We’ve all been there… struggling to find the right product. The number of options may be overwhelming or too limited. Or, maybe you find ” the perfect choice” only to discover it costs significantly more than expected; then it’s back to the drawing board. Selecting the right microdermabrasion machine is no different. When first getting started it can be difficult to understand what options exist and figure out what you want. It’s ok, we’ve been there too. It’s because of our own struggle that we’ve put together this guide to help you select the right microdermabrasion system for your needs.
Before we look at the key factors in purchasing a machine, we want to expand a bit on the two primary types found on the market:
- Diamond Tip
The traditional microdermabrasion method involves spraying Aluminum Oxide crystals onto the skin and then removing them with a vacuum. The crystals act like a kind of sandblaster stripping away the top layer of skin. This method is still widely used today and is found most commonly in spas and dermatologist offices. Although you can find some crystal home kits, they are less common and best left to the pros.
Part of the reason for this (and why it has lost some of its appeal in favor of diamond tip microdermabrasion) is the potential for mishaps. Because you’re spraying crystals onto the skin there is some risk to getting these into the eyes or other sensitive areas of the face. Further, crystal microderm involves considerable cleanup and residue after treatment. When you’re paying for a treatment in a spa all this may be of little concern, but when applied at home… well, that’s a different story.
This leads us to the new(ish) kid on the block: diamond tip microdermabrasion . Unlike aluminum oxide crystals these are, as their name suggests… diamond. Industrial grade, the diamonds are applied to a steel base and act more like sandpaper. Whereas with crystal, the wand does not come in direct contact with the skin, diamond wands act as an all-in-one applicator, simultaneously stripping the skin and vacuuming the dead skin cells. They provide the same scoring and vacuuming of the epidermis in one application and without the crystal spray.
There are several key advantages to this methodology:
- Easier to apply at home
- No mess to cleanup
- Gentler on the skin
- The tips are made of diamonds and are reusable
- Diamond also has a big advantage around the eyes, with less chance of stray particles finding going where they shouldn’t.
What to Look For
So with that in mind, let’s look to the key features you will want to consider when buying an at home machine.
Suction Power: Suction is really one of two key ingredients. For the exfoliation process to be effective there has to be a balance between strong enough suction to remove dead skin cells but not so strong as to irritate the skin.
Tips: The other key ingredient to any machine are the diamond tips themselves. Depending on the machine you purchase you may need to buy additional tips. Most come with at least one tip, but you may find a need for additional options. This will largely be determined by your skin and application needs. We’ve put together a visual guide that should help in selecting the different kinds of microdermabrasion tips.
Ease of Use: If it’s not easy, I’m not going to do it! Is the machine easy to setup, use, and cleanup? From our experience not every machine is easy to setup and use. Some can be downright awkward. Further, large vacuums, long tubes and a variety of tips can become unwieldy without a good case or bag.
Portability: How effectively can this be used while on vacation or away from home? The more compact and self-contained units are going to provide a much better experience when traveling.
Features/Accessories: What features and accessories does the machine with come? Some units provide digital screens and automatic settings while other include conversion kits to convert your household vacuum into a microdermabrasion machine.
Total Cost: Finally, what’s the total cost of the machine. Does it really provide a good value for the money? It’s important to consider not just the initial cost, but ongoing consumable costs (things like filters), and longevity.
Note: As you peruse our microdermabrasion reviews, these are the key features we use in our evaluation of the machines.
Microdermabrasion Machine Comparison Chart
To help you get started we’ve put together a comparison chart with some of the best microdermabrasion systems and given each of them a rating based on the aforementioned factors. It’s important to recognize that there is no one “perfect” option. We’ve given you the key points to consider, but it’s up to you to determine which device is right for your needs.
- Overall Rating
- Ease of Use
- Riiviva Microderm
- Kendal Pro HB-SF01
- SkinVac SV12013
- New Spa Portable