I Tried This At-Home Microdermabrasion Tool and It Honestly Changed My Skin

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Who else remembers when they were 14 and complained incessantly about their acne only to listen to their mother promise that they would only have to deal with it for a few more years? OK, good. Not just me. Well, as you probably now know, your mom lied to you. Sure, it may not be as bad as it was freshman year, but adult acne is real and I can attest to it firsthand.

Back in high school, I was lucky enough (read: cried to my parents long enough) to try out a professional microdermabrasion treatment at my dermatologist’s office. While it worked miracles, there was one major downside: It was extremely expensive, and and alas, I couldn’t continue with the treatments. I’ve tried other products since to no long-term avail, so when I heard about the NuAcquaDerm Microderm At-Home Kit, I quickly jumped at the chance to try it out.

So, what exactly is microdermabrasion? Put simply, microdermabrasion is a minimally abrasive tool that gently sands your skin, removing the uneven outer layer and sloughing off dead or damaged cells. It’s performed with a gentle suction cup that feels like a pumice stone rubbing against your skin. Typically microdermabrasion is used to treat acne, stretch marks and scars.

What’s the difference between professional and at-home treatments? Something from the derm’s office can run up to $200 per session and is often more intense than any at-home tools. (My fair Irish skin was left very red afterward.) At only $138 for the whole kit, the NuAcquaDerm is a lot more affordable and claims the same results.

How do you use the NuAcquaDerm? After cleansing and drying my face, I popped on the largest interchangeable tip and got to work gliding the suction from my cheeks to my chin and finally over my forehead, passing over each two to three times. Ever used a Shop-Vac? That’s kind of what it feels like trying to get the suction to move across your face. My skin looked a tinge pink right after (see: fair Irish skin comment above), but it did feel much softer.

Once I finished with those areas, I swapped out the large tip for the smaller precision one and moved on to my nose. I had a some trouble getting the suction to stick, but once I got the hang of it, it quickly became my favorite area to microderm. Call it an instant placebo effect, but it felt like all of my blackheads were gone and my pores were instantly smaller. The entire process took about five to ten minutes.

What happens next? Right after the treatment, I put on some gentle face cream to help soothe my skin, but I did feel a bit of a sting. The tingling lasted for about 30 seconds, so it wasn’t terrible, but I definitely felt like I had done more to my skin than my usual exfoliating mask.

The final verdict? I’ve been trying to keep up a routine of microderming two to three times per week. It’s been a month so far and a few of my friends (even acquaintances who I know aren’t just trying to be nice) have commented that my skin looks clear and healthy. Huzzah. It’s too soon to tell if the results will stick should I choose to slow down the treatments, but at this success rate, why would I stop now?

BUY NOW ($138)

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Blue jean baby, LA lady (NYC transplant)

An avid bargain hunter, SoulCycle-goer, and vacation-planner, Katie has somehow turned her online shopping addiction into a full-time job for PureWow.