What are the different types of microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion was first developed in Italy in the 1980s as an alternative to the risks associated with invasive dermabrasion procedures.

Since the mid 1990s, microdermabrasion machines have enjoyed widespread popularity as a way to deeply refresh and renew ageing and blemished skin without surgical procedures, anaesthetic or post-treatment downtime.

Fast forward to today and you will find microdermabrasion machines in virtually every skin clinic, medi-spa and beauty salon operating aesthetic technology. How those machines function, however, may differ from business to business. Here we will look at the main two types of microdermabrasion technology.

Crystal microdermabrasion

The traditional professional microdermabrasion machine uses tiny aluminium oxide crystals that are sprayed over the skin via a wand handpiece. The crystals abrade the outermost layer of skin (the stratum corneum), and the crystals, together with the dead skin cells are vacuumed up via the same handpiece and into a receptacle for disposal. The suction action also works to stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage for greater toxin clearance and a healthy post-treatment glow.



Hydrodermabrasion is the latest evolution in microdermabrasion machines, and is one that has quickly gained popularity by aestheticians and their clients alike. This is because instead of emitting a crystal spray, hydrodermabrasion systems employ a diamond-tip wand handpiece fitted with an abrasive disc that sweeps over the skin to remove dead and dry skin. This crystal-free process eliminates the possibility of crystal debris remaining on the skin after treatment, which can cause irritation. Hydrodermabrasion machines also have the added benefit of hydrating the skin with nourishing corrective formulas that are chosen to suit the client’s treatment objectives (for example, a skin clearing formula for acne-prone skin, or a brightening formula to treat hyperpigmentation). The hydrating liquids are dispensed via the handpiece through strategically placed holes (jets) in the handpiece tip.


Deciding which microdermabrasion machine is best suited to your business comes down to your treatment technique preference, and your budget. While hydrodermabrasion machines are typically a more expensive investment, they offer superior treatment benefits and higher psychologically satisfying results for the client.

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