Recently, I’ve decided to buckle down and really take care of my skin. I’ve been a beauty editor for a couple of years now, and have definitely sharpened my makeup skills over this time, but my skin — specifically its texture — could use some work. That’s not for lack of trying: I have dabbled with a variety of resurfacing serums, aggressive AHAs, powerful BHAs, and monthly facials. Unfortunately, nothing has seemed to make a difference in my resilient yet ultra-sensitive complexion. After my last failed skincare experiment, I decided it was time to bring out the “big guns” and book an aesthetic treatment that could get this daunting job done.
After telling a handful of colleagues in the industry about my skin struggles, a celebrity nail tech recommended I visit BeautyFix MedSpa℠ (conveniently located near my apartment on the Upper East Side!) for a consultation. I booked my appointment, and on the big day was greeted by their knowledgeable owner and licensed aesthetician, Audrey Matney. Matney gave it to me straight: My skin was dull, my pores were congested, and overall, my face had a rough texture. Her recommendation for helping to combat my skin issues was a series of DiamondGlowTM treatments.
“DiamondGlow is like bootcamp for your skin,” explained Matney. “You will leave glowing, dewy, and fresh-faced every time.” Skin bootcamp was exactly what my face and I needed, so I agreed to give DiamondGlow a shot. She set me up for a treatment with Cindy Tran, one of the team’s licensed estheticians — I was so astounded by the healthy, glowing results of my first session that I ended up booking three more appointments with Tran over the course of two months to see what DiamondGlow could do for me. Here, I not only document my experience with DiamondGlow, but also breakdown what the treatment does, how it works, and (of course!) before and after pictures. Keep reading to learn more about this transformational treatment.
What is DiamondGlow?
DiamondGlow is a three-in-one treatment that simultaneously performs exfoliation, extractions, and serum infusion, and does so via the device’s skin-resurfacing wand, which boasts an exfoliating diamond tip (hence the name). While I booked my treatments to address my clogged pores, rough texture, and dull complexion, DiamondGlow also has a recommended post-treatment regimen to help improve the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and fine lines and wrinkles. “It's completely customizable,” explains Tran, because your esthetician hand-selects the best professional-grade serums from SkinMedica® for your complexion’s needs (more on this later).
In addition to being customizable, the DiamondGlow treatment is highly efficient: “While your skin is being exfoliated, the SkinMedica serums are getting [infused] into your skin and its high-powered suction is cleaning the skin’s surface [and pores] at the same time,” Tran notes. This all happens within a 30-minute window! Finally, all of the gunk that’s sucked out of your skin during your appointment goes into a “waste jar,” which your esthetician will show you post-procedure.
What is it like to get a DiamondGlow treatment?
Before each treatment, I sat for about three minutes under clouds of steam to help open up my clogged pores and facilitate my treatment. Once Tran cleansed my face and wiped it clean with cotton pads, she flipped on the DiamondGlow device and it started to hum as the white wand buzzed in her gloved hands. She then selected two SkinMedica Pro-Infusion serums for my treatment.
There are four available to choose from: the SkinMedica Pore Clarifying serum (to address skin imperfections and promote clarity), the SkinMedica Brightening serum (which improves the appearance of uneven pigmentation), the SkinMedica Hydrating serum (to help moisturize), and the SkinMedica Vitamin C serum (to provide free radical defense). Your esthetician can customize your treatment to feature just one or a combination of two, depending on your needs. For my sessions, Tran opted for a combination of Pore Clarifying and Vitamin C.
After hearing about all the different serums and their benefits, I asked what the treatment was going to feel like. Was this going to hurt? After all, it was a diamond-encrusted tip darting straight for my cheeks! Tran assured me it would be relatively painless and feel like a deep exfoliation, then she went for it: She ran the DiamondGlow wand’s tip over my chin and cheek area, moving in a slow, upward motion. As she worked, I heard and felt the high-powered suction deep cleaning the surface of my skin. She continued on to my forehead, nose, lip area, and even my ear lobes! I could feel the diamond tip evenly abrading my skin at a very controlled level of pressure. It honestly felt good — like a mini car wash (exfoliate, polish, and shine) for my face.
Part of the reason that the treatment was so relaxing is because of the unique diamond tip. According to Brian Lee, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon at Aspire Plastic Surgery and Medical Spa℠ in Fort Wayne, Indiana, there are six different tips for your esthetician to choose from, ranging from a microfine grit for more sensitive skin to a coarse grit to more deeply abrade skin. Your esthetician will determine the best one for your needs and use it throughout your entire treatment.
“The custom diamond tips allow you to not have to switch things out, so it gives a more continuous flow to the treatment. There isn't the stop-and-go,” explains Dr. Lee. For my four treatments, my esthetician used a microfine grit because my skin is on the sensitive side. There also wasn’t too much hyperpigmentation or discoloration on my skin, so she was able to take a softer treatment approach. By using a less coarse tip, this allowed me to leave the medspa with a true post-facial glow, not a red and irritated one.
What are the skin benefits of a DiamondGlow treatment?
DiamondGlow does more than just skim the surface of your skin: After all four of my treatments, I was left with a glowing, smooth, healthy-looking complexion. I couldn’t believe how instantly I saw results — and how little downtime there was. “The greatest benefit that patients see with DiamondGlow is that the results are immediate and last,” explains Wegner. Not only do the SkinMedica Pro-Infusion serums do their work during the procedure, but with continued use they also deliver results that are visible over time, such as improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.
For me, personally, I found that my series of DiamondGlow treatments were one of the most beneficial facials that I have ever had. Each time I stepped out of BeautyFix MedSpa, I could legitimately see how clean and more evenly-toned my skin was. I was so elated by how my skin looked after one treatment, I went out to dinner with my boyfriend without putting any makeup on.
OK — but what’s in the DiamondGlow waste jar?
Remember, the impurities extracted by the DiamondGlow wand are collected in a waste jar as the treatment progresses. At BeautyFix MedSpa, they jokingly call the waste jar of your skin’s impurities “The Jar of Shame.” Unfortunately, my jar was consistently shameful, but it did get better with time. Once the vacuuming treatment was complete, I was shown what was really hiding beneath my skin: a mix of dead skin cells, spray tan pigment (oops!), dirt, and oil buildup — even a loose eyebrow hair made it into the mix. I was disgusted yet oddly satisfied by the yellowish liquid full of my swirling sebum. Although my goal was to get the contents of my waste jar as clear in color as possible as my treatments went on, I could never get it completely clear. What can I say — I just love my spray tans!
How do you maintain your DiamondGlow results?
In between treatments, I knew I had to be really strict with my skincare routine to give DiamondGlow the best possible shot at improving my complexion. This meant washing my face with Image Skincare® ORMEDIC® Balancing Facial Cleanser ($32) morning and night. If I felt a breakout coming on, then I switched to my Image Skincare CLEAR CELLTM Salicylic Gel Cleanser. Whenever I was feeling dry about a week post-treatment, I would spritz myself with some AvèneTM Thermal Spring Water ($19) to calm, soothe, and soften my skin. And, to keep the glow going, the cocktail of SkinMedica products recommended to extend the benefits of my DiamondGlow treatments I used were SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex® ($220) and the SkinMedica Retinol Complex ($78) to help with skin rejuvenation and renewal.
Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.
It’s been about a month since my last DiamondGlow treatment and I already miss that diamond tip dearly. My skin and pores are still thanking me for doing those four treatments spaced two weeks apart and the SkinMedica aftercare. The overall texture of my skin is better than I ever could have imagined. My dark spots have cleared up, and the dullness and congestion on my cheeks have faded. I have gone to work without any makeup on and even had some makeup-free weekends. Tran told me that now that I’ve gotten my skin to a good place, I can book monthly DiamondGlow appointments for maintenance, which I’ll certainly be doing. These treatments really took my overall skin appearance to the next level, and for that, I am glowy and grateful!
Complimentary treatment was provided to the author for the purpose of writing this article.
Madisen Theobald is an Allergan® employee.
DiamondGlowTM is an Allergan®-owned treatment.
SkinMedica® is an Allergan®-owned skincare line.
Dr. Brian Lee is a paid Allergan® consultant.
The DiamondGlowTM device is a general dermabrasion device that gently removes the top layer of skin and delivers topical cosmetic serums onto the skin.
Important Safety Information
The DiamondGlowTM treatment is not for everyone. You should not have a DiamondGlowTM treatment if you have compromised skin quality. Tell your provider if you are pregnant or lactating, or if you have any medical conditions, including allergies, and if you are using topical medications on the area to be treated.
Typical side effects include a scratchy, stinging sensation during the treatment and temporary tightness, redness or slight swelling after the treatment. Rare serious side effects may also occur and include severe skin irritation and allergic reactions.
SkinMedica® Pro-Infusion Serums Disclaimer
SkinMedica® Pro-Infusion Serums are intended to meet the FDA’s definition of a cosmetic product, an article applied to the human body to cleanse, beautify, promote attractiveness, and alter appearances. These products are not intended to be drugs that diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. These products have not been approved by the FDA and the statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Please talk to your provider for additional information.