Life Extension Magazine®

Rub Away Aged Skin

Developed by a university dermatologist, Self MicroDermAbrasion can help to safely renew aging and damaged skin. Now you can get the same results of physician-administered MicroDermAbrasion treatments in the privacy of your own home—at a fraction of what you would pay a dermatologist.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in January 2021. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

LE Magazine June 2004
Rub Away Aged Skin
MicroDermAbrasion restores a youthful appearance by removing aged surface skin.

Cosmetic dermatology is one of the most profitable areas of medical practice today. Americans pay top dollar for facial treatments that partially reverse the outward signs of skin aging. One reason people keep going back to dermatologists is that these topical antiaging treatments provide an immediate (albeit temporary) improvement in skin appearance.

While most people associate cosmetic dermatology with surgical face-lifts, the three most popular procedures performed today are Botox® injections, collagen injections, and MicroDermAbrasion.

MicroDermAbrasion is a type of skin exfoliation that removes cells at the skin’s surface. MicroDermAbrasion is a peeling technique accomplished by a machine that power-sprays fine crystal granules on to the skin. These crystals lightly exfoliate the skin’s upper layers, resulting in smoother, younger-appearing skin.

MicroDermAbrasion was developed in the mid-1990s as an alternative to risky, inconsistent forms of skin peeling. The cost of each treatment ranges from approximately $150 to $500, and can involve a lot of time spent in a doctor’s office.

The good news is that a university dermatologist has developed a method that enables you to obtain the same results of physician-administered MicroDermAbrasion treatments in the privacy of your own home. And the cost of this self-applied exfoliation technique is just a fraction of what dermatologists charge.

No matter how hard we try not to age, the clock is always ticking. Although we cannot yet stop our bodies from aging, we can take steps to slow down and even reverse some of the unsightly signs of aging that materialize on the surface of our skin.

Our skin’s appearance is the most visible sign of the aging process. Fortunately, topically applied agents have been shown to repair and rejuvenate aged skin. Some are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.

The process of removing old cells at the surface of skin to allow younger-looking skin cells to appear was long ago shown to help reverse the signs of aging. Back in the 1980s, alpha-hydroxyl fruit acids became popular because of their ability to help “unglue” dead cells that cling to the skin’s surface. These dead or damaged cells create some of the unsightly signs of aging. Life Extension members were the first to gain access to one of these fruit acids back in 1983.

While the alpha-hydroxyl fruit acids help, old and damaged cells require mechanical exfoliation to be completely removed. This is where MicroDermAbrasion comes in. It mechanically removes (exfoliates) older cells at the skin’s surface to allow healthier cells to show through.

Exfoliation Improves Skin Appearance
Once the dead and damaged skin cells are removed, the outer layer of new skin becomes visible. This new skin feels softer, smoother, and reflects light easier, making fine lines harder to see. Age spots and unwanted pigment are also less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation removes plugged pores, prevents the pores from replugging, and allows for the release of natural oils. In addition, regular exfoliation decreases pore size and minimizes many types of superficial scars. All of this contributes to making the skin look tighter, healthier, and more youthful.

Exfoliation Complements Other Skin Products
After removing the dead and damaged cells through exfoliation of the skin, other antiaging agents such retinoic acid, moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting nutrients are better able to penetrate the skin and work more effectively. This also holds true for acne medications and other types of skin treatments where penetration is important. This is another reason why regular exfoliation should be part of a basic skin care regimen.

Areas that Benefit from Frequent Exfoliation
While all areas of the aging body contain unsightly cells that will benefit from regular exfoliation of the skin, the most obvious target locations are the face, chest, “v” of the neck (or decollete area), exposed scalp area, and top of the hands. These areas show the most immediate beneficial effects of frequent exfoliation.

Developing a Self-MicroDermAbrasion System
MicroDermAbrasion is the most effective form of skin exfoliation. Two years ago, Gary Goldfaden, MD, a university teacher and clinical practitioner, approached Life Extension with a concept of concentrating magnesium crystals into a topical exfoliate that would duplicate the effects of expensive machine-administered microdermabrasion. Being able to perform the exfoliation process at home is more convenient as well as less expensive than having to travel to a doctor’s office.

Dr. Goldfaden indicated that it would take several years for him to perfect the particle size and density of the exfoliate preparation in order to emulate the remarkable effects he was seeing in patients who underwent machine-administered MicroDermAbrasion. After trying dozens of different formulations, Dr. Goldfaden finally found the perfect particle size and density for an exfoliate that could be safely applied at home to obtain the same results as from machine-administered microdermabrasion.

With the creation of Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate, regular skin exfoliation is now available to all at a very low price. This topical exfoliating preparation helps slow the appearance of skin aging and repairs the damaging effects inflicted on the skin over time. Dr. Goldfaden’s experience with hundreds of patients indicates that the continual use of a topical exfoliate will make the skin appear tighter, smoother, healthier, and more youthful, thus making an individual look younger.

The Unique Self MicroDermAbrasion™ Formula
The Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula is a concentrated exfoliating cleanser with unique antioxidants and moisturizers that improve the appearance of all skin types. Using magnesium oxide crystals, the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate rejuvenates the skin by removing dead skin cells and allowing natural antioxidants to come into direct contact with the freshly exposed skin. As a result, the skin becomes smoother, tighter, healthier, and more youthful.

The Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate contains red tea, a super-potent antioxidant that greatly advances the results and visible outcome noticed in the skin. The exfoliation process allows the antioxidants in the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ product, especially the red tea, to come into direct contact with the new skin cells. As a result, complementary skin care products such as Rejuvenex® and Hydroderm® will be able to penetrate the new skin directly with better results.

Red tea (or Rooibos) comes from the mountains of Cape Town, South Africa, where it has been used for centuries in various medical remedies. The many health-promoting properties of red tea were confirmed long ago by scientists in South Africa. Most notably, red tea has been shown to be a potent antioxidant. Dr. Goldfaden included red tea in the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula to provide this potent anti-oxidant directly to the fresh skin cells that appear after older cells are exfoliated from the skin’s surface. Like the moisturizing agents, red tea is central to the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula’s ability to make aged skin feel and look younger.

LE Magazine June 2004
Rub Away Aged Skin
MicroDermAbrasion restores a youthful appearance by removing aged surface skin.

What Makes Red Tea so Special?
Red tea contains some of the most potent, protective natural antioxidants and enzymes known for the skin. Most important are vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. The combination of these natural antioxidants aids in new skin health after the removal of dead and damaged skin cells, giving the skin a smoother, brighter, and healthier appearance. In addition to these vitamin antioxidants, red tea also contains flavonoids, which traditionally have been used to treat various skin and circulatory ailments. Finally, red tea has large quantities of the alpha-hydroxy acids that further help slough off damaged cells at the skin’s surface.

Dr. Goldfaden found that regular exfoliation in combination with red tea extract greatly limits the damaging effects of free radicals, which are largely responsible for the aging of the skin. In his many clinical studies, Dr. Goldfaden observed that regular use of Self MicroDermAbrasion™ lessened the appearance of many types of skin imperfections—such as fine lines, acne scars, dark spots, freckles, sun damage, and age spots—resulting in healthier skin.

The Importance of Proper Particle Size
To achieve the proper daily exfoliation, the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ formula incorporates a unique type of particle crystal. Many types of particles can be used for exfoliation, but only certain types produce superior results. The health benefits and safety of magnesium have been studied extensively. Because of the nature of magnesium crystal particles, the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ product is made and packaged by hand. Dr. Goldfaden’s numerous clinical trials showed that patients almost unanimously saw immediate results from use of the Self Micro- DermAbrasion™ exfoliate.

In-office machine MicroDermAbrasion treatments can be expensive and inconvenient, costing anywhere from $150 to $500 per visit and usually requiring a total of 6-9 visits at monthly intervals.

Advantages Over In-officeMachine Treatment
The drawbacks to in-office machine MicroDermAbrasion treatments are often overlooked. These include:

  • the cleanliness of the microdermabrasion device (the machine is shared among patients)
  • the cost of the individual machine treatments
  • the time, inconvenience, and frequency required for in-office machine treatments
  • the cleanliness and purity of the particles used during the machine treatments
  • the potential for human error by the machine operator.

In-office machine microdermabrasion treatments can be expensive and inconvenient, costing anywhere from $150 to $500 per visit and usually requiring a total of 6-9 visits at monthly intervals. Results are inconsistent, tend to fade rapidly, and are not regained until additional in-office machine treatments are undertaken. Moreover, most of those who perform the machine treatments are not physicians, which can lead to improper use of the machines. Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate eliminates most of these concerns. Dr. Goldfaden has shown that Self MicroDermAbrasion™ treatments achieve the same result as machine microdermabrasion. Unlike chemical peels and laser surgery, they are relatively safe for people of all skin types.

Today, microdermabrasion is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic skin procedures in the US, and until recently was available only through the use of in-office machines. With the creation of Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate, people can get the same, if not superior, results offered by in-office microdermabrasion treatments.

Consumers Demand Science in Skin Care Products
According to a front-page article in the Wall Street Journal (November 14, 2003), consumers are abandoning commercial cosmetic products and switching to dermatologist-designed formulas at a record pace. While department store skin-care sales grew less than 3% in 2002, sales of dermatologist and clinical formulations jumped an astounding 62%.

Consumers seeking effective solutions to battle skin aging are fed up with commercial companies hyping products that consist mostly of oil and water emulsions, as opposed to scientific formulations that provide potent nutrients and natural moisturizers. While commercial cosmetics companies often are more concerned with designing fancy packaging and marketing gimmicks, dermatologists spend years developing and meticulously testing their novel ideas on patients, who eagerly become active test subjects.

Gary Goldfaden, MD, creator of the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate.

Major cosmetics companies are scrambling to react to consumer demand by adding dermatologists to their payrolls. As is so often the case with institutional bureaucracies (such as drug companies), significant innovation seldom occurs. As history has so often demonstrated, it is the individual with an insatiable curiosity to discover something truly novel who produces a true scientific breakthrough.

Dr. Goldfaden’s Self Micro-DermAbrasion™ exfoliate is the result of a pioneering physician’s clinical experience observing the beneficial effects of machine-applied microdermabrasion. His painstaking experiments with numerous particle sizes and densities finally led to the Self MicroDermAbrasion™ exfoliate that people can safely use at home without incurring the added expense and inconvenience of going to dermatologists.

For the first time, this exclusive magnesium-based exfoliate is available for people to maintain fresh, youthful-looking skin, free from some of the unsightly ravages of environmental toxins and normal aging.