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Similarities & Differences Between Microdermabrasion & Chemical Peels

Microdermabrasion is a process in which fine crystals are moved across the surface of the skin in order to remove dead and dull skin layers. This treatment can improve texture, tone, enlarged or clogged pores and very fine lines. Just one at-home microdermabrasion treatment can leave your skin polished and glowing. The process can be limited to the face or applied to other parts of the body. For example, a quick microdermabrasion treatment on elbows or knees can ensure the even absorption of self-tanners and improve the efficacy of topical treatments or lotions.
In some ways, microdermabrasion is similar to chemical peels. Below, we'll discuss how these processes differ.


Medium-depth chemical peels are designed to damage a portion of the outer layer of your skin so that healing can occur. When healing occurs, new skin is revealed, leaving fine wrinkles, sunspots and other imperfections behind.
At-home microdermabrasion does not work by damaging the skin. The fine crystals are designed only to slough away dead skin cells, ultimately giving the radiant skin underneath a chance to shine. The more your skin is subjected to microdermabrasion, the more apparent the results. However, it's vital that you give your skin time to recover between treatments. Microdermabrasion crystals should not be used every day, since repeated abrasion can damage the skin and cause redness and swelling.

Both at-home microdermabrasion and low-level lactic acid peels are designed to gently remove dead skin cells to reveal fresher skin underneath in just a few minutes and to have a cumulative effect over time.
In this way, the microdermabrasion process is somewhat similar to a chemical peel. For more information about the effects of each of our chemical peels, check out this page.

Initial Results

At-home microdermabrasion offers immediate results. The act of removing dead skin cells not only reveals more youthful skin underneath, it also stimulates the production of collagen. Since additional collagen production aids in rejuvenation, many people see improvements in skin's tone and texture after just one use.

Chemical peels also assist in collagen production, plumping up fine lines and scars from below the surface. While you'll see some immediate results with a chemical peel, light peels are designed to work over time through their aggregate effects.
While a more aggressive peel like a Jessner Peel will provide immediate effects, you’ll first experience a period of healing when your skin will look worse before settling into its renewed state.


Because microdermabrasion only sands away the outer layers of the skin, you won't experience redness or blistering as with a chemical peel. Therefore, healing is not a part of the microdermabrasion process.

However, as briefly discussed above, it is possible to overdo this treatment. Because the exfoliating crystals are so fine, you won't notice an abrasive sensation during your at-home treatment. This doesn't mean it's not working!

Microdermabrasion should be done gently with little pressure and no scrubbing motions. Use smooth, circular motions and apply gentle pressure as you would when washing your face.
For more information about what to expect from chemical peels during the healing process, check out this article.

Side Effects

Not everyone is suited for a chemical peel. Those prone to atypical scarring, persons with dark skin, those who are pregnant or breast feeding, persons with herpes, heart conditions or infections, or those using acne medication should not use peels.

Because microdermabrasion crystals do not contain any active ingredients, they are suited to anyone looking to brighten their complexion.
Our microdermabrasion crystals come in dry powder form, not premixed with a facial wash. This way, you're able to create your own scrub using products you know your skin tolerates well.