Back in the day, I was a spa addict and had my microdermabrasion treatment done about twice a month. The only problem was that at upwards of $80 per session, it eventually became too financially draining for me. That was when I decided to look for an at home microdermabrasion machine. Back then there weren’t much information available other than manufacturer sponsored advertisements, and it took me really long before I found a satisfactory machine.
OR read on for machine selection tips and my comparison between the Nubrilliance and the Kendal microdermabrasion systems
The good news is that microdermabrasion machines are now easily accessible, and costs have also come down a lot. However, with so many different models and brands available, it can still be hard to narrow down your choices. Hopefully the research and information below will be helpful in your search for the right machine.
Types Of Microdermabrasion Systems
Broadly speaking, dermabrasion systems can be divided into those that use diamond tips and those that use other exfoliating crystals. In this article, we will mainly review diamond tipped microdermabrasion machines. If you are interested in non-diamond tipped machines, feel free to browse other articles on this site, including the series on microneedling treatments.
I will briefly discuss the difference between diamond and non-diamond machines. If you are familiar with the differences, you can skip right to the next section that review the machines.
Diamond Tip Machines
The dermabrasion tips of these machines are etched with tiny diamond chips. Diamond microdermabrasion systems offer the strongest dermabrasion. Be prepared to pay more upfront for a diamond based system. That said, you will save on tip and crystal refill costs because diamond tips generally do not require regular replacements or refills. If you are serious about getting a deep dermabrasion or want to fade blemishes like light scars, then diamond systems are the ones to go for.
Machines That Use Other Exfoliating Crystals
Such machines (some are simply portable hand-held kits) come in a wide variety with many different types of exfoliating crystals – Aluminum Oxide is one that is commonly used. While they don’t offer as strong a dermabrasion as their diamond-tipped cousins, these machines generally have the advantage of being less expensive upfront and are more portable.
The NuBrilliance Microdermabrasion Skin Care System
Based on the research I have conducted of customer experience, opinions on this product are very mixed. On one hand, there are definitely customers who have benefited from using the NuBrilliance system, and have reported results similar to a professional spa system.
However, there have also been many complains. One of the main gripes about this machine is that the suction device tends to become faulty, often happening around the 6 week mark (the refund period is 30 days). Moreover, many customers have complained about disputes pertaining to refunds, which appear to be slow or complicated. The last negative is the need to replace the microdermabrasion tips after every 10 uses (which generally is not required for other diamond based machines), which adds to ongoing costs.
Based on these feedbacks, the consensus seems to be that there are better machines out there that offer greater reliability at a lower price. Let’s look at one alternative below.
Kendal Diamond Microdermabrasion Kit
This machine is actually recommended to me by a good friend of mine, Michelle Guthrie, who runs her own beauty spa and also regularly blogs on beauty tips. Originally, she purchased this machine as a temporary replacement for one of her professional spa microdermabrasion machines which broke down. Even though this machine by Trophy Skin costs a fraction (less than $400) of her professional machine that set her back more than $2000, she found that it actually did a remarkably good job. The only difference was that professional machines could go up 25-30% more in terms of maximum suction power.
Many people suffering from acne problems and clogged pores have found that microdermabrasion using this system has cleared blackheads and oil from their pores and have also lessened the frequency of breakouts.
Some have also found superficial scars to be significantly faded after repeated sessions. It is interesting to note that some users use it not to target or treat specific conditions, but to complement their existing skin treatment regime like chemical peeling and have been satisfied with the resulting softness, glow and radiance of the skin.
What Do Actual Users Say About The Kendal Machine?
I always encourage consumers to do their own research before buying any beauty product. The best way to know if a product is good is to directly ask someone who has use it before, short of that, independent and verified online reviews is also a good way to find out more. The worst thing you can do is to buy on impulse based on what you see on paid presentations and infomercials.
Here, I just want to provide a snippet of what verified customers from various E-commerce stores are saying about this machine. These are curated excerpts, but the tone and content have not been changed:
“I am 22, have combination skin and the biggest problems I have are blackheads. I used to shell out $120 for professional spa treatment until I found this machine. It has already paid for itself after 2 sessions. My pores are now no longer clogged and barely visible.”
– Ariel Rose.
“This machine is ok. I am a professional skincare specialist and wished the suction can be stronger. For home use it is adequate.”
“As a licensed skincare professional from Houston Tx, I think this is a great product. It is great for a smaller and more personal spa like mine and delivers similar results as expensive machines which are noisier and take up lots of space. I charge $65 per session and this machine has more than paid for itself.”
What Else You Should Consider Before Buying And Using At Home Microdermabrasion Systems
Remember that home microdermabrasion systems are meant for home use, as such, their maximum suction power is usually lower than professional machines for safety reasons. For example, the Kendal machine reviewed above has a suction power of up to 16inHg vacuum suction, while another model (recommended for professional use) has a suction power up to 25inHg.
That said, evidence suggests that the 16inHg suction power on home models are usually more than adequate, unless the objective is to treat very severe cases of scarring. In these cases, receiving a professional microdermabrasion treatment could be a better option. Alternatively, you could consider purchasing the 25 inHg machine for professional use (see link at bottom of page), which I would highly recommend if you are a professional beautician or therapist as that gives you the greatest flexibility and scope of treatment options.
Lastly, if you have medical skin conditions like Rosacea, Eczema or severe cystic acne, please consult a doctor or dermatologist before starting any microdermabrasion treatment. If not, you may risk irritation, inflammation and other serious complications. Moreover, your skin care professional may recommend a more suitable course of treatment for your condition.
Personally, I like to shop for beauty equipment from bigger online retailers with greater buyer protection. With these retailers you also often get better prices than buying direct from the manufacturer (the product is shipped directly by the manufacturer oftentimes anyway).
Before making any purchase, make sure you carefully check what is included in the package, so that you can be sure you are not shortchanged. New home microdermabrasion machines usually come with a set of filters so you don’t have to immediately purchase replacements.
Lastly you should also check the warranty terms. As an example, the Kendal microdermabrasion kit comes with a full 1 year warranty against manufacturer defects.
In this article, I examined 2 popular home microdermabrasion machines in the market, in particular, the NuBrilliance Home Microdermabrasion System and the Kendal Portable Diamond Microdermabrasion Kit.
Currently, the diamond machine by Kendal is one which I honestly think should be considered by anyone who is serious about home microdermabrasion.