TOP 10 "MYTHS" OF MICRODERMABRASION
1. All Microdermabrasions are basically the same and do an adequate job of mechanical exfoliation.
Fact: Most Microdermabraders (New or Old) do a very poor job at
exfoliating the Stratum Corneum, Safely, Predictably & Reliably. It's
True!! Just because you own or use a device that's labeled a "Microdermabrader,"
you can't assume that it is actively and evenly removing the dead skin cells.
Test your own unit out on a piece of dark newsprint at the treatment strengths
you use....see just what area of the opening is actually getting hit with
crystals. You may be surprised at how small this area is and how unevenly the
ink is removed.
2. I can get the same or better results with glycolics.
Fact: This may be true to some extent, but not without significantly
more irritation and downtime. Fact: If done correctly, a "mechanical" means of
exfoliation (microdermabrasion) results in less downtime for the patient vs. a
"chemical" means of exfoliation (acid peels).
3. My handpiece is sterile and/or I change my cap on each procedure, therefore, there's nothing to worry about.
Fact: Absolutely Untrue!!!! This is a very sensitive issue to me, but
industry wide, generally a non-issue. Why! Think of the precautions we go
through in both the medical and aesthetic worlds to prevent from any potential
of cross contamination. Should this be a sterile procedure? It never will be
and really doesn't have to be...but it should be as safe as we can make it .
Ultimately there should be some mandated guidelines that each manufacturer needs
to follow in order to market their device, but up until now, there isn't any. A
HEPA filter alone is not enough! You need to know to "what level" the filtering
system works to. There is no physical way to make this a sterile procedure and
the surface you're treating is contaminated to begin with. What you should be
able to guard against is any potential of cross contamination between
patients/clients. Simply sterilizing or highly disinfecting your handpiece and
tubing's is not enough. All of the internal mechanisms of the equipment are
contaminated, so any air that delivers the crystals will also be suspect. The
only acceptable means of guarding against this is to filter both at the air
intake of the unit and also after the waste receptacle to a level that is both
anti-viral and antibacterial. This way you can assure both yourself and the
person undergoing a treatment that they won't walk out of your place of business
with anything they didn't walk in with.
4. The more aggressive I get, the better the results! (I Need More Power!)
Fact: Not true at all and this procedure is not about power...it's
progressive, not aggressive. The stronger you do your treatments, the more
potential "downtime" you risk. Since there aren't any industry standards, it's
next to impossible to compare treatment strengths between systems. Most
manufacturers will have at least 2 different models and label their most
expensive device as a "Physician Only." It generally will deliver a stronger
treatment, but the real reason for this is purely for marketing reasons..and to
command a higher price. Some manufacturers "non-Physician" units will deliver a
much stronger treatment than other "Physician Only" devices.
5. Microdermabrasion by itself can produce wonderful results!
Fact: Please define wonderful. The fact remains that
microdermabrasion alone will only produce "Ho-Hum" results. To achieve the kind
of results that your patients/clients are seeking, it needs to be a combined
therapy that incorporates active ingredient, daily skincare products that are
specifically designed for the issues that exist. It is not a "Magic Bullet,"
however if used appropriately and in combination with quality products that are
used in conjunction with the treatments...you can get outstanding
results....without any irritation or downtime.
6. Aluminum Oxide Crystals are dangerous and hazardous.
Fact: Not True. A while back it was reported that the potential
for Alzheimer's existed if the patient or technician were exposed to Aluminum
Oxide. This was a totally bogus claim, but nonetheless, the microdermabraders
lacked the design which would allow for all of the crystals to be efficiently
removed. They were very messy and the chance of particles getting into one's
eye could cause corneal abrasions. Likewise, these inefficient devices were not
capturing or containing all of the potential airborne particles that resulted
from inefficient removal, disposal or cleaning of the machine. If they gave you
a can of compressed air to "blow" out your lines....you own one of
7. Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) and/or Sodium Chloride (Salt) are equally good exfolliators.
Fact: Very, Very untrue. Aluminum Oxide (Corundum) was
originally used and eventually approved for use in Microdermabrading because of
the qualities it has as an abrasive substance. It is a very hard crystal with
sharp edges that is widely used in the industrial community. It is non water
soluble, can be manufactured is various grit sizes and is relatively unaffected
by humidity if purchased in its pure crystal form. Both Sodium Chloride and
Bicarbonate are water soluble, so they are very much effected by moisture and
humidity and will absolutely clog more often. More importantly, because they
aren't nearly as hard, they typically will be a more "powdery" substance that
"beats" the skin rather than removing it. Lighter particles move faster, thus
hurt more and exfoliate less. This powder which is always prevalent in both
salt and baking soda, will create much more airborne particulate matter, thus
increasing the chances of illnesses due to contaminants in the air.
8. Purchase the "least expensive" crystals you can find. They are all alike.
Fact: Guess what? Another myth in the industry. Aluminum oxide
when purchased in bulk form, lists the % level of Aluminum Oxide. This can, and
usually is, a very misleading figure. As stated in the previous remark, it's
the pure crystal you want, preferably in a 100 to 120 micron size. What the
label doesn't tell you is the amount of pure crystal vs. powder (smaller).
Again, the powder will not nearly exfoliate as well as the crystal form. It
will still pinken the skin, but generally a vacuum only device will do this and
you really aren't able to visually see what is being removed. You know crystals
are hitting the surface, but what you don't know is how effective they are in
removing the dead skin cells, the ultimate goal of this procedure. Using a poor
grade Aluminum Oxide source would be like handing Stevie Wonder a paintbrush.
9. Independent "Vacuum" and "Crystal Flow" knobs allow for optimal treatments.
Fact: On the contrary, it can lead to no microdermabrasion at all.
There's no question that machines that have dual knobs are easier and less
expensive to manufacture. However, since most of them incorporate a "one hole
out" and "one hole in" handpiece, it is impossible to capture all of the
crystals that are being delivered to the skin......unless you turn down the
crystals and increase the vacuum....at the risk of very little abrasion at all.
As I said earlier, you can't visually see the crystal output, but you can see
what's left on the skin and also the pinkening that occurs...which could be due
to the vacuum only. This doesn't mean that a single knob system is better, or
that you can't be successful with a dual knob system. You just have to more
intimately know your machine. The most desirable system would allow for a
continued balance of both crystal flow and vacuum, similar to an automatic
transmission on a car. There does exist an optimal amount of crystals that
should be release based upon the amount of vacuum being applied in order to
evenly and adequately exfoliate. If you can accomplish this while not
increasing the drag to the handpiece, you have a winner.
10. 8 to 10 Treatments, 7 to 10 days apart with Monthly Maintenance Treatments.
Fact: If done correctly, a series of 4 to 6 treatments should be
sufficient to get optimal results. If you are doing more than this, then most
likely one of two things are missing. The first would be using a
microdermabrader that really isn't exfoliating and/or a technician who is
passing the handpiece too quickly to adequately abrade the skin. The second is
that you, and/or your client, aren't incorporating a daily skincare regimen with
active ingredient products. Many times the technician isn't comfortable in
suggesting products to use, might make it too expensive....but if they don't,
the results won't be what your client is seeking. Other times, your client
isn't compliant either because the regimen is too complicated or they haven't
been educated on the importance of products. More times than not, many product
lines are too complicated and/or too irritating to be used with
microdermabrasion. In fact, most of the notable skincare manufacturers
recommend existing products and don't have a line that has been specifically
developed for use with microdermabrasion. Furthermore, they feel threatened by
microdermabrasion instead of embracing it.
Just about anything you place on the skin following an exfoliation procedure,
will penetrate deeper, be more effective and act faster. Microdermabrasion
will make good products work even better....and faster. Look for a simple, yet
effective line that is easy to understand. Above all, educate your patient on
the importance of them.
Knowing all of this exists, how safe would you feel having a treatment done by someone who really hasn't been well trained on the use of the device?? We can only hope that stricter requirements are placed on the manufacturers and minimum guidelines established and strictly enforced.
Microdermabrasion is being done everywhere and by everyone!
really don't take the time to
they are having the procedure at a qualified plastic surgeon's office.
It's only after you have purchased
can begin to evaluate your purchase. Even then, if you have nothing to compare
it with, you learn to live with it and hopefully like it...