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Microdermabrasion vs Microneedling: What’s the Difference?

Last Updated: August 1, 2022

The beauty world has come a long way and there are now so many different methods — surgical and non-surgical — you can try to feel like your best self.

Two of those methods include microdermabrasion and microneedling, which have similar benefits but are different procedures. 

In this review, we’ll be talking about what microdermabrasion and microneedling are, the benefits of each, and which procedure is more worth it.

Let’s start!

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Microdermabrasion vs Microneedling: Overview

Let’s start with some general points comparing the two procedures:

-Minimally-invasive procedure

-Focuses on the surface of the skin

-Can help with skin concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and more

-Cheaper procedure than microneedling
-Minimally-invasive procedure

-Works below the surface of the skin

-Can help with skin concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and helping with skin elasticity

-Pricier procedure than microdermabrasion

Now that we’ve reviewed the general points, let’s get into the specifics!

What is Microdermabrasion?


Microdermabrasion is a minimally-invasive procedure that involves exfoliating the surface of the skin using a hand-held piece using either a crystal or diamond tip. 

Used to help skin concerns like hyperpigmentation dark spots, and wrinkles, this procedure normally takes about an hour and is done by a licensed skincare professional or a healthcare provider, and is considered safe for all skin types.

What is Microneedling?


Like microdermabrasion, microneedling is a minimally-invasive procedure. However, microneedling is a technique where a licensed aesthetician or dermatologist uses small, sterile needles to prick the surface of the skin to promote collagen and elastin production. 

Because this procedure involves needles, the procedure can be uncomfortable. but not painful. This is because a numbing cream is often put on before the procedure begins. 

The needles for microneedling are used to penetrate the dermis, and the healing process then stimulates the skin to produce the collagen and elastin to help with dark spots, acne scars, texture, and hyperpigmentation. 

What’s the Difference Between Micordermabrasion and Microneedling?

Difference Between Micordermabrasion and Microneedling

The main difference between microdermabrasion and microneedling is that microdermabrasion focuses more on the surface level of the skin while microneedling focuses more on penetrating the skin. 

Microdermabrasion centers on exfoliating the skin to remove impurities. 

This procedure exfoliates a thin layer of skin each session, but after each session there’s an immediate, noticeable difference with the texture and glow of the skin. 

Additionally, microdermabrasion needs little healing time after a session, as the only general side effects are slight swelling, redness, and tenderness, which don’t typically last more than two days. 

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On the other hand, microneedling causes the skin to heal itself by pricking the skin with needles.

This procedure can be used on the body, face, and scalp and allows the skin to produce more collagen, which plumps and thickens the skin. 

Since this procedure is penetrative, the healing time post-procedure really depends on how deep the needles go. 

Some side effects from microneedling include tenderness, swelling, scabbing, bleeding, and bruising, and can take days for the side effects to go away.

Further, it takes more time to see results from microneedling since the collagen needs time to grow after treatment. Because of this, microneedling is definitely more expensive than microdermabrasion because it takes more sessions to see results. 

Is Microdermabrasion or Microneedling Better For Scars?

Microdermabrasion or Microneedling Better For Scars

When it comes to acne or non acne-related scars, microneedling is a better treatment since it stimulates the production of collagen. 

The skin is triggered to break down scar tissue and then brings nutrients to the treated area, thus allowing the scars to fade over time. 

Of course, microneedling is not a permanent treatment, but it can greatly reduce the look of scars on the treated area. 

Can You Use Them Together?

It’s possible to receive both treatments, but it’s recommended to space out the treatments at least a week apart. 

This is because the skin is sensitive and tender after either treatment, so undergoing another procedure too soon will stress the skin out.

However, receiving both treatments is an excellent way to get stellar results.

Which Should You Choose?


Microneedling is a bit more invasive but the results after time are quite admirable. 

Rather than microdermabrasion where the skin is just cleaned and exfoliated, microneedling makes the magic happen by literally getting under your skin. 

Of course, budget-wise, microdermabrasion is the route to go since it still does offer similar benefits to microneedling, but we think microneedling is definitely worth the sessions and time as long as you’re patient for results. 

To Wrap It Up

Microdermabrasion and microneedling are popular treatments to relieve skin impurities and signs of age. 

Both procedures are minimally invasive but do differ in their own respective ways that is totally dependent on what you’re comfortable with.

Whether or not you decide to undergo these treatments, you deserve to look and feel like your absolute best self!

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