Chemical Peel vs. Microdermabrasion: Which is Right for You?

Looking for luminous skin? Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are both exfoliating skin treatments that promise brighter, smoother, more radiant skin, but which treatment is right for you? Find out the differences between chemical peels and microdermabrasion and see which best fits your needs and lifestyle.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a skin rejuvenation treatment that gets rid of those dry, dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, revealing a radiant, glowing complexion beneath. Tiny, micro-crystals are sprayed onto the skin to “power wash” your face, and then a facial vacuum gently suctions them away. The process is a painless and safe way to uncover softer, smoother, and brighter skin.

Pros and Cons of Microdermabrasion

The good news is that microdermabrasion is gentler on your skin than most chemical peels, which means you’ll have no pain, no recovery, and no downtime to worry about. It also tends to be less expensive than a chemical peel. The bad news is that most estheticians recommend 6 to 12 microdermabrasion sessions that are 2 to 4 weeks apart to get significant results, so it can be a time commitment.

What is a Chemical Peel?

There are a number of chemical peels available, ranging in intensity, that use chemicals to dissolve dead skin. While microdermabrasion uses a physical exfoliator in the form of micro-crystals, chemical peels may use alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids, retinoic acids, trichloroacetic acids, and other chemicals to help combat issues like hyperpigmentation, acne, aging skin, rough texture, and more.

Pros and Cons of Chemical Peels

Chemical peels work at a deeper level than microdermabrasion, which tends to yield longer-lasting, more noticeable results, and you may not need multiple treatments. However, even mild chemical peels may cause some discomfort, and more intense peels can cause the skin to actually peel off over time resulting in some time needed to heal and recover. Additionally, chemical peels may be more expensive than microdermabrasion treatments.

Bottom Line

Both microdermabrasion and chemical peels are good options for brighter, clearer, fresher-looking skin. If your skin just needs a boost, microdermabrasion is a pain-free, affordable way to go. However, if you need more intense treatment, chemical peels may produce more visible results. A skincare specialist can help you to determine what treatment is right for you.


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