Choose The Right One For You: Microdermabrasion Vs Microneedling

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With dozens of different skin treatments available at aesthetic centers and medical spas, you may be wondering which one is right for you. This usually depends on the skin issues you’re looking to treat and your expected results.

Microneedling and microdermabrasion[1] are two exfoliation procedures that have grown in popularity over the last couple of years. Both procedures help to eradicate or improve different skin issues, including fine lines, blemishes, and more.

They are usually less invasive and more cost-effective than surgery. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these treatments has made them incredibly popular, but which one is right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about microdermabrasion vs microneedling.

What is Microneedling? 

man touching shaved face and microdermabrasion vs microneedling

Microneedling is an increasingly popular cosmetic procedure that uses a microneedling roller with tiny needles to produce numerous micropunctures in the skin.

Microneedling benefits include the production of fresh, new collagen for smoother, firmer, and more even-toned skin.

Also known as collagen induction therapy (CIT), microneedling is commonly used on the face and can help treat different skin conditions, from fine lines and scars, to wrinkles and stretch marks.

It’s significantly cheaper than many other skin rejuvenating treatments, such as laser resurfacing, and has proven to be effective at boosting collagen production.

One derma roller on the table and microdermabrasion vs microneedling

The treatment involves the utilization of a microneedle roller or hand-held pen studded with fine microneedles. It produces numerous microscopic punctures in the skin. The punctures and the minor bleeding produce a wound-healing cascade, which increases collagen production for improved skin renewal.

Microneedling also involves the use of numbing cream to make the patient more comfortable. Ideally, the area being treated should be pre-treated with a suitable skincare product that enhances skin renewal, like topical vitamin A products.

After treatment, you can expect minimal bleeding that subsides within a couple of hours, along with redness, mild swelling, and some discomfort.

Fortunately, serious complications are rare with this treatment. Skin infections, dryness, and changes in skin pigment are potential side effects. The microscopic needle holes seal quickly, making skin infections less common.

Benefits of Microneedling

Before and after skin needling and microdermabrasion vs microneedling

There are several microneedling benefits for your skin. This treatment can:

  • Stimulate the production of collagen for faster healing of various forms of acne scarring

  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles due to smoking or aging

  • Improve your skin texture

  • Improve uneven skin tone

  • Reduce spider veins and broken capillaries

  • Reduce burn scars and sun spots

  • Rejuvenate skin by lifting, toning, firming, or tightening sagging skin.

Side Effects of Microneedling

Medical experts consider collagen induction therapy to be not only effective but also safe. Like any other procedure, however, there may be some risks.

The main side effect is skin irritation after treatment. Other potential side effects include:

  • Redness

  • Dryness

  • Swelling

  • Bruising

  • Minor discomfort in the area

Bleeding could also occur, especially for patients with bleeding disorders. It’s extremely important to convey this information to your doctor before having this procedure done.

More adverse side effects could include:

  • Skin infection

  • Changes to skin pigmentation

  • Reaction to medications or topical creams used during the procedure

Finally, individuals who are not good candidates for skin needling include those with skin conditions like:

  • Active acne

  • Keloid scarring

  • Skin infections

Contacting a skin care professional or dermatologist who specializes in these kinds of procedures can help reduce the risks involved.

Microdermabrasion vs Microneedling Pros and Cons

Lady's skin improving drastically after skin treatment and microdermabrasion vs microneedling

Microdermabrasion Treatment

With so many skin treatments to make your face look younger, it can be challenging to determine the right skin treatment for you. As far as the microdermabrasion vs microneedling debate goes, there are some similarities and differences you need to know before choosing one over the other.

Microdermabrasion is a procedure that involves the use of microscopic crystals or other abrasive surfaces to exfoliate and remove the outer layer of dry and dead skin cells. They scrub off dead and dull surface skin cells. Using the crystals, they will exfoliate and remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. This ablative treatment can be an effective way to rejuvenate the skin.

Microdermabrasion has several benefits. A single microdermabrasion treatment will leave your skin soft and smooth, and looking visibly radiant. But coming back for more than one treatment can enhance your skin’s tone and texture, and reduce acne scarring, sun spots, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, and even enlarged pores.

Microneedling Treatment

On the other hand, microneedling is a non-ablative procedure. This means that it does not exfoliate or remove the outer layer of the skin. Instead, it causes the skin to generate a new and healthier layer. Rather than dealing with the skin surface only, microneedling on the face boosts the production of elastin and collagen to encourage further improvement from within.

Top angled view of female with clear skin and microdermabrasion vs microneedling

Since microdermabrasion aims at removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, it is very effective in addressing skin surface issues. But both treatments are good for those with a dull complexion.

People concerned with uneven skin surfaces, acne scars, and pigmentation issues can greatly benefit from having several home microdermabrasion treatments.

That said, microdermabrasion is not effective at tackling deeper skin concerns such as deep acne scars, deep wrinkles, and stretch marks.

However, microneedling is one of the best ways to tackle deeper skin issues as it boosts the production of new skin cells and tissue. Therefore, this treatment would be a great choice for people with deep scars, brown spots, wrinkles, and stretch marks.

Facts to Consider When Choosing the Right One for You

There are 3 key differences between microdermabrasion and microneedling that you have to consider before choosing the appropriate treatment for you:

  • Microneedling uses fine needles to promote the production of collagen and elastin to encourage firmness from within, whereas microdermabrasion uses crystal and vacuum technology to exfoliate the skin and unclog blocked pores.

  • Microneedling is best for addressing wrinkles, stretch marks, fine lines, and acne scarring, whereas microdermabrasion is more suited for treating dull or tired skin, blackheads, and clogged pores.

  • Microneedling entails the use of needles, so some bleeding may occur, whereas microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure.

Ultimately, you should also take your personal aesthetic preferences into account. Both treatments are great alternatives to lasers and other more invasive techniques. The minimal downtime and discomfort compared to surgery also contribute to their popularity.

Contact a professional to discuss your microdermabrasion vs microneedling options to ensure you make the right choice for your face and skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is more effective, microneedling or microdermabrasion?

Microneedling and microdermabrasion are both effective treatments for improving skin texture and appearance, but their effectiveness depends on the specific skin concerns being addressed. Microneedling is more effective for treating deeper skin conditions like scars and wrinkles, while microdermabrasion is better suited for surface-level concerns and overall skin rejuvenation.

A consultation with a skincare professional is recommended to determine the most suitable treatment based on individual needs and goals.

Can you use microdermabrasion and microneedling together?

Microdermabrasion and microneedling can be used together in a skincare regimen, but it is important to space out the treatments appropriately and follow professional guidance. Generally, it is advisable to wait a certain period between the two treatments to allow the skin to heal and recover.

Which is better, microneedling or micropeeling?

Microneedling and micropeeling are both effective treatments, but their suitability depends on individual skin concerns. Microneedling is ideal for addressing deeper skin issues and stimulating collagen production, while micropeeling focuses on exfoliating the skin’s surface for improved tone and texture.

What are the 5 advantages of microdermabrasion?

  1. Exfoliation: Microdermabrasion effectively removes dead skin cells, promoting cellular turnover and revealing smoother, brighter skin. It helps to unclog pores and can improve the appearance of acne-prone skin.

  2. Skin Texture Improvement: The treatment can help minimize the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and shallow acne scars, resulting in a smoother skin texture.

  3. Increased Absorption of Skincare Products: By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, microdermabrasion enhances the penetration and absorption of skincare products, allowing them to work more effectively.

  4. Non-Invasive and Low Risk: Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive procedure that does not require anesthesia or extensive downtime. It poses minimal risk compared to more aggressive treatments and is generally safe for most skin types.

  5. Quick and Convenient: Microdermabrasion sessions are typically short, lasting around 30 minutes, and require minimal preparation or recovery time. This makes it a convenient option for individuals with busy schedules.

blue eyes girl clear skin and microdermabrasion vs microneedling


Both microneedling and microdermabrasion are safe and effective procedures that can enhance the appearance of the skin. Microneedling helps to treat wrinkles, reduce scarring, and rejuvenate or tighten sagging or aging skin, whereas microdermabrasion is great for addressing clogged pores, blackheads, and dull skin.

While microneedling at home is common, home treatments do not guarantee the same results and can elevate the risk of side effects. Before undergoing any of these procedures, let your doctor know your skin care goals and preferences. That will help ensure you are satisfied with the results of your treatment.

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