Is Microdermabrasion Safe for Sensitive Skin?

Do you want noticeably smoother, softer, and blemish-free skin after just one treatment? Well, that is the sales pitch that microdermabrasion is trying to sell. However, words are cheap, but the results of the thousands, possibly millions of customers that have gotten the treatment done at their local salon definitely don’t lie.

However, like every beauty treatment, those with sensitive skin always have to treat new beauty treatments with a fair amount of skepticism, lest they want to come out looking a little more blushed and swollen than usual. Unfortunately, those with sensitive skin are often the people who can benefit the most from what microdermabrasion is trying to sell them, but is it safe?

What is Microdermabrasion?

Many equate microdermabrasion as a bit like “sandblasting your face,” but that is not quite right. It is true that microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals to heavily exfoliate the skin, but it isn’t all about removing the imperfections. In actually, this exfoliation does controlled damage to the skin in order to simulate the healing process. This is why microdermabrasion can not only get rid of acne marks and scars, but it can also treat fine lines and wrinkles by forcing the skin on your face to produce more collagen.

However, while those who choose this treatment for acne scars often see results faster, the production of collagen takes time. This is why those choosing microdermabrasion to treat wrinkles often have to stick to the recommended multiple sessions before they see serious results. It is also worth noting that each session is essentially penetrating deeper into the skin after layer of layer of dead skin is removed, that is why you see marked improvement each time as well.

Normal Side Effects for Microdermabrasion

People with sensitive skin tend to be a bit, well, sensitive to side effects of beauty treatments. We tend to freak out easily, and that is a useful defense mechanism to protect our faces. However, microdermabrasion does come with some completely normal side effects afterward that can be a bit triggering but are actually just to be expected.

Common side effects after microdermabrasion include:

  • Skin tightness
  • Slight dryness
  • Skin flaking
  • Minor redness or bruising

Do note that all the above should be completely minor if the treatment goes as it should and you are given proper care to your skin afterward. However, people with sensitive skin can experience many of the above to a higher degree, but typically that just means your skin is indeed too sensitive for the treatment.

Can You Undergo Microdermabrasion With Sensitive Skin?

If you live with sensitive skin, you can already probably guess that using a treatment that lightly irritates your easily irritated skin is a huge risk. However, it doesn’t change the fact that microdermabrasion is still a useful skin care technique. It goes without saying that what microdermabrasion treats – wrinkles, fine lines, acne scars, regular scars, and hyperpigmentation – are all things that those with sensitive skin have to deal with.

So is microdermabrasion safe for sensitive skin? Not always, but there still may be a way that those with sensitive skin can benefit from it, and it is a useful technique to add to your skin care regimen.

There is some good news, though.

Microdermabrasion is less invasive and irritating that dermal abrasion (which you should only receive from a dermatologist) or strong chemical peels. If you go at it with a light touch, you may still be able to reap the benefits.

This means that you will want to skip the home microdermabrasion kits for now and go to a reputable, higher-end salon. Not only will they be able to give you professional service, but they will have the products on hand to treat your face afterward. However, you will need to let them know of your sensitive before the procedure begins. A good professional will either take the first treatment very lightly or will recommend they test it out on another part of your body just to see if anything serious happens.

Even if you have a successful first session, you also need to take care in the following days. Avoid any acid-heavy cosmetics such as those with retinol, vitamin C, or hydroxyl. They are commonly found in anti-aging products, but with your skin already in such a tender state, it can easily become irritated. You also may want to consider a very light, if any foundation.

How Often Can You Get Microdermabrasion with Sensitive Skin?

If you survived your first round of microdermabrasion unharmed, first you should remember the professional that did it. They truly are top notch. Second, you may be excited to go again to start down your path to a beautiful new face without plastic surgery. However, you need to have patience.

Those with normal skin are less prone to complications. As their skin gets used to the treatment, they can go from a session once per week to two microdermabrasion sessions per week. However, those with sensitive skin will want to double the time, not lessen it. It is recommended that you wait two weeks before the next session just to give your skin enough time to heal and calm down a bit.

However, this does mean that any results you do get from the treatment will take twice as long to manifest as they do for people with normal skin. The good news is that after a few months, you may be able to try getting the treatment once per week as even sensitive skin is adaptable. It just takes longer.

Tips for Trying Microdermabrasion at Home with Sensitive Skin

I’ve said it once already, and I’ll say it again. It is better to leave this procedure to a professional, even though there are tons of kits that let you do it at home. However, if your skin has held up well already, you may be able to switch to a cheaper home regimen. Still, you will want to keep in mind that things can still go bottoms up if you are not careful.

Some tips for microdermabrasion at home:

  • Go Light – Always go as light as possible, especially when working with a new kit. Home kits often require you to use pressure to get results, but don’t feel pressured to really grind it on your skin.
  • Have Products on Hand for Irritation – Redness is expected after the treatment and should fade in a few hours. Dryness afterward should be expected, too. However, both can be handled by having the right product on hand. You may be able to learn what your salon uses, but probably don’t let them know you are thinking of just switching to home treatments. If you can’t find out, the more natural the treatment is, the better. Consider keeping aloe, oatmeal, or chamomile on hand if those work for you.
  • Don’t Forget to Moisturize! – After treatment, you should moisturize daily with as skin healthy and non-irritating a moisturizer that you can get. This will not only promote faster healing on your skin, but it will prevent most dryness and flaking.
  • Use Sunblock – You should be using it for healthy skin anyway, but after treatment, your skin is very fragile. You need to take steps to protect it or all that hard work will be undone. After all, tanned skin is just more dead skin the next treatment has to go through to get to the rest of the damage.
  • Skip Any Other Exfoliating – Love your morning face scrub for its exfoliating properties? You will want to ditch it for something much more gentle. Exfoliating through microdermabrasion is more than enough.