Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
A glowing complexion and smooth skin are telltale signs of health and youth. Unfortunately, as we age, our skin can become dull and uneven. Luckily, a good microdermabrasion or chemical peel can help buff away and peel back the aged layers to reveal the soft, smooth skin underneath.
The Fastest Way to Perfect Skin
Both microdermabrasion and chemical peels exfoliate the top layer of the skin, and exfoliation is a great way to maintain (or regain!) your skin’s youthful glow. Although there are many ways to exfoliate your skin, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are particularly effective and deliver great results.
Three Reasons You Should Be Exfoliating
- Dead skin cells sitting on your skin can result in an excessive buildup of oil that clogs pores and cause blemishes.
- As you age, your natural skin cell turnover (called desquamation) slows down, resulting in a duller complexion.
- The dead skin cells sitting on your skin can block the absorption of the beauty products you use.
Microdermabrasion Vs. Chemical Peels
Benefits: It can improve smooth out the skin’s surface, resulting in softer skin and a more even complexion. It also can diminish fine lines and add that extra glow factor.
How it works: Microdermabrasion manually exfoliates, removing dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin.
There are two forms of microdermabrasion treatment. Microdermabrasion using crystals involves spraying very refined crystals on the face to slough off the dead skin cells.
Diamond tip microdermabrasion uses an abrasive tip to buff off dead skin and collect it into a filter. Although both are effective and safe, diamond tip microdermabrasion is a more up-to-date and enjoyable experience.
The treatment itself takes only 15 to 30 minutes. It’s not a bad idea to follow up the microdermabrasion with a facial to add moisture and nutrients to your skin. It’s in a great position to absorb yummy stuff after the dead skin cells have been sloughed off!
Considerations: Microdermabrasion is less tough on wrinkles and skin discoloration than a chemical peel, but any redness, sensitivity, or other side effects are generally very mild and wear off within hours.
Benefits: Besides making your skin softer, smoother, and more luminous, a chemical peel can diminish wrinkles, fade age spots, and combat acne.
How it works: A chemical peel chemically exfoliates, removing dead skin cells. Your practitioner will apply the peel to your face, and then peel it off once it has set. Afterward, they will apply a skin-soothing treatment. The treatment takes a little longer than a microdermabrasion: about 30 to 45 minutes.
A chemical peel can penetrate deeper into the skin, depending on the type and strength of the peel. The most common type is the glycolic peel, which comes in varying strengths depending on your needs. Most peels contain retinol, but if you are sensitive to this ingredient, try a lactic peel, which uses age-defying ingredients derived from milk. There are also peels with salicylic acid for combatting acne.
Considerations: Chemical peels generally require recovery time: usually only a few days but it can take up to three months depending on the type and strength of the peel. Common side effects of the treatment include redness and sensitivity, swelling, and peeling, which sometimes only start 48 hours after treatment.
Choosing the Right Method
Both microdermabrasion and chemical peels can help with softening fine lines and wrinkles, evening out the skin tone, reducing acne and acne scars, and lightening hyperpigmentation.
If you have particular areas of your face you want to be addressed (like acne scars or irregular texture concentrated in one area) you may want to consider microdermabrasion because the practitioner can manually concentrate the procedure in those areas.
If you want a deeper and more powerful treatment that can make more of a dent in fine lines, wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation, then a chemical peel may be the right choice. Be careful, though: chemical peels may be more effective, but they are also harsher than microdermabrasion. Be sure to consult with your practitioner before getting a chemical peel if you have sensitive skin.
At home vs. spa?
Although treating yourself to professional pampering is great, you can also do these treatments at home. The at-home microdermabrasion kits and chemical peels are not as strong as the ones you can get in a spa, but they still provide many of the same benefits.
Watch this video about microdermabrasion versus chemical peels:
Will Require Commitment
If you really want lasting results from these procedures, you’ll need to commit. Although you will probably notice that your skin is softer and brighter after just one treatment, you won’t see significant long-term results unless you schedule a few more visits.
You will need at least 6 to 12 microdermabrasion sessions to make a dent in those acne scars or fine lines. Light or medium chemical peels should be done regularly, but a deep peel need only be done once in a lifetime.
Remember to consult with your dermatologist if you have any doubts about going for a procedure and only go to an experienced professional.
If you are the kind of person who wants it all, then you’re in luck: you don’t have to choose one or the other. Work with a trusted practitioner to create an age-defying program that includes both microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
Do you have experience with chemical peels or microdermabrasion? Let us know which you prefer in the comments below!
To Your Lovely Skin,