Medically reviewed by Katelyn Hagerty, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 5/27/2021
Depending on who you ask, some people may think the rugged look is masculine. But one thing is certain: Dull skin, acne scars, uneven skin tone, and dark spots are never sexy.
And while wearing a face mask may be good for covering unsightly blemishes (and stopping the spread of Covid)–you can’t hide away forever.
As the world starts re-opening, it’s natural to want to look your best. Whether you are in front of the camera for video meetings, or finally hanging out with friends, your skin is on display.
Microdermabrasion is an easy and safe way for men to improve their skin’s appearance without plastic surgery or chemicals.
Microdermabrasion is a treatment that uses a device to remove the top layer of skin to stimulate new growth. This helps thicken collagen, resulting in a younger looking complexion.
Sounds painful, right? Don’t worry, you don’t even need to pretend to be tough...because it doesn’t actually hurt. In fact, microdermabrasion for men is completely common.
A dermatologist uses a small, handheld wand (sort of like a very fine sandblaster) with a tip made of tiny crystals, or sometimes even diamonds.
He or she will then move the device across the surface of the skin to exfoliate it.
You may feel a little mild scratching, and also some vibrating–but nothing alarming. This is just the device doing its job.
Not only is microdermabrasion gentle, it’s also fairly quick. Treating the face takes about half an hour, and if you’re doing your neck, too, it takes about 20 minutes more.
However, you may need more than one treatment to get the results you want.
Hope to even out your skin tone? How about lightening age spots? And what about those dark acne scars that have been haunting you since senior prom?
Microdermabrasion can help all of those issues.
And, if you just feel like you need to give life to a dull complexion, microdermabrasion can help with that, too.
But that’s not all: Since microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin, when you get the treatment it also helps anti-aging creams and skin bleaching products penetrate the skin more easily.
Not only can microdermabrasion accomplish all of this, it’s safe for all skin colors, and you’re likely to see healthier, younger looking skin with no downtime.
It’s no wonder microdermabrasion is a popular skin treatment option for men.
With microdermabrasion, only the top layer of skin is affected, so the area where you had the procedure recovers quickly.
Chances are you’ve probably had paper cuts that take longer to heal than your face will after the treatment.
Here’s what you can expect: Your skin might turn pink or red, or even swell for a little bit for a day or two after the procedure.
(You may be anxious to show off your newfound “boyish” charm, but try holding off on any first dates for a couple days.)
It’s also possible—but not super common—that you may experience a little stinging, bruising, or sensitivity to light.
No need to panic, this will go away on its own.
Wondering how far a little face sanding and a glowing complexion will set you back?
It depends on where you live, the time it takes to do the procedure, and the expertise of the person holding the wand, but according to 2019 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the average cost of microdermabrasion is about $135.
(Some patients may require anywhere from five to 16 treatments, so it can get pricey!)
And keep in mind, that amount is only part of the total cost. It does not include any other related expenses, so be sure to ask your practitioner for a full breakdown before you commit.
One more potential wallet-thinner...since it’s a cosmetic procedure, health insurance does not cover microdermabrasion. This “being handsome” thing doesn’t come cheap.
Even though microdermabrasion is non-invasive, you should still talk to your healthcare professional before getting the treatment.
It’s not the right option for everyone. For example, if you are using the acne treatment isotretinoin, or if you scar easily, you might want to explore other skin-smoothing alternatives.
While microdermabrasion is a great, non-invasive way to help improve your skin, it’s not the only treatment out there.
Here are a few procedures that also claim to diminish the signs of aging, giving you a similar result:
Like microdermabrasion, chemical peels for men also help lighten age spots, smooth skin, and brighten the complexion, but there’s a bit more healing time involved.
In fact, it can take up to 21 days to heal, depending on how deep the peel.
Hydradermabrasion works a lot like microdermabrasion except instead of using crystals to exfoliate the skin, it uses a combination of an aqueous solution and oxygen to remove dirt and dead skin cells.
This procedure hydrates the skin and adds antioxidants, and is a good choice for men with darker skin tones, aging skin, sensitive areas and complexions that are either oily or dry.
Also called vampire facials, this procedure separates platelets from blood drawn from your arm, and then re-injects the platelets into your face using microneedling.
Some people who have gotten PRP say they notice less wrinkles, diminished acne scars and a better complexion.
While there are a variety of procedures available, microdermabrasion is a gentle, non-invasive treatment that is a great option for men who want to improve their skin.
It can help remove dead skin cells for a smoother feel and more glowing complexion.
If you use certain topical medications or have active scarring or acne, you may want to avoid the treatment as it could irritate your already sensitive skin.
An anti-aging cream like the one from Hims might be a better bet, as it can address similar concerns yet remain gentle on your face.
Check with your healthcare provider to see if microdermabrasion might be the right option for you.