Everyone has their favorite skin-care step. For me, it’s all about exfoliation, which recently led me down a rabbit hole of reviews for the PMD Microderm Device. Since the at-home tool came out nearly 20 years ago, it’s earned its spot among the skin care hall of fame for its ability to deliver a healthier, dewier, and softer complexion.
I’ve had my fun with exfoliating superstars like Dr. Dennis Gross’s Peel Pads and Naturopathica’s Cherry Enzyme Peel to alleviate breakouts and textured skin. But a tool that basically vacuums your skin to suck away clogged pores and dead cells? It brings the joy of exfoliating to an entirely new and incredibly satisfying level.
How does the PMD Microderm Device work?
For those unfamiliar with microdermabrasion, here’s the gist: It’s a treatment that buffs out dead cells and product build-up from the outermost layer of your skin with the use of aluminum oxide crystals. Customarily it’s done by an esthetician or dermatologist, but at-home tools like the PMD Personal Microderm are able to mimic the results of pro treatments with extended use. The Microderm in particular uses spinning disc technology and vacuum suction to tackle a variety of skin concerns like texture, fine lines, and blemishes—scars included.
I’ll be the first to say that acne, in its most literal sense, is not my biggest skin concern, yet texture is. So what better time than quarantine to address the tiny sebum filled bumps populating my cheeks and keratosis pilaris along my arms? Upon opening the device’s packaging, the size initially struck me. For a microdermabrasion device comparable to in-office results, I was expecting something much, much bigger (and heavier). It’s surprisingly lightweight and the plug-in power cord included is longer than my straightener’s, which makes makes it an easy reach for that inconveniently placed bottom corner outlet in your bathroom (we all have it). I say bathroom because over the sink is an ideal location for using this thing, since dead skin is being shed, sucked, and sometimes, dropped—it’s a tip you’ll thank me for later.
How do you use the PMD Microderm Device?
Before I get into the good stuff (i.e., the surprisingly smooth and instantaneous results I got after a few trial runs), I urge you to read the directions for this device—carefully—and follow that up by watching the how-to video from the brand, below. Admittedly, I didn’t do either my first go-around (call it cockiness), resulting in mediocre results and an irritated skin barrier. To start, PMD recommends plugging in the white training disk and practice upward swaying motions along your arm or leg. This way, you’ll get a (literal) feel for the suction and grainy nature of each disk, even the white practice one.
Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s time to choose your disk intensity. There are six discs included in the Classic version of this device, which are all conveniently color-coded. Three discs are for body treatments and three for your face—ranging from very sensitive to very intense. (If you’re looking for a more intense treatment, I’d recommend the Pro version or the newest, Elite Pro). The choice is yours, but my advice no matter the version is to start with the very sensitive and work your way up. You can always exfoliate more, but you can’t reverse any sloughing that’s been done.
After snapping in your disc of choice, screw the facial cap on, and it’s ready to go.
As the tutorial video from the brand demonstrates, pulling your skin taut will help alleviate added stress and irritation, making the vacuum less abrasive as you glide it from the center of your face out to your hairline. Doing this simple step was one I missed during my trial run, resulting in not-so-cute red lines along my face (the suction is real, people!).