Sometimes a scrub or a mask or even an exotically named spa facial isn’t quite enough to undo all the damage inflicted by time and daily exposure to the Middle East’s gruelling combination of sun, grit and grime. For more drastic results, the nation’s dermatologists routinely point their patients in the direction of microdermabrasion.
Over the last decade, this results-driven treatment has climbed to the top of the most requested non-invasive cosmetic procedures in the country. Both women and men are increasingly turning to microdermabrasion as it is designed to remove acne scars, sunspots and some milder superficial signs of ageing.
‘Patients are starting to ask for microdermabrasion by name, which is always a strong indicator of the rising popularity of any procedure,’ comments Dr Mario Trelles, a general, plastic-aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon. Dr Trelles also serves as the head of the plastic surgery department at Dubai-based clinic Vilafortuny, where he has noticed a spike in the number of patients opting for microdermabrasion.
‘Daily use of sun block, moisturiser and makeup can easily clog the skin. Regular cleansing and exfoliating can keep the skin topically clean but cannot reach deep inside the pores. Microdermabrasion is a rewarding procedure because it is a superior method of mechanical exfoliation,’ explains Dr Trelles.
Microdermabrasion traditionally uses a spray of sterile aluminium microcrystals that are gently rubbed onto the skin to deep clean the epidermis. To put it in mechanical terms, microdermabrasion is like sandblasting the skin very gently to buff away the outermost layer of dead skin cells. This combined with suction cleans the dirt, blackheads and other debris that accumulates in the pores over time.
With the dead cells out of the way, the treatment also enables better penetration of products such as moisturisers and anti-ageing serums. It also offers another key benefit: it acts as a catalyst for cell renewal and stimulates the production of collagen, which in turn eliminates fine lines, wrinkles and other such signs of ageing. Patients are therefore left with a smoother, younger looking complexion.
Dr Trelles adds, ‘The treatment is usually followed up with an application of a nutrient and vitamin-rich moisturiser to refresh and tone the skin. Ingredients are “pushed” to deeper into the skin via LED light treatment, which activates cell function to improve the quality of skin tissue.’
Another aspect that works in the favour of microdermabrasion is its minimal downtime and affordability. The procedure itself lasts around thirty minutes and a session averages out at AED 800, inclusive of the phototherapy treatment to activate skin metabolism.
‘Microdermabrasion has become a top-of-the-mind procedure for anyone looking to refresh and rejuvenate their skin quickly, safely and effectively. As the region heads deeper into its summer, we’re seeing a rise in requests for the treatment, especially before residents head off for their summer holidays,’ says Dr Trelles.