Microdermabrasion is one of the most gentle, noninvasive cosmetic procedures available today, so it’s no surprise that it’s also become one of the most popular.
Making microdermabrasion part of your wheelhouse can expand your client offerings and allow you to begin earning yourself a reputation for being the go-to expert esthetician in microdermabrasion.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a skin resurfacing technique that exfoliates the outermost layer of skin, removing dead skin cells and vacuuming them away. The goal of microdermabrasion is to produce softer, smoother skin and a more even skin tone by stimulating blood flow, improving cell production, and improving skin’s elasticity and texture.
Most microdermabrasion techniques are performed on the face and neck, although the skin of the chest and hands often benefit from treatment.
Although results vary, microdermabrasion has been shown to:
- Diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and shallow acne scars
- Unclog and minimize pores
- Decrease the appearance of age spots, superficial hyperpigmentation, and other sun damage
- Aid in the penetration of skin care products and the application of makeup
Microdermabrasion is gentle enough to use without a topical anesthetic, and discomfort is minimal for most patients. Recovery time is minimal, with some patients reporting tender skin for one or two days.
Many estheticians choose microdermabrasion over chemical peels because it is considered safer and gentler on the skin, while patients choose tend to choose it because of its cost-effectiveness.
Microdermabrasion is generally safe for all skin types, with the exception of those with rosacea, eczema, sunburn, herpes, lupus, open sores, or psoriasis.
Performing Microdermabrasion: Everything Estheticians Need to Know
Microdermabrasion consists of a small, handheld stainless steel or glass wand that is passed over the skin’s surface. Inside the wand, a stream of mildly abrasive crystals is directed on the skin, while a vacuum creates a suction to remove the crystals and, along with them, dead skin cells.
Most microdermabrasion methods use aluminum oxide crystals, known as corundum, although sodium chloride, magnesium oxide, and sodium bicarbonate crystals may be used.
Diamond-tip microdermabrasion is another type of microdermabrasion that uses a diamond-tip hand piece to abrade and exfoliate. Although it is not used as often due to its expense, some estheticians prefer using this type of microdermabrasion tool because it is gentler on sensitive skin.
Most microdermabrasion treatments last between 30 and 60 minutes, and multiple treatments are usually recommended. Microdermabrasion treatments should be spaced about two weeks apart. Some estheticians recommend a maintenance regimen for their clients to maintain skin improvement.
Although the process of microdermabrasion seems rather straightforward and uncomplicated, at the hands of an unskilled esthetician, discomfort, abrasions, pin-point bleeding, and even scarring can occur.
The majority of professional microdermabrasion tools today deliver quality results, provided the esthetician behind them is skilled in microdermabrasion. In short, your expertise (or lack thereof) in microdermabrasion will ultimately mean the difference between lackluster or (worse) painful results and impressive outcomes and satisfied clients.
If you offer microdermabrasion services to your clients, you should expect to:
- Evaluate their general health status and any pre-existing conditions or risk factors
- Discuss a microdermabrasion treatment plan
- Discuss outcomes of microdermabrasion and any risks/potential complications
- If microdermabrasion is not appropriate, recommend alternative treatments
Advanced Training and Certification in Microdermabrasion
Your initial esthetician training program will likely include study and training in microdermabrasion. Therefore, in many states, like Texas, you will be allowed to perform this service under your state esthetician license.
However, in some states, like Virginia, you may be required to hold a master esthetician license to perform microdermabrasion services.
In other states, like Iowa, you must hold a microdermabrasion certificate in addition to your esthetician license to perform this service.
Even if your state does not require additional training to perform microdermabrasion under your state esthetician license, completing a certificate or diploma course in microdermabrasion will allow you to expand on your current skills and market yourself as an advanced practitioner in microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion courses generally last 1 or 2 days and are reserved for licensed estheticians and other professionals allowed to perform skincare services. Some of these programs are offered as online courses.
Microdermabrasion training covers theory related to skin analysis and the treatment of skin conditions, along with the essential elements of microdermabrasion applications. Some of the topics covered in a microdermabrasion course include:
- Skin physiology
- Skin analysis
- Various types of exfoliation
- Client pre- and post-consultations
- Client indications and contraindications
- Microdermabrasion fundamentals
- Microdermabrasion machine and its components
- The crystal flow and crystal-free machines
- Safety protocols
Microdermabrasion certificate/diploma programs are enhanced with hands-on training that allows students to administer a full microdermabrasion procedure on the face and neck. Practical training allows students to better understand hand movement, pressure, and direction of the machine wand.