Microdermabrasion vs. Chemical Peel

Microdermabrasion vs. Chemical Peel

Two of the most popular procedures in cosmetic dermatology today are microdermabrasion and chemical peels. They both rejuvenate the skin, improve texture, and turn back the clock, but they do so in very different ways. If you’re wondering what the difference is, and which is better for you when it comes to microdermabrasion vs chemical peel, read on.


Microdermabrasion is most often used on the face and neck but can be used anywhere on the body. It can improve the appearance of sun damage, age spots, melasma, acne scars, and fine lines. 

The procedure involves a specialized tool with an abrasive surface that essentially “sands” away the outer layer of the skin to reveal fresh, new skin underneath. There are different types of devices and techniques depending on what part of the body you want the procedure done on and what your goals are. Side effects include redness, tenderness, and swelling, but these are typically mild and don’t last long. 

Chemical Peel

Chemical peels are mostly used on the face, neck, chest, and hands to improve texture, smooth acne scars, even skin tone, and brighten the complexion. 

They work by using acids to remove the topmost layer of skin and reveal fresh, new skin underneath, just as microdermabrasion does. The strength of the acid in a peel varies depending on the goals, and may be mild, medium, or strong. Stronger acids give more profound, longer-lasting results but cause more discomfort during the procedure and are more likely to have stronger side effects, which include stinging, redness, and sensitivity. Also, for 3-7 days after the procedure, the skin peels and flakes off and while it isn’t painful, it is a little unsightly.

Which is Right for You?

When it comes to microdermabrasion vs. chemical peels, you should consider the similarities and differences. Both are in-office, minimally invasive procedures that produce great results. Neither procedure is recommended for women who are pregnant or people with skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Typical results last anywhere from a month to three months, depending on which exact procedure you choose.

Chemical peels are a better choice to address more serious skin concerns, like deep acne scarring, wrinkles, and dark spots. However, the skin does need a few days afterwards to recover. In contrast, microdermabrasion has zero downtime, which is a selling point for many people. But it’s best for more superficial skin concerns like fine lines and dull skin tone. 

Talk to a Cosmetic Dermatologist

Find a cosmetic dermatologist in your area and see which is a better fit for your goals when it comes to microdermabrasion vs. chemical peels. Come visit us at PotozkinMD Skincare Center if you’re in the Danville, CA area to discuss your options.

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