I'm a big fan of microdermabrasion, it must be said. For the uninitiated, it's not as scary as it sounds - and it can be confusing too, because there's also dermabrasion and dermal peels, and the three often get lumped in together. So what the divil is it, at all, at all? Well, microdermbrasion is a salon procedure that involves using a machine, a suction wand and aluminium crystals to exfoliate off the top layer of skin. You've probably also heard of home microdermabrasion products, but to be honest, they're a thing apart again from a salon job.
I went to Akina in Temple Bar at the weekend to have a go of their new toy, a microdermabrasion machine which uses three types of crystal. The benefit of this is that it's easier to very specifically target what is suitable for each person's skin. So if someone is supersensitive, the machine can be calibrated to take that into account. Similarly, if someone has deep lines or pigmentation, and their skin can take it, the machine can be turned up to 11. OK, maybe not 11, but you get my Spinal Tap ref.
Me, I'm fairly fortunate thus far and have no real skin issues - I don't smoke, lines aren't a huge issue for me and I stay out of the sun, but the reason I like a microdermabrasion treatment is that it gives a fresh glow to my skin. In addition, the suction action brings the blood up to the surface of the skin, and that promotes quicker healing and regeneration, so it's a great procedure for anyone with scarring, for example.
But is it for everyone? According to Eavanna Breen, the owner of Akina, in general, the answer is yes. She pointed out that it's not suitable for those with rosacea or acne, but because her new machine uses the aforementioned three types of crystal, treatments can very easily be tailored for anyone else.
Mine started off with a cleanse, and then the microdermabrasion began - it's not a relaxing treatment (you're unlikely to fall asleep, put it that way), but it is very definitely an effective one. My face and neck were exfoliated with the wand, which is gently pressed against the skin, and while it can be tingly, it's not in the slightest bit sore. Because this action brings the blood up towards the surface of the skin, your face can feel warm and look a bit red, so what Eavanna did next was great - she applied a cooling, antioxidant rich green tea mask, which soothed and calmed my skin. While that was doing its work, she waved the microdermabrasion wand over my hands, and then a hydrating, moisturising mask was applied to them. Once both masks were removed, she cautioned me about the careful use of an SPF on face and hands because the newly revealed skin is so sensitive, and should be properly protected.
The results? A lovely clean, bright complexion and smooth, non-Madonna clawed hands, plus a great chat with Eavanna, who is a veritible font of beauty related knowledge.