As I have gotten older, I have become more and more open to trying new skincare techniques and tools. After having my first microderm abrasion experience earlier this year (here) and loving the results (but not really the price), I set out to emulate what had been achieved from that one microderm session. Although it isn't feasible at times, I do read what the celebs do to keep their skin looking Hollywood-fabulous despite the amount of partying and other "habits" they get up to. The PMD Personal Microderm* ($159.00 USD) is a skincare gadget I kept reading about before every red carpet event and was a YouTube favourite. With the holidays and soon to be NYE and Chinese New Year, having "skin on the glow" is more than welcome in this season of non-stop activity!
The PMD is an intensive at-home physical exfoliation procedure and while I have been testing this device out over the last couple of MONTHS, I still included one very mild chemical exfoliation treatment in the week. The idea behind microderm abrasion is to remove the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of epidermis) making the body think that the skin has suffered a mild injury. The body's normal immune reaction causes those lost skin cells to be replaced with fresh healthy new ones hence that addictive microderm abrasion "glow". You can see why this is a treatment that should not be abused as skin can "thin out". The PMD should only be used once a week or every 6-7 days to allow skin to rejuvenate. The other advantage to microderm abrasion is that without the stratum corneum, any products used afterwards absorb like THAT (*snaps fingers*) because we are bypassing that tough fortress of an outer layer of the epidermis (it’s tough for a reason!)
There are a few different device options with extra exfoliation discs and additional speeds, but I was more than happy with my pink PMD Classic Kit that included:
1 Personal Microderm Device
1 white disc for ultra sensitive skin or training (face)
1 grey disc for very sensitive skin (face and body)
1 blue disc for sensitive skin (face and body)
The PMD is plugged into a regular wall socket and before starting to use this on your face, I would suggest watching the how-to video and then testing on a small area behind the neck or on the hand to see how your skin reacts. I probably watched the video 20x before using it on my face! The sensation can feel very unique as a vacuum is being created between the tip of the PMD and your skin.
All PMDs come with a small white disc for ultra sensitive skin or training the skin. Start with this disc first and then slowly move up to grey or blue from week to week. The first thing to do is to cleanse the skin thoroughly and towel dry as skin must be completely dry for the device to work effectively. Pull skin taut and pull the PMD upwards. Never hover in the same spot for too long and don’t go over the same areas twice because it will just feel uncomfortable. You will notice your skin looking a little "dusty" with dead skin cells which is normal as the disc is covered in aluminum oxide crystals which are doing the exfoliating. PMD does state that if your skin is on the dry side, you will notice more residue than if you have oily skin. These crystals eventually wear down which is why they need replacement, but last anywhere from 2-4 treatments depending on how long your PMD sessions are.
In order of "grit": white, grey and blue. There is also green, orange and red for those that prefer a more intense exfoliation.
The discs can be easily swapped out depending on what level of intensity you would like as well as whether you would like to use the PMD for the face OR for the body. The body discs are larger and the clear plastic caps are also larger to create the required vacuum.
I use the PMD in the same manner as outlined in the video, along the jawline, down the neck and along the forehead and nose. Do not use it above the cheekbones or around the eyes as the skin here is quite thin and you can risk damaging those delicate capillaries. The whole PMD process takes me less than 4 minutes and then I continue with my skincare routine as usual after rinsing my face of "dust". Make sure you stop using any intense chemical peels, AHAs, retinols or retin A while using the PMD and of course use sunscreen!
To care for your PMD, make sure you clean the clear cap with rubbing alcohol or antibacterial soap and pull off the disc and black filter. Rinse the black disc with warm water and wait for it to fully dry before putting it back on the PMD.
Final verdict: Honestly, once you get into the routine of using this weekly you will love how nicely your serums and moisturizers seem to disappear right into the skin. Your skin also becomes a fantastic texture because of the intense exfoliation it is receiving. I have been using the PMD for a few months and as you can see from my review that it has taken awhile to write about because it was quite the learning process for me. One thing I had to be careful of was not to OVER exfoliate during the rest of the week. During the week I would use a very gentle chemical exfoliant at most two other times. I eventually moved up from the white to the grey disc and used the large blue body disc for rough areas like my elbows and backs of my arms. Now that I have the PMD, I honestly do not think I will ever pay for another microderm treatment again as I love that I can just "get the glow" when I want! With NYE coming up, I plan on doing it right before I head out!
Thankfully, The Shopping Channel carries the replacement discs as well as two of the PMD models in pink and grey for us Canadians DYING from the exchange rate. Canadian pricing for the PMD is $189.99 and a 6 pack of replacement discs for $22.99.