Microdermabrasion Vs Chemical Peel: Which One Should You Go For?

Removing dead skin cells from your face can feel so soothing and calming while being beneficial for so many reasons.

If you are thinking about getting your next facial, how about you take it up a notch and do one of the best two treatments?

Here, we will explain the main difference between microdermabrasion and a chemical peel, while also addressing their pros & cons!

What Is Microdermabrasion?

This is a process done by a certified esthetician at a salon.

Its prime focus is to exfoliate any dead skin cells on top of the surface.

The qualified staff will do this process with a wand that contains crystals as well as water.

By applying the wand on top of your skin you will experience a slight pressure which will suck up any gunk and dirt from your pores.

Women usually prefer microdermabrasion since it can improve their texture, fight off acne, and leave a healthy and glowy complexion.

There are two different kinds of microdermabrasion.

One is done with a diamond tip that uses sand, and the other one is a crystal type that uses aluminum oxide crystals.

What Is A Chemical Peel?

A chemical peel is applied in the form of peeling on top of your skin.

It can exfoliate the skin, boost collagen production and help with fine lines, pigmentation, acne scars, and wrinkles.

The acids that are in the peel penetrate the tissue deep and they push the debris out onto the surface.

This chemical peel can be made out of one substance only or can be a mixture of a few such as salicylic, malic, and retinoic acid.

With this peel, some women can experience flaky and peeled-off skin after the treatment, but this depends on your skin type and sensitivity level.

How Often Should You Do Microdermabrasion?

Estheticians usually recommend monthly treatments for deep exfoliation.

Women with severe acne should do two treatments per month. With often salon visitations you will also soften up your skin and allow your creams and serums to sink in a lot faster and deeper.

How Often Should You Do Chemical Peels?

The best results are often visible with monthly treatments.

That is because these peels can be a bit harsher than microdermabrasion, and shouldn’t be done too often.

Also, chemical peels require specific aftercare during the initial 5-7 days during recovery, which makes them a bit more demanding than microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion Vs Chemical Peel: What’s The Difference?

The main difference between these two is in the application process.

Microdermabrasion is done with a wand, while the peel is applied with the hands-on top of the skin.

Also, these chemical peels can vary in strength and can be super mild, medium, or thorough and deep.

On the other hand, microdermabrasion is ‘one size fits all’ and can’t be adjusted.

Besides this, there are also some other differences, such as:

Pain Level

None of these treatments shouldn’t feel irritating or too painful. However, this depends a lot on your esthetician’s reputation, knowledge level, as well as experience.

Mostly, chemical peels can feel unpleasant since they are quite harsh on their own. Some estheticians might use anesthetics or mild massaging movements to numb your pain.

Microdermabrasion will leave you with a tingling sensation, as well as warmth around your skin. In both cases, you will experience a bit of redness when you get home.

Side Effects

Microdermabrasion is known for leaving your skin red and inflamed, and that’s as far as it goes.

A chemical peel, however, can be a bit heftier. The treatment itself hurts a bit more (if it is a thorough one), but can also leave your skin pigmented and with cold sores, as well as dryness.

Recovery Time

With microdermabrasion, you will experience red skin for a few hours and up to 2 days. After this time passes, you can go back to your regular everyday makeup and skincare routine. Only some women with super sensitive skin might want to rest for 5 days to completely recover.

A chemical peel is quite demanding, and it would be best if you stayed away from the sun for 7-10 days. Some women even need to take painkillers or antibiotics to speed up their recovery process just so they can get back to their everyday routine.

Should You Do Either Of These At Home?

Both procedures will take around 30 minutes of your time when done at a salon.

These treatments can be done on the face, neck area, as well as back, and chest.

Unfortunately, none of these should be done on your own since you will experience optimal results when you visit a doctor, dermatologist, or esthetician.

If you really have to, rather purchase a mild chemical peel and try to do the treatment on your own.

Microdermabrasion is a bit more advanced, so you shouldn’t play around with crystal wands.

How Much Do They Cost?

This depends on your place of living and the salon’s reputation.

Mostly, chemical peels are a bit more expensive since they are so invasive. You can expect the price to range from 100$- 4000$ for both of these.

Microdermabrasion is also a temporary solution that will leave you with visible results and a healthy glow.

This glow will fade in time, and that is why you should go back and book your treatment sooner than you would with the peel.

Chemical peels can give results for 2 months; therefore they are more expensive and long-lasting.

Pros & Cons Of Microdermabrasion


  • Doesn’t hurt
  • It will help out with acne, dryness, and texture
  • Less expensive
  • You will heal a lot faster (2 days)
  • Gives a glowy complexion
  • Can be done by anyone


  • Only one kind
  • Can’t help with wrinkles, pigmentation, and scars
  • You will have to redo the treatments

Pros & Cons Of A Chemical Peel:


  • Gives out results for 1-2 months
  • Helps out with acne, acne scars, pigmentation, redness, and wrinkles
  • There are three different kinds for you to choose from
  • Can be done at home on your own if necessary


  • Long healing time
  • Hurts more
  • Costs more

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, you’ve now got enough information to decide between these two treatments.

Why don’t you let us know below which one you chose? We’d love to hear from you.

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