I never used to pay attention to my skin. I rarely exfoliated. I rarely took my makeup off before bed. And I rarely wore sunscreen.
Oh the things we justify during our 20’s.
Well I’m now paying for that reckless behavior in my 30’s and let me tell you, after ignoring your skin for so many years, it sure does catch up to you real quick.
These days, I will not let my head hit the pillow without my face being makeup-free and I will not go more than a week without exfoliating my skin.
Why? Because when we don’t exfoliate our skin, the dry, dead, dull skin cells can build up on the surface of our face and cause us to look, well, blah.
And it’s not just looking haggard that I’m trying to avoid. It’s the acne. It’s the wrinkles. It’s the sunspots. It’s the dry skin.
Fortunately, we ladies have a way to combat all of these unsightly skin conditions and it’s called Microdermabrasion.
The problem with microdermabrasion though is there are so many products out there that promise the world and deliver nothing but lackluster results.
Well no more I say, because today I’m breaking down our top 3 at-home microdermabrasion machines we truly believe give the biggest bang for your buck.
And by bang, I mean great skin. That was obvious wasn’t it?
So let’s get into it…
Why Would I Need a Microdermabrasion Machine?
Simply put, having a microdermabrasion machine at home helps you save money on expensive spa treatments, dermatologist visits and all those different creams, lotions and potions that promise to give you the flawless skin you covet…but always seem to let you down.
To put it bluntly, a microdermabrasion machine can work for you if you have:
- sun damage (aka sun spots)
- fine lines and wrinkles
- acne scarring (or any other facial scarring)
- enlarged pores
- age spots
- excessive pigmentation
- uneven skin tone
- dull skin
- sagging skin
- stretch marks
That’s a lot of skin issues for one machine to cure! And what’s even crazier is that if you choose the right machine, it will alleviate almost any annoying skincare ailment you could possibly throw at it…or under it, I guess.
I mean, think about it. So many of us want to stay looking as young as we can for as long as humanly possible, so we book in for peels, lifts, fillers or injections when really all you need to do is scrub away the dead layers of skin and allow newer, healthier skin to come to the surface.
It sounds so simple and yet we always over-complicate it.
If you want your skin to look younger, healthier and radiant then you need to bring that young, healthy, radiant skin to the surface.
A solid microdermabrasion machine can do that for you.
How Does Microdermabrasion Work?
While the machine itself may seem elaborate, the process is pretty simple.
Small crystals are injected into your epidermis by the machine. When combined with the suction provided by the device, these crystals help to shed the top layer of dead skin off your face.
To break it down further, the top section of your epidermis is made up of 2 layers – the Stratum Corneum and the New Layer.
Microdermabrasion is a fast and highly effective way of shedding the Stratum Corneum and giving way to the layer of healthy skin trapped beneath.
This is pivotal to attaining glowing, healthy skin because the Stratum is the key factor in preventing moisture and other necessary vitamins from entering the most important layer – the Dermis.
The Dermis is the layer of our skin that allows all the ingredients we slather our skin with to penetrate and work their magic.
Using a powerful anti-aging cream but not seeing results? I’d put money on the fact that your Dermis layer is being blocked by dead skin cells.
Trying to get rid of your acne but keep breaking out? Those dead skin cells associated with the Stratum are likely clogging up your pores.
Testing out an eye cream that doesn’t seem to be doing its job? Chances are your Stratum layer is blocking access to the Dermis layer and therefore not strengthening the capillaries.
It all leads back to that and fortunately a solid and dependable microdermabrasion machine can help you.
The 4 Factors to Look for in a Microdermabrasion Machine?
When it comes to choosing the right at-home microdermabrasion machine for your skin type there are four factors you will want to take into consideration.
If there is one thing you want your machine to do, it’s to scrub and suck away each and every single one of those dead skin cells that is blocking your healthier skin from making its way to the surface.
No easy feat but any microdermabrasion machine worth its weight should be able to accomplish this without too much effort and without any pain or discomfort.
Any microdermabrasion machine you order is going to come in a kit. This kit should contain everything you need to run the machine at home, including replacement filters as well as easy-to-follow instructions so you get a proper exfoliation and hit all the right spots on your face.
It goes without saying that if you are going to make the investment to order a microdermabrasion machine, you are going to want to see results.
However, it is important to manage your expectations. Typically you will not see noticeable results over night but if you start to see your spots fading, your acne subsiding, your stretch marks disappearing, your skin tightening and looking younger within the first 4 weeks, then you have found yourself a solid product.
What you should notice right away is softer, smoother skin. This should be an instantaneous result you notice after your first exfoliation. If your skin doesn’t feel softer, you have a dud on your hands and it’s time to get a refund.
Who would ever want to pay more for something when you could pay less?
While the less-expensive option is always the most expensive, you usually end up getting what you paid for and typically that can make less-than-enviable results.
Though you should always keep your budget in mind, if you find a product that you feel is a better fit for your skin, but is $50 more, I will usually fork out the additional $50.
After all, would you rather save yourself the money and opt for a less-than-average product or would you rather make the investment in a more healthy, radiant and confident you?
The choice is yours.
It is with these 4 factors is mind that we here in BES land have chosen our 3 best microdermabrasion machines for 2013.
#1: Microderm MD
|Price:||$299 (or 30 day trial)|
Microderm MD – The diamond-tipped at-home machine that gives you step by step instructions on how to suck away the dead skin and reveal your true natural beauty.
Boasting a crystal-free operation, this machine leaves you with no mess to clean up afterwards.
That’s all well and good but how does it stand up to our 4 factor test?
I have to admit, I tried the Microderm MD (and shot a video review) I was pleasantly surprised by how truly powerful this machine is. We’re talking 5 different suction levels – each of which ensure you don’t overdo it around your more sensitive areas, well at the same time make sure your tougher areas get a proper exfoliation.
At first, I was a little taken aback by how much suction power there was to this machine (I thought it might damage my skin) but once I finished my treatment and felt my face, I was astonished at how smooth my skin was.
I also like the fact that this machine helps to clear your pores of any dead skin cells that may be caught and blocking up your pores. I found it helped to cut down on any acne breakouts I may have experienced if I didn’t use this product.
I also found it to be quite effective on the few remaining acne scars I had, as well as the rough patches, fine lines, few sun spots and overall helped to firm up my slightly sagging skin.
The Microderm MD comes in a handy package that includes replacement filters, a hose (to suck up all those dead skin cells) and the machine itself which has an option to switch from manual setting (meaning you control the suction levels) to automatic.
The automatic setting was my favourite as it guides you along the process, moving to different parts of your face and targeting each of these areas with specific suction levels that guarantee the best exfoliation.
It also times each section so you don’t overdo it on one area and even has a diagram of where on your face the hose should be.
Mindless microdermabrasion. Win!
I think I made it clear above but just to reiterate, the results I saw from using the Microderm MD were on par with any spa treatment I’ve ever had.
My skin was smooth as silk and had a youthful glow to it – something this thirty-something truly appreciated!
I also loved that my skin didn’t seem to sag as much (it took a few treatments for this to become noticeable though), the few sun spots I had appeared to have faded and the annoying wrinkles on my forehead didn’t seem as deep as before.
I will say one thing though; once I had initially finished my first microdermabrasion I noticed there were a few red marks on my face from where the suction had been particularly strong.
Luckily that faded away in about 10 minutes but I would suggest if you plan on giving yourself a thorough microdermabrasion, don’t have any plans for at least 30 minutes afterwards. That way you have time for the redness to subside as well as time to wash your face and moisturize.
I’m going to be 110% honest with you – Microderm MD is an investment. Coming in at just under $300 it is not for the faint of heart…err…wallet.
However, if you are tired of trying every product on the market only to have your hopes dashed by lackluster results, or if you just cannot justify yet another spa treatment then the Microderm MD just may be for you.
While the price is daunting, the good news is the Microderm MD actually offers a 30 day trial for $14.95 (plus shipping and handling).
I know I appreciated this offer as it helped to ease my anxieties around making such a big purchase. Just be sure you return the product (if you aren’t happy with it) before your 30 days are up or you run the risk of being charged the full amount.
#2: Kendal Professional
Similar to the Microderm MD, the Kendal (not to be confused with the Amazon Kindle) at-home microdermabrasion machine uses a diamond tip to help slough away the dry, dead layers of your skin.
Where it differs is in the variety of tips it provides its customers and the level of suction it offers.
But does it meet our four factors?
While not as strong as the Microderm MD, the Kendal Professional is a more gentle exfoliation machine which those with more sensitive skin may come to appreciate.
It gradually scrubs away the top dull layers of skin but since it is a lighter treatment, it tends to take a little bit longer to see noticeable results.
However, the benefit to this is that it won’t leave your skin with temporary red marks after using it.
Although, with that being said, many customers have found it irritating to wait so long to see results thanks to its mild suction power.
If a strong suction isn’t something you’re interested in and you don’t mind waiting 4-5 treatments to see visible changes in your skin then this product could be the right fit for you.
What I do really like about the Kendal Professional is that it comes with 360 cotton filters that help to collect the mess that is your dead skin.
Because this kit provides so many filters, you shouldn’t have to order any more for at least two years, helping you to save some coin in the long run.
In addition to the filters, the Kendal also comes with various diamond tips that range in sizes and can be switched up according to how big your problem areas are.
For example, if you want to focus on your forehead you will want to use a larger tip. But if the sides of your nose is what you’re after then using their smallest tip can provide targeted exfoliation and can help you to really get into those hard-to-reach creases.
Here is where I seem to have trouble with this product. While I love that the Kendal comes with so many filters and different sized tips, the lack of suction power dissuades me from truly loving this product overall.
Personally, if I am going to invest in an expensive product I prefer to choose the one that offers the most power, the most results and the most options and the Kendal just doesn’t do that.
Another aspect I’m not too crazy on with this product is the fact that so many customers have reported their machines breaking down after only 2 months of using it. To me, that just isn’t acceptable.
Like the Microderm MD, the Kendal Professional is an investment, coming in at $300 this product is definitely one you will have to give a great deal of consideration to.
While I fully suggest spending the money and making the investment in the Microderm MD (or at least giving the 30 day trial a shot) I can’t necessarily say the same thing for the Kendal.
As mentioned above, if you are looking for a more gentle exfoliation then this product is for you. But let’s be honest, if you’re looking for an at-home microdermabrasion machine, chances are you aren’t looking for a timid treatment.
You want the goods. You want results. You want to see improvements. And if that’s the case, then you don’t want the Kendal Professional.
While I understand the lure of the different tools that make up this product, I find them to be used as distractions designed to cause you to ignore the bigger picture and that is the Kendal Professional simply doesn’t measure up to its competition.
The microdermabrasion machine that was creating a lot of buzz and providing great results…until a slew of terrible reviews started circulating on common defects regarding this product.
But before we get into that, let’s see how the NuBrilliance measures up to our four factors, shall we?
Akin to the Microderm MD, the NuBrilliance offers 5 different suction levels allowing you to tailor your exfoliation to the different parts of your face.
This is helpful for anyone looking to target the sensitive areas around their eyes as a lower setting will help to delicately exfoliate that area without causing any dermal tearing, a main contributor to premature signs of aging.
However, like the Kendal Professional, even the strongest of settings on the NuBrilliance still doesn’t measure up to the Microderm MD, lacking the true power to shed and suck up the top layer of tough-to-remove dead skin cells.
The positive aspect about this though is that, similar to the Kendal, you won’t experience any red marks on your face after exfoliating with NuBrilliance.
One thing I really like about NuBrilliance, and one of the main reasons it became so popular (until it fell from grace) is that it comes with two different tips – a fine one for your face and a larger, more abrasive tip to be used on your neck.
I like this feature a lot because while most of us seem to focus on treating our face for signs of aging, we can often neglect our neck which can just as easily demonstrate those unsightly signs of aging.
However, while I find the two tips to be a great feature, the suction hose becomes clogged too easily for my liking.
Though that may not sound like a huge deal (because you would assume you could just clean it) it actually causes the motor to shut down at around the 6 week mark.
What’s frustrating about this is once that happens, you can no longer return the machine meaning you just spent hundreds of dollars on a useless machine.
Back on a positive note, I also really like that NuBrilliance comes with a preparation cleanser (to be used prior to using the machine), a collagen regenerator (which I have heard isn’t that great..maybe it’s because your skin cannot properly absorb collagen, it has to create it) as well as a moisturizer (to be used after your exfoliation).
What’s so attractive about this is that NuBrilliance is the only machine in our top 3 that includes these extra steps in their regime; demonstrating that they are willing to go the extra step to ensure their customers have a satisfactory experience.
But is satisfactory good enough for you?
While the product does help to reduce sagging skin, both on your neck and face, as well as leaves your skin incredibly soft, it is the failure rate of this product that makes me extremely wary.
Sure, you could always cut down on how often you use this product to ensure it stays functioning for as long as possible but really, who wants that?
Instead I would rather focus on a product that won’t break down on me or leave me frustrated and my face covered in dead skin cells.
However, I will say that some customers mentioned that NuBrilliance did help to fade some of their dark spots, as well as firm up their sagging skin but it didn’t do much in the way of acne scars (or acne in general), fine lines or enlarged pores.
Personally, if I’m going to spend hundreds of dollars I expect a flawless experience with noticeable results and a trustworthy product and I’m sorry to say but I just didn’t find that with NuBrilliance.
As I just mentioned, NuBrilliance costs hundreds of dollars – $239 to be exact.
Similar to both the Microderm MD and the Kendal Professional, this at-home microdermabrasion machine is an investment but what makes this investment a risky one is its failure rate.
There isn’t much to say about NuBrilliance in this category as it is an expensive product with a poor track record.
The bright side is, NuBrilliance offers a 30 day trial for $14.95 (sound familiar?) which includes shipping and handling – a feature not offered by Microderm MD.
However, I will reiterate that many customers have reported their machine breaking down at the 6 week mark, only 2 weeks after the trial period ends and you are no longer able to return your machine.
I know I sound like a broken record but it is because of this failure rate and the overwhelming amount of unsatisfied customers that NuBrilliance holds the bottom place spot in our top 3.
One Final Note
From personal experience, we found the Microderm MD to be the best microdermabrasion machine. Regardless of which product you choose to go with, if you can stay consistent in your weekly treatments (you should use a microdermabrasion machine more than once a week) you should start to see noticeable results in less than 4 weeks, less than 3 if you choose to test out our top choice.
Just remember, while it may seem like an expensive purchase, the investment you are making in your skin and your overall appearance is one that will pay off in droves as your skin starts to improve and your confidence levels start to shoot through the roof.
After all, why spend the money on expensive spa treatments when you could get the same results in the comfort of your own home.
I mean, what do you have to lose…other than years off your face?