Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are both procedures carried out to solve a variety of skin problems. They’re both very similar. These cosmetic procedures remove the topmost layer of your skin allowing new skin to grow in its place. Here we will have a look at the key differences between the two procedures.

Firstly let’s quickly look at what both sessions entail for those of you not familiar with the process.

An Overview

Microdermabrasion – A process which can be done a home, at a clinic or at a salon which uses crystals or a diamond tip to gently rub away the top layer of your skin. It’s like a much more powerful version of exfoliating your skin.

Chemical Peel – A chemical peel can also be done at home or in a professional environment. Depending on the exact sort of treatment the process erodes the surface of the skin using chemicals to reveal the new fresh skin below.Also in this section:

One key thing to keep in mind is that there is a huge diversity within the treatments. For example buying a cheap home microderm device will be no way nears as effective as professional treatment from a clinic. The same goes for chemical peels (even more so as you will find out!). You need to compare like for like.

The Main Difference

The greatest difference between the two cosmetic procedures is how exactly they remove the skin. Microdermabrasion removes the top layer of your skin physically. Chemical peels remove the top most layer of skin using chemicals which penetrate the skin. But both procedures can vary in intensity. So typically one procedure isn’t really more powerful than the other. Both provide good, safe results if used properly.


If you want a strong chemical peel the solution used just needs to be highly concentrated. If your microderm treatments needs to be stronger, the machine can be set to a higher intensity. However that’s just if we’re looking at home treatment, or getting the procedure done in a salon. There is a surgical skin peeling process which is more powerful than microdermabrasion. We’ll discuss that in a second.

Stronger Treatment

If we’re looking at stronger treatments from a professional then we start to see some differences. The stronger chemical peels sometimes have significant down time compared to microderm treatments. These sort of chemical peels, as opposed to home treatments (which aren’t strong enough), actually cause your skin to physically peel. Sometimes this means your skin could take weeks to heal as it blisters and becomes very sensitive to sunlight. Even with an intense microderm treatment, there should only be reddening which goes after a few days.

Deep Peels

These strong chemical peels can be classed more as surgical procedures. They are more powerful than normal peels and microdermabrasion. Sometimes called a phenol peel or a deep peel they remove serious wrinkles, sun damage uneven skin or uneven pigmentation. The procedure can take a few hours to perform. The (much stronger!) chemicals are applied to the face and washed off as normal. But after the treatment protective face masks or creams must be used as crusting occurs relatively quickly. This definitely is a serious procedure. you even need to be hooked up to a heart monitor! But it can provide some very good results.

Essentially these deep peels should be classed as something different to normal facial peels.


These two cosmetic procedures vary in their prices. If you want to treat yourself at home then the microderm devices are going to be more expensive. Although you’ll only need to pay the initial cost unlike facial peels. We think the good home devices can provide better results overall. At a salon the prices should roughly be the same with perhaps peels being more expensive. You will probably need numerous treatments to see the best results from both approaches.

Deep peels will be much more expensive because of the chemicals needed, consultation time, aftercare and sometimes even anaesthesia.

In Conclusion

Your doctor will help you choose the best procedure to go with to avoid adverse reactions or unnecessary risk. You need to study the risks of undertaking these procedures before you decide to go ahead and do them.

The less serious procedures are more accessible and will be suitable for most. They are both very similar. The only real way to find out which suits your skin better is to consult an expert or simply try them out for yourself. The deep peel should be used only when the less invasive methods haven’t obtained the required results.

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