Super nice Lisa, the Director of Marketing at Trophy Skin, sent me a MiniMD Microdermabrasion System to sample, in exchange for a 100% honest review.
Over the past week and a half, I've used my MiniMD three times, so this review will not reflect any noted long-term changes or benefits.
I received my MiniMD unit with a sample of Argan "Stem Cell" Serum and a mask (which I haven't used yet.) The serum sample looks like a condom packet... Trophy Skin, hmm. (LOL, I know, I'm bad.)
The packaging is nice and clean. The unit, power adapter, wool filters, and manual all come in a white box, reminding me of Apple products. The unit itself is light (lighter than both my Philips Sonicare toothbrush and Clarisonic Aria) and I'm afraid to drop it because the encasing looks like it would crack and break easily. (You're also told not to in the 23-page manual on page 3: "Do not drop the device or cause any high impact as it may damage the housing or motor.")
The diamond tip resembles silver glitters. Some areas on the tip looks like the diamond grains (flecks?) have already been chipped off...
I know I shouldn't do this, but I ran my finger over the tip; it felt coarse like sandpaper.
My first thought was that, man, I wish this came with a charging station, and that it doesn't always have to be plugged in. I also do a lot of my facial care regimen in the shower, so if the MiniMD were waterproof, that would be AMAZING. I know it really can't be, because it works through suctioning: "powerful vacuum suction motor with natural diamond tip exfoliation."
The instructions in the manual were pretty straightforward. I read through the entire manual in about ten minutes or so. (Note to Trophy Skin, there's typo on page 13: "The diamond tip is built to last at least 6 months 1 year with normal usage." The word to, I believe, is missing. This is just nitpicking, forgive me! (I don't check my posts for grammatical errors, LOL!)
I do wish that the image on page 11 under "Example Treatment Protocol for Face" was a bit bigger. It shows you how to use the diamond tip and which directions you should stroke or hold your face when you're using the MiniMD.
I followed all the instructions in the manual, and was very confused about how to place the wool filter. Do I just stick in into the hole? That wouldn't make sense because then, you're plugging up the vacuum, right? The manual just tells you to "keep the black wool filter in place at all times." I also wasn't sure how to stroke my skin with the MiniMD and apply smooth, even motions. So I had to rely on a Youtube search and watched the video below.
Eureka, now I get it! I actually have to remove the tip and place the filter "inside." Page 13 of the manual has a picture of that (same as the first picture in this post), but it just never occurred to me that I had to remove the tip because it wasn't clearly stated anywhere in the manual! I take written instructions very seriously, LOL!
Honest Opinions about the MiniMD
I like how it only takes around seven minutes to complete a "session" with the MiniMD device, and I'm including prep time into the seven minutes (washing and drying face before treatment, the treatment itself, washing and drying post treatment, and applying serum at the end.) What I don't like is the smell the device emits when I'm stroking my face with it. It smells faintly like burning plastic or rubber? The strange smell is stronger when I'm stroking the tip near my nose.
I'm also cheap, so I don't enjoy having to use a new wool filter each time after I use the device. The DIY Mama in me will consider making my own wool filters, though I'm sure Trophy Skin will not approve of this! (100 filters cost $15.00. It's not too bad, but hey, once again, I'm cheap!)
To make the diamond tip last, Trophy Skin recommends that you invest in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to remove dead skin cells adulterating the diamond grains. Every few months, you should clean the tip, and the tip supposedly lasts only six months to a year. Replacement tips cost around $35.00 a pop. You can get one of the best reviewed ultrasonic jewelry cleaners on Amazon, the Magnasonic Professional Ultrasonic Polishing Jewelry Cleaner*, for around $39.99...
So in a year, you'll spend an extra $40 to keep your tip clean. The next year, you pay another $35 for a new tip and $15 for wool filters... Not too bad, considering facials at spas are more costly.
I do wish that it has a charging station and if it can be magically waterproof, I'll be in love! I would prefer it then, and replace my Clarisonic Aria with it. Lately, I haven't been using my Clarisonic Aria much. Why? I find it too irritating to use: you need to wet it, use a specific cleanser with it, it gets messy when you use it outside of the shower, you have to replace the brushes often (they aren't cheap!), and clean and dry the brushes after each use!
Despite its limitations, the MiniMD seems slightly less cumbersome than my Clarisonic Aria. You just store it (the MiniMD) away after each use, and just have to clean its tip every few months or so...
Does the MiniMD Work?
Franky, I'm unsure at this time.
My skin, I will admit, feels smoother after using the MiniMD. I imagine if you run soft sandpaper over your face, you will have the same results? (DO NOT RUN SANDPAPER OVER YOUR FACE!) Sadly, I didn't see a collection of dead skin in the wool filter after each use. I don't feel any suctioning happening, though I guess you're not supposed to... The tip is actually not rough on your skin, and the treatment doesn't hurt one bit. I guess I'm half-expecting to feel a bit more sensations when I'm using the device. Does that make any sense to you?
After using the MiniMD, my skin tingles a bit, and tingles more when I apply the "Stem Cell" serum. I am not in love with this serum because it has a strong chemical smell. What does it remind me of? Rubbing alcohol, maybe. I'm unsure. The stem cells are made of plant cells, if you're wondering, just like I was wondering...
Do my pores appear smaller? Not yet. I will continue to use the MiniMD, however, because it's unfair to judge its effectiveness after only three uses.
You can see a picture of my skin post treatment. My skin is normally not bad, when it's not plagued with hormonal acne...
This score reflects acute usage. I will update the score and review after I use the MiniMD for three more months...
3 out of 5 PANDAS
Price: Not crazy at $99.00, but not ideal.
Durability: Doesn't seem very durable to me... if you are clumsy like I am, you'll probably break the device with one drop...
Care: Each tip will require two cleanings or more per its lifetime? If you're serious about using this device over a long period of time, you should buy an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner*.
Effectiveness: Undecided at this time, though my skin did feel smoother immediately after the first use. Pores remain huge and unsightly. Acne-- no change, though I do have hormonal acne.
Customer Care: Awesome. I went on their site to ask a question through chat and received a helpful answer within a few minutes.
Don't use the MiniMD on your eyes or even around your eyes. (Which means this device will not treat the saggy and puffy bags under your eyes) Please make sure you read the warnings on page 7 before you use the MiniMD, especially if you have any of the following pre-existing conditions:
- Lesions, warts, recent herpes outbreak
- Sunburn or sun sores
- Active rosacea
- Skin cancer
- Vascular lesions
- Open cuts, wounds, or sores
- Taking blood thinners
And as a doctor of physical therapy and certified lymphedema therapist, I would add lymphedema to the list of precautions.
Back story and disclosure:
Thank you Trophy Skin and Lisa for sending me a MiniMD Microdermabrasion System sample unit and samples of "Stem Cell Argan Serum" and Rasul Clay Treatment mask to review. Other than receiving the samples to review, I was not financially compensated for this 100% honest post. The opinions I've published are completely my own, based on my experience.
*This post contains affiliate links.