What is Crystal Microdermabrasion?

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  • Written By: M.R. Anglin
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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As a person gets older, the natural process of the skin shedding old, dead cells and replacing them with new ones slows down. This slowing can cause dead cells to buildup on the outer layer of skin, causing dullness, pore blockage, and an increase in the look of wrinkles. In such cases, crystal microdermabrasion can be used to get rid of the excess dead skin. The process of crystal microdermabrasion consists of blasting the outer layer of skin with crystals and then sucking the dead skin away. The result is skin that is usually smoother, more even, and younger looking.

When a person undergoes a crystal microdermabrasion session at a salon, the professional commonly uses the machine to first vacuum off the skin. This creates suction that helps stimulate lymph node draining and helps increase blood flow to the skin. The increased blood flow helps skin to restore itself faster. After that, the machine blasts small crystals, usually aluminum oxide, sodium bicarbonate—baking soda—crystals, or different types of salt, onto the face. These crystals work to break up the dead skin cells that have accumulated on the surface of the skin.


After the crystals break up the dead layer of skin, the machine sucks up the crystals as well as the dead cells. The result is usually smoother-looking skin that can make a person look younger. Crystal microdermabrasion can also be effective in reducing the look of wrinkles as well as evening out skin tone. In addition, it may help to reduce the look of acne scars and freckles. It does not, however, commonly work on conditions such as skin cancer, acne, or eczema.

Many people hail crystal microdermabrasion because it is not as invasive as surgical procedures. Some people may only have a short recovery time or no recovery time at all. Since it only affects the outer layer of skin, allergies associated with the procedure tend to be low. While many people can obtain the benefits of this procedure, it may not be profitable for those going through hormonal changes, such as young teenagers and pregnant women. These hormonal changes could interfere with how well the procedure works.

There are some drawbacks associated with crystal microdermabrasion. For instance, some people may develop light or dark spots on their skin, may become more sensitive to the sun, or may get red, flaking, or peeling skin. In addition, the crystals used can become airborne and can lead to respiratory problems and eye irritation. To help counteract this, many salons will give the client protective eyewear to use during the procedure.


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