Have you ever looked in the mirror, frustrated with the face looking back? Are you plagued by hyperpigmentation, sagging skin, or sun damage? If you’d like to rediscover younger skin and restore your confidence, consider microdermabrasion.
PMD makes several different models, all of which are handheld and promise younger, smoother skin after just one treatment! There is the PMD Personal ($159), which I am reviewing based on personal experience, the PMD Pro ($199), which has two speeds and comes with more extras, a men’s only device ($159), and an international device ($181) that works in all countries.
How the PMD works:
As we age, we build up layers of skin on our face. The effects of weather, chemicals, and age are visible on the topmost layers. Microdermabrasion removes the top layer of skin to reveal the younger, smoother skin beneath. The PMD uses a spinning disc made of aluminum oxide crystals to exfoliate and remove old skin. Don’t worry, this layer of skin is dead and the process is not painful! Not only does this process reveal younger skin, it also stimulates new skin cell growth. As the disc spins, the device also uses vacuum suction to suck up dirt and dead cells. This suction also brings blood to the surface of your skin, which gives your face a healthy glow, increases circulation, and triggers a healing response that leaves skin firm. The PMD is designed to be used weekly with a skincare regimen of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer.
The PMD Personal comes with the following:
- PMD Device
- 1 small white training disc
- 1 O-ring
- 2 caps (one for each size disc)
- 2 green discs (1 small, 1 large)
- 4 black discs (2 small, 2 large)
- Training DVD and instruction booklet
I was pleased that the device was basically ready to use straight from the box. I read the manual and watched the short DVD before I started. In the DVD you see the PMD Pro device and three skincare products manufactured by PMD. For $199, you can purchase the PMD Personal with a skincare “starter kit,” but you only get 2oz of cleanser and toner and 0.5 ounces of moisturizer. For $80, you can purchase the “daily cell regeneration system,” which comes with 4 ounces of cleanser and toner and 1.7 ounces of moisturizer.
As a comparison, you can purchase basic moisturizer and toner for less than $20 each at your nearest pharmacy or grocery store.
I’m a 24 -year old female of Irish heritage. My skin is light in color, sensitive, and dry. I have lots of red spots on my face along with an inconsistent tone. I don’t have any sagging skin or wrinkles.
Making sure to follow all instructions, I began hesitantly and tested the device on my arm, neck, and then face. It was difficult to maintain suction as I moved the device across my face. It is important to use one hand to pull the skin taut while the other hand controls the device. There was no pain during treatment, but I did feel as if a small layer of skin was being sanded off.
Before treatment, I washed my face with a bar of soap. After treatment, I used a toner for sensitive skin by Simple and then an oil-free moisturizer by Equate Beauty.
What I noticed after the first session:
There was no pain, but my skin was sensitive, dry, and tight. My face looked bright and taut. My skin tone was more consistent than before. I highly encourage using toner and moisturizer after the abrasion process to restore pH and hydration to the skin. As a bonus, after microdermabrasion, your skin is better able to absorb skincare products.
There was one small red mark about the size of a cigarette burn where I failed to move the device quickly across my skin. This red spot was easily covered by makeup, but lasted for about 4 days. I know this product worked because the tan I had on my face disappeared, proving to me without a doubt that a layer of old skin had been erased and what I was looking at was indeed fresh, new skin!
Second Session (7 days after the first treatment):
This time, it was much easier for me to maintain suction as I moved the device across my face. After the session, my face was not nearly as sensitive as it had been after the first session. This time, I used the PMD moisturizer and it did a wonderful job of restoring hydration. The following morning, my face was not dry at all and had a pleasant tone and glow.
Third Session: (14 days after the first treatment):
This time I used a more abrasive disc along with PMD’s cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Although harsher than before, the treatment was not painful. I noticed red marks on my cheeks that lasted for a couple of days but were easily covered by makeup. I felt that this disc provided a more thorough treatment than the training disc. The PMD cleanser and toner weren’t any better than my store-bought products, but the moisturizer was amazing! Thick and super-hydrating, it was great for my dry skin.
I already mentioned the cost of the PMD skincare products. The price for replacement discs is surprisingly cheap. PMD makes 6 different types of discs with coarse levels varying from ultrasensitive to a disc so harsh you can use it on your feet! Visit the PMD website to purchase a replacement package that comes with 6 discs and an O-ring for $15.
PMD accepts returns within 30 days of original purchase and offers an extended 18-month warranty for an extra $40.
Many of us want to achieve professional beauty salon results at the convenience of our homes without having to foot expensive bills. That is exactly the attraction and promise of home microdermabrasion systems.
If you have seen the PMD Personal Microderm being featured on television programs like Good Morning America or the Dr Oz Show, I’m sure you would have been impressed by how sleek and easy it is to use, and its glowing testimonials. But how does it really fare in real life? Let’s take a deeper look.
Who Produces This Device & What Does It Do?
The PMD Personal Microderm is produced by a Utah based company named Age Sciences Inc, and appears to be its only major product.
Basically, the personal microderm is a hand held microdermabrasion device which exfoliates the outer layer of the skin known as the Stratum Corneum, stimulating the growth and revealing the new healthy skin cells underneath.
The tip of this device contains a replaceable disc etched with aluminium oxide crystals that exfoliates the skin as it rotates. It is operated by a 110v power supply and does not run on batteries.
So What Is Good About The PMD?
Furthermore, unlike professional microdermabrasion machines, the microderm is much more affordable and highly portable. It can easily be carried around in a handbag or stored in your luggage.
Compared to diamond microdermabrasion machines, the personal-microderm, as a hand-held device, also potentially has a less steep learning curve. The microderm comes with a white training disc allowing you to take all the time you need to be familiarized and comfortable with the device before using the actual microdermabrasion discs.
Once you are comfortable using the device on your face, there are 3 discs to choose from: the blue disc for sensitive skin, the green disc for normal skin and the red disc for tougher skin. Typically one would start with the blue disc, and decide whether to step up to a coarser disc depending on the results.
What Do Real Users Say About PMD?
Based on our research on customer feedback from online retail stores like Amazon and also other online forums, roughly 70% to 80% of users had positive feedback for the PMD Personal Microderm. It appears to have worked well for users with acne scars – reducing their appearance quite significantly. Users over the ages of 50 have also found it effective in reducing dark spots, fine lines and giving the skin a clearer and more even complexion.
However, there have also been complaints. The major complaint from users of this device is that they suffered scratches and grazes from using the device, and these commonly occur on the skin of bony areas of the cheek or the jaw. Some users also feedback that unlike professional diamond machines, the PMD is harder to operate on tight spots like the nose. A minor complaint is that of the power cord becoming detached from the device after extended use, but in many cases these consumers have successfully received replacements or had their device repaired.
Here are excerpts of real customer reviews (edited for language and length but unchanged in content and tone):
“I am so happy this device was invented! Simply Fantastic! After only 5 sessions my pores are smaller and I can see my scars fading I can tell a big difference in 4 weeks! Friends and family have noticed as well and some have already bought the device! Absolutely worth the money! ”
– ktalk “kf”. (Review from Amazon verified customer)
“I see an improvement in the texture and evenness of my skin and a fading of acne marks – especially around the chin/mouth where I tend to have a lot of discoloration. I also find creams being absorbed better into the skin. I do think some of the acne marks on my skin have improved and lessened esp. around the chin/mouth area – I tend to get a lot of discoloration there. The only place I find it hard to use is on the nose, which is a little disappointing as I want to work on those enlarged pores/ blackheads.”
– Jessica Jean Myers, Professional Freelance Makeup Artist. (Review from Jessica’s blog)
“While I wouldn’t say that the microderm can compete with a professional microdermabrasion machine, I would still recommend it if professional treatments are out of the question for you. The personal microderm certainly can be useful for acne or crater like scars. However, if you have very sensitive skin, or rosacea, I would discourage you from using it. Overall, I would continue to use the PMD personally as it has been effective at exfoliating my skin.”
– Nisha. (Review from Truthinaging)
“I have used this device for 3 times but have yet to see any effect on forehead lines/wrinkles. Be very careful when using this device as it can go too deep and cause scabbing!”
– Hopeful. (Review from Amazon verified customer)
“I have been to numerous professional microdermabrasion treatments and have to say this little device does an equal if not better job. This is serious microdermabrasion and can scrape your skin but the good news is: you know it works.”
– Kim Iverson. (Review from Amazon verified customer)
What Else You Need To Know Before Getting A PMD
It is extremely important not to hover the microdermabrasion disc on one spot of your skin or you may risk scratching or scabbing the skin. You have to watch the instructional DVD and follow the instructions explicitly before using the device.
The Personal Microderm comes with a 180 day manufacturer warranty and each package comes with the following:
- PMD Personal Microderm Machine
- Ten Blue Fine Grit Exfoliating Discs
- Eight Green Medium Grit Exfoliating Discs
- Large Body Cap
- Small Facial Cap
- Preinstalled Reusable Filter
- AC Adaptor (Power Supply Cord) – Output DC12V, 500mA
- Instructions (packed with DVD)
- DVD Instructional Video
The PMD Personal Microderm is a potent home microdermabrasion device that takes practice and care to operate correctly. Even though it can’t match the pinpoint precision of a professional microdermabrasion machine, it certainly can deliver a good microdermabrasion. At the official retail price of $179, it easily pays for itself within a couple of treatments.