Thursday, July 18, 2013

Microderm MANIA!

I read an article from a beauty box subscription newsletter where Selma Hayek was being
interviewed. I can't say that she is my beauty icon but she had mentioned Microdermabrasion which is a service offered at my place of business. You can find it here. So as I was reading, I was
kind of in shock that she was making a dig at chemical peels and poor little microdermabrasion...she doesn't advocate for things that "thin" your skin. Honestly, I got a little miffed and decided to search to see if that's what people think of when they hear about these services. My first stop was this article that FIRST described this up and coming model who had treated herself to microdermabrasions and glycolic chemical peels that she thought would help her complexion but in return only made her skin condition worse. Alright, getting more upset when I went on to read their explanation that it is a service that is only recommended periodically...okay we're getting somewhere. So turns out that this lovely lady just didn't get the education on the service and how often she should receive this treatment, not her fault she just didn't know. So I returned to Ms. Hayek's article...why did she think this? Obviously, she has money and could go to professionals that would give her the best treatments and understanding. Oh wait....she's coming out with a skin care line...that's offered over-the-counter.
I'm not going to go into it because I'm sure we all understand the competitive market. However, it's misleading to make general statements without giving facts. Oh celebrities...they think they know everything.

So I'm here to dispel the rumors because, when used correctly microderm can be beneficial.
Microdermabrasion is technically a process used to physically exfoliate the outer layer of skin. This can be done with sodium.... Crystals suspended in creams or through a professional machine which uses the distributes crystals across the skin while a vacuum sucks up the crystals and dead skin cells simultaneously. I'll be speaking on behalf of the professional treatment. There are many forms of microderm, the machine is a crystal microderm while another variation is the diamond-tip microderm which has pieces of diamondlike elements imbeded into the metal head. It is applied on the surface of the skin and utilizes a vacuum as well to remove exfoliated skin cells. Should you suffer from hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, scars, lines wrinkles, or comedones- you could benefit from this treatment.

So technically what's happening is the exfoliation is sloughing off the dead cells of the strateum corneum which acts as a protective barrier but can accumulate too many cells and cause clogging of pores. The strateum corneum doesn't consist of just one single layer of cells but multiple should the cells hold tight to the surface and aren't removed. The term "abrasion" means "cut" so the micro cuts on the skin trigger the brain to stimulate a healing response and in return kick starts cell turnover.

A new army of cells are created in the basal layer (the lowest level closest to the epidermis) and pushes the older cells closer to the surface on average every 28 days. As we age this process takes longer. So the frequency of microderms when we are younger can be closer together but as we start to gain some wisdom, you would want to schedule them a little further out to ensure your skin doesn't receive any damage. You also want to make sure your skin is completely healed before getting another one. So where it seems like your skin is getting "thinner" it is, but only for short time and not as dramatic as you may think.

I can't personally tell every single person how long to wait because each skin is different but it's recommended to receive this treatment one to two times a month. One if you already have dry, sensitive skin and two if you are considered more of an oily skin type. Either way, this treatment stimulates cell turnover and also encourages blood flow to the skin which as we know has it's own benefits. It's suggested to have multiple performed in a series, not saying you have to come every week but drastic results don't come from just one treatment.

After the treatment you will want to keep your skin hydrated and SPF is even MORE important now that part of your barrier has been removed.

Should you receive a treatment from someone not experienced, too much skin can be exfoliated if the suction is too high or pressure to firm. You could also experience "striping" were some places were exfoliated to deep and some not enough, causing the looks of lines in the skin. This would only last a while but in the meantime it would look like scabs on your face. You would want to keep the skin moisturized and wear sunscreen religiously to prevent hyperpigmentation. Your skin will heal but it will take some time. So be sure to talk to your skin care professionals and make sure you're protecting yourself by going to spas/offices that perform a full consultation beforehand. If they aren't willing to educate you then they aren't worth your investment in time and money.

There are tons of before and after microdermabrasion pictures on the internet should you be interested in seeing more result. Anyone ever received a microdermabrasion before? Care to share?