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Microdermabrasion vs. Microneedling: What are the Key Differences?

Woman undergoing a Microdermabrasion procedure


With the demand for natural-looking rejuvenation procedures, microdermabrasion and microneedling has grown in popularity. Both treatments stimulate collagen and boast little to no downtime. Many patients have difficulty choosing between microneedling and microdermabrasion to refresh their appearance, so we’re here to help with your decision.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive exfoliating treatment that helps resurface the top layer of the skin with a gentler buffing tip to rid the skin of minor to moderate impurities and concerns. The buffing wand used during a microdermabrasion treatment acts like sandpapering a wall before painting it – your skin is cleaned and cleared, with the exfoliating tip spraying small crystals on the skin to scrape off dead skin cells.

After your treatment, you will enjoy an improvement in your skin’s tone and texture and a reduction in acne scars, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment that uses tiny needles to puncture the skin’s surface, triggering its natural healing response and stimulating collagen production. This treatment can improve the skin’s tone and texture, reduce the signs of aging, acne scars, enlarged pores, and even stretch marks.

Microneedling uses a handheld device with hundreds of small needles inside, creating controlled wounds on the skin’s surface. This treatment boasts impressive results and minimal downtime.

Similarities between Microdermabrasion and Microneedling

Microneedling and microdermabrasion share some similarities, predominantly pertaining to both treatments being available to be performed on the face and body, along with both being minimally invasive and having little to no downtime. However, there are differences in how the treatments are administered and the results you can achieve.

Key Differences between Microneedling and Microdermabrasion

While both microneedling and microdermabrasion can improve your skin’s tone and texture while treating skin concerns, there are some key differences you should consider when choosing which procedure is best for you.

Recovery & Downtime

Microdermabrasion is a gentle treatment requiring no downtime, while microneedling is a bit more intensive and may give you some side effects when you return to normal activities. Microdermabrasion can leave you with mild redness, swelling, and bruising that will disappear after a few days. Avoid scratching the treatment area. Microneedling can cause redness, swelling, and bruising in the treatment area, which will disappear within 2 weeks. Avoid tanning and apply pressure to the treatment area to promote quick healing.


Both microneedling and microdermabrasion results require some patience – you will see the full effect of your microdermabrasion treatment within 5-16 treatments, while microneedling takes several weeks to show its results. New collagen growth can take months, and maintenance sessions are often suggested to keep your rejuvenated look.

While microdermabrasion is less invasive, microneedling requires fewer sessions as it is a more abrasive treatment. Microneedling also boasts longer-lasting results, but microdermabrasion is perfect for anyone with minor to moderate concerns needing a refreshing facial.

Procedure Areas & Concerns

While microdermabrasion is well-suited for minor concerns like a dull complexion or sun spots, microneedling can treat skin conditions like alopecia, hyperhidrosis, rosacea, and stretch marks. Both treatments can be focused on the face, hands, and body.

Severity That Can Be Treated

Since microneedling is a more abrasive treatment, it can treat deeper skin concerns and conditions compared to microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is great for treating minor skin concerns and promoting collagen production, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin and cannot undergo intensive treatment. Microneedling is more effective for treating oily or acne-prone skin, darker skin tones, and undesirable textures.

Which One Should You Choose?

While both treatments address similar cosmetic issues, they also boast varying depths of treatment, abilities, and recovery times. You will be able to figure out the type of treatment you want to receive and how long you want the results to last during your consultation at the SpaMedica clinic.

Since microneedling is a more aggressive procedure, it is often recommended for patients with severe skin concerns and deep skin conditions who have oily skin, a darker skin tone, or discolouration and texture issues.

Alternatively, microdermabrasion is a light procedure that improves minor skin concerns while boasting impressive results. It is a great treatment option if you want to refresh your skin without changing your appearance. However, the best way to determine the treatment path for your unique skin concerns and goals is to book a consultation with the SpaMedica team.

Book a Consultation Today

SpaMedica offers both microneedling and microdermabrasion treatments for both the lightest skin concerns and the deeper issues. Book a consultation with our talented medical team of nurses and doctors at the state-of-the-art SpaMedica clinic today to put your best face forward!

By SpaMedica Infinite Vitality Clinic Non-Surgical

The team at Toronto's SpaMedica comprises a distinguished group of Canada's top dermatologists, nurses, and technicians, specializing in non-surgical cosmetic procedures. With a wealth of experience and credentials, the team expertly delivers anti-aging, body contouring, laser skin, skincare, and vaginal treatments. Known for their commitment to patient care and exceptional results, the medspa team continues to lead the industry in innovative techniques.
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