*This review is NOT sponsored. Below is MY 100% real and honest opinion on the PMD Device!*
In the never-ending world of promised acne scar treatments, I somehow stumbled across the idea of microdermabrasion as a possible fix for scars AND active acne. Dermatologists and acne scar sufferers alike have repeatedly shot down the idea of microdermabrasion as a viable option for treating acne scarring. Most argue that the device cannot penetrate deep enough and therefor will not stimulate new cell regeneration and encourage skin repair that is needed to heal scarring.
Then there's the other side, who swear by microdermabrasion for clear, glowing, ageless skin! Plus, countless online before-after pictures with results of skin super-healing from acne, scars, and wrinkles are pretty persuading if you ask me. So, naturally, after watching countless (mostly sponsored) YouTube videos and visibly seeing amazing results on active acne and acne scarring- I thought that I would try the ) for myself and let you guys know whether or not it’s the real-deal.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Think of a rough piece of wood, it may have divots, lumps, bumps, and rough uneven edges. Now, when you continuously sand that wood overtime it will completely flatten out giving you the desired result; a completely smooth, soft and uniform piece. Microdermabrasion works in that same exact way, but on your skin! You're basically using these micro buffing pads to shed away excess skin cells, dirt, and debris. With continuous use overtime, microdermabrasion can help to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and acne scars, leaving you with a smooth, flawless complexion!
A typical microdermabrasion machine uses aluminum oxide crystals or diamond tips, and so does the PMD! The machine creates a gentle suction which pulls your skin closer to the exfoliating disc and removes dead skin cells, revealing a clear, healthy complexion. Microdermabrasion allows for deeper product absorption, meaning that all your creams, lotions, and potions (in theory), should be absorbed 20x better, meaning they will work 20x better.
Microdermabrasion has historically been used for as an anti-aging treatment, and with acne scars it makes sense! Any product that promotes itself as anti-aging or claims to reduce lines and wrinkles, I find almost ALWAYS works for my acne scarring. This is because the top layer of skin has been affected in a similar way with depletion or loss of collagen. That's why microdermabrasion works so well for a variety of different skin issues, it helps to jump start the collagen building process and rejuvenate the skin!
People are now utilizing the many different uses of microdermabrasion; as an acne treatment, to lighten discoloration and age spots, reduce fine lines, fade acne scarring, get rid of blackheads and enlarged pores, as well as even skin tone.
If you've ever looked around for a dermabrasion or microdermabrasion session, you will quickly realize that the prices add up. Being anywhere from $60 to $300 for a single session, spa or in-office dermatologist treatments don't even come close to the effectiveness, accessibility, and cost of the PMD device. Ringing in at $159 for a full face and body kit, the PMD device proves to be extremely cost effective. Replacement discs are only $15-$20 dollars and typically come with 5 or more replacement heads; with each head lasting about a month. At that rate you've got five months of microdermabrasion treatments for only $20! That's insane!
The system includes different levels of exfoliating discs, white for training/sensitive, grey for ultra-sensitive, blue for sensitive, and green for moderate exfoliation. The option for different intensity gives you complete control over your microdermabrasion experience, which I personally love. You can dive right into the moderate exfoliation discs if you feel that your skin isn't exactly sensitive, however make sure you first test the device on the back of your hand to ensure that the disc you've chosen isn't over exfoliating! I am completely aware that I have ultra-sensitive skin, so I decided to start with the white practice/starter disc and work my way up within a few months to the moderate disc.
As with any treatment (and from what I've gathered on YouTube), the more abrasive the product, the better results you will receive. But- that doesn't mean you should go straight into the most abrasive disc, start with what your specific skin type can handle or what you feel is appropriate and then move your way up! This way you can avoid any unnecessary skin damage or irritation from jumping into it full force.
The PMD Packaging
- Personal Microderm Tool & Electric Power Cord
- Exfoliating Discs 1 Ct White (Training/ Ultrasensitive)
- 2 Blue discs (Sensitive Exfoliation)
- 2 Grey discs (Ultra Sensitive)
- 2 Green discs (Moderate Exfoliation)
- 2 Reusable caps (1 Large for Body Exfoliation & 1 Small for Facial Exfoliation)
- 1 Reusable filter
- Written Instructions & How To DVD
There is a white exfoliation/practice disc that isn't listed in the general description but also comes with the kit! The device itself has a great design and is extremely sophisticated, easily fitting into the palm of your hand without being overly awkward or too heavy. The handle, which the discs sit into, is a light grey-blue and white with a small curvature, so that it fits snug into your hand. It is extremely simple without any fuss. There are no speed settings on this device, simply an on or off switch.
The box also comes with an instruction card and a warning about watching the tutorial to ensure proper usage of the PMD. Usually I would just wing it (cause that’s what I do) but because I watched horror stories of people burning themselves or misusing the device and actually giving themselves more scarring; I watched both the tutorial and read the instruction card thoroughly before proceeding to use the personal microderm!
My Experience with the PMD
My first impression of the PMD device was that it's kind of noisy, TBH. As soon as you turn the device on you hear a pretty loud buzzing noise that lasts through the entirety of your treatment. However, after the device hits your skin, the pitch of the noise changes and begins to sound more suction-cupy as it glides across the surface. I found the treatment session only lasted about 5-10 minutes so it ended up not being too big of an issue but, if the treatment were longer, say an hour or two, ya girl definitely would have needed some ear plugs.
I started out with the least abrasive disc- the white disc, which is made for practicing and ultra-sensitive skin. I didn't find that my skin literally shed or flaked off like in the how-to tutorial videos but there were little bits floating around in the cap of the device which got me pretty excited that it was working.
The feeling of the PMD device isn't too abrasive; it definitely feels like low-grade sandpaper moving across your face but I didn't find it to be overly irritating or the slightest bit painful, and that's saying a lot since I have super sensitive skin. It, honestly, is kind of reminiscent of a beard rubbing up against your skin (which maybe is a cheaper alternative-hay hay!). You only need to pass over each section once, which proved to be quite difficult for me. I knew I missed tidbits of my face and really wanted to go back to treat them but couldn't without potentially harming the previously treated areas. For this reason, I found the one-pass method to be quick but not as efficient as say, micro needling, where you can pass over the same spot multiple times or go back over an area that needs more work.
One of the strangest parts of the whole experience was using the device over active acne. With previous treatments I've used you have to go around the acne, that way you don’t potentially spread the bacteria. Naturally, I couldn't help but think this device should be treated in the same manner. Nope! It actually tells you to go over the acne and that it will help to exfoliate your skin- what the wha? At the end of my treatment, I slid the tool over the few spots I had and much to my surprise it turned out completely fine! A few days later, and the spots were almost completely gone and I am still in shock to be honest.
The results are noticeable almost immediately. Right after the treatment was finished my skin was a little red and irritated so, I applied the vitamin c crème from banish to help regenerate new skin cells and further fade any hyperpigmentation. As I was rubbing the cream into my skin I noticed that my skin was SO soft and smooth. Any rough areas or dry texture patches seemed to immediately flatten out, becoming smooth and uniform. My face did feel kind of hot, not necessarily burnt but definitely hot for about an hour. Over the next few days I noticed that my skin felt cleaner and had a nice healthy glow to it.
Quick Pros and Cons of the PMD
Just to recap, here's a quick rundown of the pros and cons I found using the PMD device:
- Little to no down time
- Cost effective compared to in office or spa treatments
- Replacement parts are cheap
- Can be used once a week
- Results after first use
- Must move quickly while using the device
- May not be suitable for sensitive skin, could irritate or worsen skin condition
- Replacement disc only lasts 4 uses
- Can be difficult to properly sanitize
My Final Thoughts on the PMD
From just one use I have seen positive enough results to say that yes, it does work. With continued use and experimenting with more abrasive discs, I really believe overtime I will get the results I desire; clear skin, minimized redness, and a smooth, even complexion.
I am surprised that even with the least abrasive disc my skin felt so smooth and my acne started to clear up the next day. I'm beyond looking forward to my next session, I actually have it written down in my calendar and really feel that because of its effectiveness and low price, it is something I can stick with. The process is extremely quick, and with my super busy lifestyle it feels like a match made in heaven.
Have you used the PMD or tried other Microdermabrasion treatments? Did they work or not? Let me know in the comments below!
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Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.