Microdermabrasion Comparison: How Does It Match Up To Other Skin Treatments?


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Microdermabrasion is popular because it works on all skin types. Since it is non-invasive, there is absolutely no scarring which in turn gives the patients less downtime. This means you can return to your normal activities the same day of the treatment.

Repeat customers of this treatment report eventual improvements to their skin. Patients report an average of 6-10 sessions (30-60 minutes each) to see its skin rejuvenating effects. In 2001, a study was conducted by the Plastic Surgery Associates of North Virginia to further support this.

They analyzed the effects of microdermabrasion on ten volunteers between 31 and 62 years old, who all went through six sessions of the said treatment. They concluded that the process produced "clinical improvement by a mechanism resembling a reparative process at the dermal and epidermal levels." (Dermatol Surgery Journal, 2001).

While microdermabrasion appears to have proven skin rejuvenation benefits, the results are still considered modest and the skin's reaction of some patients of the may vary. Hence, there are other alternatives.

How does microdermabrasion stack up against other popular skin treatments? Let's find out.

IPL Lasers

Photo facials or scientifically known as IPL Lasers is considered a breakthrough in anti-aging skin treatment. It is a 30-minute procedure in which intense pulses of light are used to penetrate deep into the skin.

IPL Laser Treatment


It causes collagen and blood vessels to compress and induce controlled wounds, initiating the process of healing and creation of new skin cells. The whole procedure involved minimal inconvenience since the redness and swelling that sometimes occur after treatment disappear shortly.

Ideal candidates for this treatment are people who have sun-damaged or discolored skin, or are affected by freckles and large pores. It involves virtually no downtime, making it convenient for people with busy schedules.

Many patients claim that IPL lasers improve skin texture, reduce pore size and eliminate discolorations. However, like any other skin treatment, results may vary. People with tanned or naturally dark skin sometimes experience changes in skin pigmentation after the procedure.

The price range for a single IPL photo facial treatment is approximately about $500 to $600. The overall cost will depend on the severity as well as the number of treatments needed to be done to resolve your aesthetic issues.

Is Microdermabrasion Better?

VERDICT: It Depends. Microdermabrasion would work better for darker skin tones since there are side effects.

Chemical Peels

Chemical Peel is a body treatment that can improve the skin's texture and appearance. In this treatment, a chemical solution is applied to the skin that causes dead skin to blister and peel off.

Chemical peel is done on the face, neck or hands. It is suitable for all skin types. However, fair-skinned and light-haired patients are better candidates for this treatment.

Chemical Peel Treatment


People with dark skin may also have good results but they may be more likely to have an uneven skin tone after the procedure. It would be the perfect treatment for you if your goal is to get rid of acne, eliminate age spots, smooth wrinkles and improve your skin's texture.

It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles and for the exfoliation of the outer layers of dead skin. Certain types of chemical peel can also be used to remove stretch marks or for skin rejuvenation.

Chemical peels, however, may be costly for some people. The cost of varies from different states and doctors. The current price range is between $600 and $900 excluding the possible additional expenses depending on the customer.

Other patients request deep chemical peels which require anesthesia, use of the surgical facility and possible hospital stay. On the other hand, light chemical peels are a cheaper alternative which may be as low as $150. Deep chemical peels are the most expensive which may cost up to $6000.

Another disadvantage is the downtime. Some patients who have negative reaction to a chemical peel may appear to have a swollen face which may take a couple of days to subside.

Is Microdermabrasion Better?

VERDICT: Yes. Microdermabrasion gives the same results in less time, with less expense and without the blister.


Popular among people in their 30s is the Radiofrequency treatment or RF treatment. It involves transmitting the safest level of electromagnetic energy in the form of radio frequency waves.

Once applied to the skin, it causes heating of the layers of skin tissue, which results to skin tightening and improvements to skin texture and wrinkling.

results to skin tightening


Typically, a session lasts 30-45 minutes with results seen after an average of 8-12 sessions. It is ideal for patients with moderate sagging of facial tissues who want an early start in preventing skin aging. This treatment can be used on the forehead, under the eyes, cheeks, jawline and

Sadly, it may not be suitable for all skin types. Individuals who have very loose skin, heavy faces, deep wrinkles and other advanced signs of aging in the face may not experience significant improvement after the treatment.

Patients should not consider it as a substitute for face lift but rather a suggested alternate to more invasive cosmetic facial treatments.

Some patients report mild redness (or sun burnt look) after the treatment but this quickly disappears. Practitioners usually recommend lotions, creams or gels to help soothe the skin and help it recover fast.

Is Microdermabrasion Better?

VERDICT: It Depends. Your skin type and problems can affect how effective (or dangerous) both treatments could be for you. Ask your dermatologist.


A Minilift or "S-Lift" got its name from the smaller 'S' shaped incisions made in front of the ear.

S-Lift treatment


Through this procedure, the skin and underlying tissues are lifted to give you a much younger appearance. This treatment is recommended for adults, especially women, from 44 to 55 years old.

Minilift surgery is believed to be effective since it restores definition to your chin by removing excess tissue. It will lift and tighten your underlying muscles of the face to create a more pleasing appearance and rejuvenate your facial structure. Excess fats and skin are also removed to lessen your tired and aged look.

Like microdermabrasion, it is also suitable for all types of skin. However, it requires certain and important traits that can be useful during the whole procedure. Some of these traits include:

  • Having strong bone structure: A well-defined bone structure provides support and contribute to satisfying results.
  • Having good overall health: A facelift surgery requires significant healing and recovery.

Therefore, it is essential that the patient will be physically well and prepared for the procedure.

Is Microdermabrasion Better?

VERDICT: Yes. Microdermabrasion is still non-invasive and less expensive. We always prefer procedures with less risk.

Diamond Peel

anti-aging facial treatment


Diamond Peel is one of the most popular anti-aging facial treatments today. This treatment includes cleansing, scrubbing, steaming, pricking, toning and moisturizing. It includes a collagen mask and liquid vitamins E and C which helps in nourishing the skin.

Diamond Peel is a safe and effective method in which dirt and dead skin is removed from the face to give you a beautiful, clean glow. A special diamond-tipped hand piece is used (hence, the name) to take away whiteheads, blackheads, dirt and dead skin cells. Benefits that you may attain from the procedure include:

  • Collagen production: This treatment is a proven way to stimulate production of collagen. Collagen is a significant substance which makes your skin elastic and firm and prevents formation of fine lines.
  • Removes blackheads: As the procedures is being done, the pores are tightened and the blackheads will be removed.
  • Overall skin health: It prevents skin from being oily, leaving it smooth and young-looking.

Diamond Peel is appropriate for all skin types. However, there are certain risks that you may possibly encounter after the procedure. These adverse effects may include dryness, itchiness and sensitivity to the sun. It may take a few days for these effects to go away.

Is Microdermabrasion Better?

VERDICT: No. Microdermabrasion is much more expensive and a Diamond Peel can fix your skin in just one to two sessions if you don’t have an extensive list of problems.


sanding-like treatment


Patients who want a more substantial change choose Dermabrasion. It is effective in treating scars and aged skin. The difference between microdermabrasion and dermabrasion is that the former only affects the dead skin cells.

The latter requires a more aggressive change in the skin surface in the form of sanding-like treatment. It is important to note that only dermatologists and plastic surgeons can perform dermabrasions due to its delicate nature.

This type of treatment does not apply to all skin types. Ideal patients include those with acne scarring, traumatic scars, wrinkles, or ugly tattoo removals. However, most patients who have higher success in this treatment are limited to those who are fair-skinned because they are less likely to develop skin pigmentation.

Is Microdermabrasion Better?

VERDICT: Yes. The risk and side effects of Dermabrasion are too extensive compared to microdermabrasion. You’re sure to peel, redden and have swollen skin for a longer time, and it costs more and is more intense--which means more money lost and more pain.


Before starting any form of skin treatment, it is important to define your goals. Those who want a more aggressive treatment may want to have a minilift or dermabrasion, so long as you can afford being off work or any activity for a few days.

Those who want an early start in anti-aging treatment with minimum downtime may prefer microdermabrasion and radiofrequency treatment, depending on their budgets.

As always, it is best to consult with a professional and licensed practitioner before deciding to go through any of these skin treatments. Achieving a healthy skin can be a tough and long process. A dermatologist should recommend the treatment that will best complement your skin type which will help you get to your desired goals.



Additional Research:

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