What Is The Difference Between Microdermabrasion Vs Microneedling: Benefits

Microneedling Vs Microdermabrasion Feature Image

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 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 normally 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 and micro-needling.

What Is Microneedling? 

Find out what is skin needling

Microneedling is an increasingly popular cosmetic procedure that uses a mic

ro needling roller with tiny needles to produce numerous micro-punctures in the skin. Micro needling benefits include the production of fresh, new collagen for a 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

The treatment involves the utilization of a micro needle roller or hand-held pen studded with fine micro-needles. 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 a 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 to skin pigment are potential side effects. The microscopic needle holes seal quickly, making skin infections less common.

Benefits Of Microneedling Treatment 

Before and after skin needling

There are several microneedling benefits for your skin and they include:

  • Stimulates production of collagen for faster healing of various forms of acne scarring
  • Reduces wrinkles and fine lines due to smoking or aging 
  • Improves your skin texture
  • Evens out your skin tone
  • Reduces spider veins and broken capillaries
  • Reduces burn scars and sun spots
  • Rejuvenates skin by lifting, toning, firming or tightening sagging skin

Side Effects Of Microneedling Treatment 

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 post treatment. Other potential side effects include:

  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Minor discomfort at 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:

  • 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 

Lady's skin improving drastically after skin treatment

With so many ways to make your face look younger, it can be challenging to determine the right one for you. As far as the Microneedling vs Microdermabrasion 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. This ablative treatment can be an effective way of rejuvenating the skin.

Microdermabrasion has several benefits. A single microdermabrasion treatment will leave your skin soft and smooth, and looking visibly radiant. A few more treatments can enhance your skin’s tone and texture, and reduce acne scars, sun spots, fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, and even enlarged pores. 

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, micro needling on face boosts the production of elastin and collagen to encourage further improvement from within. 

Top angled view of female with clear skin

Since microdermabrasion aims at removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, it is very effective in addressing skin surface issues. 

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

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

However, microneedling is one of the best ways of tackling 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. 

Which Treatment Should You Choose?

You should choose the treatment by considering the 3 key microneedling vs microdermabrasion differences:

  • 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/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 microneedling vs microdermabrasion options to ensure you make the right choice for your face and skin.

Two lady have fun while doing facial at home

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you do microdermabrasion and microneedling together?

Yes, you can do microdermabrasion and microneedling together. While both treatments are effective stand-alone procedures, combining both can lead to optimal results. Doing both procedures together can leave your skin feeling smoother and looking younger. 

How long does it take to see results from micro-needling?

It usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks to see results from microneedling. Since microneedling is one procedure involves fine needles that prick only the outer skin layers, recovery time is usually short. Expect the skin to be red for the first 24 hours after treatment begins, but the redness will subside within a day or two.

After that, you can wear makeup and follow your usual skincare regimen. While you may notice some results almost immediately, optimal results will be visible four to six weeks post treatment.

How long after microneedling can I do microdermabrasion?

After microneedling, you should wait at least one week before you do microdermabrasion as this is the usual microneedling recovery time. However, the total healing time will vary from individual to individual.

What should I put on my face after microneedling?

After microneedling, you should apply face creams and natural serums containing hyaluronic acid [1] on your face. On top of that, organic oils rich in linoleic acid and oleic acid are good for the skin after having skin needling done too.

What should you not do after microneedling?

After microneedling, you should not do any strenuous activities or go swimming within the 24 hours timeline. You should also avoid direct and intentional sunlight for about 48 hours post treatment. Please take note to avoid makeup, Ascorbic acid, Kojic acid, Retinol acid, salicylic acid (BHAs), and anything considered to be ‘active’ skincare (such as other exfoliating acids) for the first two days after the procedure.

Also, stay away from any skincare products containing hydroquinone, parabens or fragrance. You should also avoid using skincare products that contain benzoyl peroxide. Basically, avoid using any product that could damage or irritate the skin while it is healing.

How often should I microneedle?

You should repeat microneedle every 4 to 6 weeks. Collagen induction will require three or more treatments, whereas scar reduction will require 3 to 6 treatments.

How soon after microneedling can I wear makeup?

It depends on how fast your skin heals after the procedure, but on a normal basis, you can wear light makeup three days after the microneedling treatment. However, whenever possible, try to avoid wearing makeup all the time as this can hinder the skin’s natural rejuvenation process.

Can microneedling be done under the eyes?

Yes, microneedling can be done under the eyes. Studies have shown that microneedling is a safe and effective way to treat under-eye circles and darkness. If you stick to your treatment regimen, your eye bags should disappear gradually and your skin becomes smoother.


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, blackhead, 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 to ensure everyone is on the same page. That will help ensure you are satisfied with the results of your treatment.

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