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Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning: Which is Better?

In this article, Microdermabrasion vs. Dermaplaning, I will explore the key differences between the two skin rejuvenation treatments, including their benefits, potential side effects, recovery time, and factors to consider when choosing the best treatment for your skin.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

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Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning what's the difference?

Microdermabrasion vs. Dermaplaning

Spoiler alert: Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning facial treatments exfoliate the skin and promote the growth of new, healthy skin cells.

But how do these treatments differ, and which is the right choice for you? 

To help break down the slight differences, let’s quickly go over exfoliation and what it can do for the skin.

The Benefits of Exfoliating Skin 

Exfoliating the skin can help address various skin conditions by promoting it as it helps remove dead skin cells from the top layer and promotes the growth of new, healthy cells. 

Key benefits of exfoliation include the following:

Improved skin texture and tone 

Regular exfoliation can help smooth out rough patches and even skin tone by removing the buildup of dead skin cells.

Enhanced skin cell turnover

Exfoliation stimulates the skin’s natural renewal process, promoting the growth of fresh, radiant skin cells.

Minimized appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leading to a more youthful appearance.

Reduced acne and breakouts

Exfoliating helps unclog pores, preventing the buildup of dirt, oil, and bacteria that can lead to acne and breakouts.

Acne scaring

Regular exfoliation can gradually reduce the appearance of superficial acne scars. However, deep acne scars typically require more advanced treatments, such as laser therapy or micro-needling, for significant improvement.

Improved absorption of skin care products

Exfoliating allows skincare products to penetrate more deeply into the skin, making them more effective.

Brighter complexion

Regular exfoliation of the top layer of the skin removes dull, dry skin, revealing new, brighter skin! 

Stimulated collagen production

Exfoliation can help stimulate collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness.

Uneven skin tone

Exfoliating can help to even out skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots, and sun damage.

Fine lines and wrinkles

Regular exfoliation can help stimulate collagen production and promote cell turnover, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Ingrown hairs

Exfoliating can help to prevent ingrown hairs by removing dead skin cells that can clog hair follicles and cause hair to grow back into the skin.

Large pores

Exfoliating can help to minimize the appearance of enlarged pores by removing the buildup of dead skin cells and excess sebum that can cause pores to become more visible.

Stretch Marks

Exfoliation helps improve the appearance of stretch marks by removing the top layer of dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover, which can gradually even out skin tone and texture.

This process encourages the production of collagen and elastin, which can make stretch marks less noticeable over time.

chemical peel benefits

The Two Kinds of Exfoliating Methods

Chemical Exfoliation

Chemical exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface using chemical agents rather than mechanical or abrasive techniques.

These chemical agents work by dissolving the bonds between the dead skin cells, allowing them to be easily sloughed off, revealing a smoother, more radiant complexion.

Chemical exfoliation can be achieved through various means, including:

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

AHAs, such as glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids, are water-soluble acids derived from fruits, milk, or sugar.

They help to exfoliate the skin’s surface and promote cell turnover, leading to a brighter and more even complexion.

AHAs are generally suitable for all skin types but are especially effective for dry or sun-damaged skin.

Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs)

BHAs, such as salicylic acid, are oil-soluble acids that penetrate the pores deeper, dissolving sebum and dead skin cells.

BHAs are particularly beneficial for oily, acne-prone skin, as they can help unclog pores and prevent breakouts.

Enzyme exfoliants

Enzyme exfoliants, derived from fruits like papaya or pineapple, utilize enzymes to gently break down dead skin cells without using acids.

Enzyme exfoliants can be an excellent option for sensitive skin types that may not tolerate AHAs or BHAs well.

Retinoids

Retinoids, such as retinol and prescription-strength tretinoin, are derived from vitamin A and work by increasing cell turnover, promoting collagen production, and exfoliating the skin.

Retinoids can help address many skin concerns, including fine lines, wrinkles, acne, and hyperpigmentation.

In-office chemical peels

Chemical peels are professional treatments that involve applying a solution of acids or enzymes to the skin to remove the outer layers of dead skin cells.

Peels range in strength from mild to deep and can be customized to address specific skin concerns.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning

Physical Exfoliation

Physical exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface using mechanical or abrasive techniques.

This process helps to maintain a healthy, smooth, and radiant complexion by encouraging the natural process of skin cell turnover. 

Physical exfoliation can be achieved through various means, including:

Scrubs

Exfoliating scrubs typically contain small particles, such as sugar, salt, or ground coffee, that are suspended in a gel or cream base.

When massaged onto the skin, these particles help slog off dead skin cells and reveal fresher, healthier skin beneath.

Exfoliating brushes or sponges

Brushes with soft bristles or sponges with a textured surface can be used to gently buff away dead skin cells during the cleansing process.

These tools should be used with a gentle touch to avoid causing irritation or damage to the skin.

Washcloths or loofahs

A washcloth or loofah in a circular motion while cleansing can also provide gentle physical exfoliation. However, be cautious not to apply too much pressure, which can lead to skin irritation.

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion treatment involves using a machine that sprays fine crystals or a diamond-tipped wand to gently exfoliate the skin’s surface.

Microdermabrasion can help improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and minimize hyperpigmentation.

Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning treatment is another professional exfoliation treatment that involves using a sterile, surgical scalpel to gently scrape away dead skin cells and fine hairs (peach fuzz hair) from the skin’s surface.

This technique can result in a smoother, brighter complexion.

Related: How to do a Dermaplane Treatment at Home!

microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion Treatment 

The Microdermabrasion Process

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment handheld device that uses tiny crystals or a diamond tip to exfoliate the top layer of the skin gently. (source)

This exfoliation procedure removes dead, dull skin cells, unclog pores and helps to stimulate collagen production. 

A microdermabrasion session procedure is typically painless and requires no downtime.

Benefits of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive skin treatment that offers a range of benefits for improving the overall appearance and texture of the skin.

Some of the key benefits of microdermabrasion include:

Exfoliation

Microdermabrasion provides deep exfoliation, removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover. This results in a smoother, more radiant complexion.

Improved skin texture

The exfoliating action of microdermabrasion helps to smooth out rough or uneven skin texture, giving the skin a more refined appearance.

Reduced fine lines and wrinkles: Microdermabrasion can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by promoting cell turnover and collagen production.

Minimized pores

Microdermabrasion can help unclog pores and reduce their appearance by removing excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that can contribute to enlarged pores.

Reduced hyperpigmentation

Microdermabrasion can help to even out skin tone by reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots, and sun damage.

Related: The Best Face Washes for Hyperpigmentation

Improved acne and acne scarring

 By unclogging pores and promoting cell turnover, microdermabrasion can help to manage mild acne and reduce the appearance of superficial acne scars.

Enhanced product absorption

By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, microdermabrasion allows skincare products to penetrate more effectively, increasing their efficacy.

Minimal downtime

 Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment with little to no downtime, allowing for a quick return to daily activities.

Suitable for most skin types

 Microdermabrasion is generally suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin. However, it may not be the best option for those with severe acne, rosacea, or other inflammatory skin conditions.

Non-invasive and painless

Microdermabrasion is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia or cause significant discomfort.

the benefits of dermaplaning-

Dermaplaning Procedure

The Dermaplaning Process

Dermaplaning, on the other hand, is a manual exfoliation technique that involves using a sterile, surgical scalpel to gently remove the top layer of dead skin cells and vellus hair (also known as peach fuzz). (source)

This treatment is also non-invasive, with minimal discomfort and no downtime.

Benefits of Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning is a non-invasive skin treatment that offers several benefits for improving the overall appearance and texture of the skin.

Some of the key benefits of dermaplaning treatments include:

Exfoliation

Dermaplaning provides exfoliation, removing the top layer of dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover, resulting in a smoother and more radiant complexion.

Improved skin texture

The exfoliating action of dermaplaning helps to smooth out rough or uneven skin texture, giving the skin a more refined appearance.

Removal of facial hair (peach fuzz)

 Dermaplaning effectively removes fine vellus hair from the skin’s surface, contributing to a smoother and brighter complexion.

Enhanced product absorption

By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells and vellus hair, dermaplaning allows skincare products to penetrate more effectively, increasing their efficacy.

Reduced fine lines and wrinkles

Dermaplaning promotes cell turnover and can help minimize fine lines and wrinkles by revealing fresher, younger-looking skin.

Minimal downtime

Dermaplaning is a non-invasive treatment with little to no downtime, allowing for a quick return to daily activities.

Suitable for most skin types

Dermaplaning is generally suitable for most skin types, especially those with dry or mature skin. However, it is not recommended for those with active acne or other inflammatory skin conditions.

Non-invasive and painless

Dermaplaning is a non-surgical, non-invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia or cause significant discomfort.

No harsh chemicals

Dermaplaning does not involve using any chemicals or abrasive materials, making it a gentle option for those who may not tolerate other forms of exfoliation well.

Instant results

Dermaplaning provides immediate improvements in skin texture and brightness, making it a popular choice for those seeking a quick, noticeable enhancement in their skin’s appearance.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning

Comparing The Different Procedures

Both microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning offer various benefits for improving skin texture and appearance. The choice between the two treatments depends on your skin type, concerns, and goals.

Microdermabrasion Vs. Dermaplaning: Pros and Cons

As you can see, each of these exfoliation treatments offers similar results. 

Here, we’ll compare the differences between microdermabrasion and dermaplaning by examining the pros and cons of both treatments to help you further decide the better option for you:

Microdermabrasion Treatment Pros and Cons

Pros of Microdermabrasion Treatments:

  • Suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin.
  • Helps improve skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and mild acne scarring.
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation and dark spots and minimizes large pores.
  • Enhances skincare product absorption.
  • Non-invasive, painless, and requires minimal downtime.
  • It can be used on other body parts like hands or back.

Cons of Microdermabrasion Treatments

  • May not be effective for severe acne, rosacea, or other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Multiple sessions may be required to achieve desired results.
  • Does not remove vellus hair (peach fuzz).
  • Results may vary between individuals.
Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning Pros and cons

Dermaplaning Treatment Pros and Cons

Pros of Dermaplaning Treatments

  • Removes dry, dull, dead cells, revealing smooth skin
  • Facial hair: This exfoliation removes vellus hair (peach fuzz).
  • Suitable for most skin types, especially those with dry or mature skin.
  • It helps improve skin texture and promotes a brighter complexion.
  • Allows for better product penetration 
  • Non-invasive, painless, and no downtime.
  • Dermaplaning is an instant gratification treatment! 

Cons of Dermaplaning Treatments:

  • Not recommended for those with active acne breakouts or other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • Results are temporary, as vellus hair will eventually grow back.
  • It uses a sterile blade which is off-putting to some
  • Doesn’t address hyperpigmentation or acne scarring as effectively as microdermabrasion.
  • It can be more expensive than microdermabrasion.
  • Chance of cuts or knicks on skin

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning Cost

The average cost of microdermabrasion and dermaplaning treatments can vary depending on location, provider, and the number of sessions required. 

Here’s a rough comparison of the average costs for each treatment:

Microdermabrasion Treatment

The average cost of a single microdermabrasion session ranges from $75 to $200. Some providers may offer package deals or discounts for multiple sessions, which can reduce the overall cost per treatment.

Dermaplaning Treatment

The average cost of a dermaplaning treatment is typically higher than microdermabrasion, ranging from $100 to $250 or more per session.

Microdermabrasion and Dermaplaning Aftercare

Aftercare is essential to microdermabrasion and dermaplaning treatments to ensure the best results and minimize potential side effects. 

Aftercare guidelines for both treatments:

Avoid sun exposure

Protect your skin from direct sun exposure for at least 48 hours after the treatment. The skin is more sensitive to UV rays after microdermabrasion, increasing the risk of sunburn and hyperpigmentation.

Wear sunscreen

Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to the entire face daily to protect your skin from UV damage. Make sure to reapply every two hours when outdoors.

Avoid heat and sweat.

Refrain from strenuous exercise, hot showers, saunas, and other activities that can generate heat or sweat for at least 24-48 hours after the treatment, as these can irritate the skin.

Gentle skincare

Use gentle, fragrance-free cleansers and moisturizers to clean and hydrate your skin. Avoid using harsh or abrasive products, such as exfoliating scrubs, for at least a week following the treatment.

Apply Serums

After exfoliation, use skin-loving ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and peptides. 

No picking or scratching

Allow your skin to heal naturally, and avoid picking, scratching, or rubbing the treated area, as this can cause irritation, scarring, or infection.

dermaplaning treatment

FAQs Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning

Q:  Can I do a Microdermabrasion Treatment at home?

Yes! You can perform microdermabrasion treatments at home using at-home microdermabrasion devices or kits.

These products can be a cost-effective alternative for maintaining your skin’s health and appearance between professional sessions.

At-home microdermabrasion devices typically use a combination of exfoliating crystals and suction to remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture. 

However, keep in mind that at-home microdermabrasion treatments are generally less effective than professional treatments performed by a skincare professional or dermatologist.

Q: Is dermaplaning the same as face shaving?

NO. Dermaplaning and face shaving may seem similar, as both involve using a blade to remove hair from the face. However, they are not the same and serve different purposes.

Dermaplaning is a professional skincare treatment that uses a sterile, surgical-grade scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dead skin cells and vellus hair (peach fuzz) from the face.

The primary goal of dermaplaning is to exfoliate the skin, which helps improve skin texture, tone, and brightness, and to remove vellus hair.

Face shaving, on the other hand, is using a razor or shaver to remove unwanted facial hair, primarily in areas such as the upper lip, chin, and sideburns.

Face shaving focuses on hair removal and does not provide the same level of exfoliation as dermaplaning.

Q: Can I do Dermaplaning Treatment at home?

However, attempting this treatment at home without proper training, technique, and tools can result in cuts, nicks, or uneven exfoliation, leading to skin irritation, scarring, or infection.

At-home dermaplaning tools are available on the market, but these tools are typically less effective than the professional-grade scalpels used by skincare professionals.

The results may not be as noticeable or long-lasting as those of a professional treatment.

Related article: At Home Dermaplaning: Everything you need to know!

Q: How often should I get microdermabrasion or dermaplaning treatments?

The frequency of microdermabrasion and dermaplaning treatments depends on your skin type and individual needs. Generally, it is recommended to wait 2-4 weeks between microdermabrasion sessions and 3-4 weeks between dermaplaning sessions.

Q: Can I combine microdermabrasion or dermaplaning with other skin treatments?

Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning can be combined with other skin treatments, such as chemical peels, facials, or laser treatments.

Q: Are there any side effects or risks associated with microdermabrasion or dermaplaning?

Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are generally considered safe, non-invasive treatments with minimal risks.

Some potential side effects include temporary redness, swelling, or skin sensitivity. Rare complications can include scarring, infection, or changes in skin color.

Q: Are microdermabrasion and dermaplaning painful?

Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are generally considered painless treatments.

Microdermabrasion may cause a mild scratching or vibrating sensation, while dermaplaning may feel like a gentle scraping similar to the feeling of being licked by a cat. 🙂

Any discomfort experienced during these treatments is typically minimal and well-tolerated.

Conclusion Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning

In conclusion, microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are effective exfoliation treatments that can improve your skin’s overall health and appearance. 

Each treatment offers unique benefits, and the choice between the two depends on your specific skin type, concerns, and goals.

While microdermabrasion is more focused on addressing skin texture, fine lines, and mild acne scarring, dermaplaning provides deep exfoliation and removes vellus hair for a smoother, brighter complexion. 

 I hope this article has provided valuable insights into the differences between microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning. 

If you have any questions or personal experiences, please comment below.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and helps me continue to provide valuable and informative content for our readers.

Thanks for stopping by!

XO, Christine

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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