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Riiviva Microderm device- reader reviewed and recommended

Reviewed by Kim June 26, 2013 20 Comments

Pros

Deep exfoliation; immediate and visible results

Cons

May take time to see results on fine lines and dark spots
An at-home device that does what it claims to do

Microdermabrasion is a professional exfoliation treatment that gently removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells. It’s performed with a small machine that has a fine abrasive tip and a gentle vacuum suction that draws the skin against the abrasive tip as the esthetician glides the device over your face. Sucking your skin up against a rough surface and scraping it across your face might sound like weird torture to some, but when done well it’s actually painless and shouldn’t cause any irritation. The result of this deep exfoliation is vibrant, glowing, healthy-looking skin.

Over time, Microdermabrasion can reduce fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone, and lighten the appearance of brown spots. A microderm facial at a spa like Bliss in NYC will run you about $290. But, recently, a few at-home microderm devices have hit the market. The Riiviva Microderm ($299) device is considered top-of-the-line and, while some might think that at-home microdermabrasion is a risky venture, I was willing to give this little bad boy a test run.

The Riiviva is equipped with medical-grade diamond-tip technology. The kit comes with three tips for your face: fine, medium and coarse, 50 filters, tweezers, a charger, and a black velvet carrying case. I read the manual cover to cover, and although the whole process is actually quite simple, there’s a lot of information that’s daunting at first.

Editor's Note: The Riiviva kit now comes with 2 tips instead of three. The tips have also changed to free rotating tips for a better treatment.

I started with the fine tip, as everyone is recommended to do. Depending on your skin, you may or may not eventually move up to the more coarse tips. I decided to start with just half of my face. The first thing you need to do is put in a new filter. This is what captures all of the dead skin and muck that gets sucked off your skin. The back of the tweezers is used to open the filter canister (this was actually the hardest part). You really needed to use some muscle to get it open. The manual has a photo that shows the different paths along the face you want to “glide” the device on. I put the word glide in quotes because it didn’t exactly glide. In fact, the first time I used it, the device sort of skipped and pulled in places. It didn’t hurt, but I will say there was a small learning curve to getting it right.

After a few minutes, I was done. And although my skin was ever so slightly red (this is normal), it felt amazing. The microderm-tested side of my face felt refreshed and awesomely tingly. It felt deeply scrubbed, but not in an irritated way; it was definitely smoother to the touch than the other side. I decided to wait a day – to make sure no overnight irritation developed – before I did the other side. The next day I was a bit more graceful with gliding the device, but I wasn’t an expert yet. Needless to say, my skin did appear to be glowing and felt smooth (I was already starting to love this little thing).

You’re only supposed to use the device once or twice a week, so that your skin has time to rejuvenate naturally. You really don’t want to overdo this type of exfoliation, even though you might be excited by the results.

I have been using the Riiviva for several months now and I really like it. Once you get the hang of it, it’s incredibly quick and easy to use. My skin always looks noticeably fresh and vibrant after using it, especially the next morning. I love that it’s cordless. I am definitely a fan, but I do feel the need to say a few things:

1. I don’t think I’ve noticed any cumulative results in the form of reduction of lines or lightened brown spots.

2. I have always occasionally gotten redness around my chin area. This is unrelated to using the Riiviva, but when I do have a flare up, I absolutely avoid using the device in that area. I think if you have any sensitivities you need to be very cautious.

3. Just putting this out there – I think my skin gets similar results (although definitely more short-lived) when I use the Royal Nectar Face Mask with bee venom ($68).

I should also note that I tried using one of the coarser tips on the back of one of my arms where I have small bumps, Keratosis Pilaris (Riiviva actually makes a tip that’s specifically designed for this area). At first I thought it was helping, but after a few weeks I didn’t see much of difference between the two arms. I also got lazy and wasn’t so consistent with the usage.

At $299, it’s not cheap, but considering the cost of salon treatments, it’s a pretty great deal. After using the Riiviva, the thought of at-home microdermabrasion is no longer intimidating and seems totally logical! With definite noticeable results, the Riiviva gets two thumbs up from me.

  • August 21, 2013

    by Noel

    I dare to try this as my skin is in need of serious help. I've been searching for something (or a combination of 'somethings') to improve my skin. In addition to the various issues I'm battling, what probably is most bothersome is that my skin no longer looks vibrant and healthy, even though I exfoliate and experiment with different serums/moisturizers trying to "revive" it. As the cost of professional treatments is prohibitive for me, this looks like a great option.

  • August 21, 2013

    by Grace Denfeld

    I would love to try! I also have Keratosis Pilaris, and would be thrilled if there was something that could help with that.

  • August 21, 2013

    by Terri

    Although I feel having a microdermal facial treatment along with the extensive care I take of my skin at home, I have yet to find an esthetition to be gentle with this device(or which ever one they use) including the whole proceedure. Call me unlucky if you will, or maybe whimpy, But this has been down right torture.
    My idea of a facial should be at least somewhat gentle and relaxing. I have yet
    to have this luxury. I find for most all I've had the pleasure, well really not pleasure, mainly torture. They are rushed, rough and as I see it uncaring and apparently nothing more than a JOB. Make me wonder whether they care to get repeat customers. On one visit she was in such a hurry with this device, I got nicked pretty good to the point of bleeding off to the side of my nose, and yes it was painful. Leaves a person to question sanitary concerns as well. So as I rattle on here of my nightmarish experiences. I would be ever so greatful to be able to do this on my own face, where I can for the most part be certain it will be done with extreme care, as well as not having to worry about my next months costly torture. No actually I have decided I would not be giving my hard earned money to these places anymore. Sand paper would suffice just for comparison reasons. So I would be absolutely thrilled and greatfull to be able to be given the chance to try this. I thank you for considering me and hopefully will be hearing back from you. :) Thank you!
    Terri

  • August 20, 2013

    by Doni

    Thanks for a very honest review. I am anxious to see what it will do for me. I love microdermabrasion but in my city it is only available during my working hours so a device like this,if works, would be awesome!

  • August 20, 2013

    by Larry

    This is absolutely the product for me! I have really poor looking skin due to years of breakouts and the such. I have had it done on the rare occation that I'm not working 16 hours a day which makes it extremly hard to get in for a facial with microdermabrasion. This would be the answer to my prayer, to be able to use it at home giving me some me time and help my worn aging skin. I would most definitely make the best of this device, being as it's nearly impossible with to go get it done. Please consider me, as I think I would certainly make the best of candidates. And you get some honest feedback from the (50 something)male population.
    Thank you,
    Larry

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