What is the Difference Between a Chemical Peel and Microdermabrasion?

Aug 14, 2019 | Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion

There are various forms of treatment that are effective in improving the appearance of fine lines, acne, acne scars, brown spots, and sun damage. However, choosing which treatment will be the most effective can be challenging for many individuals. Here, we’re uncovering the differences between a chemical peel and microdermabrasion.

Both treatments are a form of exfoliation, which is the removal of dead skin cells from the epidermis. But they differ in terms of how they’re performed, what they target, and what you can expect after the procedure.


Chemical Peels

Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the face to dissolve the bond holding dead skin cells together or damage cells to encourage renewal. The chemical solution exfoliates, re-texturizes and promotes elastin and collagen production. Chemical peels penetrate the skin and work within the layers of the skin. However, this depends on the strength of the solution. For instance, light to mild chemical peels will stay closer to the surface of the skin, whereas stronger ones will penetrate deeper into the skin. After treatment, you will experience mild to heavy skin shedding.

Chemical peels are used to treat a variety of skin conditions including fine lines, hyperpigmentation, scarring, wrinkles, acne, rosacea, and photo-damaged skin. They are also used to improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.


Microdermabrasion is a deep, medical-grade manual exfoliation of the skin that physically sloughs away the dead surface skin. The non-invasive procedure uses a machine with a wand containing suction and a crystal bit. The body interprets microdermabrasion as an injury, which then helps promote the growth of new skin cells. It also helps reduce superficial scars, fights off unwanted signs of aging, and minimizes blotchy skin. The treatment can be done in multiple passes depending on an individual’s needs and treatment plan.

There are several types of microdermabrasion treatments, including diamond microdermabrasion (uses a wand with a tip made from diamond chips) and crystal microdermabrasion (involves spraying fine crystals over the skin to scrape the surface).

You may be indecisive on which treatment option is best for you. If you’re very sensitive to heat you may not want to choose a chemical peel. If you have rosacea or super sensitive skin, you may not want to go with microdermabrasion. A professional can help you make the right choice to improve the appearance of your skin.

If you have questions about which treatments are right for you, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our skin care experts. Call (480) 513-2888, or schedule an appointment online.