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Want an alternative to expensive professional microdermabrasion? Many companies are now marketing microdermabrasion products for use at home. Conventional microdermabrasion is an in-office procedure for which the client is required to visit a day spa, dermatologist's office or microdermabrasion center, where the procedure is performed by a trained technician.

During this office visit, the client's skin is exfoliated by being sprayed with abrasive “micro crystals”, usually of aluminum oxide, by a device similar to a tiny sandblaster with a suction mechanism attached. Dead skin cells are removed, and are vacuumed away along with the crystals. Microdermabrasion is a truly revolutionary skin care technique, having been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve surface skin texture, and even stimulate the formation of new skin cells in the deepest layers of the skin.

But what about the price? The cost for this procedure is usually around $200 per treatment, not including the expensive post microdermabrasion skin care products that must be used after the treatment. In addition, experts recommend repeating the procedure once a month for 6-10 months, then tapering off to once every 2 months. Not exactly cheap.

Lately, however, there has been a great increase in the number of home microdermabrasion products offered for sale. Nutrogena, Mary Kay, DermaNew, and many other companies are offering home microdermabrasion systems that claim to be able to provide many of the same benefits as in-office microdermabrasion. These systems generally consist of an exfoliating cream containing abrasive micro-crystals which is applied to the skin by a hand held oscillatory device.

The cream is loaded onto the device's sponge applicator and pressed gently onto the skin. The applicator spins very quickly, exfoliating and massaging the skin, removing dead surface skin cells and increasing circulation. This results in more even skin texture, a warm, healthy glow, and a more polished appearance. These home microdermabrasion products sell for about 30-100 dollars, depending on brand.

Chemical Microdermabrasion Products

For consumers who would rather not mechanically exfoliate their facial skin, companies such as Olay and Philosophy are marketing lines of chemical microdermabrasion products. Rather than abrasive crystals, these products use chemical exfoliants such as glycolic or lactic acid to remove dead skin cells. The result is similar to that of a chemical peel. The creams are applied to the face and left on for a few minutes, then washed away. These chemical microdermabrasion products claim to be able to visibly improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.