Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning: Which Is Best For Your Skin

Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are safe and popular skin treatments that leave you with smooth, visibly brighter skin. So how does microdermabrasion compare to dermaplaning? Read on to find out which one is best for you.

Microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are non-invasive facial treatments that improve the appearance of wrinkles and dull skin. However, dermaplaning achieves the results with a scalpel, while microdermabrasion uses suction to exfoliate and clean the pores. 

This article will analyze both treatments, discuss when to use them, and what to expect the day of and after you’re done. You’ll learn everything you need to know about microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning.

microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning

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Differences Between Microdermabrasion and Dermaplaning

Microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are painless, minimally invasive cosmetic treatments that rejuvenate aging and damaged skin. They are temporary treatments whose results will last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Although they perform similar functions, microdermabrasion and dermaplaning have differences that set them apart.

Uses a tool with an abrasive surface to remove the thick outer layer.Removes the upper layer of damaged skin with a scalpel/razor.
The tool has a vacuum suction that exfoliates, cleans pores, and sucks the outer layer of the skin and other skin impurities.The scalpel scrapes off the outer, damaged layer of the skin to reveal the inner, glowing layer.
Improves the appearance of pores.Has no impact on skin pores.
Improves uneven skin tones.Doesn’t address hyperpigmentation.
There is no risk of bleeding.It is aggressive on the skin and may cause bleeding if done incorrectly.
Requires multiple treatments initially but results last longer for months.Results last a few weeks, so treatments are needed once a month.

Both cosmetic treatments are effective, but one may be more effective than the other depending on the skin conditions you want to treat.

Microdermabrasion is more effective if your goal is to improve the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and clogged pores. If your concerns are dull, dry skin with fine lines or wrinkles, you should go for dermaplaning.  Both can be done at home or in an office setting.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages to consider if you’re trying to figure out which one is best for you:



  • Pain-free and relatively non-invasive procedure.
  • Visibly improves the appearance of dry, damaged or aging skin.
  • Reverses early signs of premature skin aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. 
  • Stimulates collagen production to restore skin elasticity.
  • Reduces skin pigmentation.
  • Results last for several months.
  • No downtime after the procedure.


  • Several sessions are needed for visible results, with weekly sessions required initially.
  • Can cause irritation for people with sensitive skin.
  • High number of sessions can significantly increase the cost.
both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning will improve cell turnover
both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning will improve cell turnover



  • Results can be seen immediately after the first session.
  • Great option for people with sensitive skin.
  • Quick procedure that usually lasts under an hour.
  • Helps the skin absorb moisturizers and other skin treatments readily.
  • Excellent at reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Removes visible and hidden facial hairs.
  • No downtime required after each session.


  • Results only last for up to three weeks, requiring frequent sessions.
  • Will require constant sessions for consistent results, which will increase the cost if you are doing this in an office setting.
  • People with severe acne or active cystic acne are not candidates for this procedure.

Both microdermabrasion and dermaplaning have well-documented benefits. Multiple clinical trials are being carried out to verify the benefits of microdermabrasion and dermaplaning to evaluate their efficacy. 

A research study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that microdermabrasion is a safe and effective procedure with mild to moderate results. Dermaplaning studies are still ongoing but showing promising results.

Which treatment will work best for you depends on your type of skin, any skin conditions you may have, and your budget.

The Cost of Microdermabrasion vs. Dermaplaning

The price of microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are comparable. Microdermabrasion costs around $75 to $250 per session, while dermaplaning sessions cost between $75 and $200. This is of course for an in office treatment.

The price is influenced by:

  • The treatment area. If you are working on your entire face, you will pay more than if you worked on parts of your face. 
  • The popularity of the aesthetician. Some aestheticians are favored because of the skills they have exhibited. Some dermatologists will charge a higher price due to high demand. 
  • Additional services. Some cosmetic clinics charge higher prices because they offer extras, such as massage or chemical peels. 
  • The location of the clinic. High-end clinics will charge more for the treatment than budget clinics.  

Another option is to do these treatments at home. I don’t believe you will get the same results at home as you do in office, but considering the price is low and you can still get visible results I think it’s worth it. For dermaplaning I use these cheap Schick razors. They make my face incredibly smooth and remove peach fuzz.

An at home option for microdermabrasion is the PMD Personal Microdermabrasion Classic. With both of these at home options be careful not to overdo it and cause skin irritation. It’s always better to start slow and be careful to see how your skin reacts. Check out this article for more information on how often you should be doing microdermabrasion.

Side Effects of Microdermabrasion and Dermaplaning

Side Effects of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion rarely has any side effects. However, people with sensitive skin may experience:

  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Side Effects of Dermaplaning

Side effects of dermaplaning are equally rare. However, some of the side effects you should expect after a dermaplaning procedure include;

  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Red, swollen skin

After microdermabrasion or dermaplaning treatment, your skin may be sensitive. You will want to moisturize your skin more often to prevent dry and flaky skin. Try a gentle moisturizer with no added fragrance like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream or CeraVe PM Lotion for something more lightweight. You also need to use sunscreen because your skin will be sensitive to the sun, but you should be doing this everyday already!

How Your Skin Type Affects Whether Microdermabrasion or Dermaplaning Is Best for You

Microdermabrasion and dermaplaning are ideal treatments for all skin types. Both will work on your skin, whether it is dry, oily, mature, or sensitive skin. Unlike dermabrasion, which is not safe on people with darker skin, microdermabrasion does work on all skin tones.

However, certain conditions and circumstances can prevent some patients from receiving either treatment.

Microdermabrasion should be avoided by people with any of the following:

  • People prone to rosacea or eczema.
  • Anyone with an active or recent herpes infection. 
  • People currently taking or who have taken acne medication, such as isotretinoin, in the past six months.

Dermaplaning shouldn’t be performed on people with the following conditions:

  • Active cystic acne as it may increase inflammation.
  • Severe acne in the area to be treated with dermaplaning.
  • A mole that a dermatologist has not yet evaluated. 
  • Anyone taking acne medication, such as isotretinoin, as it increases the risk of scarring. 

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning: Effects on Skin Conditions

If your skin type is suitable for both procedures, you may want to look at which conditions each one is better suited for.

Skin Conditions Treated by Microdermabrasion

  • Uneven skin tone and texture
  • Enlarged pores
  • Acne scars
  • Fine lines and wrinkles 
  • Stretchmarks 

Skin Conditions Treated by Dermaplaning

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Peach fuzz or vellum hair 
  • Acne scars
  • Milia and comedones
  • Skin damaged by sun exposure

In most cases, a skincare professional can help you determine which treatment is most suitable depending on the skin conditions you want to treat. Some may recommend a combination of both treatments. 

For example, if you have large pores and peach fuzz, microdermabrasion will help with the enlarged pores, while dermaplaning is ideal for peach fuzz.

When combining the treatments, aestheticians usually prefer starting with dermaplaning because it is not aggressive. The skin is then exfoliated and resurfaced with microdermabrasion. 

Schick Hydro Silk Facials Razors for dermaplaning skin

What to Expect: Microdermabrasion vs. Dermaplaning

What to Expect During Microdermabrasion

If you are getting microdermabrasion, the skin specialist will use any of the following: 

  • A diamond-tip device. It is designed to exfoliate dead cells from your skin and suction them off. This applicator is used in more sensitive areas, like close to the eyes. The pressure applied will determine the depth of the abrasion. 
  • Crystal dermabrasion. The applicator releases fine crystals to exfoliate the skin. It then suctions the dead skin as it moves across your skin. Some of the crystals used are sodium bicarbonate and aluminum oxide.

Hydrodermabrasion- This process maximizes blood flow and stimulates collagen production. It involves using crystal-free exfoliation and the infusion of products into the skin. I’ve written an article all about Hydrodermabrasion, so if you’re interested in Microdermabrasion but want something a little gentler, check it out here.

You can also check out this article which compares microdermabrasion vs hydrodermabrasion if you’re unsure which is better for you.

What to Expect During Dermaplaning

For dermaplaning, the skin specialist will clean and dry your skin before using the scalpel at a 45-degree angle.

As the blade moves across your skin, the sensation will be similar to shaving. You will feel no discomfort, and a specialist will not bruise your skin. 

If it sounds like dermaplaning may be for you, check out my article all about dermaplaning benefits for more details.

What to Do After Microdermabrasion or Dermaplaning Treatments

You will notice glowing, smooth skin after either treatment. To maximize your results, you need to take measures to protect your skin from becoming damaged. 

Here are some tips to help you keep your new layer of skin healthy and glowing:

  • Wear sunscreen every day and reapply as necessary
  • Moisturize with a gentle moisturizer
  • Antioxidants prevent future damage and help your skin glow. Look for a serum with Vitamin C, Vitamin E or Green Tea. Wear it under your sunscreen daily to fight damaging UV rays. Read my review of one of my favorite Vitamin C Serums here.

A consistent skincare regimen and following up on future appointments will guarantee healthier, glowing skin.