Dull complexion? Bring back radiant skin in the comfort of your own home with our pick of the best microdermabrasion kits and products
As much as we adhere to our beloved skincare routines, we’re hearing more and more about the detrimental effects of air pollution. For those who suffer with troublesome issues such as uneven skin tone or texture, enlarged pores or scarring, a treatment such as microdermabrasion could be the answer.
Microdermabrasion works by lifting the dull, dead skin from the outermost layer to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion. While most in-clinic treatments use a handheld device that has tiny crystals to gently exfoliate the top layer of skin, you can achieve brilliant results with at-home devices, which typically polish and buff using either crystals, diamond tips, discs or suction to do away dead skin cells.
Not only does microdermabrasion achieve a deep-clean of the skin, but by removing dead cells, it boosts the absorption of your other skincare products, too, leaving skin healthier and more radiant overall.
So, if you’re ready for brighter, smoother skin, here we reveal our pick of the best microdermabrasion kits currently available for a range of budgets. But first, read on to learn more about microdermabrasion, so you can pick the tool or product that’s right for you.
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Best microdermabrasion kits and products: At a glance
- Best overall microdermabrasion tool: PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro
- Best for beginners: Trophy Skin MicrodermMD Home Microdermabrasion System
- Best for uneven skin texture: Dr Levy Radical3 Reboot Pro Peel
How to choose the best microdermabrasion products for you
How often should you use microdermabrasion tools?
“Microdermabrasion is a relatively light procedure that can be performed every one to two weeks at home or in-clinic,” explains Tania Z Rashid, co-founder of Aesthetics Lab.
Naturally, the idea of a post-kit glow could become addictive, but you should always approach a treatment such as this with caution so as not to overdo it – and it may not be suitable for all skin types, particularly if you’re prone to redness or broken capillaries.
“Individuals with sensitive skin may not be suitable for microdermabrasion and should first work on improving their skin barrier with products before trying it out,” adds Tania. “Those with a dull complexion and uneven skin tone and texture will see the best results. It also works well on congested skin and blackheads, but you should always seek a dermatologist’s advice before using any at-home treatments to ensure you don’t cause further damage, such as pigmentation, bruising or scarring,” she adds.
Are home microdermabrasion kits worth it?
Microdermabrasion treatments that take place in a salon will offer a deeper level of exfoliation and may also be combined with medical-grade skincare to further enhance the results. Home devices tend to offer a lighter treatment – a mechanical scrub, so to speak – but they can be a great way to complement in-clinic treatments and maintain good skin.
Prices of home devices and products vary dramatically, and some microdermabrasion tools can be expensive – around the £200 mark or more. Those wanting to err on the side of caution may find that microdermabrasion products, such as resurfacing masks or scrubs, will work just as well as a fancy device thanks to the inclusion of chemical exfoliants such as AHAs and salicylic acid, which can help to break down clogged pores. The items on our list start from just £20.
How we test microdermabrasion tools
We test a wide range of home-use microdermabrasion tools designed to treat a variety of skin concerns. Having experienced professional microdermabrasion treatments in clinic a number of times, our tester is well-versed in the kinds of results microdermabrasion can deliver, so it was interesting to see how these at-home options compared with pro treatments. Much like you would experience in a professional setting, we are especially diligent about cleansing the treatment area and avoiding acids a week before starting use to avoid irritation. When trialling the tools, we note how easy a particular tool is to use, whether or not it’s comfortable in use, and the results. The ones below are those products we recommend.
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The best microdermabrasion kits and products you can buy in 2023
1. PMD Personal Microderm Elite Pro: Best overall microdermabrasion tool
Price: £269 | Buy now from PMD Beauty
If you’ve ever tried PMD Beauty’s Personal Microderm Classic device and loved it, this ultra-upgraded version goes one better. It’s super-easy to handle, comes in a travel-friendly case, and uses discs embedded with aluminium oxide crystals to deliver the most effective microdermabrasion treatment we’ve tried at home.
The set includes discs and caps of varying sizes, and the discs are colour-coded to denote various skin types and sensitivity levels, so it feels incredibly personalised. Meanwhile, suction is gentle, moving across the skin nicely, and is available in three speeds. This helps to boost blood circulation while triggering the skin’s natural healing process – in turn, boosting collagen and elastin production – so that over time, you’ll see the kind of plumping and brightening results that will have you doing a double-take in the mirror.
For such a high-end product, we found this device incredibly easy to get to grips with. And the best bit? For the grand finale you’ll get to see all your hard work (read: dead skin) collected in the cap. Gross, maybe – but certainly satisfying!
2. FOREO Luna 4: Best microdermabrasion tool for sensitive skin
Price: £269 | Buy now from Cult Beauty
If you’re wary about the effects more traditional microdermabrasion devices might have on your skin, we’re confident you’ll get the same pore-cleansing, skin-softening benefits with Foreo’s newest piece of kit, the Luna 4.
It’s primarily a cleansing device with three different modes (Gentle, Regular, and Deep) and soft, bacteria-resistant silicone touchpoints that effectively remove all traces of oil, dirt and product build-up. However, it also delivers the skin-boosting and firming benefits of lymphatic circulation via several different massage patterns – something that our tester loved, and which sets it apart from other devices.
Once you connect it to the app on your phone, the tailored treatments can be controlled at the touch of a button. The box includes a charger and handy case to keep it clean.
3. Trophy Skin MicrodermMD Home Microdermabrasion System: Best for beginners
Price: £239 | Buy now from Current Body
This device from Trophy Skin may look high-tech, but it couldn’t be easier to use. The in-office inspired treatment is designed primarily to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and to minimise dark spots and pigmentation. It uses a diamond-tipped exfoliating wand, which makes it kinder to skin than crystals, and gentle suction.
It’s great for beginners, coming with a pre-programmed auto mode with visuals to follow and a timer to guide you through your treatment. Each session takes just five minutes, after which you’ll enjoy visibly softer and smoother skin, with the benefits of boosted collagen and elastin over time.
4. Dr Brandt Microdermabrasion Body Polishing Exfoliator: Best for body
Price: £39 (100ml) | Buy now from Dr Brandt
If you’re looking to buff your body from head to toe, the Body Polishing Exfoliator from Dr Brandt will leave limbs feeling smooth and smelling aromatic.
It’s gritty, as a result of the biodegradable microgranules present, but perfect for sloughing away the dead skin on arms, elbows, knees and legs that you may have been hiding beneath clothes all winter. The addition of Acacia Senegal gum helps to lock in moisture and soothe the skin, too. Apply once or twice a week to dry or damp skin, massaging in for around two minutes for maximum exfoliating benefits, and follow up with a good body moisturiser.
Our tester found it to be particularly effective for reducing razor bumps and the rough skin on her upper arms, known as keratosis pilaris.
5. The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Microdermabrasion: Best for brighter skin
Price: £20 (100ml) | Buy now from The Body Shop
Dermatologists are forever waxing lyrical about vitamin C as an age-old skincare staple – when paired with SPF, it adds an extra layer of protection against free radicals for overall brighter, smoother and healthier skin. This vitamin C-infused facial exfoliator from The Body Shop delivered instantly fresher skin for our tester, while revealing more profound results (such as fewer spots and a more even-looking skin tone) over time.
It has a light, creamy texture, with an ultra-fine grain made from crushed garnet stones that lightly polish. The refreshing, zesty scent makes it a great choice as part of your AM routine once a week – or to effectively remove dirt, grime and sunscreen at night so skin looks nothing short of amazing once morning arrives.
6. HoMedics Radiance Microdermabrasion: Best for blackheads
Price: £150 | Buy now from Boots
This comfortable, handheld device from trusted brand HoMedics has garnered rave reviews – and for good reason. It combines an impressive clinic-grade diamond tip with gentle suction and four intensity levels, making it a great exfoliating option for those with more sensitive skin, scarring or hyperpigmentation.
It works brilliantly for hoovering up dirt and debris from pores, without leaving behind any of the sensitivity or redness that you can sometimes experience from harsher devices or scrubs, taking you from dull to dewy in a matter of minutes. We’re huge fans of the rose-gold finish, too.
7. Dr Levy Radical3 Reboot Pro Peel: Best for uneven skin texture
Price: £90 (50ml) | Buy now from LookFantastic
We’re yet to meet a skincare expert who doesn’t recommend peels. Lifting off the rough, dull surface layer of skin cells allows active products to penetrate into the skin better, and can even ensure your makeup lasts longer. This purifying mask from Dr Levy is pricey but an investment for anyone who wants to give their complexion a boost through skincare.
Much lighter than your average grainy mask or scrub, it uses a powerhouse combination of mandelic, glycolic and lactic acids and ultra-gentle rice beads to give skin a reflective glow that can only come from a smooth, even surface. The addition of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and vitamin B5 also boosts moisture levels; it worked particularly well on our tester’s dry patches. Highly effective but ultra-gentle, it’s a combination we can get on board with.