Microneedling vs. Chemical Peel: Which is Better for You??

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Two fairly recent skin treatments are gaining popularity for both men and women: microneedling and chemical peels. Both procedures require no downtime and are fairly safe when done by a medical professional. However, not everyone may be qualified for these treatments, so it’s important for patients to know the differences between the two when choosing which procedure to try for their skin type. 

So which is better for you? Microneedling caters to any skin color, and is great for treating sagging skin and severe wrinkles, while chemical peels work better on fair-skinned patients, and effectively removes age spots, dark spots, and freckles, among other skin spots. Both microneedling and chemical peels can be done at home, but you can always have these professionally done in dermatology clinics, especially if you feel that it’s safer and better overall. 

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Microneedling vs. Chemical Peel

Microneedling and chemical peels are two cosmetic procedures available in most aesthetic clinics. Both are designed to treat certain skin issues that can be difficult to remove with home remedies and DIY beauty tools available to everyday users. 

How Microneedling Works

Microneedling – sometimes called collagen induction therapy by other clinics – is the process of using thin needles to puncture the skin. These microtears trigger the body’s natural healing process for skin trauma, resulting in elastin and collagen production. These substances repair the damaged layers of skin, getting rid of the broken skin tissue and replacing it with younger, healthier skin tissue. 

Microneedling with the shortest possible needle length is enough to trigger the production of collagen and elastin. Microneedling treatment done with longer needles, on the other hand, go deeper into the layers of the skin to repair more rooted issues like wrinkles and sun damage. No downtime is necessary for minor microneedling sessions, but those who use longer needles may take more time to recover from their sensitive skin. After several sessions, you can see visibly youthful, healthy skin. 

How Chemical Peels Treat Your Skin

Chemical peel treatments are a skin-resurfacing procedure that use a variety of chemical solutions to treat different types of skin issues.The procedure starts with cleaning your skin thoroughly and protecting your eye area.Then, a medical professional applies a numbing cream or anesthetic, especially if you’re opting for a medium or deep peel. Patients may also be sedated for a deep peel. A chemical solution consisting of acids and other active ingredients are applied to the skin, which will remove its top layer, getting rid of the damaged skin cells in the process. This will sting, but new skin will then grow in its place.

Peels can be light, medium, or deep, depending on what area of concern you’re trying to treat:

  • Light Chemical Peel – Also known as superficial peels, this removes the outer layer of your skin known as the epidermis. Good for wrinkles, acne, and uneven skin tones.
  • Medium Chemical Peel – Removes the epidermis plus the upper portion of your middle layer (the dermis). This is for deeper wrinkles and acne scars.
  • Deep Chemical Peel – Removes the skin cells deeper into the epidermis. Recommended for even deeper wrinkles, scars, and precancerous growths.  


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Pros and Cons 

MicroneedlingChemical Peels
Can Be Done at Home. For less invasive microneedling (just enough to trigger your body’s healing response), you can use microneedling devices at home. However, if you’re looking to treat heavier skin problems, it’s best to have it done in a medical facility.

Can Handle Sagging Skin and Severe Wrinkles. Chemical peels won’t treat skin concerns like deep wrinkles and sagging skin, but microneedling done by a professional can address these concerns.

Good for All Skin Colors. Chemical peels on people with darker skin colors can result in permanent discoloration. Microneedling, on the other hand, doesn’t use heat or chemicals, so it’s good for people of all skin types.
Can Be Done at Home. There are skincare products that offer users the chance to do chemical peels at home. However, these do not penetrate the skin as much, as these are often used only to exfoliate dead skin cells.

Treat Portions of Skin Evenly. If you have uneven skin pigmentation or textured skin, chemical peels can reduce its appearance. By getting rid of the outer layer of skin cells, it can reveal smoother skin with even skin pigmentation. Good for removing age spots, freckles, dark spots, and other permanent spots.  

One-Time Procedure. To treat heavier skin concerns with microneedling, you’ll need to schedule a session every six weeks. Deep chemical peels, on the other hand, won’t require repeat procedures, but you’ll need follow-up visits to your doctor to check if you are healing properly.  
Not Safe for People with Bacterial Infections. Those who have or are currently taking medication for skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis should not undergo microneedling. The bacteria can enter the microchannels and cause an infection.

May Not Show Instant Results. For microneedling to have visible effects, you’ll need to schedule multiple microneedling sessions. It can take around 4 to 5 sessions, which means it might be months before you see visible results.
Medium and Deep Chemical Peels Require Longer Recovery Time. Even the deeper microneedling treatments only need a day or two at most to recover from their procedure. Medium and deep chemical peels require up to three weeks of recovery time as a deep layer of skin cells will be removed.

More Expensive Than Microneedling. Microneedling can range from $300 to $500 per session. The cost depends on the peel you choose, but the average chemical peel can cost you around $675.  

Unlike other cosmetic procedures that can work together (like a combination of microneedling and PRP injections), microneedling and chemical peeling cannot be combined. 

Best & Worst Candidates for Chemical Peels

Shot of an attractive young woman touching her skin in front of the mirror

If you’re interested in trying a chemical peel, take note that not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. Here are some factors that can make a person a good, risky, or bad candidate. 

Fair-skinned and light-haired patients – chemical peels are less likely to discolor if the patient has a lighter complexion.Patients with darker skin – lighter chemical treatments may work, but it could cause permanent uneven skin tone.Patients with loose skin and severe wrinkles – Chemical peels cannot totally remove these, and it might be more practical to consider other treatments, such as facelifts and fillers.   

People suffering from herpes – This can trigger flares after the treatment. 

People who have taken acne medication in the last six months. This can affect the healing process for your acne.

Best & Worst Candidates for Microneedling

Microneedling also has criteria for good and bad candidates for the procedure. While it can treat certain types of skin concerns, those with a history of slow wound healing and bacterial infections are at risk.

Anyone with skin concerns. These can include fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, loose skin, stretch marks, acne scars, sun damage, other types of scarringPeople with bacterial skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis. This also includes people with active acne and people who are healing from acne. The bacteria can enter the microchannels and cause infection.

Choose the Procedure That’s Right for You with FACE Med Store

Microneedling and chemical peels offer a way to shed old skin cells and replace them with newer, younger-looking skin cells. While both procedures don’t answer every  skin concern, you can always go for the treatment that addresses your condition more effectively. Consult with a dermatologist or medical professional which procedure among the two is  better for you. 

FACE Med Store is a reliable provider of cosmetic and wellness tools and supplies to cosmetic and wellness centers. Our cost-effective products offer competitive rates that help businesses save on operating costs without sacrificing quality and customer satisfaction. 

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The Supplies Necessary For Microneedling

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All content in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not medical or legal advice. Please consult with lawyer or a medical professional.