Microneedling and microdermabrasion are two very popular aesthetic procedures that rejuvenate and enhance the skin’s surface. While both procedures come with many similar benefits, the application of each is a bit different. If you are looking for noninvasive ways to correct skin abnormalities, microneedling or microdermabrasion may be a perfect solution. Let’s explore these two procedures so you can determine which one is right for you.


Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure, also known as collagen induction therapy. This treatment is ideal for those patients looking to minimize the signs of aging, help reduce pigmentation, refine the texture and tone of the skin, increase skin elasticity, and treat acne scarring.  It can also be used to treat scars from trauma or surgeries and stretch marks.

Microneedling introduces small micro-injuries into the skin by way of tiny needles. This signals the skin to repair itself and start producing more collagen and elastin. The result is a thicker more even skin texture, tone, and overall healthier skin.


Microdermabrasion is also a minimally invasive procedure used to renew the overall skin tone and texture. This treatment is ideal for those patients looking to improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, enlarged pores, melasma (dark, discolored patches on the skin), acne scarring, and other skin-related concerns.

Microdermabrasion uses a special applicator that has an abrasive surface, such as sodium bicarbonate crystals, and a suction component. It is used to exfoliate and essentially sand away the thick outer layer of the skin while removing dead skin cells. This rejuvenates the skin.

How Microneedling and Microdermabrasion Differ

Microneedling can be done on your face, scalp, or body. This procedure was developed more recently than microdermabrasion. It also goes by several different names including collagen induction therapy, percutaneous collagen induction, and skin needling.

Microneedling triggers the skin to repair itself after tiny needles pierce the skin’s surface. This can be done with a microneedling machine, specialized pen, or a derma roller, which is a small tool with a roller of very fine needles attached at the end. Your practitioner slowly rolls the apparatus over the treatment area to produce micro-injuries that stimulate collagen production.

The procedure can be slightly painful, so most practitioners will apply a topical anesthetic to the treatment area, much to the delight of the patient. Then, after the procedure, many practitioners will apply a skin cream or serum to the treated areas. These post-treatment serums could be vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, or a combination of necessary vitamins and minerals to encourage healing.

Potential side effects include redness, swelling, bleeding, oozing, scabbing, and dry skin when healing. Less common side effects include bruising or pimples.

Most patients see some effects after the first treatment. The skin will appear tighter, more toned, and have a hydrated glow. Individual results vary depending on the patient, but for most conditions, a series of three or more treatments are required to obtain maximum results. Typically, three treatments will produce visible results but six treatments or more will produce dramatic results. This is a progressive treatment, and some patients will continue to see skin improvements up to six months after their treatment series has ended. Microneedling is safe for all skin types.

The recovery time for microneedling is minimal. You may notice skin irritation and redness for the first few days following the procedure. This is a natural response to the small “injuries” during treatment. You can go back to work or school after the procedure if you’re comfortable, however, some people like to wait until the next day to resume day-to-day activities until the redness has subdued. You can apply mineral-based makeup the next day. SPF 30 or more is required daily after treatment.

Microdermabrasion can be done on your face or body. This treatment doesn’t involve needles and it does not penetrate the outer layer of the skin. Instead, a rough-textured tool is applied to the treatment area to remove the top layer of skin. The procedure is painless.

Unlike microneedling, most patients see instant results right after treatment. Your skin may feel smoother and may look brighter with an even tone. Potential side effects include redness, tenderness around the treatment area, and slight skin irritation. You can resume normal activity directly after treatment with limited recovery time necessary.

Microdermabrasion can be administered as frequently as weekly or up to every eight weeks depending on your aesthetic needs. Many patients begin with weekly treatments for about three weeks and shift to a monthly maintenance treatment thereafter.

Microneedling and microdermabrasion are not recommended for treating open wounds, cold sores, warts, eczema, psoriasis, active acne, or lupus.

Post-Treatment Considerations

After receiving microneedling or microdermabrasion treatments, there are a few precautions you must take for the treatments to be effective and to reduce the possibility of side effects. For example, you should avoid touching the skin that was treated and keep the treatment area clean. You may be asked to avoid hot baths or soaking the skin as well as exercise and situations where you’re prone to sweat profusely directly after treatment.

You will also want to avoid chemical peels or creams as the treated skin is tender. Only use gentle cleansers and/or medicated creams recommended by your practitioner.

Which Skin Procedure is Right for Me?

Now that you know the difference between these two skin procedures, you may still be wondering which skin procedure is right for you. So, if you’re still debating between microneedling vs. microdermabrasion, the benefits of each procedure may provide some insight for you to make a sound decision.

Benefits of Microneedling

  • Stimulates new skin growth. Microneedling penetrates under the skin’s surface. The microscope “injuries” deliberately applied to the skin encourage the body to produce collagen and elastin as a wound healing response.
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including deep wrinkles. By encouraging collagen and elastin production, fine lines, and wrinkles can be hyper-targeted.
  • Reduces the appearance of scars and surgical skin trauma. Microneedling can stimulate skin regrowth over deep scars to reduce their overall appearance.
  • Shrinks pores. Since the treatment goes beneath the skin’s surface, it offers “deeper” results and can make pores less visible.
  • Treatment takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
  • Limited side effects, adverse reactions, or risks.
  • Safe and effective for every skin type.

Microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Microneedling with PRP is another treatment option. PRP is a concentrated source of growth factors found in your body. It is produced when a practitioner takes a sample of your own blood and spins it down into its base components, one of which is growth factors. Growth factors stimulate cellular growth, proliferation, healing, and cellular differentiation, improving collagen and elastin production.

A topical numbing cream may be applied to the treatment area for any discomfort you may have. A sample of your blood is then taken and spun in a centrifuge to supply the practitioner with your platelet-rich plasma. The PRP is then applied to the face and the microneedling is performed, allowing for the absorption of PRP through the tiny channels produced by the microneedling pen.

Benefits of Microdermabrasion

  • Practitioners are more familiar with the procedure. Since microdermabrasion has been around longer, its impact and benefits have been studied more.
  • Microdermabrasion is a procedure that exfoliates the outer layer of the skin with no penetration or micro-injuries.
  • Reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and wrinkles by brightening the surface of the skin with a rejuvenated layer.
  • Treatment typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
  • Treatment is painless and a topical anesthetic is not necessary.
  • Less post-treatment redness than microneedling. Your skin may be slightly red, but the glowing results from treatment will be pretty instantaneous.
  • Limited side effects, adverse reactions, or risks.
  • Safe and effective for most skin types.


Dermalinfusion is a non-invasive, 3-in-1 skin treatment that simultaneously exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin with condition-specific serums for an all-inclusive treatment in one step. The next generation of microdermabrasion, dermal infusion goes further by infusing the skin with skin-specific serums immediately after exfoliation for deeper product penetration.

The Bottom Line

Both microneedling and microdermabrasion are safe, effective, and highly popular treatment options to rejuvenate your skin. Ultimately, you will want to weigh the benefits and differences to determine which treatment is best suited for your skin’s needs. If you want to avoid any type of pain, microdermabrasion may be for you. If you’re hoping to reduce the appearance of deep scarring, microneedling is a good bet.

Curious about these procedures? Consider booking a consultation with the knowledgeable and professional providers at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. Our team can help you decide between microneedling vs. microdermabrasion and help you achieve your treatment goals. We also offer many different skin treatments to target a variety of skin care needs.

You work hard. You deserve to love your reflection in the mirror and feel radiant and confident in the skin you are in. Take the time to invest in your skin’s health. You are worth it.


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