There are a variety of treatments, devices and products available to cosmetic providers for skin rejuvenation. With all of these options, it can be difficult to decipher which will prove effective and which may just be the latest gimmick. Before taking on a new service or product, it is important that you conduct your research. In order to make an educated decision, use reliable sources, including clinical studies and scientific evidence. The key to skin rejuvenation—whether it is mechanical exfoliation, chemical exfoliation, laser, light therapy or microneedling—is to maintain the health of skin structures, stimulate cellular renewal and increase the production of matrix proteins to provide a healthy appearance.
Microdermabrasion is one of the top five nonsurgical procedures performed in a medical setting, with 498,821 treatments performed in 2012 alone, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.1 Although this service was originally performed by dermatologists, it is now the most popular exfoliation method used by estheticians. Microdermabrasion refers to mechanically exfoliating the superficial layers of the skin using particles or a rough surface with the use of a tool, while simultaneously creating suction for stimulation. This technology was developed in Italy and gained wide popularity in Europe in the mid-1980s before making its way to the United States in the mid-1990s.
There are currently several methods of microdermabrasion. The original devices were developed using aluminum oxide crystals as the means of exfoliation. Although aluminum oxide works effectively for exfoliation, there has been some controversy regarding the potential hazards of ingesting the material. The use of sodium bicarbonate crystals is becoming the material of choice for crystal microdermabrasion due to its organic nature and smooth texture.