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Microdermabrasion 101: A Cost Effective Year Round Option for Beautiful Skin


The humble microderm treatment remains a cost-friendly option that continues to attract clients and produce consistent results. It treats a variety of skin conditions and is considered safe for most skin types and colors. It is a very versatile treatment, addressing these skin concerns:


· fine lines and wrinkles

· hyperpigmentation, age spots and brown spots

· enlarged pores and blackheads

· acne and acne scarring

· stretch marks

· dull-looking skin complexion

· uneven skin tone and texture

· melasma

· sun damage


The benefits of a series of professional microdermabrasion include:


· Diminished wrinkles and fine lines

· Smoother, softer, and more supple skin

· Brighter and more even skin tone

· Reduced appearance of pores

· Reduced appearance of age spots and acne scarring

· Firmer, tighter skin

· A more radiant and healthy glow to the skin


Read on for more skinfo on microdermabrasion!



There are two main types of professional microdermabrasion machines:


1. Diamond tip microdermabrasion machines: These use a suction wand for stimulating the skin, while also exfoliating away layers of dry surface skin with a rough, diamond-encrusted tip. This works to remove layers of dry, dead, or dull skin quickly and effectively.


2. Crystal microdermabrasion machines work by spraying the skin with a mixture of high-grade microcrystals and then removing them along with dead skin and surface debris using a vacuum suction function.



So which is better?


When choosing the best professional microdermabrasion machine for your practice, there are a few key differences. Crystal microdermabrasion is considered deeper and a more powerful exfoliation, making it a good choice for rough textured or mature skin. However, some crystal microdermabrasion can be a bit too intense for sensitive or inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and acne.


Diamond tip microdermabrasion is a good option for treating a variety of skin conditions, since you can more easily control the precision of exfoliation, pressure, and suction. Most diamond microdermabrasion machines can be adjusted to provide a more or less aggressive treatment, depending upon your client’s needs. They also tend to be more budget-friendly for small practices or solo estheticians.


Why are crystal machines less popular?


The number one reason for this is simple: cost. The crystals need to be purchased separately and replaced fairly frequently. Also, they come in varying grits for different purposes, which means you have to have to stock a variety. They’re expensive to buy and expensive to ship because of their weight. With diamond microdermabrasion machines you just replace the filter and occasionally the snap-on diamond tip. Consumable cost is low.


Crystal microdermabrasion machines are also harder to clean and maintain. The crystals that are blasted on the skin need to be vacuumed up along with the dead skin cells. It is not all that uncommon for the tubing to clog.


What does a professional microdermabrasion treatment include?

Most microdermabrasion procedures require minimal preparation. Following your regular cleansing protocol, exfoliation with a professional microdermabrasion machine can be performed before or after extractions. It can also be paired with other exfoliation modalities if your scope of practice and state board rules allow. After microdermabrasion, you may want to offer or include popular add-ons such as LED light therapy for boosting recovery time, or custom serums and a facial mask to enhance treatment benefits.

It's important to have good technique for optimal results. Proper positioning of the microdermabrasion wand, vacuum pressure, and crystal flow (if using) play a vital role in making sure the skin is properly polished and does not experience excess irritation. For best results, go at a steady pace and always be sure to check in with your client to ensure their comfort levels.

Microdermabrasion works best with a series of multiple treatments, making it a great menu item to offer in a package series. If your client is new to microdermabrasion, you can educate them on the benefits of consistent treatment and cumulative results. Most experts recommend starting with at least two treatments per month for the first few months, followed by monthly visits for maintenance once desired results have been achieved.


Although clients will see some instant improvement following their first microdermabrasion treatment, 6-10 treatments with a professional machine are typically needed to see long-lasting results, including visible improvement to the skin’s tone, texture, smoothness, and natural radiance factor.



What are the side effects of microdermabrasion?

Because microdermabrasion is minimally invasive, it has few side effects and there is little to no downtime for clients following treatment with a professional microdermabrasion machine. Some clients may experience some initial redness or sensitivity for about 24-48 hours post-facial, while others will notice that their skin has just a bit of extra “glow.”


That said, because microdermabrasion is a professional exfoliation treatment, you should be sure to educate your clients on the importance of proper aftercare and sun protection. Use this opportunity to help your client build their homecare routine using the skincare products you carry or send them with samples at their first appointment and follow up at subsequent visits to help them stay on track and achieve their skincare goals.


What is the cost to the client of a professional microdermabrasion treatment?

Although market averages vary based on your location, the national average cost of a professional microdermabrasion treatment in 2020 was $167 according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. This is good news considering that microdermabrasion is inexpensive to perform. If priced correctly, the profit margin on a microdermabrasion treatment may be higher than some of your other menu items, making it an equipment purchase with good return on investment.


Price your microderm treatment according to what is included. A simple lunchtime facial with basic cleansing, exfoliation and a finishing product may cost less, while a more elaborate 90-minute facial that includes multiple advanced modalities will command a higher price point.

A common question from clients is whether microdermabrasion is better than a chemical peel. To help address this, explain to clients that while both treatments provide exfoliation, they are two different methods of accomplishing it.


While enzymes, alpha-hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids have similar benefits to a professional microdermabrasion treatment for promoting cellular turnover and improving skin health, peels and other chemical exfoliation treatments tend to work deep within the epidermis, whereas microdermabrasion provides a more superficial exfoliation to the skin’s surface.


According to the Milady’s Standard Fundamentals text for estheticians, microdermabrasion is still very effective compared to chemical peeling agents, with the ability to exfoliate the epidermis more effectively than a 30 percent AHA product.


By now you've probably seen home microdermabrasion tools popping all over social media and on online websites like Amazon. Although their availability and low price point may be of interest to DIY-ers, it’s critical that your clients understand the dangers and disadvantages of using these types of devices.


Not only are many of these gadgets not particularly effective, they may also even be damaging to the skin in the hands of someone who is untrained. As an expert in your industry, you are in the position to educate your clients on the importance of safety and the advantages of a professional treatment using top of the line equipment.


Educating Clients on Microderm services

Once you’ve made the decision to invest in your microdermabrasion machine, your next step is getting clients excited about it. Effective education marketing will make sure your booking appointments get filled and attract repeat services.


1: Educate your clients. Nothing sells a new treatment like showcasing the benefits. Begin giving your clients the information on what a microderm facial can do for them on your website, blog, email news or while checking them out and scheduling their next appointment. The more clients hear about your new service, the more confident they will feel in booking it next time.

2: Get creative with your menu. There are endless possibilities for packaging services and incorporating them into your protocols. Create an express treatment for introducing clients to a new modality or include it as an upgrade to your signature facial. Knowing that microdermabrasion works best in a series, you could also offer special packages that include multiple treatments, or even homecare to help your clients get on board and get better results.


3: Highlight your skills on social media. If you are active on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook or other platforms, consider posting the perks of a professional microdermabrasion facial and don’t be afraid to post video clips demonstrating how the machine works with a demo model or client permission. Microdermabrasion is a great service to highlight because it is visually very interesting. Clients and followers love getting an inside peek at what your services look like and are more inclined to trust your skillset once they’ve seen you in action.


Beware of cheap alternatives when it comes to choosing your machine.

One more thing to be aware of when shopping for a professional microdermabrasion machine is that even professional devices will vary greatly in quality and efficacy. Beware of inexpensive $200 units you can purchase online. These machines are rarely manufactured with the same testing and quality standards as those sold by professional esthetics industry retailers.


To get the best professional microdermabrasion machine for your investment you will want to look for reputable brands and retailers that offer customer service, warranty coverage, and training. You should also be certain that any equipment you purchase meets the requirements of your state board and is within your scope of practice.



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