Everything to know about microdermabrasion: The skincare treatment sweeping your newsfeed.

By Mia Steiber from Finder

My skin technician calls microdermabrasion “going to the gym for your skin” – something that everyone can do for overall skin health.

If you’ve never had this treatment before, there are few things you should know going in. For anyone considering microdermabrasion, here are all the important questions answered.

What is it?

To put it simply, microdermabrasion is a very intense exfoliation.

Crystals or abrasive discs are used to abrade the skin, removing all rough, dead skin and revealing the lovely, new, young skin.

Microdermabrasion machines shoot out crystals, which scrub the dead skin off when they land on your skin. Both crystals and dead skin are then sucked up by a vacuum. The disc treatment (which is the more common style of microdermabrasion these days) involves an abrasive disc, which is rotated by a machine around the skin to achieve the same exfoliating effect.

No, it doesn’t hurt

Don’t listen to that girl in your office who said her friend’s mum got it and it was really painful.

It’s just a very intense exfoliation. Does it hurt when you use a grainy face scrub? Of course not. It may feel a little bit scratchy but it doesn’t hurt.

Of course microdermabrasion CAN hurt if the crystal machine is turned up high. But this is often counterproductive and it would be unlikely that any therapist would pick a high setting. If you’re experiencing any pain, mention it to your therapist. One of the settings is probably on too high.

Image: Getty.

What can it do?

This intense exfoliation works in two ways. Firstly, the removal of any dry, rough and dead skin reveals your fresh and younger-looking skin underneath. Secondly, the process of microdermabrasion mechanically alters the epidermis and causes a mild level of disruption and trauma. This triggers a healing response leading to an increase in cell turnover and collagen production. In essence, microdermabrasion encourages your body to create new and younger skin.

There are also some secondary benefits like improved lymphatic drainage, thanks to the little vacuum that is moved over your skin. This leads to brighter skin and reduction in dark circles under the eyes.

Does it work? And when can I see results?

It depends on who you ask.

I absolutely can testify that it does. I tried a medical grade treatment at Sydney Cosmetic Clinic and I saw results instantly. I’d walked into the clinic with two spots on my forehead and I walked out without them. It literally erased the pimples I had.


The following week was probably the best my skin has ever looked. I didn’t even bother with foundation that week. Why would I ever want to cover up that glow?

However, I am not using microdermabrasion to treat a specific condition. I was just looking for brighter, younger-looking skin. If you are looking to treat something specific, there is a lot of evidence that shows that microdermabrasion is an effective treatment for brown spots, acne scars and more.

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It’s a good idea to head into a clinic for a consultation to discuss your expectations before you commit. I find that most clinics rarely over-promise on results, so you should be able to get a good indication of how the treatment should work for you.

Is it worth it?

I personally think so. The treatment I received cost about the same as a standard facial and I think the results were way better. My pores were smaller, and my skin was smoother, brighter and clearer. For a whole week after, I felt like my skin looked like JLo’s - glowing and perfect.

If your treatments are frequent - say six a year - you can see some really positive long-term benefits, according to my skin technician. These could include finer pores, a reduction in fine lines and improvements in hyperpigmentation.

So if you’re the type of person who can afford regular facials, ditch them and get this treatment instead. In my experience, you’ll get better results for the same money.

Mia Steiber is the Shopping and Beauty Expert at