Most of us interested in healthy skin have heard of microdermabrasion. Some of us are even getting more clued-in about chemical exfoliation (where liquid topical products are used to dissolve the bonds in between dead skin cells). What’s more, we’re all familiar with body scrubs and exfoliating lotions.
But microdermabrasion scrubs? This is a lesser-known route to smooth, shiny skin.
Here, we’re going to look at some of the best microdermabrasion scrubs available that can make a difference to the appearance of your skin. They’re a little different to your usual facial exfoliating scrubs so read on to learn more.
Are Microdermabrasion Scrubs Safe?
Microdermabrasion scrubs are completely safe. However, as with all abrasive or exfoliating products, care should be taken when assessing your unique skin type.
If you deal with excessive irritation, redness, or skin conditions such as rosacea, you should check with a doctor or dermatologist before going for it. If you have otherwise healthy skin but are a little nervous about the idea, look for more gentle microdermabrasion scrubs that are made of silica or pumice.
Do Microdermabrasion Scrubs Work?
Microdermabrasion scrubs are a good middle ground between exfoliating scrubs and professional microdermabrasion. They’re less harsh than a professional session, so the results won’t be quite as extreme. But they do have abrasive ingredients that can buff away the top layer of dead skin cells. You’ll still reap many of the benefits microdermabrasion has to offer.
Benefits of Using a Microderm Scrub?
The benefits of microdermabrasion scrubs are the same as professional microdermabrasion, but on a slightly scaled down level. They include:
- Brightening of the complexion
- Evening of the skin tone
- Balancing excessively oily-skin
- Correction of fine lines and wrinkles
- Boosting collagen and elastin levels
- Fading of sun damage, age spots, and pigmentation
- It can even help with pore size and ingrown hairs
How do Microdermabrasion Scrubs Work?
Microdermabrasion scrubs use small particles to physically loosen dirt, oil, and dead skin cells in order to reveal new skin beneath. These particles are usually crystal, silica, or natural products like ground apricot stones or walnut shells. Removing this top layer clears away everything that makes our skin dull and clogged, and prompts the skin to begin generating new, healthy cells.
The only thing microdermabrasion scrubs don’t do is suction away the debris. In a professional clinic or using a microdermabrasion machine at home, a suction function helps to remove all of the dead particles. With microdermabrasion scrubs, dirt and oil are removed by the physical massaging of the scrub onto the skin, and then by the water rinse, which you’ll do afterward.
How Often Should You Use a Scrub?
Each different product will indicate how frequently it should be used. However, the general rule of thumb is to use scrubs no more than 2-3 times per week. In terms of usage time, between 1-3 minutes of massaging them into your skin should be sufficient, depending on how intensively you want your skin exfoliated.
Now we know the purpose and the process, let’s move onto the microdermabrasion scrubs available right now that can change the game for your skin.
1. Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub With Dead Sea Salt – Best Overall – Most Popular
The Derma E scrub is one of the more feminine microdermabrasion scrubs featuring on the list. The pretty bright pink jar and floral spa-like branding make it feel like an indulgent treat as well as an effective exfoliating treatment.
But it’s not just aesthetics – Derma E are one of the leading brands for microdermabrasion. They have entire product ranges dedicated to advanced exfoliation and evening of skin tone. Lots of their products contain AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) – one of the main types of chemical exfoliants. It’s safe to say the brand knows their stuff when it comes to smoothing, age-defying solutions.
This particular scrub uses dead sea salt to scrub away dirt and debris. It’s infused with several essential oils including orange, lime, and lemon to invigorate both the skin and the senses and leave a clean, healthy glow.
2. Bliss Micro Magic Microdermabrasion Scrub – Best Drugstore Scrub
The Bliss Micro Magic scrub is made with the very appealing-sounding volcanic pumice. This is a smaller particle that’s ideal for those new to regular exfoliation. It’s gentler than scrubs that contain, for example, nutshell particles, but it still works to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin and stimulate circulation along the way.
This product is formulated with kaolin clay, which works alongside the pumice to draw out impurities. It also includes rosemary, jojoba seed oil, and aloe leaf juice. These soothing ingredients work to counter any redness or dryness as you go (and they smell great too).
Suits all skin types.
3. Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub – Best for Dry Skin
The Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix is a slightly different type of microdermabrasion scrub. Instead of abrasive particles, it uses glycolic acid to work on the chemical bonds that hold dead skin cells in place. This is called chemical exfoliation, and it’s widely considered gentler than mechanical exfoliation.
The formula uses a 3% concentration of glycolic acid, an AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) that’s gentle enough for those completely new to the treatment. It then uses salicylic acid, a BHA (you guessed it – Beta Hydroxy Acid), to penetrate deeply into the pores, ridding them of spot-causing dirt and blockages.
This can be a great solution for those new to microdermabrasion, or those with sensitive or very dry skin.
4. Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub And Face Exfoliator – Best for Sensitive Skin
Era Organics Microderm Scrub is one of the tougher microdermabrasion exfoliants on the list. If you’ve got particularly rough, uneven, or pigmented skin, this might be the one for you.
The abrasive particles in this organic product are made of walnut shell power. Surprisingly, this natural ingredient is actually harsher on the skin than some rock- and stone-derived particles. But it gets the job done.
The particles are large enough to remove deeply embedded dirt and oil, and resurface the outermost layer of the skin to dramatically improve shine and texture. It’s also balanced with aloe vera leaf juice, manuka honey, orange oil, and cehami (an Australian flower used by Aboriginal people for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties), in order to replenish and protect the skin during treatment.
Nature lovers will be especially fond of this option as the ingredients list is almost all-natural, and every ingredient is sourced ethically and organically.
One of the most fascinating things about microdermabrasion scrubs is the luxurious and sometimes unusual ingredients that are used in their creation. For example, Kiehl’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro-Dermabrasion solution is made with micronized shells. In other words, crushed shells harvested from the ocean. These shells create a very fine powder that helps to ‘exfoliate and refine skin texture.
It is balanced with willow herb to nourish and soothe the skin during treatment.
This is one of the more higher-end options on the list, but because of the gentility of the active ingredients, it’s suitable for all skin types. It may be worth the investment if you have sensitive skin, or have struggled with microdermabrasion products in the past.
6. Trader Joe’s Microdermabrasion Scrub Exfoliating Cream – Cheap Microdermabrasion Scrub
Trader Joe’s Microdermabrasion Scrub is made with finely ground pumice (as opposed to botanicals, shells or precious stones), and backed up with glycerin and oils to make it a creamy and protective experience for your skin.
The price is cheap as chips, and a little goes a long way. Trader Joe’s is a great option for those just starting out on their microdermabrasion journey, and not wanting to invest too much money upfront before they’re familiar with the process.
Despite the low price, the ingredients are high quality, with several seed oils such as sunflower, jojoba, candlenut to help rehabilitate your skin out of any dryness and irritation. We found it for sale on Amazon but it’s much cheaper in-store. If you don’t happen to live near a Trader Joe’s, it might still be available on Amazon. They also have an acai facial scrub that’s highly popular.
7. DRMTLGY Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub And Face Exfoliator – Best Scrub for Acne Scars
Here’s another one for those leaning towards chemical exfoliation as opposed to mechanical. Dermatology Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub uses the AHA glycolic acid to melt away stubborn dead skin. It helps to minimize pore size, treat blackheads, and liberate your skin from trapped dirt and oil for a cleaner, more radiant complexion.
All of the ingredients are natural, including the sugarcane-derived glycolic acid. It is infused with extracts of green tea leaf, lemon, and apple fruit for extra soothing and nourishing benefits (and a refreshing scent).
This product is a big favourite in skincare circles – many DRMTLGY customers find the gentle yet effective exfoliation a perfect balance, and report results to be almost as impressive as expensive salon treatments. Some even report a noticeable difference after just one use.
8. NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals 8 oz – Best Microdermabrasion Body Scrub
When it comes to a microdermabrasion scrub for your body, the amount of product for the price is worth a thought Many of the facial scrubs are available in a 2oz size or less. Even if using once a week for body exfoliation, you’ll use a good bit of product using something this size. That’s the reason we’re recommending NeedCrystals as one of the best body scrubs.
This is a different kind of product than most other microdermabrasion scrubs in that the product itself is not ready to go from the jar. NeedCrystals is a jar of super-fine crystals that needs to be added to facial or body cleansers. The crystals themselves are completely natural, sourced from corundum, the crystalline form of aluminum oxide. Furthermore, the particles are 120 grit which is gentle enough for all skin types.
It comes with a handy little scoop and is easy to use. Simply pump some cleanser into the palm of your hand and add some crystals with the scoop to create a creamy paste. Apply to damp skin, massaging in for a couple of minutes, and rinse. It’s great for face and body and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and stretch marks.
It’s available in three sizes and is really great value, especially if using it as a body scrub or for stretch marks as a little goes a long way.
NeedCrystals have 2 other products available too depending on your needs. They’ve produced a combination of crystals and vitamin C for anti-aging purposes and also have a combination with salicylic acid for acne-prone skin.
9. The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Microdermabrasion Exfoliator – Best for Dull, Tired Skin
The Body Shop’s Vitamin C Glow Boosting Microdermabrasion Exfoliator is made with another fascinating ingredient – crushed garnet stones. Despite this, the price point of this product is only slightly higher than some of the others listed here.
But it also contains another precious ingredient – vitamin C. Extracted from the camu camu berry which contains 20 times more vitamin C than an orange, the high concentration of vitamin C in the product feeds the skin with vital nutrients, protects it against environmental damage, and helps to fade hyperpigmentation.
This one’s ideal for those who feel their skin is regularly looking ‘tired’. The exfoliating precious stones combined with the vitamin boost energizes the skin, giving you a continually refreshed appearance with regular use.
10. Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age-Defying Exfoliator – Crystal Microderm Scrub
One of the finer and more high-end options to feature on this list is the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age-Defying Exfoliant. It uses round crystal particles to renew the skin’s surface, buff away debris, polish and smooth, and promote long-lasting radiance.
As a microdermabrasion scrub designed to help specifically with anti-aging, many customers of the brand say they use it in tandem with retinol serums. Retinol is known to cause dryness, especially when you first start using it.
Dr. Brandt’s at-home microdermabrasion scrub is a popular way of sloughing away dead skin cells left by drying products making sure they don’t get stuck on the skin and cause blemishes.
It’s not cheap, but this is another customer favorite due to just how far a small amount goes. Reviews online are overwhelmingly positive, and if you compare it to professional bi-monthly microdermabrasion treatments, it still works out as a total bargain.
11. Mary Kay TimeWise Microdermabrasion Scrub – Best to Minimize Pores
Mary Kay’s TimeWise Microdermabrasion Scrub is another premium microdermabrasion product that uses high-quality ingredients for an indulgent, silky experience.
It uses aluminium oxide particles (like Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion scrub) – a common exfoliator in dermatology products – to gently loosen and remove dead skin cells. Removing these cells along with dirt and debris can actually help to reduce the appearance of pores.
Overloaded pores tend to stretch and slacken. It’s barely perceptible unless you look up close, but when you have lots of enlarged pores across the surface of your skin, your complexion will never look completely smooth and clean, even from a distance.
Mary Kay’s microdermabrasion line is designed to focus on this exact concern, as well as to deliver the anti-aging benefits microdermabrasion is so well known for.
The scrub itself is labeled as Step 1: Refine. It is available to purchase as an individual product. Timewise Microdermabrasion however is a two-step process – the second step being to minimize pores. Products can be purchased separately but buying the set with both the scrub and the pore minimizer is better value.
Mary Kay cosmetics have been around for over 50 years and the products are still popular. The only negative comment customers have made about this is its lack of scent. But if your skin reacts badly to parfum, it might be the ideal exfoliator for you.
Revision describes this Finishing Touch Microdermabrasion Cream as a ‘serious’ skin exfoliator. And looking at the ingredients list, we can see why. The active particles? Polynesian Volcanic Black Sand and ultra-fine Pumice.
It also includes a bunch of nutrient-dense, natural goodies such as carnauba wax, beeswax, shea butter, and freshwater silt. It might not surprise you to know that this is the most expensive microdermabrasion product on the list!
So is it worth it? The quality of ingredients certainly speaks for themselves, and in skincare, quality does usually trump quantity. It’s unique selling point is the feel it leaves after use. Some exfoliation and microdermabrasion scrubs can feel drying, harsh, or even tingly. This product is designed to leave you with a ‘moist, clean feel’ after rinsing off.
If you’re looking for something highly effective but still gentle and non-damaging to your skin health, this is the one for you.
Whatever your skin concern, you’re sure to find something to suit from our best microdermabrasion scrub list. Using such a product just once or twice a week can have amazing benefits for your skin and what’s more, you can achieve this from home. No need to put yourself out. Another positive from a home scrub is that even an expensive microdermabrasion cream or scrub is still much cheaper than a single session in a dermatology clinic.