W omen and men alike have always been preoccupied with their beauty, and an important part of looking good is having healthy, young-looking skin. Of all treatments available that can be done at clinics, spas, or salons, microdermabrasion and microneedling prevail as the most commonly used for their efficiency in treating a wide range of cosmetic and medical skin conditions.
In this article, we will take a deeper look at each skincare procedure to help you differentiate between the two and go for the treatment that complies with your expectations in terms of outcome. So if you want to know how these beautification procedures work, what they’re used for, and what to expect from both when it comes to results and potential side effects, continue with us.
During the microdermabrasion treatment, the top layer of the skin is removed to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and debris. By reducing this excess epidermal buildup, it smoothens shallow creases to improve uneven areas and reduce the depth of wrinkles. You can go to a salon or spa to get this procedure done by a professional, or read microdermabrasion machine reviews to pick a top-tier product and benefit from the beautification treatment at home. The latter is the more convenient and cost-effective option, and if you get your hands on an FDA-approved microdermabrasion apparatus, you are sure to have a product that lasts long and grants pro-grade results prior to the sessions you undergo.
According to statistics, microdermabrasion was the 5th most used minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation technique in 2018. The staggering figure of 709,000 interventions only accounts for the work of plastic surgeons, so the numbers are much higher if we were to factor in the work performed by professionals at spas.
What microdermabrasion as a standalone skincare treatment can do:
Microdermabrasion is recommended in combination with other treatments and procedures to amp results, namely:
There are only minor side effects to microdermabrasion, and these generally go away within the first few hours after treatment. This is valid when using a diamond tip machine, however. With aluminum oxide crystal microderm machines, it can take 1 to 4 days for the inflammation, soreness, and redness that are typical for the treatment to go away.
Another issue that might emerge is light bruising that results because of the suction process. Individuals with very sensitive skin will notice it, but it goes away fast. Your skin might also become dry and flak for a few days. This is why moisturizing is suggested after the procedure.
Percutaneous collagen induction therapy, more commonly known as microneedling, is performed by specialists using an electrically-powered handheld instrument that is either drum-shaped or pen-shaped. The tool features tiny, sterile needles that pierce the skin, which is why it’s generally advised to apply a numbing cream before each session. Different individuals have different pain thresholds, and even for the most resistant of patients the procedure will feel uncomfortable, so it’s best to be cautious and numb the area lightly before starting.
As the needles puncture the skin, they create microscopic injuries that don’t leave scars. Their role is to encourage the skin to heal itself through the natural process of dermal remodeling. During this healing process, the skin will present inflammation, stimulating the production of new collagen which puffs up the thinning skin areas, smoothening and firming it. To achieve the best results, microneedling sessions are recommended biweekly.
What microneedling as a standalone skincare treatment can do:
Here is what a few medical studies have to say about the purpose of microneedling:
Just like microdermabrasion, microneedling causes a few minor, temporary side effects, namely redness, swelling, and skin flaking. These go away after a few days, especially if you follow basic aftercare advice and avoid wearing makeup, wear sunscreen when you go out, and moisturize daily.
If you have active breakouts, avoid the procedure altogether. So for those who are affected by acne and oral herpes, microneedling is contraindicated. If you don’t currently have oral herpes but have a history of it, warn the plastic surgeon about this. They might prescribe an oral antiviral medication for the first days following treatment to make sure that the skincare treatment won’t stimulate the emergence of new cold sores. A small warning – microneedling is now recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, so steer clear from it altogether if you fall into one of these two categories.
As you can see, both treatments share quite a substantial number of common applications. However, how they unfold differs, as well as the effects they have on your skin. Microneedling is more painful and it’s not recommended for a wide range of people because of its action, including people with active acne and oral herpes, as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women. On the other hand, microdermabrasion is only contraindicated in cases of severe active acne to avoid spreading the conditions across the face.
Microdermabrasion is less invasive and gentler, another bonus it holds over microneedling. If you get your hands on a microderm machine, you can become a veritable aesthetician and perform microdermabrasion at home yourself. This will save you money, obviously, and you won’t have to depend on the schedule of a plastic surgeon or spa/salon professional. You do the procedure at whatever hour you prefer, what day you like, without having to make any appointments. On the other hand, microneedling is contraindicated as an at-home treatment. Risks of damaging the skin are high, so unless you are a dermatologist, it’s smart to steer clear from experimenting on your skin with this procedure.
We ultimately recommend microdermabrasion over microneedling for the range of benefits it provides, the multiple uses it is recommended for, and the gentler nature of the procedure. Deciding what route you take is up to you, however. What would be best is to consult a dermatologist and establish with this professional which treatment would provide the best results for the condition you want to tackle, whether it’s acne scarring, wrinkles, or hyperpigmentation. There’s nothing more valuable and accurate for each patient’s case than the opinion of a specialized doctor, after all.