Microdermabrasion

  • Medical Author:

    Dr. Alai is an actively practicing medical and surgical dermatologist in south Orange County, California. She has been a professor of dermatology and family medicine at the University of California, Irvine since 2000. She is U.S. board-certified in dermatology, a 10-year-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Fellow of the American Society of Mohs Surgery.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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How effective are at-home microdermabrasion kits?

Most home microdermabrasion machines and kits are generally weaker than in-office, professional treatments. These at-home microdermabrasion kits often cannot provide the depth of skin abrasion or remove the dead skin cells by vacuuming as professional microdermabrasion.

Several skin-care companies, such as L'Oréal, Ponds, and Neutrogena, are now producing microdermabrasion at-home kits. Usually, the microdermabrasion at-home system contains an abrasive cream or scrub and a tool for application. The main active component in creams may include aluminum oxide crystals, which are used in the professional microdermabrasion equipment. Microdermabrasion cloths are also available in the skin-care products on the market now. Basically, the tightly woven microfibers of the cloths abrade the skin and remove surface cells to achieve the result of skin resurfacing.

How much does at home microdermabrasion cost?

There are two types of home microdermabrasion: creams and machines. Creams may seem less expensive initially but require continuous replenishment. A quality microderm machine may potentially be a good investment and typically should not have much consumables or disposable parts costs over its lifetime.

Many microdermabrasion at-home creams cost $10-$95, which usually provides about 20-30 treatments, while some can be over $100. Once the jar is used up, so is your initial investment. These creams often use the aluminum oxide crystals or other sand-like fine debris to help manually exfoliate the skin. Multiple vendors, including L'Oréal, offer a microdermabrasion cream kit for an average of $10-$30.

More recently, a new series of mini home microdermabrasion units have become available and are sold commercially. New home units retail from $150-$300 and may be available at Sephora.com and Amazon.com. A novel home unit called vacuubrasion will be made available for under $50.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/11/2015

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