Microdermabrasion VS Dermaplaning – Which Gives Better Results?

By Emily M.| Last updated on November 10, 2022
microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning
⏱️ 5 min read

Microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are both mechanical exfoliating treatments. While they offer similar benefits, there are some key differences between them that make them better suited to particular skin concerns.

Let’s compare microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning and help you decide which to get.

So, What’s the Difference Between Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning?

Both treatments are a form of skin resurfacing. They’re both based on mechanical exfoliation that removes the outermost skin layer and reveals fresh, new, radiant skin underneath.

But the way they do physical exfoliation is different. The key difference is that microdermabrasion is a more superficial and abrasive technique while dermaplaning goes deeper and is gentler.

But let’s zoom in on each procedure:

The Microdermabrasion Procedure

Microdermabrasion is done with a handpiece that has a rough rotary tip. In the middle of the tip is a suctioning hole, so the handpiece actually performs suction simultaneously with the exfoliation, taking away everything that comes off the skin.

The surface of the tip is either abrasive, covered with diamond grit, or has a smoother surface that shoots out crystal particles that are then scrubbed against the skin.

Either way, the principle is the same: as the device passes over your skin, it exfoliates the skin and then vacuums the debris.

microdermabrasion procedure
Image source: Instagram @emilylouisebeautyaesthetics

The Dermaplaning Procedure

Dermaplaning is done with a surgical scalpel that gently scrapes the face’s surface at a 45-degree angle. It’s similar to shaving, but since the blade is very sharp, it removes more than just the peach fuzz.

The procedure can remove up to 2 weeks of dead skin, dirt, and excess oils from the face. It’s a totally non-invasive procedure that is often paired with other facial treatments, most commonly a very light chemical peel.

dermaplaning procedure
Image source: Instagram @rarebeauty_nwa

Can Microdermabrasion and Dermaplaning Be Combined?

That depends on the order in which you want to do them.

Microdermabrasion shouldn’t be followed by dermaplaning because dermabrasion previously damaged the skin, causing irritation and the need for healing time.

But the other way around, dermaplaning first then microdermabrasion, ensures that even more debris is removed by microdermabrasion. Dermaplaning is less aggressive so microdermabrasion can follow it.

So the correct order would be: dermaplaning first, microdermabrasion second.

microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning
Image source: Instagram @clove.studios

How to Decide Between Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning?

Both treatments are great for making your skin look younger and brighter. However, the choice of which one to get should be decided according to your specific skin concerns and needs.

Let’s see how microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning compares for each specific skin concern.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning for Acne & Blackheads

Comedones and acne breakouts are caused by excess oil, dirt, product residue and debris that become trapped in pores, clogging them and causing them to become breeding grounds for bacteria.

And while both procedures help clear out the pores and prevent a breakout, microdermabrasion has shown to be more effective in removing all that gunk.

Microdermabrasion removes dead skin cells same as dermaplaning, but on top of that, it has an additional step of vacuuming away the debris and with it everything else that the old skin layer was blocking.

Microdermabrasion also shrinks pores. As the size of the pores is reduced, there’s less congestion.

As for dermaplaning, the biggest benefit is that it removes peach fuzz as well, which prevents debris from clinging onto it.

But neither of these treatments can be done on active acne! Treatments done on active breakouts can cause further inflammation and make it even worse.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning tools
Image source: Instagram @the_beauty_bar_idaho

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning for Hyperpigmentation

Treating hyperpigmentation with either of these procedures will bring positive results. As they’re both skin resurfacing techniques, meaning they uncover a fresh skin layer once the old one is removed, the appearance of dark spots is diminished.

The discoloration is caused by melanin overproduction, and it can manifest as melasma, sunspots, or as a result of skin injury, inflammation or a side effect of other skin conditions.

It’s important to understand that minimizing hyperpigmentation is done progressively, with multiple sessions to achieve an improvement.

microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning treatment
Image source: Instagram @girlswithlashes

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning for Wrinkles & Fine Lines

The anti-aging effects of these procedures are minimal, but some improvement can be achieved.

There’s an increased cell turnover and higher production of collagen and elastin after these procedures. After any kind of skin injury, even mild, the collagen will flood to the hurt area and jumpstart its healing process by creating new skin.

This is the case with both treatments, so in theory, even non-invasive procedures like dermaplaning can make some difference.

After scraping off the old skin, the complexion looks brighter and there’s a slight blurring, smoothening effect. This makes the pores look smaller, which can help fine lines be less visible.

So fine lines are softened, but there’s not much that these treatments can do for wrinkles.

If we had to choose a winner for this round it would have to be microdermabrasion as it has shown progress in consistent use.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning for Scarring

Same as with wrinkles and fine lines, these treatments can help treat scarring – microdermabrasion can more than dermaplaning.

While dermaplaning can help treat scarring if done consistently, microdermabrasion is still more successful at reducing scars, especially shallow depressed ones. With repeated treatments, those can be dramatically lightened.

However, there’s not much that microdermabrasion can do for deeper acne scars like icepick or boxcar scars because they penetrate deeper than the skin.

The original dermabrasion is more efficient in those situations because it is more severe and removes a thicker layer of skin, but it’s a serious, invasive treatment.

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning for Scarring
Image source: Instagram @cassini_beauty

Alternative Treatments

It’s important to note that most of these issues won’t be resolved with just one session of microdermabrasion or dermaplaning. At least not in more severe cases.

If you are looking to target just one specific concern, look into a treatment that is intended for that exact issue. Microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are useful for improving the complexion overall, but they’re not that specialized for particular conditions.

Look into:

Chemical Peels
Microdermabrasion vs Microneedling
Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peels
Microneedling vs Chemical Peels

If you’re still unsure about which treatment to get, even after this microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning comparison, consult your technician.

After all, they’re trained to recognize what the skin needs and recommend the best course of action.

Cover Image Source: Freepik



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