The Difference Between Microdermabrasion and a Chemical Peel

The Difference Between Microdermabrasion and a Chemical Peel

Perfectly smooth, flawless skin rarely happens in nature — and it happens less and less often as we get older. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help, like microdermabrasion and chemical peels. The key is choosing the option that gets you the results you’re seeking.

At Starkey Medical Esthetics in Salem, Virginia, Michele Meinhart, FNP, uses a patient-centered approach to select the optimal treatment for her patients. By carefully reviewing your needs, your skin’s condition, and your treatment goals, she can help you map out a custom facial treatment plan, too.

Microdermabrasion vs. chemical peels

More than 1.5 million Americans opt for chemical peels and microdermabrasion every year to diminish or eliminate the appearance of nagging facial flaws, improving both their complexions and their self-confidence. 

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels are appealing for a couple of major reasons: Neither option involves surgery, and both are effective at helping skin look healthier, smoother, and more youthful.

Both microdermabrasion and chemical peels can be used to treat similar issues, including:

The primary differences between the two are how they remove the upper layers of damaged skin and how deeply they penetrate to achieve their effects.


Microdermabrasion uses a special applicator and mild abrasive “crystals” to slough away the upper layer of damaged skin. A tiny, built-in vacuum whisks away debris, leaving your skin smoother and more radiant. Because the effect is gradual, most people benefit from a series of treatments to soften fine lines and scars and keep pores unclogged.

Chemical peels

Chemical peels use special solutions to loosen the upper layers of damaged skin. Over time, the damaged layer peels off. 

The amount of peeling varies depending on the type and strength of the peel that’s used. Our team offers more than a half dozen different types of peels, including peels designed specifically for sensitive skin.

Choosing the right option

One of the best things about visiting a practice that offers a range of skin treatments is that you can completely customize your treatment for the best results based on your goals, your skin type, and other factors.

At Starkey Medical Esthetics, we offer microdermabrasion and chemical peels as separate treatments for fine lines, tone or textural improvement, and acne. But we also offer them as a combination, using microdermabrasion to prepare your skin so the chemical agents can penetrate more evenly and deeply.

The key to choosing the best treatment option is to begin by scheduling a skin evaluation, so we can assess your skin, review your concerns, and map out a treatment plan to help you reach your goals. Depending on the results you’re seeking, you might need one treatment or a series of treatments spaced out over several weeks for maximum effect.

Look — and feel — your best

Your skin isn’t just the most visible part of your body — it’s also your largest organ. By promoting better circulation and other natural healing responses, microdermabrasion and chemical peels can play important roles in maintaining skin health at every age — and especially as you get older. 

To learn more about microdermabrasion, peels, and other treatments to help you look and feel great, call or book an appointment online, and let us design a treatment plan just for you.

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