologist might recommend dermabrasion for:

  • Acne scars
  • Accidental scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Tattoo removal

However, dermabrasion is only suitable for patients with fair skin.

Meanwhile, microdermabrasion can treat other issues.

The Benefits

We all have our own skin concerns. Thankfully, a microdermabrasion facial can treat a long list. These include:

  • Wrinkles
  • Fine lines
  • Acne and acne scarring
  • Age spots, brown spots, hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma
  • Sun damage
  • Stretch marks
  • Dull complexions
  • Uneven skin tones
  • Enlarged pores and blackheads

This treatment is also a less invasive option compared to dermabrasion.

Despite these many benefits of microdermabrasion machine can’t help with deep wrinkles. Growth, redness, and dark brown spots are difficult for this type of treatment as well. 

A combination of the right products, sun protection, and a microdermabrasion facial can keep your skin looking its best. 

How to Prepare

Make sure to speak with your dermatologist or healthcare professional first. In many cases, dermatologists will offer a consultation beforehand.

That way, a professional can examine your skin to make sure microdermabrasion is the right treatment.

What you need depends on your skincare goals.

Discuss your skin concerns to determine the best options for your skin. This is also a great time to discuss previous cosmetic procedures or surgeries.

Don’t forget to mention any medical conditions or allergies you have as well.

Ask how many microdermabrasion facial treatments you will need. You can also ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients.

Other than that, there’s very little prep needed on your part. After all, microdermabrasion is a nonsurgical procedure.

During the week before your treatment, you might need to avoid:

  • Sun exposure
  • Waxing
  • Tanning creams
  • Exfoliating creams
  • Skin masks

Check with your healthcare professional to develop a more specific to-do list.

Right before the procedure, make sure to remove any makeup. Afterward, cleanse your face. Now you’re good to go!

The Procedure

This in-office procedure usually takes about an hour.

Usually, a licensed skin care professional will perform the procedure.

You won’t need a numbing agent or anesthesia. Instead, you can lie back in a reclining chair and relax.

Your skin care professional will use the applicator to treat the outer layer of your skin. There are a few different ways to go about the procedure:

  • Diamond-tip handpiece: this treatment involves gentle exfoliation before suctioning off your dead skin cells
  • Crystal microdermabrasion: this treatment uses fine crystals to clean away the outer layer of skin
  • Hydradermabrasion: this is a newer method that stimulates collagen production with crystal-free exfoliation

The type of procedure depends on the device that’s used.

Risks & Side Effects

The most common side effects after a microdermabrasion facial include:

  • Tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Burning or stinging sensations
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight

However, these will probably go away a few hours after your treatment.

You might also experience dry and flaky skin. You can minimize this side effect by using sunscreen and a calming moisturizer after the treatment.

Minor bruising can also occur. This side effect is often caused by the suctioning process during treatment. 

If you’ve taken isotretinoin for acne treatment, you might need to wait before having a microdermabrasion facial. This medication can increase your risk of scarring and other complications. 

If you notice a patch of skin that bleeds, grows, or changes, speak with your doctor immediately. These issues might indicate skin cancer.


After your treatment, you don’t have to worry about downtime. Instead, you can get right back to your daily life. In fact, many people consider this a “lunchtime treatment.”

Make sure to keep your skin hydrated. Gentle skin care products are your best bet to avoid irritation.

For at least a day after the treatment, try to avoid using acne medications.

Don’t forget that sunscreen! Your skin will be more sensitive to the sunshine a few weeks after your facial.

You will start to notice results immediately following the procedure.

If your skin concerns are more severe, you might need additional sessions for full results. Make sure to speak to your provider to determine how to space out your sessions.

Get Your Glow On: Your Guide to Getting a Microdermabrasion Facial

After your microdermabrasion facial, you can bask in your own glow (but not the sunshine). Get your glow on with smoother, younger-appearance skin. 

Check out the skincare section of the blog for more tips!