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At-Home Versus Professional Beauty Treatments

Home » Learning Center » At-Home Versus Professional Beauty Treatments

With the rise in DIY beauty treatments available online, it’s tempting to buy into the seemingly cost-effective, at-home options. But can at-home beauty treatments really compete with their “by a professional” counterparts? More importantly, are they safe? Today we’re diving into four popular treatments we’ve heard people are doing themselves and sharing the benefits and risks associated with completing them at-home or in a professional office. 

Microdermabrasion: at-home vs professional

Microdermabrasion is known for helping to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin texture. So there is little mystery as to why microdermabrasion kits have become a popular at-home treatment. 


Most at-home microdermabrasion devices come with a reusable buff and an abrasive polish or cream for the skin. It’s important to remember that if not cleaned properly, these buffs could introduce bacteria into the skin. These at-home devices also don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as professional microdermabrasion machines. This is partly because of the quality of the machine and the quality of the cream (or topical product) used to scrub the skin. 


Professional microdermabrasion comes with a consultation. At Dermacare of Hampton Roads, one of our Dermacare of Hampton Roads Experts will sit down with you and go over your skin concerns and what you’re looking for. They will then let you know if a microdermabrasion is going to help with your skin concerns. If it is determined that you’re a candidate for microdermabrasion, then we’ll use our DermaSweep

The DermaSweep is an advanced medical-grade form of microdermabrasion—meaning it is available only to a licensed physician and must be used by a licensed master aesthetician. This treatment gently lifts away the skin surface as the device “sweeps” the dead skin layer, resulting in a deeper exfoliation and polish of your skin. DermaSweep is completely painless and is commonly referred to as the “lunch hour” procedure due to minimal side effects.

Additionally, there is the option to upgrade the regular DermaSweep treatment with a standard infusion, a premium infusion, or a Peelfusion, which further customizes this treatment and allows for a more targeted approach to specific skincare needs.


You can get a nice exfoliation with some at-home microdermabrasion kits, but if you’re looking for help with wrinkles, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin texture, go with the professional service.

Microneedling: at-home vs professional

Microneedling is a procedure that involves using a device packed with needles to create small wounds in your skin. These wounds help boost collagen and elastin and allow skincare products to penetrate the skin on a deeper level. This can result in a more youthful appearance. 


Microneedling is one of the riskier procedures to perform at home. Kits usually come with a roller tool inset with many tiny needles. While these needles are often sharp, they’re not as long or as sharp as professional needles, and they also must be sterilized before each use.

Performing microneedling at home poses a risk of permanent damage to your skin if done incorrectly. Damage can include discoloration and scarring. Using at-home roller devices also carry the risk of tearing at the skin, rather than just puncturing the skin. This can cause undue injury and a great chance of complications.


Here at Dermacare of Hampton Roads, we use Vivace Radiofrequency Microneedling. It can treat wrinkles, crepey skin, large pore size, acne scars, and stretch marks. This device uses specialized, medical-grade, gold-tipped needles that are designed to minimize discomfort. 

The sterile needle cartridge is only used for that single patient, for that single treatment, and then it is discarded. A full-face treatment takes between 30-40 minutes to perform, following about 20 minutes of numbing with a topical cream; treatment time for body areas is dependent on the size of the area. 

The radiofrequency energy is completely customized to your exact skin type and desired goals, making it an excellent solution for a variety of skin issues. Because you receive both the micro-puncturing of the skin with the needles as well as layers of radiofrequency-induced tissue effects, the results of Vivace treatments are significantly more robust than regular microneedling, let alone at-home microneedling.


In our opinion, microneedling is one treatment that’s best left to the professionals.

Laser Hair Removal: at-home vs professional

If you’re someone who chooses to remove your facial or body hair, you know that it can be a royal pain. Frequent shaving. Booking wax appointments. Could there be a better solution? At-home laser hair removal treatments are a cost-efficient option that can help you remove unwanted hair if you don’t have access to a professional near you or are in between treatments.


When you choose at-home laser hair removal, you have two options: 

  1. a true laser
  2. a device that uses intense pulsed light

While both types can remove hair, they are both less powerful than what you’d experience from a professional hair removal service. The upfront cost is typically cheaper, but there’s a major drawback to at-home laser hair removal devices. They only work if the device detects a contrast between your skin and hair (a.k.a. light skin and dark hair). Even if you have that combination, it’s very hard to cover a large area of skin (like an entire leg). 

These at-home treatments typically aren’t strong enough to remove hair for as long-term as professional devices. 


In a professional’s office, the laser hair removal machines are significantly more powerful and more sophisticated than at-home devices. This means we’re able to offer laser hair removal treatments to a wider variety of clients. Treatments are fairly quick, ranging between 15-60 minutes depending on the size of the treatment area. Once you arrive, our Dermacare of Hampton Roads Experts may do a patch test in an inconspicuous spot to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction before proceeding with the treatment. 

At Dermacare of Hampton Roads, we have three different devices that we use for laser hair reduction. Just as with medications, some patients will respond better to one laser wavelength/device or another. So having three devices gives us options to provide optimal results to everyone. (Almost as exciting, our Motus laser is relatively painless!)

Additionally, some laser and light wavelengths are much riskier to use on darker skin. Having the most optimal device for that particular patient is important. Having medically-trained providers who understand how to work with the devices and with different skin types is paramount for safety and the minimization of side effects. (Side effects which could include pigmentation changes of the skin or scarring.)


If you’re planning to invest in laser hair removal, go with the professionals who can help you achieve the results you’re looking for in less time, with less maintenance, and with less risk.

Dermaplaning: at-home vs professional

Dermaplaning has become wildly popular in the past few years and is one of the least invasive skin exfoliation treatments available. Dermaplaning involves using a straight-edged razor to gently remove the outermost layer of skin and vellus hairs from the face. This can create a refreshed, rejuvenated look for any skin type. 


Dermaplaning is generally considered safe to do at home as long as you’re using a razor made specifically for the face and a good technique. However, it’s important to note that without a professional, you won’t be able to remove as many layers of dead skin. This means the results won’t be as good as if you’d had this done by a professional.

Dermaplaning at-home also runs the risk of cuts and abrasions. People are often unaware of where their moles, skin tags, and facial curves are. This can result in cutting yourself and/or partially or totally removing chunks of skin by accident. This can lead to infection and possible scarring. You can also go too deep, scraping off too much skin, which will result in an abrasion (sort of like a rug burn but not as rough). This can be a painful, often difficult-to-heal wound. They may not directly bleed, but they are usually prone to weeping fluid as the body tries to heal itself.


When you get dermaplaning in a professional setting, you’ll get more extensive, safer results. 

At Dermacare of Hampton Roads our Master Estheticians have all trained in dermaplaning and know how to exfoliate dead skin without leaving cuts or abrasions. Our team also uses medical-grade products and a new, sterile, medical blade for every treatment. Because this treatment removes hair from the face, we think having a professional at the helm helps make sure that edges and hairlines are even and natural-looking when the hair is removed. 

(As a treatment upgrade, our estheticians will sometimes pair dermaplaning with the application of a chemical used in our light chemical peels to more deeply target pigmentation.) 


We think that if you have a steady hand, good focus, and good bathroom lighting, at-home dermaplaning can become part of a good normal skincare routine. However, if you have lots of moles or skin tags, sharp facial angles, or a shaky hand, we recommend seeing a professional. 

For more information about any of the above services listed, or to book your initial consultation, give us a call at 757-547-7546 .

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