Home microdermabrasion is IMO one of the great skin care developments in the last ten years. Its well known that men appear to age more slowly than women– and some experts believe that it may be due to their daily shave. When men scrape off a fresh crop of bristles each morning, they also take off the top layer of dead dry skin cells, stale oil, and ground-in dirt. Lifting this top layer signals the lower level to start producing a new supply of healthy young cells. But we can defy gender and get the same benefits by using a home microdermabrasion device to gently and throughly exfoliate the skin. The rotating head and cleanser will take off the top layer of dead cells that muddy the complexion and slow down cell growth. These tools can range from less than $20 to almost $250– and I tried six widely available models.
1. Clarisonic Pro Microdermabrasion ( $225)
Clrisonic is the gold standard for a home microdermabrasion tool. The Clarisonic Pro is sold with two brushes and samples of different cleansers. The cleaning cycle is two minutes with beeps that prompts you to move to different parts of the face. The back and forth oscillating motion enhances the basic brushing action of the Clarisonic bristles. The recharger means that the unit will always mean the unit will be ready to use. It can even be used in the shower and you can buy a slightly larger brush for the body.
My only reservation for the Clarisonic is the price. The Pro model kit is $225 and the travel model is $119.
2. DDF Revolve ($100)
This device is small, but mighty. Each kit comes with a foam head, a soft brush head and a small tube of exfoliating cleanser. It left my skin clean and fresh, albeit a bit tight. There is no timer and no way to replace the batteries so when they are dead you will need to buy another machine. However I have used my DDF several times a week for more than two years and its still going strong. I LOVE the cleansing grains, but the only way to get more is in a kit that contains a 2.5 ounce tube as well as two replacement heads for $50. When I ran out of cleanser, my heads were still in good shape. Bummer.
3. Oil of Olay Professional PROX ( $33)
When I opend the box, I took a double take. It looked EXACTLY like the DDF Revolve but the batteries were easily replaceable. The Oil of Olay PRO X has only one brush head and a very small tube of exfoliating cleanser. The brush was slightly rougher than DDF, but it molded effortlessly around the nose giving those pores a through cleansing. If you have dry or sensitive skin, I would use the cleansing grains once a week and a mild cleanser the rest of the time.
Instructions are a bit different for this device. Instead of wetting the face and applying the cleanser to the brush head, the PRO X cleanser is applied directly to the damp face and then worked into the face with the rotating brush.
Replacing the cleanser and brush is super easy and affordable. A six ounce tube ( $20) and two brush heads ( 2 for $12) are available in the Olay section of most pharmacies.
4. CVS Facial Cleansing Power Brush ( $19)
Another DDF Revolve lookalike at just 1/5 the cost. The starter kit comes with two brushes and two AA batteries. The device has one button that controls high/low speeds and a second button that changes the direction of the brush. The device moves easily around the face and effortlessly clears out clogged pores on the nose. There is no special cleanser which leaves you to use your favorites. I love this tool! It is a great little device at a great price. Its the one I toss into my suitcase when I’m traveling.
5. Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System ( $20)
This hand held device uses disposable pads to polish and exfoliate the skin. The kit includes two AA batteries and 12 disposable pads which are designed to last a month. Additional pads are available in most pharmacies where the device is sold ( 24 for $16). The vibrations felt intense as I worked the head around my face. The flat hard head made it difficult to get around the nose, but my skin felt very clean and fresh– maybe too fresh. My skin felt a little too tight and my skin tends to be oily. While Neutrogena Microdermabrasion System is aimed at anti-aging issues, it might be too intense for thin, fine drier skin. I was not surprised that directions on the box recommended using the device only 3X/wk. By comparison, other types of devices including Neutrogena Sonic and CVS Power Brush suggest using their exfoliating tool every day. My skin needs daily, gentle exfoliation and 3X/week just doesn’t work for me. Since Neutrogena only uses their disposable pads you can’t control the impact by using a gentle cleanser.
6. Neutrogena Wave Sonic Power Cleanser ( $19)
This little pink tool fits neatly in the palm of your hand. A disposable foaming pad on the top gently rotates on the skin. Although the pad contains salicylic acid, my skin felt less tight than with other devices. The box also contains two AA batteries and 14 foaming pads — a two week supply. The head rotates rather than vibrates and can be used in the shower. However the hard head makes it rather difficult to clean ut the pores on the nose. There are two types of replacement pads. For normal and dry skin there are the original foaming pads ( $30 for $9) and exfoliating pads for oily/acne troubled skin ( 30 pads for $9).
One final thought: When I do a review of a group of products, usually some are better than others. But in this selection of microdermabrasion tools, they were all well designed and delivered great results. Like most beauty bloggers I tend extra products to friends and family. But I fell in love with each and everyone of these age busters and kept all of them.They are that good.