Chemical peel vs microdermabrasion- how do you choose? Both chemical peels and microdermabrasion are popular skin treatments, but they are very different. Chemical peels involve applying a substance to the skin, usually an acid, to remove damaged layers. Microdermabrasion involves physical exfoliation by buffing away dead skin cells with tiny particles. Read on to learn more about the differences between chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
What is a Chemical Peel?
A chemical peel is a skin resurfacing treatment. It involves the application of an acid to the skin which causes outer layers to slough off and be replaced with healthier new skin (exfoliation). Chemical peels can unclog pores to improve acne and stimul reduce wrinkles, treat age spots, or restore a more even skin tone. Depending on how deep it penetrates, a chemical peel can range in intensity from mild to strong – meaning results can vary greatly.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that uses tiny, abrasive crystals to remove the outermost layers of skin and other debris. It is generally less aggressive than chemical peels and can be used to treat various skin conditions such as wrinkles, sun damage, age spots, enlarged pores and acne scarring. Microdermabrasion can also improve the effects of skin care products by allowing them to penetrate more deeply. In fact, some professionals even use chemical peels after microdermabrasion. With microdermabrasion alone, however, there’s little to no downtime and most people notice improvements in their skin within a few weeks.
Which Skin Types Benefit Most From These Treatments?
Microdermabrasion and chemical peels can be used to treat a variety of skin types, including normal, dry, oily, sensitive and combination skin. However, people with darker skin may experience more side effects from chemical peels than from microdermabrasion. People who are dealing with acne scarring or have deep wrinkles may benefit more from a chemical peel rather than microdermabrasion. Regardless of which treatment you choose, it’s important to speak to your dermatologist so they can determine the best course of action for your individual needs.
The Pros and Cons of Each Treatment
Chemical peels can help reduce wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, sun damage and acne scarring. However, this treatment can cause stinging, burning and redness in certain skin types, as well as a risk of infection or permanent scarring. In contrast, microdermabrasion has fewer risks and side effects. It exfoliates the skin using aluminum oxide crystals which can leave your skin looking younger and more luminous. But it isn’t as effective at treating deep wrinkles or acne scarring as chemical peels are.
Chemical peel vs microdermabrasion: How to Prepare for Your Treatment
Before undergoing any skin treatment, it’s important to take certain steps to prepare for it. It is best to ask your dermatologist how they prefer you prepare for a chemical peel or microdermabrasion treatment. Generally, you should always stop using any product that exfoliates the skin – such as retinol or glycolic acids – at least three days before your treatment. Also, you should avoid sun exposure and use a moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher in the weeks leading up to your treatment. Do not schedule a treatment when you are dealing with an active skin condition such as herpes or a bacterial infection.
Do you want to know if a chemical peel is right for you? Schedule a consultation with our New York dermatologist who can help you decide whether a peel or another procedure will provide the results you want. Make an appointment here.
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