Our Editor Loves This Miracle Skin Tool That Improves Texture in Just One Use
Can this magic skincare tool eliminate fine lines and improve texture? One Shopping Editor puts the Personal Microderm Elite Pro to the test.
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I have a very expressive face. Unfortunately, scrunching up my forehead and dramatic open-mouth reactions to TV shows aren’t kind to my skin. At 29, my face appears riddled with fine lines around my mouth, by my eyes and between my brows. I’ve tried toners, serums and investing in high-quality moisturizers, but I still feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with my skin.
Fine lines paired with dullness and an uneven skin tone make my complexion a source of anxiety. Sure, I moisturize and use pimple patches to prevent picking, but that doesn’t improve my large pores or overall skin texture. When I first heard about at-home exfoliation treatments, I assumed they were hard to use—or worse, painful. That is until I tried the Personal Microderm Elite Pro.
What is the Personal Microderm Elite Pro?
The Personal Microderm Elite Pro is a skincare device that uses a combination of physical exfoliation disks and suction to buff away the top layer of skin. Each kit arrives with the tool, a charging dock, a charging cord and a convenient storage case filled with a variety of face caps and disks. The Personal Microderm Elite Pro is completely cordless, so users have the freedom to exfoliate anywhere it’s—incredibly travel-friendly.
Inside the case are 10 starting disks. These exfoliation disks are easy to insert and swap out and come in a variety of different abrasions. Two different caps accommodate two varying disk sizes. Larger disks are for use on the body, such as arms and feet, whereas the smaller disks are ideal for targeting the face. There’s a cap that works without any disks. It has a smaller opening and uses suction to target blackheads and clogged pores. This is ideal for use on the nose and cheeks where there’s often excess sebum buildup.
It’s easy to customize treatments by experimenting with different disks and treatment levels using the plus and minus buttons on the device. Three different treatment levels offer personalized treatments for nearly any skin type, including sensitive skin. Before the first treatment, PMD Beauty recommends using the included “training” disks to learn how to properly glide the tool along the skin. This training disk doesn’t offer strong abrasion, so it’s perfect for when you’re learning how to use the tool.
How do you use the Personal Microderm Elite Pro?
There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to using this microdermabrasion tool. Setting it up is easy—just unscrew the cap, push one of the disks down onto the exposed pin, then put the cap back on. Press the power button to turn the tool on, then use the plus and minus buttons to select your desired intensity.
PMD Beauty’s website offers a handy video and graphic on their site that outlines how to pass the tool over the skin. Focus on long, sweeping upward lines. Pull the skin taunt with one hand, then use the other hand to glide the tool along the skin in sweeping, lifting motions. I practiced with the training disks several times before graduating to actual exfoliation.
How often should you use the PMD Elite Pro?
PMD Beauty recommends using the tool no more than once per week. In between treatments, it’s important to give your skin a break so that it’s able to properly heal after exfoliating.
Personal Microderm Elite Pro review
Learning to use it
Upon arrival, I set up the tool and charged it until the three green lights on the front lit up. This took about 45 minutes. With one charge, I’ve been able to use the tool for a full month’s worth of treatments. Not bad! After charging, I popped in a practice disk and set about practicing the upward, sweeping motion PMD advises for treatments.
Using my free hand, I focused on pulling my skin taunt so the tool was able to glide over my face without stopping on one spot for too long. This proved to be the hardest part for me to master. There were several instances of the tool getting “stuck” on one part of my face. If the real disks had been in, I definitely would’ve over-exfoliated. However, after a few rounds with the practice disk, I got the hang of it.
Despite the practice disk not offering intense exfoliation properties, I still noticed smoother skin immediately after use. I think this is due to the suction itself—PMD mentions on its site that “suction increases circulation and triggers the skin’s natural healing process which boosts collagen and elastin leaving skin firm, fresh and radiant.” I found this to be the case.
Using the exfoliation disks
Once I felt satisfied with my ability to use the tool, I switched to the exfoliating disk. I was slightly nervous, as I assumed some pain would be involved. The disks resemble little rounds of sandpaper. However, I experienced zero pain during my first treatment, and the sensitive skin disks create little redness. I washed my face to eliminate any products that could affect the treatment and started making the sweeping motions that I practiced. The only sensation was a slightly bizarre feeling that stems from the intense suction of the tool.
After my first treatment, I noticed little flakes of dry skin sitting on top of my skin. I washed off the flakes and moisturized as usual. The result? While my pores were still noticeable and my fine lines were still there, my skin was the softest it’s ever been—no exaggeration. My moisturizer melted right into my skin, absorbed quickly and left me with a gorgeous glow.
The blackhead tool
One thing that surprised me was how much I love the blackhead cap. As a tween in the mid-2000s, I used a similar tool that claimed to “suck out” blackheads—unsurprisingly, it was mostly a gimmick. I don’t have a lot of blackheads as an adult. However, the larger pores on my nose and cheeks typically get “filled” with sebum, presenting a stronger appearance.
A pass with the blackhead tool emptied my pores, giving my skin a smoother appearance. I credit this to the powerful suction of the tool. It blows that $10 plastic wand from my childhood right out of the water! I really didn’t expect such a dramatic difference. The blackhead cap has become an integral part of my morning skincare routine before my moisturizer and makeup application. Because it doesn’t actually exfoliate, it’s safe for daily use.
- Softens skin
- Evens complexion
- Minimizes uneven texture
- Wireless operation
- Practice disks included
- Several different disks and settings
- Doesn’t feel uncomfortable
- Slightly noisy
- Learning curve
- Slight redness directly after treatment
- Difficult to use on and around the nose
- Takes several treatments to notice the results
While the results are subtle since I’ve only used the Personal Microderm Elite Pro for about a month—that’s five treatments—I’ve noticed a definite difference in my skin. Overall, my skin is way smoother to the touch. Even my husband noticed, saying that my face “feels like a baby.” On my forehead, the deeper lines are already a lot less noticeable. This is especially apparent in the vertical lines that run above my eyebrows. I know it’s the Microderm tool that made a difference since I cut out the use of liquid exfoliants in my routine.
My pores are still visible—nothing can change genetics—but I’ve noticed that the Personal Microderm Elite Pro has made a huge difference in the “orange” texture on my cheeks. Old acne scars are softer, and buffing away dead skin makes my favorite foundation apply so much smoother. Probably my favorite effect of the treatment is that my skin absorbs so much more product, which makes moisturizers, treatments and toners far more effective.
I’m happy to report that even when using the more intense disks, my sensitive skin doesn’t respond negatively to any of the treatments aside from a little redness directly afterward. Luckily, the redness dissipates after about 10-15 minutes. I perform the treatment at night, so I don’t worry too much about that.
Note, it’s important to be consistent with sunscreen application when using any exfoliation treatment because new skin is far more vulnerable to sun damage. I use a dedicated facial sunscreen every day before applying my usual makeup routine. Those who are on medications that alter the skin, such as Accutane, should check with their dermatologist before using exfoliation treatments.
Where to buy the Personal Microderm Elite Pro
The Personal Microderm Elite Pro is a bit pricey at $299 for the starter set, but spa exfoliations can cost upwards of $300 for a single treatment, so the price is fair. Each disk lasts three to four treatments, and sets of six cost $20. Plus, PMD is running a summer sale, so you can snag the starter set while it’s on sale for 25% off. Banish uneven texture, say goodbye to dull skin for good and debut your summer-ready glow.