The 5 Best Microdermabrasion Scrubs For At-Home Use
By Marissa DeSantis
If there were a magic wand for all of your skin-care woes, it might look something like a microdermabrasion device. The wand-like instrument behind the popular treatment exfoliates the outer layer of skin and helps with just about everything (acne, hyperpigmentation, collagen production, et cetera.) And while the best microdermabrasion treatments will be done by a board-certified dermatologist, that's not always realistic, since sessions tend to be pricey. That's where investing in one of the best microdermabrasion scrubs comes in.
Microdermabrasion products that can be used at home tend to use a lower concentration of the active ingredients used by professionals, so while their results won't be as drastic, they still help smooth and brighten your complexion. Whether you choose an exfoliating scrub or a device to remove dead skin cells, these microdermabrasion products use a physical or chemical exfoliator (or a combination of both) to get the job done. Physical exfoliators will be fine, granular substances, like crystals or silica, and they help remove those outer layers of dead skin cells to brighten skin. Chemical exfoliators deliver the same result, but they work by dissolving the dead skin cells, so it is often gentler. They most commonly appear in the form of alpha hydroxy acids (also known as AHAs, which include glycolic acid and lactic acid), and beta hydroxy acids (or BHAs, like salicylic acid). AHAs are more helpful for skin rejuvenation, while BHAs are the acid of choice among acne-prone skin types because they can cut through the oil that clogs pores and causes breakouts.
Of course, if you overdo it, you can end up irritating your skin, which is why there are a few rules to remember. First, if you have sensitive skin, avoid any at-home microdermabrasion scrubs that use larger physical exfoliators, like walnut shells or apricot kernels, which might be too harsh. Instead, look for finer physical exfoliators, such as minerals like silica or volcanic pumice, which are gentler. You also don't want to use your at-home treatment too often. Over-exfoliating can derail your skin-care goals and cause irritation in the form of redness and dryness. Always follow the product's instructions and start out slow. For example, if an exfoliating scrub says it can be used twice weekly, begin with once a week at first and build your way up to the recommended usage over time. And when in doubt, always consult with a dermatologist to figure out what's right for your skin and specific goals.