If you’re interested in rejuvenating your skin, you might be wondering about the differences between microdermabrasion and glycolic peels. Both treatments will resurface and exfoliate the skin by removing the superficial outer layer. However, microdermabrasion and glycolic peels involve a different means of attaining the desired results and are recommended for different skin types and conditions.
What is microdermabrasion? This treatment involves spraying fine crystals onto the surface of the skin in order to remove the outermost dead skin cells. Microdermabrasion aims to improve superficial skin imperfections. This includes age spots, fine lines, mild acne scars, sun damage, and fine wrinkling around the eyes, mild acne scars, age spots or sun spots, enlarged or visible pores, and fine lines. Because microdermabrasion is a simple resurfacing of the top layer of the skin, it is not recommended for deep wrinkles, moderate to severe scars, or pigmentary problems. Microdermabrasion treatment offers an added benefit in that it stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin, creating a more vibrant appearance.
For clients in search of a simple skin-rejuvenating procedure with few side effects and minimal recovery time, microdermabrasion may be an ideal choice. Because surface skin cells are removed during the treatment, there is no peeling afterwards, and recovery time is minimal. However, clients with more prominent skin imperfections may wish to consider a glycolic peel.
A glycolic peel is a mild and effective skin peel that uses AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid). The treatment involves applying a glycolic acid solution to the skin. Glycolic acid breaks up the surface skin cells to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin, uncovering newer skin cells over time. A glycolic peel will address deeper skin conditions, such as acne, sun damage and wrinkling. Glycolic peels offer the advantage of penetrating into the pores to dissolve acne plugs, and glycolic acid is able to both draw out old skin and draw moisturizers into the skin. Recovery time is generally minimal.
How do the treatment processes differ? Microdermabrasion is painless and relatively quick –a facial treatment usually lasts about 30 minutes. Microdermabrasion does require several treatments to achieve the desired appearance – 10-12 treatments may be necessary, along with sessions every six to eight weeks to maintain results. A glycolic peel usually takes 10-15 minutes for the peel itself, depending on the strength of the solution and the skin’s level of adaptation to the treatment. A series of treatments is recommended for optimal results, and treatments are delivered three to four weeks apart.