Blackheads are a constant menace to our skin. They are annoying, unattractive, and seem to come up at the worst possible moment. Most people deal with problem blackheads throughout their lives, it’s just a part of having skin.
That being said, there are several things that you can do to reduce the number of blackheads you have and also improve the overall health and appearance of your skin! There are Blackhead Vacuums, Comedone Extractors, Facial Steamers, etc.
In today’s article, we’re going to be talking about one of the hottest new skincare products and routines on the market- microdermabrasion. The process has been done professionally for a long time, but a number of innovative at-home microdermabrasion devices have made their way onto the market and are selling out faster than ice cream on a Summer afternoon.
Is Microdermabrasion Good for Blackheads? Let’s take a look!
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion can be broken down into three root words:
- Micro- “Small”
- Derma- “Skin”
- Abrasion- “Scraping/Exfoliating”
Essentially the process involves using a tool to exfoliate the top layer of your skin lightly. This treatment can be performed all over the body, but it’s most commonly used to treat the face and improve the skin’s appearance.
In the past, microdermabrasion involved a professional dermatologist using a small razor to slowly scrape and peel back the layers of dead skin on your face.
While this method is certainly effective (and still used today), it comes with some rather obvious dangers.
All it takes is one slip of the hand, and then your face is scarred for life. This is why it was almost always done in a professional environment, such as a spa or a cosmetic surgery clinic.
Today’s microdermabrasion devices are far more advanced (thankfully), which is why the trend has become so popular in America and all around the world. In fact, in certain Asian countries where facial health is at the top of everyone’s list, microdermabrasion machines are almost as common to see as toothbrushes!
Instead of utilizing potentially harmful razor blades, modern microdermabrasion devices use a small dime-sized exfoliation tip that spins, vibrates, and rotates back and forth. The devices come with detachable and replaceable exfoliation tips. These are usually diamond tips, as shown in the image above.
One of the biggest issues with traditional razor microdermabrasion was that it would leave a bunch of gunky dead skin residue all over your face. Most modern devices have a built-in vacuum feature that quickly sucks away all of the dead skin, blackheads, and gunk so that you’re not grinding it back into your pores and re-clogging them.
How Does Microdermabrasion Work?
The skin on your face completely replaces itself every 27 days. Ever notice how your face tends to look a little pale or “ashy” if you don’t wash it for a couple of days? This is because the layers of dead skin slowly build upon themselves. Once the layer gets thick enough, your natural skin pigmentation and blood flow don’t show through, causing a faded appearance.
Microdermabrasion works by exfoliating small areas of skin to remove all of this dead skin so that the true color and beauty of your face can show through!
As the exfoliating tip slowly twists, grinds, and moves across your face, the crystalline grains scrape the dead or dying skin cells aside as if you were sanding a piece of old wood.
The exfoliation tip is so small that it prevents you from over-exfoliating and damaging your skin. The small tip allows you to have more control and ensures that you never accidentally hurt yourself. It also allows you to reach small, hard-to-reach areas such as your nose, chin, and around your eyes.
As the device scrapes away small sections of dead skin, you can use its built-in vacuum to suck up the flakes so that they don’t create a mess in your sink or get pushed deeper into your pores.
How Often Can You Perform Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion can be a bit rough on your face. It’s similar to performing a full exfoliation scrub, but it’s more targeted and removes more of the dead skin cells. After microdermabrasion, your face may be red and feel a bit sensitive for 24 hours while it heals from the process.
In order to give your skin enough time to heal between treatments, most dermatologists recommend that you only receive a microdermabrasion treatment once a week. If you have fast-shedding skin- maybe twice a week. No more than that.
When it comes to your facial skincare regimen, more is not usually better. Over-exfoliating your skin can not only damage your skin, but it can also cause your face to produce more oils. Since exfoliating strips your face of all of its natural oils (even the good ones), your body will have to work double-time to compensate.
When your skin starts to overproduce oils, your pores often can’t keep up. They’ll be overflowing with oil, which can lead to clogged pores, bacteria, acne, and dreaded blackheads.
So play it safe, and only exfoliate once a week!
Is Microdermabrasion Good For Blackheads?
In fact, one of the top reasons why people get microdermabrasion treatment is that it’s a great way to reduce the number of blackheads on your face and the size of your pores. To understand how microdermabrasion works for blackheads, let’s first take a quick look at how blackheads form.
How Blackheads Form
Blackheads are nothing more than clogged pores. They’re different from pimples in that they don’t produce a red, inflamed bump. Pimples are red and full of oil and puss because they are pores that have become infected.
The white “puss” is really just white blood cells trying to fight the infection. This is why they say squeezing pimples can be bad. Not only does it remove these much-needed white blood cells, but it can also introduce fresh bacteria (from your fingers) into an open wound, causing it to become even worse.
If left untreated, blackheads often turn into pimples as the pores become clogged with enough dirt and bacteria that the skin creates a layer over it to fight it.
This is why it’s important to take care of blackheads sooner rather than later.
Back To Microdermabrasion…
The most popular way that most people deal with blackheads is just to squeeze them out with their fingers or one of those little pimple-popping tools known as a comedone extractor. As we mentioned, though, this can introduce more bacteria to the face and make the problem even worse!
Another option is to use a Blackhead Vacuum to get rid of the blackheads. These devices are inexpensive and can be effective at removing blackheads. However, if they’re not used properly, you may end up getting a pore vacuum hickey, which is not what you want.
A third popular method of blackhead removal is exfoliation with a salt scrub or other granular skin product, coupled with facial steaming to remove blackheads. Usually you would exfoliate before steaming your face. Some prefer to use a towel and bowl of hot water, while others use a facial steamer. This process can work, but it usually only removes the larger blackheads, leaving the smaller ones behind.
Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is able to remove most blackheads completely! Since it utilizes microscopic crystals on a fast-spinning head, the process is able to treat those deep, tight blackheads that seem almost impossible to get with other methods.
In addition to getting rid of blackheads, microdermabrasion also removes a lot of the dead skin that causes blackheads in the first place! So, if you do microdermabrasion once a week, not only will you remove any blackheads that have developed, but you’ll also be able to effectively prevent them from developing to begin with!
What Else Can Microdermabrasion Help With
While blackhead management may be one of the top reasons people like the microdermabrasion treatment, there are several other skin problems that these devices can also help you with. Its ability to treat multiple common ailments is why microdermabrasion has become one of the most popular spa treatments and at-home self-treatments.
Two types of wrinkles can form on the face as we go through life:
- Static wrinkles
- Dynamic wrinkles
Dynamic wrinkles are the most common. These wrinkles form in our younger years and are usually from using our faces. Whenever we laugh, smile, squint our eyes, or frown, we’re causing our skin to bend and stretch in certain areas. These are perfectly natural, aren’t very obvious, and usually cannot be fully removed.
Static wrinkles, on the other hand, are those that develop with age. These wrinkles are usually the result of decreasing collagen levels, gravity, and dead skin cells that haven’t been properly exfoliated.
Microdermabrasion won’t remove deep wrinkles or scarring, but it can work wonders on those small fine lines such as crows’ feet, forehead wrinkles, or growing bags under the eyes.
Uneven Skin Tone
Uneven skin tone, or hyperpigmentation is typically caused by scarring, UV light (sun) damage, and old skin cells. The microdermabrasion process slowly rubs away these areas of damaged skin. While it may be a little bit painful, this will stimulate collagen production in these areas as your body tries to heal the area. Chemical Peels for Hyperpigmentation can help here as well.
During the healing process, you’ll grow new, fresh skin that should match the rest of your face’s skin tone.
The longer blackheads go untreated, or the more you pop and pick at them, the larger your pores will get. The larger your pores are, the more visible your blackheads will be, and the more self-conscious you’ll get. Some people just have naturally large pores due to genetics.
Either way, microdermabrasion can help shrink your pores by stimulating collagen production, removing dirt and debris from pores, and removing all of the gunky dead skin that causes blackheads and enlarged pores in the first place.
Is Microdermabrasion A “Solve-All Solution”?
Some of the spas and health “gurus” are presenting microdermabrasion as a “solve-all solution” to all of your skin problems. We’re going to be completely honest with you- it’s not.
Microdermabrasion alone will never give you perfect skin. However, when combined with a good skincare routine that involves washing, toning, and moisturization, these devices can significantly improve your skin.
By getting rid of old skin cells, fine lines, and shrinking pores, microdermabrasion can restore your face’s youthful appearance, often removing years of damage.
How Expensive Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion treatment at a health and beauty spa can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on where you go and how large the area is that they’re doing. As results typically only last for a couple of weeks, it can easily become an addicting and expensive habit. Some women end up spending thousands of dollars a year on these treatments!
Thankfully, you can buy your own microdermabrasion machine for home use for a fraction of the cost.
Microdermabrasion At Home
Home microdermabrasion devices such as the Trophy Skin MicrodermMD (which we’ve reviewed here), the PMD Microderm Line, (which we reviewed here), and the NuBrilliance Microderm System (which we looked at here) are all excellent alternatives to going to a spa.
The best at-home devices are just as effective as the professional tools at removing dead skin, blackheads, wrinkles and repairing uneven skin tone.
Devices can usually be purchased for between $150-$400, with cheaper knock offs and no-name brands coming in less than that. Compared to paying for weekly spa treatments, you’ll save a ton by doing it at home yourself.
Self-microdermabrasion is easy, safe, and fast. Most women won’t spend more than 10 to 15 minutes a week on it. Since it’s in your house, your whole family will also be able to use it, so nobody has any excuse to go pay for expensive spa sessions.
Microdermabrasion devices are one of the hottest beauty products on the market- for a good reason! These affordable handheld devices effectively treat several skin ailments like blackheads, and help your face produce more collagen, making your skin tight and making you look years younger.