If you have ever gotten microdermabrasion treatment at the spa, you know that it can do wonders for the skin. After a session at the spa your skin is left feeling smoother and softer and you are left with a gentle flush that looks like you just came back from a jog. In my own personal experience, it’s been very effective at getting rid of blackheads and dead skin, revealing the softer, radiant skin beneath.
Going to the spa for microdermabrasion can prove quite expensive though. I usually purchase packages of ten treatment sessions at sixty to seventy dollars per session. As much as I loved the results, the cost kept me away from the spa for more than a year. However, recently I’ve noticed that my friends have been going crazy over microdermabrasion kits that can be used from home. The higher end kits cost anywhere for $150 to $300. This is great because you don’t have to leave your home for the treatment and it is really cost effective when compared to the spa.
I have been able to sample three of these microdermabrasion kits and have formulated my own opinion on them.
MicrodermMD Medical Grade Home Microdermabrasion Machine
Perhaps due to its color and the texture of its case which was plastic, my initial impression of the device was that for $250 it seemed poorly made. Once I used it however, my mind was quickly changed. Its diamond wand was able to move easily over my skin without causing any discomfort. It had very good suction but it wasn’t as strong as what you get when you go to the spa. In my opinion though, it was quite adequate for use at home especially if you’re doing it yourself.
One of my favorite things about this device is how user friendly it is. All the instructions are clear and it is quite easy to use. I also learned from the owner of the machine that the manufacturer offers excellent customer service. She said when she contacted Trophy Skin about a defective wand they replaced it immediately, no questions asked!
My biggest concern with the device is its price. I was also disappointed that the blackhead removal wand did not get rid of my blackheads. Of course, this could simply be because my blackheads were too deep for this device to work on them.
New Spa Diamond Microdermabrasion Machine Kit
For this machine, the first thing that struck me was that the device seemed to be well constructed and was of sound quality. The buttons were designed for ease of use. To operate this machine, you simply need to know how to turn it on and off and how to change the intensity of the suction by rotating the knob. My favorite thing about this device is the suction power. The suction power on this device is rated at 16 inHg, which is about the same for the majority of home microdermabrasion devices. The difference though is that at its maximum, its suction seemed quite close to what you get at the spa. If you do not want a deep dermabrasion it is best not to use it at its maximum suction. I was also quite pleased to find that its wand was of really good quality and it glided easily across my skin.
My overall opinion of this device is that it is a powerful, well constructed device with surprising low noise levels. This is really a plus in my book because it can be quite irritating to have that loud buzzing sound when you are trying to have a relaxing facial treatment. For some people this machine may be somewhat chunky and too metallic but for fewer than two hundred dollars, I’m quite willing to live with it!
Kendal Diamond Microdermabrasion Machine
The Kendal was the final microdermabrasion machine that I tried. This is a really compact machine, but good things come in small packages and this machine is good. According to its manufacturers, this machine has the capacity to produce up to 26 inHg of suction power. This means that this machine has the same rating as a lot of the professional ones found in spas! This is really great but you have to be mindful when using it on the higher settings not to scratch your skin with it. Personally, I used it at just half its maximum capacity and I got really great results.
Although this device is awesome and really easy to use, I think I prefer the feel of the MicrodermMD and New Spa wand on my face than the Kendal. This is especially so over my cheek area. Perhaps this is because my cheek bones are quite pronounced, but the Kendal just didn’t feel as smooth when going over my cheeks. Nevertheless, my overall impression is that this is a superb device with great power and it is a real bargain at less than the price for the New Spa machine.
Professional Systems (For Salons & Therapists)
Sylvan 6 in 1
Sylvan’s 6-in-1 microdermabrasion system is a diamond machine, and comes equipped with 9 different heads. The six functions identified in the device’s title include:
- Light Therapy
- Galvanic Scrubber
- Hot Hammer
- Cold Hammer
Each of these is used to treat aging skin, providing users with a means of lessening acne, eradicating and preventing acne, stimulating collagen production, and firming skin. This unit is an excellent choice for men and women seeking a spa-grade treatment from beginning to end: the hot hammer may be used to open pores before treatment to increase effectiveness, treatments may be done, and the cold hammer closes pores and soothes skin. In addition, Sylvan provides a 5-year warranty on the machine.
Customers were typically pleased with their Sylvan machines. Most customers find the unit easy to use and effective, and found cleaning and maintenance simple and straightforward. Users were mixed, with some enlisting the device’s help at home, and others using the machine for professional means. This alone recommends it to others: it is powerful enough to warrant professional use, but straightforward enough to be used by an amateur. The device was also durable; most customers were able to use the machine for at least a year before any sort of maintenance was required.
Although most Sylvan customers were pleased, a handful experienced some difficulty. These users typically found the company difficult to get into contact with, or difficult to work with regarding warranty replacements and maintenance requests. Typically, however, customers were eventually able to contact the company customer service team.
Generic Professional Diamond Microdermabrasion Machine
This diamond microdermabrasion machine differs from Sylvan’s model, as it only serves one purpose: providing microdermabrasion treatments through the use of a diamond head. The device uses both suction to remove and store dead skin cells and intense friction to achieve maximum results. This particular model is intended for use on sensitive areas such as the eyes and mouth, as well as larger areas such as the overall face, back, and arms. All accessories and parts needed for use are included.
Users typically express contentment with their purchase of the diamond machine, citing its ease of use and design as the prime reasons. The unit is easy to operate, both due its design and the instruction manual, and provides customers with visible results within the first few uses. Users also typically liked the amount of treatments required: the machine suggests only once-per-week use, providing breathtaking results with a minimal amount of time investment required. Finally, customers expressed delight at the results the machine delivered; although many were unable to afford regular microdermabrasion treatments at a salon, most saw similar results using this device at home.
Although most customers were happy with their purchase, some found the size of the machine off-putting for home use. This was not a problem for most professionals, as a significant size is to be expected, but discouraged some amateurs. Storage was difficult for some due to its size, and is likely not a good fit for someone with little storage, or someone living in an apartment or condominium.
Kendal 3 in 1
Like the two previous machines, Kendal’s 3 in 1 unit is a diamond microdermabrasion machine, eliminating the need for potentially harmful crystals and chemicals. The unit comes with several heads, two wands, and plenty of filters. The 3 in 1 title refers to the machine’s ability to provide microdermabrasion, facial massage, and skin scrubbing. Used in combination with each other, the unit provides a full-service spa treatment from the comfort of your home. Finally, Kendal provides a 1 year warranty and a lifetime of parts support.
Most Kendal users love this machine and the treatments it provides. Typically, customers found the machine easy to use, both because of its functional design and its thorough instruction manual—though some encouraged new users to view online tutorials to truly master the equipment. Others found the size and strength perfect for single-person home use, noting that it was a quiet, strong little unit providing salon-quality results. Finally, users loved the ability to use the machine for 3 different treatments—treatments that, when used together, provided clearer, healthier, and more supple skin.
Although positive reviews were the overwhelming majority, some users did not receive instruction manuals with their units. This seems to be the minority, however, as most users praised the quality of the manual.
Which Unit Is Best?
Each unit offers a unique set of options for users, some providing only microdermabrasion, and others offering a host of treatments. The best unit will depend entirely upon your needs. If only a microdermabrasion device is needed, Kendal’s model is likely to serve you best, as it is powerful, effective, and compact. If a wide array of uses is needed, the Sylvan will best suit your needs, as it provides six unique treatment options to provide an all-out spa treatment in the comfort of your own home.