Peels & Derms: Which Skin Treatment is Right for You?

Both microdermabrasion and chemical peels exfoliate the top layer of the skin. And as you now know, exfoliation is a great way to maintain, and or regain your skin’s youthful glow. Both procedures provide a type of exfoliation, helping to shed dead skin cells, but they differ in important ways, including what they target, how they’re performed, and what you can expect after it’s all over. Although there are many ways to exfoliate your skin, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are particularly effective and deliver great results.

The Difference Between the Two Treatments


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. The non-invasive procedure gently exfoliates the skin’s surface. Unlike a chemical peel, microdermabrasion doesn’t necessitate a pre-procedure plan. During the procedure, your dermatologist will use a handheld device to gently remove the top layer of skin, which may cause a non-painful sanding sensation.

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.  

Since microdermabrasion is less invasive than a chemical peel, deciding to have it done isn’t nearly as challenging. 

The treatment itself takes only 15 to 30 minutes

Chemical Peels

Benefits: The benefits of chemical peels can include new surface skin that feels smoother and looks younger, in addition to a reduced appearance of discoloration, scars, and signs of aging, like wrinkles. 

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.

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. One major difference between chemical peels and microdermabrasion is that in addition to exfoliating, peels can also help stimulate collagen.

If you live or are ever in Houston, schedule your green peel or microdermabrasion treatment with one of our awesome in-house estheticians. 

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