Makeup & Beauty

I Tried Microdermabrasion…And The Results Were Completely Unexpected

You know how I’ve been whining about my skin for over three months now? Mostly about the fact that all of a sudden I have transformed from a prune-y, wrinkly Old Lady with Old Lady Skin Problems into a hormonal 17-year-old dreading her next zit?

I tried a handful of the suggestions you guys gave me, and some of them were honestly great. I rediscovered an old favorite – Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – that very literally makes spots disappear overnight, but I have to say that my favorite discovery from that post was Stridex. Yes, Stridex. You know, the old-school stuff that used to practically burn your face off when you were 13? I have to assume they changed the formula, because it no longer burns or makes my skin go away, but it still makes everything even remotely pimple-related disappear instantly.

That said, all of the fixes I tried felt more like damage control. None of them seemed to fix the central issue, which was that my face was simply not acting like my face. It felt inflamed; out of control; painful. I needed a reset button.

So I finally broke and booked an appointment with an aesthetician to get a professional opinion. My plan was to see if a laser treatment might take down the ruddiness in my cheeks (hereditary rosacea, WHEE). But what she told me was that she couldn’t do anything until we dealt with my breakout issue, and recommended microdermabrasion – a treatment that uses a diamond-tip pen to simultaneously exfoliate and suction your skin and deposit salicylic acid deep into your pores – and so I thought, what the hell. It’s not much more expensive than a regular facial, and my skin’s been bothering me for long enough that I’m ready to try more drastic measures.

Here’s how it went. (And I think it’s clear from the video, but this was not comped or discounted or otherwise bloggerized in any way.)

Top image by Sue Hudelson.

  • Jerusha

    I have rosacea and it’s a pain in the neck, or face actually. It used to just be redness and the occasional little burst blood vessel. Now it’s always flushed and looks like I’m breaking out with pimples ALL the time and I hate it. I’ve been wondering who to go to. Did you see a dermatologist first or just go straight for an aesthetician? And how do you know if they are good at their job? I have so many questions and don’t even know where to start in order to get help. Also, your skin looks amazing after your visit!

    • jordanreid

      i mentioned it to my dermatologist when i was there for other reasons – i have a weird discoloration thing happening on the tops of my feet – but she wasn’t especially helpful (granted, i didn’t press the issue, but i also haven’t been super happy with her, so i’m looking for another dermatologist going forward), for treatment options, i went to the aesthetician who does my botox (and who i LOVE) – she recommended a BBL laser treatment, so i made an appointment for a consultation with the laser specialist in their office. my treatment is scheduled for march 14, so i’ll definitely post about how it goes.

  • Heather Jane

    Ok but I need to know about the sweater you at wearing in that post, please.

    • jordanreid

      i wish i could give you a link! it’s super-old free people.

  • Erin

    Oooh let’s put this on the list for my next visit. Want dat.

    • jordanreid


  • Sarah Arnold

    Oh dang! I’m so sorry it is Rosacea! I got it after my second baby and my skin FREAKED!!!! It’s no longer pretty and white but reddish. I never needed foundation, now I do. But the metrolotion took all the bumps away. My skin has never been as bad as my first breakout. Hold on to that hope. Also, second think the laser. I did it and ended up with Melasma from the heat. Awesome. You’d think a super expensive dermatologist would’ve told me that. I bought my own dermabrasion kit but haven’t used it because I am using retin A. What did they say about that combo?

    • jordanreid

      no one mentioned retin a to me, but it’s definitely calmed down since the microdermabrasion (although i’m still breaking out WAY more than i ever have).

  • Kristen

    You should check out Rodan + Fields products. I was a total skeptic before I tried them, but will never go back to anything else!