Flash Facial

We Tried It: At-Home Microdermabrasion

We all know beauty starts at home, but Donna Messenger, founder of Microjuvenate, has taken it to a whole new level.

By Heather Dunhill March 26, 2018

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If you're like me, your schedule is at its max right now, and facial appointments often fall to the wayside. So when I heard that Sarasota beauty expert and Microjuvenate founder and president Donna Messenger had developed an at-home microdermabrasion system, I was all for giving it a go.

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Donna Messenger

Spoiler alert: it's hands-down spectacular. 

No post-treatment blotchy, puffy, inflamed face—only the smoothest of skin with illuminating results. Plus, Donna took everything a step further and developed what she calls a "crystal ball," which gives you an all-over body microdermabrasion. And that is fantastic, too. I love a body scrub, but dislike that many leave a scary slippery film on the shower floor. The design of the crystal ball is clever, with no slip-'n'-slide. 

But enough from me. Here's Donna to give us the skinny on what makes this game-changing home beauty system different. 

Give us a brief summary of Microjuvenate.

Microjuvenate is a collection of simple, effective clinical skin care products that can help skin undergo its natural restoration process. That is highly desirable among customers who have experienced sun damage, general skin neglect or who wish to delay or prevent invasive cosmetic surgery. 


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I’m loving your entire beauty line, which we’ll get to, but I’m dying to talk about the Crystal Ball.  Not only is it clever, it works brilliantly. Tell us more about it and how it works.

The Crystal Ball has been around since early 2000s.  Its purpose was to be used as an at-home exfoliation treatment. But recently my son challenged me to develop another [product] to help everyone achieve healthier skin.  So, I immediately went back to the Crystal Ball and started making improvements.  

The dual-sided disc is infused with our proprietary blend of medical-grade exfoliation crystals, which remove the outer layer of skin impurities and uniformly penetrate deep within the skin’s surface to boost collagen, hydration and resilience. The crystals are suspended in a shea butter, vegan, paraben- and phthalate-free base with a hint of lavender. Polishing the skin is believed to significantly reduce recovery time for the body to rejuvenate.  

What makes your products unique? 

My experience, vision, and commitment to offering simple, clinical-quality treatments separates. The market is saturated with celebrity endorsers, but my authenticity as a clinician, and microdermabrasion and dermaplaning innovator, has fortunately earned me a strong professional following among domestic and international doctors.

And what are their benefits?

Benefits are beautifully better skin.  Microjuvenate products have been developed for essentially all skin types, including environmentally distressed skin, acne prone skin, and hypersensitive skin.  They also eschew the commonly used, harsh, drying chemical benzyl peroxide.

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Let’s talk about your facial system. How did you create an effective, at-home microdermabrasion product?

I developed and patented the first at-home microdermabrasion cream in 2000. I was trained on the first model of the microdermabrasion machine in 1999 in NYC, and I quickly realized that the machine was too aggressive for most skin types. So I began using the crystals on our patients—without the machine.

I began at home in my kitchen, with my daughter, Jamie Nelson—also an aesthetician. We tried many different bases for the crystals. Most didn’t work because of the problem with suspension; the crystals would fall to the bottom of the bottle. But we finally found a moisturizer on the market that worked and I made a batch and used it on my friends and family, then eventually on our patients. We started getting great results in my skin care clinic in New York City with Dr. Richard Coburn, plastic surgeon to celebrities, and Dr. Debra Jaliman, one of the top dermatologists in the world.

Then I was encouraged to go to a laboratory and meet with a chemist  in New York. The product was such a new idea that the lab didn’t want to make it for me—they said it would clog their equipment. So I went to another lab [that agreed to work with me].  In July of 2002, Harper’s Bazaar announced the launching of my microdermabrasion products and recommended using my body formula; it was one of their favorite [new] products. The rest is history.

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Lastly, what mistakes do women make when it comes to microdermabrasion?

1. Being too aggressive
2. Using harsh products that are unstable for their skin types 


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