Choose between Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels

Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels are both methods of causing damage to the top layer of the skin which will artificially cause the body to produce more collagen to renew skin that has been damaged. Microdermabrasion manually causes that damage while chemical peels make controlled use of chemicals to do so. Lets see how.

What is Microdermabrasion and how does it work?

Microdermabrasion can be split into micro-derma and abrasion – and that sums up what it is. It is a method of using the abrasive capacity of fine micro grains to buff away skin. It works on the top layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum. It can be done at home or by a professional using a mechanized tool. The professional’s tool  shoots crystals into the skin and then collects it along with dead cells. When done at home, you would use a gel or a cream with the same crystals and use your hands to scrub. When abrasion is done on the skin, the body interprets it as damage done to the skin and starts producing more skin cells to repair the injury.


An after effect of the abrasion is that, first of all, the skin that was sun damaged and pigmented is removed in the process. It also clears out clogged pores. The skin regeneration leads to softer and smoother skin. Since the top layer which acts as a barrier is removed in this process, any lotion or medication that needs to be used on the skin reaches its target easily and works more effectively. A sitting with a professional can cost you $100 to $200. You might need multiple sessions. Home treatment would cost you about $60 per jar.

Side Effects if Microdermabrasion 

The side effects of this treatment are very minimal, ranging from redness to irritation lasting a few days.

Disadvantages of Microdermabrasion

This treatment only removes dead skin from the top layer of the skin without doing anything about deep rooted problems that might reside in the bottom layers. It only gives your skin a glow and renewed look for a couple of days after the treatment.

What are Chemical Peels and how do they work?

Chemical peel involves applying chemicals/ toxins on the skin, in a controlled manner that ends up causing tissue death. The dead tissue is peeled off after which the skin regenerates.

Chemical Peels

Unlike microdermabrasions, chemical peels can reach deep into the skin. They are categorized on the basis of the depth of damage they produce in the skin. Superficial peels damage the epidermis- the topmost layer of the skin. They can be at-home treatments that are available from leading brands, costing you around $175. Then there are medium peels that reach the top of the dermis. It helps target light wrinkles and pigmentation. Recovery time after this peel is about a week. You can find your skin to be renewed and youthful after this treatment. Prices range between $500 to $1500. Deep Chemical peels are more serious. It is performed under sedation. A solvent is applied all over the skin over which a peeling solution is applied. It rests for some time after which its effect is neutralized and the skin is peeled off. The treatment can cost between $2000 to $6000. It helps root out acne scars and wrinkles. Effect of this peel lasts for many years.

Also Read – Can Glycolic Acid Peels Treat Acne Scars? Here

Side effects of Chemical peels

As with most surgical treatments, chemical peels can also cause scarring and infections. It also leads to a stark contrast between the color of the peeled skin and the natural skin in the rest of the body. Deep peels have recovery periods running into weeks.

Disadvantages of Chemical Peels

Other than the side effects mentioned here and the possible damage from the use of chemicals, chemical peels do not have many disadvantages.

So should it be micrdermabrasion or chemical peel?

The choice between microdermabrasion and chemical peels boils down 1. budget 2. skin condition 3. required end result. Pick the treatment that comes within your budget. If you have heavily damaged skin and want lasting results, then overlook the price and go in for a chemical peel.

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Aparna Anand

After a stint in an MNC in Bangalore, Aparna has now started doing what she loves the most- writing. Travelling and cooking come a close second and third. She lives in Mumbai with her husband.

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