PMD Personal Microderm

PMD Personal MicrodermPMD Personal Microderm, $159

I’ve been questing to achieve skin that doesn’t piss me off for a while now. Around the holidays, I ordered a PMD Personal Microderm system from Nordstrom to try. My concerns:

  • General exfoliation/cellular turnover
  • Sebaceous filaments
  • Skincare product absorption
  • General preventative aging stuff

PMD Personal Microderm describes their device as…

…a revolutionary at-home skincare tool that provides the same brilliant results as professional … treatments. PMD Personal Microderm combines Patented(1) Spinning Disc technology(2) with Perfectly Calibrated(3) Vacuum Suction to brighten, smooth, and even skin tone and texture. Personal Microderm reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes, and enlarged pores. This exfoliation process removes the dead, dull skin cell barrier, increases blood flow, and boosts the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin.

Having a Patent isn’t as Big of Deal as it Sounds

First things first: I hate when marketing departments throw the word, “patented,” in front of something. It’s a buzz-word. It isn’t more impressive simply because it was patented. Not to be crass here, but toilet tissue was patented, too.

Patented

Just add, “Technology!”

Second, more marketing criticism – “Spinning disc technology.” You know what else uses spinning disc technology?

frisbee

Perfection is Ambitious

Third, throwing in that golden adjective, “perfectly,” is a little bold. Different skin types need different things, so let’s not pretend that there really is a one-size-fits-all level of suction. That is what the PMD Personal Microderm devices offer, but to call it perfection is a bit much.

The Device

The PMD device receives largely positive reviews, but my first impression of the PMD Personal Microderm was that it felt lightweight and flimsy in my hands. Here’s this fairly large handle…made, clearly, of hollow plastic. The balance was poor. It wasn’t comfortable in my and and felt awkward to hold. On top of that, I nudged the power rocker several times during normal use. Poorly thought out.

The PMD Personal Microderm device is not battery powered, so treatment needs to take place near an outlet, which may be a detractor to some. I’d rather have consistent power and performance than the freedom to traipse around my apartment while sloughing off my skin’s outermost layers. There are two threaded plastic caps that hold the exfoliating, spinning disc in place; one wide, one narrow. The wide discs and cap are intended for larger surface areas (cheeks, forehead) and the smaller discs and cap are used in narrower spaces (around the nose, etc).

To switch discs, unscrew the cap, pull the disc cylinder out, and replace. I found that the disc cylinders were a little snug and stiff when it came to removing and replacing, but I accepted this if it meant they were secure.

Usage

Prior to use, you should wash your skin with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Skip moisturizers.

Starting at the bottom center of your face, hold the PMD Personal Microderm to the skin and use the other hand to hold the treatment area taut. Moving outward and upward in steady strokes, move the device across the skin. Easy enough. PMD has you start with a super-gentle white disc to help you acclimate to the device and prevent you from destroying your skin.

After the first two uses, I graduated from the white discs to the light grey (ultra-sensitive) and blue (sensitive) discs. After each use, my skin was red but not in pain. My skincare products did sink in quickly after use and that day and the next my skin was fairly bright.

Over Time

Using it once weekly for six weeks did not seem to be significantly impactful, however. I had to work hard to deal with sebaceous filaments just as I would have without the device, and the lines that developed in my forehead woefully (albeit not unexpectedly) early are just as noticeable as they ever were.

Also, although the exfoliation was there I didn’t find myself getting better with the device – I didn’t go slowly by any stretch of the imagination, but it was difficult to smoothly glide over my skin; the disc wouldn’t stay in proper contact with my skin as I moved the PMD Personal Microderm device around. It would skip with the suction and tug a bit, which was uncomfortable but not injurious. I did not have difficulty lining up my strokes to avoid a, “tiger stripe,” effect that some users reported.

Reviews report that the devices loses suction after about a year. That’s disappointing considering the cost of the device. If it truly gave professional results, a limited lifespan would be completely worth it (after all, how much is microdermabrasion at a med-spa?)…but it doesn’t.

The Bottom Line

A rarity, I ended up returning the device after six weeks of use. I wouldn’t recommend. Why?

  • The results were not consistent with the marketing or hype.
  • I found it challenging to use consistently without skipping over my skin.
  • I did not see anything beyond short term, 1-2 day benefits.
  • Limited lifespan at approximately one year.
  • High replacement/consumable cost at $15-20 for a set of 4-6. When each disc should be replaced every 3-4 uses, that adds up!
  • Sensitive heads feel decently abrasive (not painful); can’t really see someone using a coarser disc without discomfort.
  • Device felt flimsy and isn’t designed with ergonomics in mind for the cost.
  • Seemed that I had to work entirely too hard to contend with sebaceous filaments, which are common and not stubborn…if I had that much trouble with that, how much difficulty would someone using it for anti-aging concerns have?
  • The lines in my forehead are just as obvious as ever. I’m not trying to get rid of them, per se – of course I have lines in my forehead as a cynical twenty-something – but this did nothing to them, which I think would be concerning, again, for someone looking into the PMD Personal Microderm device for DIY anti-aging treatment.

Fortunately, I found and use something else. Have you tried any at-home microdermabrasion substitutes?

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, $36

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation…so refreshing to have a product with an absurdly long name! It’s been a while.

I’ve never been a fan of caking on product to hide problems. Even when I was in the throes of ridiculous skin woes, I wouldn’t do it. That doesn’t mean I’d go bare-faced…but troweling on Instagram-ready, drag-worthy makeup does not seem like a healthy choice for problem skin.

The Purchase

Over the holidays, I finally ran out of the powder foundation I was using on lazy (read: most) mornings where blending a cream or liquid product was out of the question. Armed with a 20% off Ulta Platinum voucher, I picked up Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. I like the idea of mineral powder foundations; even though bareMinerals didn’t blow me away with its lofty claims, it is a decent product that is user friendly. My hope was that I’d find a better shade match and a similar level of user friendliness in this Tarte product.

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March 2017 Favorites

March 2017 FavoritesMarch 2017 Favorites
1. MAC Twig / 2. Tip to Toe Electric File / 3. Alpha Skin 10% AHA gel
4. Contigo Autoseal Chill / 5. Silkn ReVit

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Worth it? Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner

Cinema Secrets Brush CleanerCinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner, $24 for 8oz

This was a legacy post that I gave a facelift because I seriously cannot tell enough people about this product. If you’re an artist? Lifesaver. If you aren’t, it means you can avoid buying thirty seven thousand brushes, because you can use the same one over and over in a look.

I’d seen this brush cleaner in blog posts and on YouTube. I was curious but…really, how good can it be? It’s a brush cleaner. I had come close to buying it a few times for myself but always talked myself out of it. My current system is good; why invest in another product – especially with that price tag? Fortunately, a wise friend sent this wee little spray-bottle of it to me.

I tested it that night, but was not prepared to record or demonstrate my findings. Spoiler alert: I was blown away and wondered how the ever loving hell I haven’t had this product in my life before.

Let me just show you.

Before

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Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Review

Stila Stay All Day Liquid LipstickStila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso

This is a post from the Beauty Skeptic archives that has been given a facelift, but content and opinions are the same. Favorites are being rescheduled and will appear by next Wednesday.

I don’t always bother with liquid lipstick, but when I do, it’s Stila Beso. I wrote about receiving a compliment on some bold red lipstick that made my morning. In turn, that inspired me to compliment someone else, and an awesome chain reaction resulted. Time to talk about the lipstick itself.

Reeeally Red

My skin is pretty agreeable to reds – so I didn’t have to go on a crazy hunting spree for, “the one,” because my options are plenty. Friday was National Wear Red Day; I opted for a red lipstick, specifically Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in the shade Beso. Stila and Sephora describe this shade as a, “true red,” meaning it has no blue, pink, or orange undertones, and is not particularly warm OR cool.

When I first got this lipstick, I swatched it on my lips not having looked up swatches online or having any idea of how pigmented it was; I exclaimed when I saw it. A little goes a very, very long way. Given how pigmented it is and how quickly the color takes, the doefoot applicator wand can be a liiiiiittle bit difficult to work with. Doefoot applicators are awesome for speed and ease of use, but a bold red lip requires careful application. If you have a lip brush, I recommend keeping it handy to help ensure clean edges.

The Bold Claim

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