Microdermabrasion facials along with chemical peels are some of the most desired skin resurfacing cosmetic procedures. Since microdermabrasion is done by removing dead skin cells and the outer layer of skin, the procedure can leave the skin temporarily stressed, irritated, red or dry. For this reason it is important to follow a proper after care, which includes applying healing and moisturizing agents like skin cream, wearing sunscreen and avoiding sun exposure. In this article we will concentrate on choosing the best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for different skin types and review some of the most effective soothing, healing and moisturizing ingredients.
At a glance:
What ingredients can speed up skin recovery?
Similarly to other exfoliation methods, microdermabrasion can leave the skin stressed, irritated and dry. You can help your skin heal faster by applying skincare products like serums, masks or creams with soothing and calming properties. For example, look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, peptides, ceramides, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
√ Hyaluronic acid – helps retain moisture, accelerates wound healing, improves skin elasticity and firmness, and decreases the depth of wrinkles and the appearance of fine lines.
√ Antioxidants – found in fruits, berries, vegetables, green tea, amino acids, vitamins, CoQ10. They reduce collagen degradation, protect and prevent cells from free radical damage, repair skin, prevent photo aging and brown spots, reduce inflammation, and brighten the complexion.
√ Vitamin C – lightens hyperpigmentation, promotes collagen production, improves wound healing, protects against UV exposure, and brightens skin.
√ Peptides – activate regeneration processes, reduce appearance of wrinkles, stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin, improve wound healing, increase firmness and helps with uneven skin tone.
√ Ceramides – help skin barrier function, help skin retain moisture, protect against environmental irritants, reduce visible signs of aging, accelerate wound healing process.
√ Aloe vera – rich in vitamins and minerals, has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, promotes cell turnover, heals damaged skin, locks in moisture, improves the appearance of aged skin, has cooling effect and helps relieve some pain.
Some of the best moisturizers include a combination of a few natural oils, soothing agents, and water-attracting ingredients (aka humectants). In fact, water-attracting ingredients are just as important as healing ones, since skin needs to be moisturized more often after undergoing microdermabrasion. Some of the most effective and safe humectants include hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, glycerin, panthenol (provitamin B5), gelatin, rice proteins, sorbitol and honey.
10 Best Moisturizers After Microdermabrasion
Rich moisturizers help skin heal and recover faster after exfoliating procedures like dermabrasion, microdermabrasion or chemical peels. Overall, dermatologists recommend moisturizing skin more often after undergoing microdermabrasion treatment. Additionally, you should protect your skin with a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ cream during the day.
See below our review of 10 best soothing and nourishing moisturizers formulated for different skin types.
Eminence Calm Skin Chamomile Moisturizer
Formulated specifically for sensitive, irritated, normal and dry skin types, this organic moisturizer is packed with soothing, healing and hydrating ingredients. In addition to calming plants like chamomile, calendula and arnica, it also includes rejuvenating oils, antioxidants, and other hydrating and brightening components. Great option for those with inflamed skin conditions.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for sensitive & irritated skin.
Weleda Renewing Night Cream
This rich, nourishing and affordable moisturizer will restore, soften and deeply hydrate your thirsty skin while you are sleeping. It is made with natural ingredients that promote skin renewal like wild rose and sweet almond oils, peach and olive fruit oils, beeswax as well as other botanicals. And you can be sure that this formula is clean and free of toxins, since it’s NATRUE certified. Also available as lighter day cream formulation.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for normal to dry skin.
Andalou Naturals Age Defying Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream
Another great budget option! This perfecting skin cream is infused with Goji berry glycopeptides that improve skin texture and tone; Resveratrol Q10 – a powerful antioxidant that supports skin’s vitality and youthfulness; heirloom and apple cell stems, and Bioactive berry complex support cell turnover, renew skin, and protect against environmental stressors.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for dry & very dry skin.
Mad Hippie Face Cream
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion if you are looking for a high quality all-natural product on the budget. It includes 12 active ingredients like advanced peptides, CoQ10, niacinamide, vitamin E, aloe, white and green tea, argan oil, and many others. Even though it is designed for all skin types, it might be too heavy for oily or combination skin.
For all skin types.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Dehydrated and distressed skin will love this moisturizer. Not only it provides imidiate relief and intense hydration, but also this cream protects skin’s barrier, and calms itching, redness and irritation. Some of the active ingredients include shea butter, 0.5% colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, squalane, allantoin, and antioxidants.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for distressed and sensitive skin.
Acure Radically Rejuvenating Whipped Night Cream
Lightweight PM moisturizer that restores your skin during the night. Not only it has great price point, but also it’s packed with rejuvenating ingredients like multi peptides, vitamin C, ferulic acid, glycoproteins, marula oil, and other nourishing and clean components. Also, this facial moisturizer is available as SPF 30 Day Cream.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for aging skin.
CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture
Antioxidant-rich moisturizer for all skin types, especially sensitive, dry and irritated skin. Formulated with organic and natural ingredients, this skin rescue moisturizer is ideal for calming, soothing and hydrating skin after resurfacing treatments.
The Tri-rescue complex (turmeric, alpha-bisabolol, reishi mushroom) aids in wound healing and repairing damaged cells, while aloe vera, oat extract, and chamomile reduce redness, calm, sooth and hydrate the skin while restoring a youthful glow.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for all skin types.
Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
This weightless, hydrating, calming and soothing moisturizer is infused with probiotics and squalane, which support skin’s natural renewal process, skin’s clarity and natural moisture barrier. Ginger extract and red seaweed help to calm irritated skin, and visibly reduce redness. Even though it is labeled as “gel moisturizer”, the texture resembles face emulsion consistency. Also, this facial cream is EWG verified.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for normal, combination, acne prone and oily skin.
Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream
Even though this moisturizer is rich in texture, it is fast absorbing and works great for all skin types especially sensitive, irritated and dry. It provides good hydration, reduces redness, diminished signs of aging, replenishes and soothes the skin. The formula includes nourishing and calming calendula, aloe, sea buckthorn, rich multi oil blend, vitamin E, antioxidants, and other skin-restoring ingredients.
For all skin types.
Derma E Advanced Peptides & Collagen Moisturizer
This advanced anti-aging moisturizer is enriched with potent multi-peptides, plant-derived collagen, antioxidant complex, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin, A, and green tea extract. It helps to visibly soften deep wrinkles and age spots, improve skin tone and texture, and provide intense hydration for a more youthful skin.
Best moisturizer after microdermabrasion for aging & mature skin.
Microdermabrasion After Care
√ Post-microdermabrasion skincare is very simple and consists of applying generous amount of heavy moisturizer, broad spectrum sunscreen, and avoiding sun exposure.
√ Since treated skin can temporarily get red and dry after the exfoliation, you can speed up the recovery time by applying hydrating face serum or soothing sheet mask right after the treatment. Afterwards, follow with a moisturizer. We love the following recovery skin care products:
- Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum (includes hyaluronic acid, strawberry juice, rhubarb juice, algae extract, aloe vera, CoQ10, honey, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, antioxidants). Get it on Amazon, or Dermstore.
- Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum (made with vitamin C & E, konjac root, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, chamomile, clary sage, aloe). Available on Amazon, Ulta or Whole Foods.
- Orgaid Greek Yogurt Nourishing Organic Sheet Mask (includes Greek yogurt, lactobacillus ferment, green tea, chamomile, lavender, aloe vera, rosehip, hyaluronic acid, provitamin B5). Get it on Amazon, or Follain.com
√ Also, avoid touching your face and don’t use skin irritants like alpha- and hydroxyl acids, retinol, and acne treatments for 1-2 days.
√ Drink plenty of water.
Related: Need extra hydration for your skin? Try these nourishing face emulsions.
⊗ After care DON’Ts:
- Don’t wear make-up (foundation) for 1-2 days after microdermabrasion
- Avoid direct sunlight for 5-7 days after the treatment
- Don’t touch or pick your treated skin
- Avoid excess sweating (working out, swimming) for 1-2 days after
- Avoid using other exfoliating products for 5-7 days
How to prepare your skin for microdermabrasion?
Since microdermabrasion is a type of physical exfoliation, avoid using scrubs, chemical peel, and products with retinol 2-3 days prior to the facial procedure.
Avoid waxing and other hair removal procedures on the targeted areas.
Avoid direct sunlight, tanning beds and wear sunscreen to prevent sunburned skin.
The treatment itself should be done on freshly cleansed skin.
Benefits Of Microdermabrasion
In general, microdermabrasion procedure provides gentle exfoliation and reveals youthful skin. It is well tolerated by all skin types and skin colors, and is a better option for those with sensitive skin or those who can’t tolerate stronger treatments like chemical peels or microneedling.
Moreover, unlike some chemical peels, microdermabrasion facials are usually painless and require no recovery time. This type of manual exfoliation can be done professionally at a doctor’s office or spa salon, and can also be performed at home using microdermabrasion machine or abrasive exfoliating crystals paste. Even though it is mainly used on face, it can also be done on neck, chest, hands and other body areas.
Overall, microdermabrasion treats more mild skin concerns and is good for those with enlarged or clogged pores, mild symptoms of acne, fine lines and minor wrinkles, uneven skin texture, dull skin, light scarring and stretch marks, age spots or skin pigmentation. Whether you use microdermabrasion device or abrasive crystals/paste, you can expect the following effects of microdermabrasion:
- Exfoliates dead cells
- Unclogs pores
- Improves appearance of fine lines and minor wrinkles
- Improves uneven skin texture and tone
- Treats light scarring (including acne scars)
- Addresses enlarged pores
- Reduces appearance of minor stretch marks
- Improves appearance of sun damage
- Reduces dark spots
- Stimulates production of collagen
- Leaves skin softer and brighter
- Reveals radiant skin
- Improves absorption of skincare products
- Safe for all skin types including sensitive and darker skin
Related: Microdermabrasion vs chemical peel.
Overall, this procedure is safe for all skin types, and has minimal side effects and minimal after care requirements, since it is less invasive than chemical peels. In general, the side effects are not very common, minimal, and include redness, tenderness, swelling and dryness, which usually pass within a day. Additionally, microdermabrasion increases skin sensitivity to the sun, so protecting skin with SPF is highly recommended.
Even though microdermabrasion is safe for all skin types, there are some restrictions for this procedure. According to dermatologists, this type of exfoliation is NOT recommended for those with active infection or the following inflamed skin conditions:
- Skin lesions
- Open sores
- Herpes or warts
- Severe acne
- Sunburned skin
- Individual aluminum allergy
Related: Best moisturizer after chemical peel
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Loesch MM, Somani AK, Kingsley MM, Travers JB, Spandau DF. “Skin resurfacing procedures: new and emerging options.” Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Aug. 2014, Vol. 7
Rasha I.M, Marwa A.E.“Efficacy of diamond microdermabrasion with topical vitamin C in treatment of acne scars.” Sohag Medical Journal, Jan. 2019, Vol. 23, No. 1
Shah M, Crane JS. “Microdermabrasion.” StatPearls Publishing, May 2020