Everyone Is Getting Microdermabrasions…Even Statues
A few months ago, I read a newspaper article about how the Ulysses S. Grant bronze memorial, after 93 years is undergoing a month long restoration to remove a massive buildup of bronze patina deposits, rust, dirt and grime. “Weary. Sick. Beleaguered.” is how they described the monument’s condition.
What does the U.S. Grant Memorial have to do with Microdermabrasion? One of the main techniques they are using for the restoration is sandblasting — shooting streams of sand under pressure, which cuts through the grime and abrades the surface, leaving it as smooth and clean as it was 93 years ago. That basic concept for our purposes –applying a crystalline material known as aluminum oxide — is how microdermabrasion smoothes and refines the texture of the skin.
What is Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is an effective way to diminish acne scarring, large pores, fine lines, and hyper pigmentation (sun damage) by exfoliating the top layers of the skin. Other benefits include boosting the cellular renewal rate and stimulating collagen production–both of which are key elements of youthful radiant, firm skin.
There are many degrees of intensity when it comes to exfoliation. The exfoliation you do at home is very mild. Microdermabrasion is much more aggressive, although not nearly as aggressive as some of the medical grade chemical peels, usually administered in a doctor’s office. One might think that microdermabrasion would be painful, but the vast majority of clients who get microdermabrasion do not feel even the slightest amount of pain. This is because the machine has intensity settings which allows the Esthetician to apply a lighter touch for more sensitive skin.
Microdermabrasion has been performed in the U.S. for about twenty years and in Europe for 35 years. It was developed as an alternative to a much more aggressive (and painful) treatment simply called, Dermabrasion. Dermabrasion often required an anesthetic and left the skin extremely irritated and swollen for several weeks. Microdermabrasion avoids these negative effects. In fact, microdermabrasion is often referred to as a “lunchtime peel” because there is no down time — you can get the treatment on your lunch hour and return to work with radiant, glowing skin!
Who Should Avoid Microdermabrasion
Although most people are good candidates for microdermabrasion, it is not for everyone. If any of the following conditions are present, we would not recommend microdermabrasion:
• Extremely Sensitive skin; moderate to severe rosacea
• Large amounts of broken capillaries, also known as Couperosis
• Severe acne, characterized mainly by pustules and inflammation (wet acne)
• Autoimmune disorders
• Recent Laser treatments or cosmetic injections
• Use of Accutane within the past year (a very strong acne medication with significant side effects)
• Use of highly concentrated Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) within the past month
• Use of Vitamin A derivatives such as Retin-A, Renova, or Differin within the past month
We ask new facial clients to complete a questionnaire which will give us more insight as to whether you would be a good fit for microdermabrasion. We also have a brief consultation before performing a microdermabrasion treatment.
It is important to note that microdermabrasion will not result in perfect skin. Deep wrinkling, severe scarring and severe hyper pigmentation can be diminished, but we don’t want to give you the impression that these conditions will disappear with a single microdermabrasion treatment. We always see improvement in the skin, even after one treatment, but the degree of improvement will vary with each person. For maximum results, we recommend a series of six treatments to be performed 10-14 days within each session. This six treatment series can be done up to three times a year.
Another key consideration is that microdermabrasion makes the skin more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. For those who spend lots of time outside during the summer — at the beach, pool, on a boat, or on the golf course, we recommend holding off on microdermabrasion treatments during the summer. Now that fall is here, it’s the perfect time for getting a microdermabrasion treatment. But even during the cooler months, it is extremely important to still use a sun block to protect the skin and maximize the results. Applying a moisturizer three times a day for the four days after microdermabrasion will minimize any drying effects as a result of microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion is also popular with people who don’t really have conditions that they wish to correct — they simply want to maintain healthy, smooth, glowing skin. These people will often do a microdermabrasion treatment, every few months as an alternative to our traditional Guinot facials.
We welcome any questions you may have about microdermabrasion.
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