Microdermabrasion vs Chemical peel woman getting a facial massage
Ageless Beauty

Microdermabrasion Vs. Chemical Peel: Which Is Better?

If you’re reading this, we are guessing your skin needs some help. It’s probably been looking a bit dull, and you want to bring some life back into it. Maybe you are frustrated with fine lines, acne scars, dark spots, sun damage, uneven skin tone, or another type of skin concern.

Well, you are in the right place. Today we are talking about two different treatments that are both used to exfoliate the skin and rejuvenate your cells. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are the two most popular choices for exfoliation procedures that work to get rid of dead skin cells and make way for new ones. 

However, there are some significant differences between the two that are important to know before deciding which procedure to get. 

Read on to learn the differences between microdermabrasion and chemical peels and which one is better for you. 


Microdermabrasion treatment

This type of treatment is a manual exfoliation, which means that the dead skin cells on the surface are physically removed. This results in smoother skin and a more even skin tone. 

Microdermabrasion is less invasive than a chemical peel and is typically done without any preparation. 

This treatment is performed by a dermatologist who uses a small device and runs it over your skin to gently get rid of the top layer. This should not cause you any pain. From start to finish, you can expect your microdermabrasion treatment to take less than an hour, and it should be a fairly relaxing process. 

Following the exfoliation, the dermatologist applies a moisturizer to bring moisture into your freshly revealed skin cells. 

The downtime for this treatment is nearly non-existent. You may find that your skin is a bit more red than usual, and swelling is rare but can happen. It is essential that, following microdermabrasion, you use lots of sunscreen.

Chemical Peel

Chemical peel

Unlike microdermabrasion, a chemical peel is quite intense. This is because it uses, well, chemicals – powerful chemicals, to be more specific. This solution of chemicals works to peel the top layer of your skin off without the need for manual removal, as is done in microdermabrasion. 

The result of a chemical peel is the same as microdermabrasion: smoother and more youthful-looking skin. 

For this treatment, you will likely need to do some prep beforehand so that your skin doesn’t freak out during or after the procedure. The specific prep depends on the dermatologist but will likely look like a skincare regimen that prepares your skin for these intense chemicals. 

The treatment itself doesn’t take long. Afterward, your dermatologist will moisturize your skin with something soothing and cooling to calm your skin. 

The chances are good that, following the treatment, your skin will be quite red and appear to be irritated. Ice packs may become your best friend, and your dermatologist may ask you to steer clear of wearing any makeup for about a week following the treatment. The results vary from person to person, but generally speaking, you can expect your face to be noticeably red for about a week. 

Which procedure is better?

Before and after facial treatment

One isn’t necessarily better than the other – it just depends on your specific skin needs. 


Microdermabrasion is typically more affordable and a quicker route to getting fresh-looking skin.


Because microdermabrasion is not as intense as a chemical peel, the results do not last as long. Also, to get the full effects of microdermabrasion, you need multiple treatments – one is not enough to see the benefits. 

If you want something that will last longer and is more of a one-and-done situation, a chemical peel may be the best option for you. You can enjoy the benefits of this treatment for 1-2 months. 


A chemical peel can be a great way to stimulate collagen production. So, if you’re concerned about your skin aging, you may want to opt for a chemical peel.


The downtime for a chemical peel is longer than microdermabrasion. So, if you can’t have a red face for a week or potentially longer, then you probably should not get a chemical peel.

If you’re looking for something with minimal to no downtime, microdermabrasion is the winner. 


With the word “chemical” in its name, you know that this stuff will do a number on your skin. For those who are not prone to sensitive skin, you should be okay with a chemical peel, as long as you follow the pre-and post-treatment care, as outlined by your dermatologist. 

However, if skin sensitivity is a concern for you, you probably want to stay away from a chemical peel and go with microdermabrasion. It is far less invasive and won’t be as harsh on your skin. 

Both chemical peels and microdermabrasion are safe options to help bring your skin back to life. They are both known to help with acne, texture, dryness, and more. Which one is better comes down to your specific needs and what your skin can tolerate. 

Read Next:

Aging Gracefully: Non-Invasive, Anti-Aging Scientific Breakthroughs

How to Finally Minimize The Appearance of Pesky Age Spots


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