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Microneedling vs. Microdermabrasion

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Although the names sound similar, micro-needling and microdermabrasion are completely different cosmetic and skin care procedures for healthier-looking skin. Micro-needling and microdermabrasion benefit similar skin conditions like acne scars, dull skin, and wrinkles. People try these procedures to treat various skin concerns.

Let’s discuss what micro-needling and microdermabrasion are, who can use them, and the benefits these procedures offer.



What Is Microneedling?

Microneeding is an invasive cosmetic procedure that uses tiny sterilized needles to trigger collagen production in the skin, which helps the skin heal and rejuvenate. The RF microneedling, however, uses radiofrequency waves and needles to rejuvenate the skin. This procedure improves appearance by making the skin tone even – reducing scars/spots and making skin firmer.


Microneedling can be used with other skincare / cosmetic technologies like a laser. The procedure might be moderately painful and take a few days to heal.

What Are the Benefits of Microneedling?


After microneedling, the skin’s collagen production and skin tissue regeneration increase. This rejuvenation leaves you with many benefits, including:

  • Fading scars, acne spots, wrinkles, stretch marks

  • Reducing enlarged pores

  • Evening hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone

  • Improving skin’s firmness and elasticity

  • Improving alopecia condition by increasing hair growth

The microneedling before and after experience often inspires individuals to feel more confident and satisfied with their skin, boosting self-esteem and promoting a positive outlook on skincare maintenance.

It’s even great for older people - wrinkles being their main skin problem. And after treating these stubborn wrinkles, they notice and feel the legit difference between microneedling before and after wrinkles appearance.

How Does Microneedling Work?

Tiny fine needles of 0.5 to 3 millimeters are used during the micro-needing procedure. A medical specialist performs it and creates tiny holes in the skin.

The most common tool for micro-needling is a derma roller which includes a wheel with needles around it. The specialist can create up to 250 holes for every square centimeter by rolling the derma roller. However, your doctor may also use a micro-needling machine. It has a tip that’s similar to a tattoo machine.

Since it’s an invasive procedure that uses needles, it can be painful. Although the intensity isn’t the same for many, a numbing cream/ local anesthetic minimizes the pain.

What Is Microdermabrasion?


Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive skincare technique that uses minimal abrasion to exfoliate the skin gently. This results in removing dead skin cells revealing the fresh skin underneath. The procedure improves overall skin conditions, like skin tone and texture. This is an excellent way of treating skin when it’s affected by acne, wrinkles, sun exposure, and other skin concerns.

Microdermabrasion uses nothing that penetrates the skin. It uses an applicator or device to sand away uneven or thick top layers - allowing the skin to rejuvenate and look better.

What Are the Benefits of Microdermabrasion?


Microdermabrasion helps stimulate skin healing and improve appearance. Some benefits include:

  • Triggering collagen production and healthy new cells

  • Smoothing out scar surfaces and edges to reduce their appearances

  • Fading spots, pigmentation, uneven skin tone

  • Removing dead cells from the skin using a painless method

  • Skin heals almost instantly after the procedure

  • Reducing fine lines, age spots, and dullness on the skin

  • Free of chemicals and rays, making it suitable for sensitive skins

  • Treating congested pores by clearing dead cells and oils

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?


A licensed skin care professional performs microdermabrasion. This procedure is painless and fast and might need about an hour. The supervision of a healthcare professional depends on the person’s skin condition.

Many microdermabrasion devices are available; three are primarily used to perform the process. These are:

  1. Microdermabrasion with Diamond-tip handpiece

  2. Microdermabrasion with Crystals

  3. Hydra dermabrasion

The diamond tip device has features of exfoliating the skin and suctioning the dead cells off your skin simultaneously. This device is usually used in sensitive areas of the skin as it’s possible to control the abrasion intensity by varying the pressure and suction duration.


On the other hand, crystal microdermabrasion uses a handpiece that emits crystals. It gently sprays crystals on the face and simultaneously suctions off dead cells. Fine crystals are used in such procedures, which might include elements like aluminum oxide and sodium bicarbonate.

Hydra dermabrasion is a skincare treatment that combines the exfoliating benefits of traditional microdermabrasion with the infusion of hydrating serums. It uses a specialized device to cleanse, exfoliate, and hydrate the skin using a supersonic nozzle – leaving the skin smoother, brighter, and more hydrated.

Which Skin Types Benefit from Microneedling and Microdermabrasion?


Microneedling and microdermabrasion are suitable for almost all skin types and skin tones. However, if a procedure combines micro-needling with laser, it’s not recommended for people with deeper skin tones.

Microneedling and microdermabrasion may not suit individuals with active acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, open wounds, sunburned skin, or recent chemical peels. Additionally, pregnant women, individuals with blood clotting disorders, or those taking certain medications should consult a dermatologist before undergoing these treatments.

Become an Esthetician

Are you passionate about skincare and beauty? Become an esthetician with Cortiva and receive comprehensive training in multiple modalities, including facials, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels. Fill out our form to secure your spot today!


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