Pammy Blogs Beauty: PMD Microdermabrasion: Effective at-Home Treatment

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PMD Microdermabrasion: Effective at-Home Treatment

Are any of you devotee's of Microdermabrasion? While I have always been a fan of a good microderm scrub, I have never had an in-office microdermabrasion treatment. Yes, I have always wanted one. But, never got one for two reasons: I find them to be a bit cost-prohibitive and I have very sensitive skin and was not sure how my skin would react. Plus, I like doing my beauty treatments at home. That is why I am so excited about this personal microdermabrasion device by PMD! What a great way to get professional results right in your own bathroom at a very reasonable cost! 

I assume that since this is an at-home device that it might not be quite as strong as the type of device used in a spa or dermatologists office. But honestly, that sounds better to me! I wish I could compare this device directly to professional microderm results. But, I will be reviewing this as a Microdermabrasion Device novice. 

My Skin Background:
I generally have normal-dry skin (note: *usually* normal to-dry...since I just had a baby, my hormones are a bit whacked and I have been getting oily breakthrough too). My skin rarely breaks out. But, it does have a bit of "congestion" on my chin. You know, some mild clogged pores and some milia. I also have milia around my eye area. But, you cannot use the PMD device in the eye area. My skin is very sensitive to product ingredients. I do not have any lines or wrinkles. But, I can get some very fine lines (mostly around the eye area) when my skin is dry/dehydrated. Pregnancy brought out some brown spots on my upper cheekbone area and sides of face. But, those are very faint indeed. So, with all that said, my skin is generally in very good condition. But, I would love a more refined texture and less "congestion" in my trouble areas. 

For more about the PMD device and my experience with it, keep reading after the jump!

As ya'll know, I test out a ton of products. But, there is just something more "exciting" about testing out a device! Sometimes these "gadgets" just perk up your beauty routine. Plus, I had high hopes for improved skin and results that go beyond your typical cleanser/toner/moisturizer/treatment cream-type results. 

The PMD Kit: What you get...
This kit contains:
  • Personal Microderm Device
  • 6 exfoliating discs (2 green and 4 blue)
  • 1 electric cord 
  • 1 facial cap (clear plastic guide for facial disc)
  • 1 body cap (clear plastic guide for body disc)
  • 1 reusable washable filter
  • Instructional CD and booklet

The PMD Personal Microdermabrasion Device is a hand-held microdermabrasion tool that uses aluminum oxide crystals to remove dead skin cells and reveal softer skin. Yes, in a way, this is like a "sander" for the face. Sounds like it would be painful and scary...but, I promise you, the system is surprisingly gentle! I will admit, I was a bit nervous before I tested out the device. I was concerned that it would be much too abrasive for my sensitive skin. I found when used correctly, it works just fine on my sensitive skin. 
The Skinny:
  • The PMD kit retails for $179.00 on the PMD site. It is also available at many other online retailers. The PMD site also offers a skincare kit that you can use in conjunction with the device. I did not test out this kit. I just used the skincare that I already have.  
  • PMD states that this device is good for people who have fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, skin discoloration, facial imperfections, and for anyone wanting smoother skin.  
Steps for Use (adapted from PMD booklet):

1. Assemble Device: Put on appropriate disc (My system came with a note that said to "prep" disc by rubbing on hand for 7 seconds before 1st use). The small discs are for the face and the larger for the body. Start with the blue discs. Just pop the disc on the metal shaft and screw on the facial or body cap. Attach cord and twist to "lock". Plug in...and your device is ready to roll!

2. Wash Skin: Make sure your skin is cleansed, makeup is removed, and your hair is pulled back. I like using a super gentle cleanser on nights that I use this device. Dry your skin. Your skin must be dry to use device. 

3. Technique: Use your fingers to stretch your skin so that it is taut where the tip makes contact with the skin. Keep the unit moving constantly over your skin. Do not hover on one spot

Be sure the cap is flush with your skin. maintaining even contact, this will ensure proper suction (you will be able to tell when the suction is working). The sound of the motor will change when suction occurs. The disc should sit slightly below the top of the cap. 

4. Treatment: Use light pressure (especially if first trying device or if you have sensitive skin). Move the device in upward and horizontal motions until you have treated all desired areas. Do not hover or stay to long on one spot. The key here is to *keep the device constantly moving*. 

5. Skin Care/ Cellular Renewal: Follow up with your own skincare or PMD's skincare system. When I used device I followed up with a toner, an antioxidant serum (great for healing!), and a rich moisturizing cream (I like Glycolix Elite). Your skincare items will work better for you after all the wonderful exfoliation from the PMD device! It allows for better absorption of product. Your toner will balance your skin's pH. Also, you will need sunscreen for the next few days following treatment. But, ladies, you should be wearing sunscreen daily anyway! :) 

6. Clean: Clean the black filter and cap after use. You can just run the black filter under water and wash with a mild soap. I let it air out overnight before packing my device away. 

*Don't use if on Acutane! Also, do not use within 48 hours of using Alpha or Beta Hydroxy acids or Retin-A or retinol products. Your skin will be way too sensitive! 

I know that this sounds like a lot of warnings. But really, when used as directed, there is nothing to fear! I was nervous to use it at first; but, the system is easy! 

My Tips:
  • Do a patch test first! Even though this device is gentle enough for sensitive skin, you just never know! You should always do a patch test before testing out any skincare systems. I was nervous at first; but once I did a patch test, I knew this device would be just fine on my skin. 
  • Start with the gentle blue discs. You might be able to use the stronger green discs eventually. But, be on the safe side! Test out the device first with the blue/gentle discs. Personally, I will probably never use the green discs. The blue provides a TON of exfoliation. 
  • Watch the DVD first! It really tells you everything you need to know about using and caring for your device. 
  • Learn from my mistakes: Be sure that you use the device flat against your skin!!! If you press it to your skin at even a slight angle you can over exfoliate and burn your skin! I did this when I was over-tired and in a "hurry". This device is not hard to use. You just need to think about what you are doing. When I hit my skin with this device at an angle, I ended up with a pink "burn" spot that took about 3 days to heal. 
  • Keep the device moving! Also, try to follow a pattern over your face. Otherwise it is hard to tell "where you have been" already. You do not want to over-exfoliate.  
  • After use, I just get a dry washcloth to dust off my face before applying toner. I just want to remove any debris. 
  • Don't get close to the eye area. You are supposed to stay below the upper cheekbones and over the eyes with this device. Too bad it is not gentle enough for the eye area as that is the only area in which I have very fine lines when my skin is dry. 

My Results:
Okay...Wow! I love this PMD device! This device has exceeded my expectations. I use it once a week (usually on Sunday nights). The very slight hyperpigmentation on my cheeks (leftover from pregnancy) is almost *gone*!!! Actually, my skin tone in general is much more even. I really can't evaluate the device on the basis of reduction in lines or wrinkles since I do not have any. But, it does seem as if my treatment products sink in faster because of the heavy exfoliation. I believe that, over time, this will allow my products to "work better for me" and be more effective. 

My skin is incredibly soft after using this device! It always strikes me as being very noticeable the mornings following a PM device treatment. There is no question that this device works to soften your skin. 

Also, I found this device to be super easy to use and care for. Set up and cleaning is very quick and easy. My biggest tip is to make sure that the device is flat to your skin when you use it. I did injure my skin one time when applying the device at a slight angle. But, I do not blame the device. It was my own user-error. So, if you are super tired or in a rush...maybe skip a treatment that night. The treatments don't take long. But you do need to think about what you are doing. 

I really loved this device and will continue to use it for sure! 

If any of you have had experience with both in-office microdermabrasion treatments and the use of an at-home microdermabrasion tool like the PMD, I would love to hear how the experiences compare! 


Liz Gray said...

Great post! I have a question: Do you think I can use PMD while pregnant? I'm in my first trimester (11 weeks).



Unknown said...

@Liz-Congrats on your pregnancy!!! That is amazing news! :) Sure, I think you could use the PMD. I don't see why not as it is essentially just really deep exfoliation. It probably would help keep your skin clear during pregnancy.

Lexi said...

Hello, I just found your post -- I've had small milia all over my forehead for years (thinking it was acne this whole time but with research I realized it's milia). Did the PMD help your milia?? I can't decided if I should try this first or get a facial. As I'm on a budget, I only want to do one or the other.

Unknown said...

@Lexi-I find that my Millia tends to go away over time. However, I do think that the PMD did help. It certainly is a great option for at home Microderm!

Unknown said...

I have a lost of whiteheads on my face plz tel me it ll work on it plzzz ans me thankx

Unknown said...

I have a lost of whiteheads on my face plz tel me it ll work on it plzzz ans me thankx

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