Chemical Peel or Microdermabrasion?

chemical-peel-or-microdermabrasionMary T. from Idaho writes: “Which one is better for my skin (chemical peel or microdermabrasion) and r [sic] they the same thing?”

We usually get this question a couple of times per week in our inbox and we usually answer most of them in the same way:  We reply with a quick note about the benefits of each procedure and what the person should expect from each based on their skin type and condition.

In this article we’ll answer that question for everyone:

Microdermabrasion Benefits and Procedure: 

Microderm is a procedure that is conducted via manual exfoliation of the skin.  It brushes away and vacuums up the dead skin and cell.  By doing so it encourages and promotes the growth of new, healthier looking skin.  This skin was just below the surface but couldn’t grow due to the dead skin cells, clogged pores, sun damage, acne, etc. being in the way.  The new skin that then grows is younger, literally, skin that is just touching the surface and it has more collagen.

There are two types of microdermabrasion at home treatments that we talk about primarily on this site and on which we base our microdermabrasion reviews on: 

Diamond Tip: This uses a fine material at the of an applicator, stick or wand.  The material is has the consistency of soft sand.

Crystal: The use of aluminum oxides, also very fine, get blown onto the skin and then are sucked away with a vacuum in the microderm machine.

Either option above is a good choice and we recommend the microdermabrasion at home treatments because they are less aggressive.  ON THAT NOTE, do not confuse microdermabrasion with dermabrasion treatments.  Dermabasion treatments are very aggressive and require recovery and, in most cases, follow on check-ups.  They are also very pricey.  We feel that with most skin types the same results can be attained with consistent home treatments from a quality machine.

Microdermabrasion will leave your skin looking more vibrant after a single treatment and after consistent home treatment your skin will be healthier and looking younger.

Chemical Peel Benefits and Procedure:

Chemical peels use an acid, or a combination of acids to penetrate deep into the skin and peel the dead skin away and exofliate the remaining skin to produce a new growth layer of skin that is both fresher, more vibrant and smoother.  These procedures are good for treating wrinkles, pigmentation problems, acne, scarring from acne and newer, fresher looking complexion and skin appearance.  Acids used are usually salicylic, glycolic, lactic, retinoic or malic.   Most professionals recommend that chemical peels be done monthly (30 days apart) and that they be conducted in a spa or by a professional.  We agree with this.  While microdermabrasion can easily be done at home, chemical peels involve acids and we do not recommend doing this procedure at home.

Many chemical peel solutions, however, are not aggressive and are not as invasive as they sound.  For better information, we recommend asking a dermatologist.


We stay true to our microdermabrasion at home opinion.  It is less aggressive and there is more room for error without causing issues with the skin.  Also, because you can do it at home it is much more cost effective.

We hope that answers you question, Mary!

We will be happy to see your thoughts

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