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Microdermabrasion vs. Chemical Peels: The Differences in Professional Exfoliation

When it comes to achieving smoother, brighter, and more youthful-looking skin, professional exfoliation treatments are one of the best places to start. 

Two of our most popular facials are microdermabrasion and chemical peels. While both treatments aim to exfoliate the skin and improve its appearance, they have distinct differences in how they work, their benefits, and who they are most suitable for.

Here’s a guide to choosing the best option for you!


How They Work

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive exfoliation treatment that uses a handheld device to gently remove the outer layer of dead skin cells. This device typically features a diamond-tipped wand that is glided across the skin's surface. 

As the wand moves across the skin, it exfoliates the epidermis, stimulating cell turnover and promoting collagen production. The vacuum suction of the device also helps to remove the dead skin cells and debris, leaving the skin smooth and rejuvenated.

On the other hand, chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which causes exfoliation and shedding of the outer layers. The solution typically contains ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). These acids work by breaking down the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing them to slough off more easily. 

Depending on the strength of the peel, the depth of exfoliation can vary, ranging from superficial to deep.


Microdermabrasion offers several benefits for the skin, including:

  • Smoothes skin texture

  • Improves skin tone, reducing pigmentation and sun damage

  • Minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

  • Reduces acne scars and blemishes

  • Increases radiance

  • Increases penetration of skincare ingredients

  • No downtime

Chemical peels offer similar benefits, but with the added advantage of customisable strength and depth of exfoliation. Depending on the specific concerns being addressed, different types of peels can be selected to achieve optimal results. 

Superficial peels are ideal for mild exfoliation and refreshing the skin's appearance, while deeper peels can target more advanced concerns such as wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.


Microdermabrasion is suitable for individuals with:

  • Mild to moderate skin concerns such as dullness, uneven texture, and fine lines

  • All skin types, including sensitive skin

  • Those seeking a gentle exfoliation treatment with no downtime

On the other hand, chemical peels are ideal for individuals with:

  • Moderate to severe skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, and signs of ageing

  • Less sensitive skin that can tolerate chemical exfoliation

  • Those looking for more dramatic results and willing to undergo a brief recovery period, including some mild redness or flaking

Both microdermabrasion and chemical peels are effective exfoliation treatments that can help improve the appearance of the skin. 

While microdermabrasion offers a gentle exfoliation option with minimal downtime, chemical peels provide customisable solutions for addressing a wide range of skin concerns. 


To determine the best option for your skin, we recommend booking a consultation with one of our skincare experts. Book your consultation today to discover how microdermabrasion or chemical peels can refine and refresh your skin!

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