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What’s the Difference Between Dermaplaning and Microdermabrasion?

Woman with exfoliated, glowing skin.

We all know that exfoliation is an important step in skincare. When it comes to professional-level skincare treatments that aim to deeply exfoliate, two names often pop up: dermaplaning and microdermabrasion.

Both procedures have their benefits and applications, but which one is right for you?

But First, Why Exfoliate?

Your body builds your skin from the inside out, creating layers of new skin cells that reach the surface over time. As this happens, older, outer layers of skin die off. Most of these cells are removed by natural processes or everyday cleaning. But some can stick around and build up on the surface, clogging pores, contributing to acne, increasing the appearance of scars, exacerbating wrinkles, and dulling your complexion.

Exfoliation, especially the deep exfoliation you can seek in professional treatments, removes these outer layers to reveal younger, clearer, and smoother skin below. In addition, exfoliation can remove embedded dirt, oil, and grime and allow for enhanced absorption of skincare products.

Exfoliating Treatments

Many at-home scrubs and treatments promise to exfoliate your skin, and they have their place in your daily or weekly routine. But, unfortunately, they do not compare with professional options. Luckily, there are several advanced methods available.

Two of the most common are dermaplaning and microdermabrasion. Both have some overlapping benefits, including deep cleaning and exfoliation, no recovery period, minimal invasiveness, and an affordable price tag. So which should you choose?

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a physical exfoliation method that involves using a sterile, surgical scalpel to gently scrape away the topmost layer of dead skin cells and peach fuzz. It sounds intimidating, but it’s an extremely gentle, non-invasive procedure.

Benefits of Dermaplaning

  • Smooth Skin: This procedure removes dead skin cells, resulting in an ultra-smooth surface.
  • Peach Fuzz Free: Many people love the added bonus of getting rid of the light facial hair that can trap oil and dirt.
  • Gentle: By gently scraping off the top layer of dead skin and hair, this treatment is not harsh or abrasive to sensitive skin types.

Conditions Treated with Dermaplaning

  • Dry skin
  • Superficial hyperpigmentation
  • Mild acne scars
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, uses crystal embedded wand to exfoliate and suction off the dead skin cells. Like dermaplaning, microdermabrasion is non-invasive and involves zero downtime.

Benefits of Microdermabrasion

  • Enhanced Collagen Production: The procedure stimulates blood flow, which can increase collagen production, thus rejuvenating the skin further.
  • Customizable: Depending on your skin’s needs, the intensity of the treatment can be adjusted.
  • Suction: Deeper cleansing to improve acne, blackheads, scars, and hyperpigmentation.

Conditions Treated with Microdermabrasion

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun-damaged skin
  • Acne and acne scars
  • Enlarged pores
  • Age spots

Dermaplaning vs. Microdermabrasion


Exfoliated Skin: Removes dead cells along with debris

Better that DIY: You will get a far better result than an at-home scrub with professional treatments.

Improved Skincare Absorption: With the topmost barrier removed, your skincare products can penetrate more deeply, enhancing their efficacy.

Easy Recovery: Both treatments are non-invasive and have no downtime.

Key Differences

Method: Dermaplaning uses a scalpel to scrape off dead skin and hair, while microdermabrasion uses a crystal-tipped handpiece with suction for exfoliation.

Hair Removal: Dermaplaning offers the added benefit of removing facial hair.

Treatment Depth: Microdermabrasion can be a deeper exfoliation, depending on the setting and method used.

How to Choose Between the Two

To make the right decision, consider the following (but always consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to evaluate your skin’s needs):

Skin Sensitivity: If you have highly reactive or sensitive skin, dermaplaning might be gentler.

Primary Concern: If hair removal is also a concern, opt for dermaplaning, as microdermabrasion has no effect on hair. If exfoliation and detoxification are your goals, or discoloration, scars, or acne are issues you wish to treat, choose microdermabrasion.

Combination Treatment: If you are seeking a more dramatic change, consider combining microdermabrasion with a chemical peel.

Which Will You Choose?

Whether you choose dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, or another treatment entirely, we are here to help you discover a treatment plan that aligns with your skin goals. Contact us to get closer to those goals today.