This involves a machine that usually incorporates a vacuum system with some crystals (ranging from aluminium crystals to salt crystals and others) that is passed over the skin surface to cause a gentle scrub or abrasion. This enables the superficial layers of the skin to be scrubbed off and the resultant effect is a smoother texture, glow, with some lightening of pigmentation, much like the effect of a chemical peel. Some machines have replaced the crystals with a diamond hand device to do the abrading action.
The main disadvantage of microdermabrasion is that it must be done more frequently (weekly or two-weekly) than a chemical peel and takes several sessions to achieve the desired effects.
The complications are less than a peel and include redness and very rarely bleeding. Cost per treatment is affordable but the combined costs (because of the frequency in treatments) may add up to or be even more than a chemical peel.
*Individual results may vary.