Home microdermabrasion kits are available in pharmacies and skin care salons for US $10 to $300. There’s no doubt they are useful for treating small acne scars, enlarged pores, clogged pores, fine lines, and uneven skin coloration. Microdermabrasion is painless and effective with minimal side effects—but not recommended for continuous use.
Microdermabrasion directs a stream of microscopically small aluminum oxide crystal through a tube under pressure into the skin. These crystals exfoliate the skin, encouraging the formation of collagen, and producing healthier, thicker, often “glowing” skin after five or six treatments. \
Why not use this technique all the time? Although microdermabrasion machines remove aluminum crystals and dead skin cells as they exfoliate the skin, regular use of the technique almost certainly leaves some aluminum behind. Scientists do not know for a certainty that low levels absorbed into the body from any source of other than drinking water increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but until the relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer’s has been thoroughly researched, it’s a good idea to use microdermabrasion occasionally (treatments once or twice a year, for example), rather than regularly.
If doing microdermabrasion once or twice a year isn't going to be enough, consider using equipment designed for corundum crystals, which don't have the side effects of aluminum.
They are often cheaper, and they won't irritate the skin or, as far as science currently knows, cause chemical changes in the brain. Or just do manual exfoliation, with tools such as those pictured at left, every day.
Image credit: OttawaAC, via Wikimedia Commons.