Cold, dry weather makes skin look dull; microdermabrasion can restore its glow. Here’s a top product that mimics this polishing procedure at home.
Winter is upon us, and while we welcome the sunshine instead of the usual dark, gloomy Vancouver weather, sunny days are cool and crisp. You may have noticed your skin feeling dryer, tighter and lackluster at this time of year. Even oilier complexions feel dryer and tighter than usual. As a result, we often reach for heavier creams and moisturizing masks, which can help, but the best solution is a good exfoliation or polishing of the skin.
What Is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a skin resurfacing procedure that offers subtle improvements in the appearance of fine lines, age spots and mild acne scarring. The procedure removes the uppermost layer of the skin, which improves the skin’s vibrancy by unveiling the healthier, newer skin cells underneath. The result is a revitalized complexion, enhanced skin clarity and an increase in circulation which promotes elasticity and firmness.
During a professional microdermabrasion session, a dermatologist uses a special wand that shoots aluminum oxide crystals at the skin’s surface. This process loosens the dull skin cells that make up the top layer of the epidermis. The wand’s suction component then vacuums the loose skin cells and the crystals from the skin. One professional microdermabrasion session can cost as much as $150, and the treatment can require multiple sessions.
An Alternative To Professional Microdermabrasion Treatments
Well, here’s the good news. NeoStrata makes Skin Resurfacing Duo: a microdermabrasion kit suitable for all skin types that you can use in the comfort of your own home for around $74 (you can sometimes find it on sale). The kit consists of a 50-mL jar of “crystals” and a 100-mL tube of “activator”. Make sure when you purchase this product to get some advice on whether it is suitable for you and what sort of aftercare you may require. If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis, DO NOT use this kit during a flare-up.
I recommend using the kit seasonally (four times a year) for a seven-day period. It is safe enough to use seven times during that week, but three is enough for most people. Do the procedure on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example, so your skin has a day off between sessions. It’s best to do your treatments in the evening after cleansing and gently patting your face dry.
How To Apply NeoStrata
1. Massage a small amount of crystals onto your face, avoiding the eye area.
2. Massage for about a minute and then add the activator and massage gently for one more minute. If your skin is really sensitive, mix the crystals and the activator in your hand first and then massage for two minutes.
3. Rinse the skin thoroughly with lukewarm water.
4. Pat dry and follow with your regular toner and night cream or aftercare treatment that was recommended to you.
Even though the kit is not as intense as a professional microdermabrasion session, it is wise to protect your skin during and after your treatments with minimum SPF 15 sunscreen during the daytime. Your fresh, new, shiny skin is more sensitive to sun damage, so take care of it! —Allison Emery