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Microdermabrasion is a mild mechanical exfoliation that removes the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing the fresh, healthy cells beneath.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Treatment Basics

Other names: Lunch hour peel, microderm

Microdermabrasion is a mild mechanical exfoliation which removes the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing the fresh, healthy cells beneath. In microdermabrasion, the skin is sprayed with tiny abrasive crystals, usually made of aluminum oxide, but sometimes made of baking soda, salt, even corn cob granules. The crystals are then vacuumed off of the skin's surface.

What It's Good For

Microdermabrasion and dermabrasion are similar procedures in their mechanics - though microdermabrasion is a much gentler process. Both abrade the skin with crystals. Dermabrasion strips away more skin layers, and is more effective at reducing deep wrinkles and thick scars.

Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is more of a skin polish. It can reduce superficial skin damage like superficial scars, mild hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, age spots and acne. It is gentle enough to perform on the neck. (The neck's skin is among the thinnest on the body - about as thin as that of the eyelids.)

Who it works for: Microdermabrasion can refresh dull skin. It can also reduce the appearance of large or clogged pores, acne, very fine wrinkles and superficial scarring. It can be performed on any shade of skin.

Recommended age range: There is no age limit or requirement for microdermabrasion. It's a good first procedure - it's gentle and useful for almost anyone.

When will I see results?: Your skin should feel immediately smoother and cleaner. Skin tone and texture can improve after several treatments. For best results, try five to 12 sessions spaced two to three weeks apart.

How long it lasts: Results from a single microdermabrasion treatment may only last a month or so. But add the treatment to your beauty repetoire, and you'll see longer-lasting effects.

Key benefits of microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion can minimize pores, brighten skin, and reduce the appearance of scars. It is much cheaper than most chemical and laser peels. If your skin is too sensitive for chemical peels and laser treatments, then microdermabrasion may be a good treatment option.

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