A PRIMER ON MICRODERMABRASION, MICRONEEDLING, AND MICROBLADING
BY AUDREY SELLERS
You have a cabinet full of lotions and potions, but nothing is doing the trick for your skin. Fortunately, there are more options than ever before to refresh your look, rejuvenate your skin, and restore your confidence. If you’re confused about where to start, consider this your guide to three of the most popular aesthetic solutions available.
Microdermabrasion, microneedling, and microblading sound similar, but they do different things. In short, microdermabrasion and microneedling are skincare procedures that help treat cosmetic skin issues. Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique that helps create the illusion of fuller brows.
With microdermabrasion, a special applicator gently smooths away your skin’s thicker outer layer, helping reveal fresh, healthy skin underneath. Considered safe for most skin types and colors, the American College of Dermatology recommends microdermabrasion to address dull complexions, enlarged pores, melasma, and fine lines and wrinkles.
Check with your dermatologist, licensed aesthetician, or plastic surgeon to decide on the best microdermabrasion treatment plan. Different options may be available, including crystal microdermabrasion, diamond microdermabrasion, hydro microdermabrasion, and dermal infusion, the next generation of microdermabrasion.
Microneedling, a newer procedure than microdermabrasion, involves very fine needles that penetrate the skin. The 20 to 30-minute process helps encourage collagen production, resulting in firmer, smoother, and more toned skin. Microneedling can be performed on the face, neck, scalp, and body to improve scars, stretch marks, pore size, and uneven skin texture. Most med spas use an electric pen-like device that can be adjusted for depth and speed. A topical anesthetic numbs the area, helping prevent any discomfort. Some people liken the sensation to getting a mild-feeling tattoo, while others say it feels like light sandpaper on the skin, especially on the forehead.
If fuller brows are what you’re after, microblading can give you a look you desire. This process involves a microblade tool with tiny needles that apply color pigments. Results can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months, depending on your skin type. (People who tend to have more oily skin may see their results fade sooner.) If you’re looking for longer-lasting results, try microshading, which leaves small, pinpoint dots of pigment instead of tiny hair strokes. These dots help shade in sparse areas and create a soft, shadowy effect. Like haircuts and manicures, you’ll get the best results from microblading by choosing an experienced professional.
WHAT’S THE DOWNTIME?
Thanks to their non or minimally invasive nature, microdermabrasion, microneedling, and microblading allow you to get back to work and your daily life with little or no downtime. Closely follow the after-care instructions given to you by your provider. You may experience skin irritation or redness after microdermabrasion, but a little camouflaging foundation can conceal it.
Healing from microneedling typically takes about 24 hours, depending on the extent of your treatment. Remember to apply sunscreen when you go out, as you will be more prone to sunburn than usual. The treatment area may peel or flake three to five days after microneedling as skin cells turn over. If you notice this, use a gentle moisturizer. The healing process for microblading can take four to six weeks, but you can return to your normal activities after a session. Your brows will be their final shape and color after about 30 days.