Beauty decoded: The truth about microdermabrasion (it’s not what you think!) and our 5 picks for do-it-yourself damage patrol

Photography by Carlo Mendoza
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

For do-it-yourself damage patrol, we’ve selected a few of our favourite remedies to use at home: »

I thought a healthy diet, thorough cleansing, and the odd makeup-free Sunday was the recipe for perfect skin but, when summer started, so did the breakouts along my jawline. I initially blamed heat and humidity for an increase in oil production, but my skin actually felt dryer than normal. I ceased use of all products and even took to Twitter to whine. Moments later, I received a reply from Pure + Simple spa with a very helpful proclamation: “100% natural oils are good and you’re probably in need of microdermabrasion.” Feeling defeated by my own failed attempts at facial clarity, I headed there to find out more.

If your only reference to skin “resurfacing” is the episode of Sex and the City in which Samantha emerges from her chemical peel red and raw, you may be fearing something that’s not scary at all. Microdermabrasion is actually “controlled peeling” at the discretion of your aesthetician and a critical step in disrupting the cycle of irritated skin. Each skin cell has a sebaceous gland, which produces sebum, or oil, to protect our dermis from damage. When we neglect to provide our cells with sufficient hydration, the circulation of sebum within the cell is interrupted, causing congestion and blackheads. Then, if you don’t enlist the help of microdermabrasion, you actually prevent old cells from repairing and new cells from moving. It’s a vicious cycle and exactly what was causing my skin’s dry-yet-oily disposition, according to my Pure + Simple facialist, Tamila Kostiuk.

While most microderm treatments use finely ground aluminum crystals to slough off skin, Pure + Simple uses natural salt crystals that dissolve easily in water and cause less post-treatment irritation. In addition to a diet of organic fruits and vegetables (they reduce inflammation and prevent breakouts), you can repair damaged skin with three to six treatments and a monthly facial for hydration and maintenance. Immediately following my facial, and for a full month afterwards, the darkened areas around my mouth were lessened, and my skin’s overall level of dewy-ness was one I’d never experienced before.

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