Chemical Peel vs Microdermabrasion: Skincare Battle

Chemical peel vs microdermabrasion is a common skin care procedure. These two methods are effective in treating the visible effects of aging and balancing out skin tone. While both of these treatments should only be performed by a trained professional, deciding which one is right for you can be a challenge.

We will take a closer look at the differences between these two treatments so that you can make an informed decision about which one will provide the greatest benefits for your skin.

What Is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive skin treatment that can help to improve fine lines, aging skin, and discoloration by removing the outermost layer of dead skin. It is considered a relatively safe procedure. Microdermabrasion involves manual exfoliation, in which the dead skin cells on the surface are physically removed to reveal a smoother texture and more even tone.

Unlike chemical peels, there is typically no need for a pre-treatment plan with microdermabrasion. During the procedure, a dermatologist will use a handheld instrument to gently sand away the outermost layer of skin, which may cause a slight sanding sensation.

What Is Chemical Peel?

Similar to microdermabrasion, chemical peels treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and other epidermal conditions. How the outer layer of skin is removed to reveal the new skin beneath differs between the two. While microdermabrasion uses suction to remove the epidermis, a chemical peel employs a chemical solution to dissolve away the skin.

A chemical peel involves the application of a potent chemical solution designed to remove the outermost layers of skin. The treatment resurfaces the skin, resulting in a smoother texture and a more youthful appearance. Additionally, the treatment can reduce the appearance of discoloration and scars. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), your dermatologist will likely give you a pre-peel regimen to follow for a few weeks prior to the procedure in order to prepare your skin. This will likely necessitate the exclusion of retinoids and exfoliants from your skin care regimen, as well as continued sun protection.

Chemical Peel Vs Microdermabrasion

Here are some key differences between chemical peel vs microdermabrasion:


  1. Purpose: Microdermabrasion offers a chance to rejuvenate the skin and remove blemishes such as uneven skin tone, dark spots, age spots, scarring, melasma, wrinkles, and fine lines.
  2. Process: Anesthesia is not necessary prior to the procedure. A handpiece is utilized to propel abrasive crystals onto the skin in order to remove the outermost layer. The dermatologist will apply a moisturizer to your skin after the procedure.
  3. Treatment Length: Microdermabrasion takes between 35 and 45 minutes to complete on the face and approximately 20 minutes on the neck.
  4. Pain: If the procedure is performed meticulously, there should be no discomfort. Potentially minor side effects are possible.
  5. Advantages: It eliminates age spots, discoloration, blemishes, acne scars, melasma, etc. Equally effective against whiteheads and blackheads.
  6. Disadvantages: You may experience redness, skin swelling, sun sensitivity, a stinging sensation, and in some cases, burn marks as side effects.
  7. Healing Time: Microdermabrasion requires a very brief recovery period. Your skin may begin to feel better immediately following the procedure.
  8. Cost: Microdermabrasion usually costs $100 to 300$.
Image source: Instagram @dermaspace

Chemical Peel

  1. Purpose: Chemical peels are a prevalent approach for addressing indicators of skin aging, encompassing more profound wrinkles, age spots, pigmentation, scars, melasma scars, and similar conditions.
  2. Process: Before applying the chemical compound, the dermatologist will clean your face and equip you with eye protection. To minimize discomfort, the dermatologist might numb the area with topical anesthesia. Additionally, they will monitor your heart rate throughout the deep peel process as a precautionary measure. It takes approximately 48 to 72 hours for the skin to begin peeling following the procedure.
  3. Treatment Length: Chemical peels that are light or superficial do not require much time. However, medium and deep chemical peels can take between 30 and 90 minutes to complete.
  4. Pain: While a chemical peel might result in a stinging sensation, using a cold compress can ease any discomfort. In situations where a deep peel is necessary, pain medication may be required.
  5. Advantages: Excessive sun exposure-induced dead skin cells, fine lines, and wrinkles will be eliminated.
  6. Disadvantages: A chemical peel can cause lasting changes in skin color. Additionally, scarring is a possible outcome of this procedure. Herpes or cold sores are less commonly reported complications.
  7. Healing Time: It takes approximately five to seven days for the skin to recuperate after undergoing a chemical peeling procedure.
  8. Cost: Light peels cost around $150, whereas deeper peels can go beyond $300, making them quite expensive.
Image source: Instagram @hannahleaskincare

Chemical Peel Vs Microdermabrasion Pros And Cons

Microdermabrasion Pros

  1. Healing is effortless and affordable with the added bonus of a radiant.
  2. Glowing complexion.
  3. Experience an improvement in acne dryness and overall texture.

Microdermabrasion Cons

  1. Universal fitting.
  2. Not as specific.
  3. May need various procedures.

Chemical Peel Pros

  1. Results that persist for a period of 1-2 months.
  2. Noticeable improvements in acne, scars, redness, wrinkles, and pigmentation.
  3. The treatment is multifaceted, with various levels and types to cater to different skin types and conditions.
  4. There is also a possibility of reducing the risk of skin cancer.

Chemical Peel Cons

  1. Costlier
  2. More uncomfortable
  3. Prolonged recuperation period

Which Should I Choose Between Chemical Peel Vs Microdermabrasion?

If you want advice on what will work best for your skin and your aesthetic goals, consult a skincare professional. Both options can help you look younger and work on a wide variety of skin types. Microdermabrasion is a mild procedure, but it can still cause irritation and redness in the skin. If you have particularly delicate skin, your dermatologist may suggest a series of chemical peels.

In addition, there is now a wider selection of chemical peels available to address a variety of skin concerns and achieve various skin care aims. Chemical peels and microdermabrasion can be used together to create a comprehensive treatment plan. To prevent discomfort, however, you will not undergo both procedures at the same visit.

Is It Safe To Combine A Chemical Peel And Microdermabrasion?

Yes, they complement each other beautifully to thoroughly cleanse and enhance your skin. Although you can’t get them at the same time, you can use both to enhance your professional exfoliation treatments and address various skin problems without aggravating your skin too much. Combining the two treatments allows you to shorten your recovery time and maximize your time in good skin while reducing the side effects of both.

Image source: Instagram @imageskincareaus

Which Is More Popular, Chemical Peel Or Microdermabrasion?

Both of these procedures are of interest because they are effective in reducing the visible effects of aging and evening out skin tone. Some people with discolored skin opt for the more complicated chemical peel procedure, while others choose the less invasive microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peel? Which Is Better For Your Skin Type?

Light chemical peels or microdermabrasion are best for those with mild skin discoloration or minor issues with age-related skin changes like wrinkles, age spots, etc. If the peel is only superficial, it can be performed on any skin type. Keep in mind that microdermabrasion is not always appropriate for all skin types.

Medium or deep chemical peels can treat deeper wrinkles, melasma, deep scars, and dark spots. Microdermabrasion is a great option for reducing the appearance of acne scars, especially if you suffer from acne and have a rough complexion. Conversely, chemical peels are more effective than laser treatment for minimizing the look of acne scars in the groin area.

Chemical Peel Vs Microdermabrasion-Takeaway

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels have the same rejuvenating effect on the skin. Both methods will help the skin look better by reducing flaws like uneven tone, dark spots, wrinkles, and more. Chemical peels are preferable if the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging is your primary concern because they stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen.

When used properly, microdermabrasion can effectively treat milder skin issues like hyperpigmentation, spots, and the appearance of premature aging. Learn the distinctions between the two methods so you can select the best one for your skin.

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1. Which Is Good For Sun Damage Between Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel?

However, if you also have sun spots, rough patches, uneven pigment, and wrinkles that often accompany sun damage, microdermabrasion may not be the best solution for you. Chemical peels can improve the look and feel of your skin by reducing the appearance of discoloration and roughness in this situation.

2. Which One Is Good For Acne And Wrinkles?

With acne, a chemical peel is a way to go. In contrast to the chemical peel, which can penetrate the skin’s layers using salicylic acids to help relieve existing acne, fade the appearance of scars, and give your skin a healthy glow without triggering further flare-ups, microdermabrasion has the potential to irritate the skin.
The choice between a chemical peel and microdermabrasion for wrinkle reduction is a personal one. If you just want to get rid of a few fine lines, microdermabrasion will do the trick. A stronger chemical peel should use on deeper wrinkles. To achieve the desired effects from a chemical peel, different acids or combinations of acids can be used in varying concentrations.