Microdermabrasion Vs Dermaplaning: Which Exfoliation Method Is Best For You?

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By Amelia Varley

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Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are forms of physical exfoliation, but they have subtle differences which could affect the results you see from either treatment.

Dermaplaning is a manual exfoliation technique where a dermatologist uses a 10 gauge, single-edged blade to gently scrape off dead skin cells and peach fuzz.

Microdermabrasion is an in-office exfoliation method that involves blasting tiny crystals onto the face (over 1 million per minute) at high speeds, in order to remove dulling layers of skin along with built-up scarring and pigmentation.

Both dermaplaning and microdermabrasion can treat the following symptoms:

-Acne scarring

-Fine lines/wrinkles on face, neck, and chest

-Sun damage (hyperpigmentation)

-Uneven skin tone


However, both dermaplaning and microdermabrasion have their own advantages depending on your skin type. For example: if you have oily skin, you can see younger-looking skin with microdermabrasion because the crystals pick up excess oil.

On the other hand, if you have sensitive or dry skin, you may see better results following dermaplaning because it is a more gentle method of exfoliation.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning : Acne Treatment

There is limited research on the use of dermaplaning as a treatment for acne, but its gentle exfoliating action can be helpful. In some cases, your dermatologist may recommend microdermabrasion or another non-ablative resurfacing procedure to improve acne scarring.

Dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion: Wrinkles

Microdermabrasion works by removing the top layers of skin to reveal newer, fresher skin underneath. It can improve fine lines and wrinkles caused by photoaging, sun damage, the natural aging process, or acne scarring. Microdermabrasion is not an effective treatment for deep wrinkles that are often seen with severe collagen loss.

Dermaplaning, on the other hand, is not suited to treat deep wrinkles because it does not remove enough skin cells to produce observable results in this area of the face.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning : Hyperpigmentation Treatment

Microdermabrasion is better for treating hyperpigmentation because it can remove “keratin plugs” that block pores and cause dark spots. However, dermaplaning does not improve the appearance of dark spots on your face like it does with pigmented moles (melanoma).

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning : Treating Sun Spots

Microdermabrasion is particularly effective with improving the appearance of sun spots, but your dermatologist may recommend dermaplaning to prepare the skin prior to further procedures like chemical peels. Dermaplaning does not remove sun damage, but it lays the groundwork necessary for other treatments to go deep enough to get rid of sun spots.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning : Exfoliating the Neck and Décolletage Area

Both dermaplaning and microdermabrasion can be used to gently remove dead skin cells on the face, but they’re also effective for exfoliating the neck and décolletage area. If you have large pores on your chest or back, dermaplaning can help improve their appearance.

Both dermaplaning and microdermabrasion will give you a smoother complexion after only 1 to 3 treatments, but they’re not a “miracle” treatment that’ll make you look like you’re in your 20’s again.

Dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion: Duration

Microdermabrasion takes about 30 minutes whereas dermaplaning takes approximately 25 minutes to perform. So, dermaplaning is a longer treatment than microdermabrasion. However, not every patient requires the entire treatment time. Your dermatologist will work with you during the consultation to determine how much time is appropriate for your skin’s needs.

Dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion: Side effects

Dermaplaning is tolerated well by most patients with minimal side effects, but you may have some redness, bruising, or bleeding. Ask your dermatologist about the possible side effects for dermaplaning so you know what to expect.

The downtime for dermaplaning is typically minimal. To reduce the risk of side effects, your dermatologist may recommend an ice pack before and after treatment, along with a topical numbing agent and/or a painkiller (e.g., Tylenol).

Microdermabrasion is generally well-tolerated by most patients; however, there is a greater risk of side effects compared to dermaplaning. Some of the most common side effects include dry, flaky skin; redness; mild bruising; swelling; and crusting (in severe cases).

Microdermabrasion also comes with risks of scarring or discoloration if performed on darker skin tones. Also, there’s a risk of infection (e.g., herpes) if the microdermabrasion machine is opened by another patient; therefore, some facilities require patients to bring their own machine for each session.

Dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion: Cost

Microdermabrasion costs $100-1000 per treatment, depending on the provider. It is typically done in-office by a dermatologist or esthetician.

Dermaplaning costs $150-350 per treatment, also depending on where it’s done (dermatologist’s office vs skin spa). Dermaplaning can be used in conjunction with other procedures to maximize results, so that may increase the total cost of the procedure.

Dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion: Results

Microdermabrasion will give you smoother skin that looks more even, but it takes several treatments to get consistent results. The effect of one treatment only lasts about two weeks before another session is needed.

On the other hand, dermaplaning gives you more immediate results. If done correctly, the skin immediately looks smoother and has a nice glow after dermaplaning. The results can last for weeks if you take proper care of your skin (e.g., daily sunscreen use and avoiding picking/scratching at your skin).

Microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning: Recovery period

Both procedures produce similar side effects (redness, bruising, etc.), but these usually disappear after a few hours or overnight. Also, both procedures can cause temporary skin sensitivity to the sun; therefore, you must wear sunscreen every day and avoid direct sunlight for at least 2-3 weeks after treatment.

Dermaplaning vs microdermabrasion: Safety records

Microdermabrasion is FDA-approved for the treatment of acne scars and fine lines, but it’s also contraindicated for patients with active cold sores or herpes, facial growths (e.g., moles) that need to be monitored, and porphyria (a rare disorder that can cause skin reactions to sunlight).

Dermaplaning is relatively new in the U.S., but it’s used in other countries for several years.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning: Which Procedure is Best for You?

Both procedures are safe and effective for exfoliating the skin and improving acne scars. The major differences between microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning are the downtime, side effects, cost, recovery period, and safety records.

Dermaplaning is less expensive than microdermabrasion but gives you more immediate results. Furthermore, it’s safer for darker skin tones because there’s a risk of scarring/discoloration from using the wrong equipment.

On the other hand, microdermabrasion can be used on all skin types and colors because there’s less risk of side effects. In general, dermaplaning is a better option for patients who need to get rid of dead skin cells due to acne but don’t have a lot of money to spend on the procedure.

If you’re budget-conscious, dermaplaning is also a better option for getting smoother skin between your regular microdermabrasion sessions.

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About the author

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I am Amelia Varley, a blogger, and beautician. Here you can see my skills which give you small ideas on understanding all the concepts with different themes. I love to write blogs on different topics, like health, beauty, home décor, Automotive, Business, Food, Lifestyle, etc.

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