Your skin’s health is vital for physical, mental, and emotional reasons. While it works to block pathogens and protect your muscles and bones, it also serves as the foundation for your complexion. When you look into the mirror and see cracks in the foundation, say a wrinkle here or an age spot there, you may be looking for different options to correct those aspects and rejuvenate your skin to look healthier and brighter. 

Two fantastic methods are chemical peels and microdermabrasion. While these treatments yield similar results, the one right for you depends on your skincare goals and unique skin profile. Both are beneficial and promote the regeneration of fresh and healthy skin cells, but the implementation of each differs significantly. 

So, let’s look at the options to determine what treatment makes sense for you when you compare chemical peels vs. microdermabrasion. 

Chemical Peels Aren’t as Scary as They Sound

If you’ve never had a chemical peel before, it can sound daunting. However, the process is relatively comfortable and very safe. Our skin is exposed to many different variables, including the sun, air pollution, free radicals, and many surfaces, including cushions and pillows. On top of this unrelenting series of exposures, our skin naturally changes as we age. The top layer of our skin can become rough, hyperpigmented, dry, loose, or create fine lines and wrinkles. 

A brand-new layer of rejuvenated skin lies beneath the surface of your skin. And a chemical peel is a technique used to improve and smooth the texture of the skin. It is a skin-resurfacing procedure in which a chemical solution made up of acids (often naturally occurring) is applied to the skin to remove the top layers. These layers gradually peel off, revealing brighter, more hydrated skin underneath. A facial chemical peel also aids in the improvement of fine lines, texture, age spots, and pigmented scars.

Peeling varies from patient to patient, and what type of peel is used. Generally, peeling will begin about 2-3 days after the treatment and can last for a week or more. Peeling can range from a slightly dusty, dehydrated look to the skin to a more advanced peeling, like after a sunburn. The amount of peeling does not indicate how effective your treatment will be. Some don’t peel at all, but this doesn’t mean the peel did not work.

Chemical peels are usually available in three different potency levels. 

Superficial chemical peels are for anyone who has skin issues on the top layer of the skin. Since this is a light potency, the skin recovers very quickly. The peel does not go beneath the skin’s outer layer, making a recovery a breeze. Considered gentle and revitalizing, superficial chemical peels can help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while minimizing the look of dilated pores. A series of three treatments is ideal to start caring for the health of your skin alongside professional products at home to intensify and sustain your results. 

Medium-depth chemical peels work with the middle and outer layer of the skin. So, this potency treats everything a superficial chemical peel can treat plus more. You can treat sun-damaged skin and minor scars. Treatment usually takes anywhere from one to two weeks to heal. You can expect a series of three treatments with professional home care products to help produce desired results. 

Deep peels work in the middle layer of the skin. Considered somewhat invasive, dermatologists will recommend much gentler treatment options before suggesting a deep peel. These high potency peels can treat moderate to severe sun damage, wrinkles, and severe hyperpigmentation. You can expect these peels to take two to three weeks to heal properly. However, if you live in Canada, deep peels are only administered by nurse practitioners or a doctor. (First Impressions Clinic does not offer deep peels.)

Overall, chemical peels treat freckles, rough skin, sun-damaged skin, age spots, dull complexion, fine lines, skin discoloration, and acne. 

Chemical Peels vs. Microdermabrasion 

So now that you have the lowdown on chemical peels, let’s look at microdermabrasion. This treatment is minimally invasive. It is an exfoliating procedure that renews overall skin tone and texture by scraping dull and dead skin away painlessly. So instead of a chemical solution that encourages the peeling removal of dead skin, microdermabrasion gently scrapes it right off. 

The microdermabrasion tool uses either crystals or a diamond tip for exfoliation. Microdermabrasion can be done on your face or body and be administered as frequently as every two weeks or up to every eight weeks, depending on your aesthetic needs. Many patients begin with bi-weekly treatments for about three weeks and shift to a monthly maintenance treatment after that. You can expect treatment to take between 30 and 60 minutes. 

Microdermabrasion reduces the appearance of pores, fine lines, age spots, acne scars, and wrinkles by brightening the skin’s surface with a rejuvenated layer. 

Which Treatment is Right for Me?

When it comes down to chemical peels vs. microdermabrasion, there are a few things you may want to consider. First of all, chemical peels can stimulate collagen growth, helping your skin replenish the same magic that makes it firm, supple, and smooth. Microdermabrasion doesn’t introduce any type of micro-injury to the skin; therefore, it will not stimulate collagen growth. 

However, chemical peels tend to require some downtime depending on the treatment potency. Your skin may peel like a sunburn, so if you have a fancy event or special occasion planned, you may want to postpone it until your skin heals. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, requires no downtime at all. You can resume most activities right after treatment. 

While both treatments yield beautiful skin surface results, chemical peels can work deeper into the skin’s layers and help with harsh skin blemishes. Since it is more intensive, results last a bit longer (about 1 to 2 months). But chemical peels require a rigid pre-and post-treatment skincare routine for maximum results. However, frequent microdermabrasion treatments not properly spaced apart can possibly lead to thinning of the outer layer of your skin. Just keep that in mind. 

So, it all comes down to determining what your individual skincare needs and goals are. Then you may want to consider how much time you can dedicate toward recovery as well as how many treatments you would like to undergo. Chemical peels can be more targeted, but microdermabrasion is painless. So, each procedure certainly comes with its own pros and cons. 

Making the Decision

If you’re on the fence about chemical peels vs. microdermabrasion, it may be time to talk to the expert practitioners at First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. The knowledgeable and compassionate staff offer consultations to help you determine your skincare goals and treatment plan. Skin treatments are designed to support skin integrity, enhance appearance, and relieve skin conditions. 

There may be a case where neither treatment is right for your goals, but you could benefit from Botox® injections. You can be rest assured that the First Impressions team will guide you to the proper treatment that makes you feel good inside and out. The first step is to determine what you need to feel your best.


If you’re ready to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, then Botox® injections may be the treatment you’re looking for. Proven to be safe and effective, this procedure plumps up the skin and leaves you looking refreshed and radiant. Learn more when you download our FREE ebook, 10 Truth Bombs about Botox® and Fillers You’ll Be Relieved to Know.