Facial Treatments

Microneedling vs Microdermabrasion: Which is Right for You?

microneedling procedure

Everyone’s skin is different. A treatment that works for one person might not work for another, so knowing how best to treat your skin is key to achieving the results you’re looking for.

Microneedling and microdermabrasion are two of the most popular skin treatments out there. Both are designed to improve the appearance of skin, but a few key differences set them apart.

At Illusion Laser Clinic, we’re passionate about making you feel confident in your own skin. In the guide below, we explain all you need to know about microneedling and microdermabrasion, so you can make an informed decision on which is the right choice for you.

What is microneedling?

First used in the 1990s, microneedling is a cosmetic treatment used on the face and body. It’s sometimes known as collagen induction therapy.

During the procedure, a trained practitioner will use a device called a dermaroller or microneedling pen to create tiny punctures in the skin. These micro-injuries stimulate the body’s natural healing response and promote the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential proteins for maintaining the skin’s elasticity.

The skin is left feeling softer and smoother, with fewer marks and less discolouration. Multiple sessions may be needed to get the best results.

microneedling being carried out on woman

What is microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a procedure designed to rejuvenate the outer layer of skin on the face or body. First introduced in the 1980s, microdermabrasion is split into two main types: crystal microdermabrasion and diamond microdermabrasion

During crystal microdermabrasion, super-fine crystals are delivered from the microdermabrasion machine to a glass or stainless-steel wand. A practitioner will use the wand to deliver a controlled stream of crystals over the skin, which will gently exfoliate the skin’s upper layers. The crystals and exfoliated skin particles are simultaneously vacuumed away through the same wand and deposited into a separate receptacle on the machine, ready to be disposed of.

Diamond microdermabrasion is similar, but instead of using crystals, it involves the use of a wand with a diamond-encrusted tip. A practitioner passes the abrasive tip over the skin, exfoliating its outermost layer. Like the crystal version, the exfoliated particles are then vacuumed away through the same wand.

Both types of microdermabrasion help to remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, and promote the growth of new skin cells. Multiple sessions are usually needed for best results.


How do microneedling and microdermabrasion compare?

While they share similar goals, microneedling and microdermabrasion use different techniques to achieve them. Below, we’ve explored the three main differences between the processes.

Depth of treatment

During microneedling, the practitioner will use the fine needles to penetrate the skin at varying depths. The needles can address concerns deep within the skin, making them ideal for concerns that can’t be addressed with a less invasive procedure.

Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, only targets the outermost layer of the skin. It provides a less intense level of exfoliation and is better suited for surface-level concerns.

Skin concerns addressed

Microneedling primarily targets issues such as:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne scars
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Stretch marks

While microdermabrasion is better at addressing concerns like:

  • Dull skin
  • Rough texture
  • Age spots
  • Sun damage
  • Clogged pores

Pain and downtime

Microneedling may cause some discomfort, but a topical numbing cream can be applied before the procedure to reduce this. The skin may appear red and swollen for a day or two, with a short recovery time.

Microdermabrasion is generally considered painless – at worst, there’ll be a mild scratching or vibrating sensation during the treatment. There might be temporary redness or sensitivity, but it usually subsides within a few hours.

Is microneedling or microdermabrasion right for your skin?

The right treatment for your skin depends on your specific skin concerns and budget. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What skin concern do I want treated?

As mentioned before, each treatment is better at treating certain conditions than the other. Take a moment to think about your primary concerns and compare them with the advantages provided by each treatment option.

2. How deep do I want the treatment to go?

Microneedling reaches further into the skin, stimulating collagen production and addressing concerns at a deeper level. Microdermabrasion focuses on superficial exfoliation, targeting the outermost layer of the skin for surface-level improvements.

3. What’s my pain tolerance?

Although neither procedure is painful, microneedling may cause some discomfort. A topical numbing cream can be applied beforehand to minimise it.

Microdermabrasion is generally painless, causing a very mild scratching or vibrating sensation at most.

4. How long do I want to wait for recovery?

Microneedling may result in temporary redness and swelling for a day or two, requiring a short recovery period. Microdermabrasion typically has minimal downtime, with temporary redness and sensitivity that subside within a few hours.

5. How sensitive is my skin?

Microneedling can be safely used on all skin types, including delicate and sensitive skin. However, pregnant women, people with eczema, or those with open wounds (such as acne) in the targeted area should refrain from undergoing the procedure.

Microdermabrasion can be used on most skin types but should be avoided if you have conditions like rosacea, eczema, lupus, or very sensitive skin.

6. What’s my budget?

Microneedling is a more advanced procedure, so it tends to be slightly more expensive per session than microdermabrasion. However, it usually requires fewer sessions overall.

microneedling carried out on woman by Illusion Laser Clinic

Talk to the experts in skin rejuvenation

If you’re still not sure which treatment is best for you, don’t worry! Our team of qualified practitioners are here to help.

During your free consultation with us, we’ll take the time to understand your skin concerns and identify the best procedure to address them. If you’re happy to go ahead, we’ll book in your treatment at a time and date that suits you.

Located in Verwood, our state-of-the-art clinic offers a wide range of skin rejuvenation and body contouring treatments. We have the skill and experience to provide high-quality care on every level, so whichever treatment you decide on, you can be sure you’re in good hands.

Book a free consultation online or call us on 01202 124 214 to get started today!