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Microneedling vs Microdermabrasion: How do they differ?

Women getting Microdermabrasion in a clinic

Microneedling and Microdermabrasion are both unique methods used to retain a youthful look. Both these skin enrichment methods stimulate the natural production of collagen, which slows down as you age, causing the gradual breakdown of skin tissue. They work towards the removal of anti-aging elements such as wrinkles, scars or any other discoloration.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a skin rejuvenation procedure that involves creating small holes in the outermost layer of your skin. This helps to improve and restore the look and feel of your skin tissue. It’s also called skin needling, collagen induction therapy (CIT) and percutaneous collagen induction (PCI). It is a derma roller procedure that uses small needles to prick the skin.

Microneedling is typically performed in a series of four to six sessions. However, this is not performed for those with active infections, lesions or any known wound healing problems. To avoid pain, a local anesthesia is administered before beginning the procedure. This treatment is performed only by certified professionals in a clinical environment.


What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a skin renewal treatment which uses an abrasive tool. It gently smoothes out your skin by removing the uneven outer layer. Eventually, the soft, youthful underlying skin tissue is exposed, making you look younger.

This can be performed quick, even over lunchtime! The procedure involves the use of an ablative material such as sodium bicarbonate crystals to scrub dead and dull skin cells. This could also be followed by suction to stimulate proper skin circulation.


How are they different?

As much as these procedures sound similar, they are quite different. They are used for different reasons and address the different needs of your skin. The processes and devices involved also differ. To understand the differences better, we have provided a short description of each of these methods for your reference.

  1. Invasive vs Abrasive: Microneedling is more invasive than microdermabrasion since the former is performed to treat more serious skin conditions.

  2. Problems treated: Microneedling focuses on treating moderate to severe scarring caused by surgery, acne and burns; stretch marks caused by pregnancy or weight gain; deep wrinkles; discoloration or “splotchy” skin or hyperpigmentation; reducing Pore Size; chicken pox scars, isolated scarring, c-section scarring, sagging skin; and in hair loss therapy.

Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, is used for aesthetic improvements such as to reduce skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation), age spots, stretch marks, lines and wrinkles, large pores and acne & scarring.


Who performs the treatment?

 Microneedling has to be administered in a clinic by a certified professional; it is not a DIY procedure. However, there are DIY kits in the market to administer microdermabrasion at home, by yourself or by a beautician.


Duration & Cost:

The effects of micro needling last longer than microdermabrasion. The latter is performed more often and is less expensive than the former.

Both treatments, at the end of the day, help you achieve beautiful and younger looking skin. Consult our experts at Don Valley to better understand the differences and determine which procedure is better suited for you.