The Greater Appeal: Let’s Break Down Microneedling vs Chemical Peels

Nothing helps you maintain your skin’s beautiful glow like shedding the old layers of dead skin and gunk that have accumulated over time. There are some fantastic at-home products available, but even with regular use, you’ll want a professional service performed regularly. Two of the most popular non-surgical skin renewal treatments available include microneedling and chemical peels. But if you haven’t had either treatment done before, you may wonder what’s the difference? And which one is best for you? Both provide exceptional benefits, but here is what you need to know when it comes to microneedling vs chemical peels.

What is Microneedling?

First, it is important not to confuse microneedling with microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a skin treatment using a minimally abrasive, hand-held wand that gently glides over the skin removing thick layers of old skin. Essentially it’s a more advanced form of exfoliation. Microneedling is completely different.

Clinical microneedling uses a specialized implement consisting of several acupuncture sizes, sterilized, needles that create micro-channels in the skin, thereby creating what is medically termed a “controlled injury.” When performed by professionally trained skin health providers, microneedling is safe for the face, neck, and decollete, pretty much any area of skin on the body. As the needles puncture the skin at different depths, they cause minor surface damage (defined as a disruption of tissue integrity). These microscopic wounds induce skin cell proliferation (the remodeling of new skin). The rush of increased levels of blood and oxygen to the tissue, in turn, stimulates and increases the production of collagen and elastin. In essence, it tricks the body into thinking it’s injured and needs to fix the damaged area quickly.

This surge of blood, oxygen, and proteins can help treat other skin issues as well. You may have fine lines or wrinkles due to your body’s inability to produce the necessary collagen to support these areas (often due to age, smoking, medication, etc.) such as around the mouth, eyes, and forehead. Microneedling forces a surge of skin-repairing nutrients to a perceived injury (aka, wrinkle), forming new collagen and elastin at the treated site. This increase in volume results in diminishing the appearance and smoothing out of fine lines and wrinkles naturally. This can also help resolve issues such as uneven skin texture, some types of skin discoloration, or if you struggle with certain types of acne scars.

DIY – Take Home Microneedling

Now, there are some DIY at-home products you can purchase, however; when it comes to microneedling, none that we would recommend. At home roller-type puncture products are oftentimes unsafe, non-sterile, thicker needles, and more likely to cause infection or create skin injury or worse, long-term damage that may lead to permanent scarring. Other types of at-home skin care can prove beneficial when used correctly, but they should never puncture the skin. Buyers beware! Most of the products available for purchase online or on Instagram will cause more harm than good. Your safest bet is to leave this type of procedure to the medical professionals. 

What is a Chemical Peel?

As the name suggests, a chemical application is applied to your skin. The special combination of ingredients helps shed or peel away the outermost layers of skin. Depending on the type of chemical peel used and the strength of the chemical properties, it may penetrate deeper into the tissue, thereby removing deeper layers.

Most chemical peels work by removing the top layer of skin, the epidermis. Some stronger, deeper peels may even work down to the dermis. As with microneedling vs chemical peels, chemical peels initiate a repair response, stimulating the body to create new skin. Chemical peels are used to treat an array of skin concerns and range from gentle more superficial peels, to medium-depth peels and even some deep peels. They each contain beneficial ingredients specifically designed to treat various skin concerns such as; fine lines, rough texture, uneven skin tone, sun damage, acne scars, and a plethora of other skin issues you may be struggling with.

There are several safe at-home options available. DIY peels intended for home use consist of much lower potency, are usually made of fruit acids and are much less effective than the ones performed in a clinical setting. Even so, you need to be careful when using a chemical peel at home, as even these products can cause damage if left on the skin too long or if your skin type is intolerant to the ingredients. To avoid damaging delicate, new skin, please remember to apply an approved post-procedure sunscreen, regardless of the peel being performed at home or professional in the office.

Microneedling vs Chemical Peels

Both of these procedures can be used to rejuvenate skin to a more youthful appearance or treat damaged skin. Both cause a controlled form of trauma to the skin, initiating a response in the body to immediately begin repairing the damaged areas. However, there are some differences you need to know about. First, a chemical peel will remove layers of the skin. Microneedling doesn’t remove any skin. A chemical peel is like exfoliation on steroids, with microneedling, there is no exfoliation of the skin. So if you want to target the entire face, improving your skin’s natural, healthy glow, then you may lean more towards a chemical peel. Just FYI, chemical peels are not suitable for certain skin types.  

Professional microneedling treatments can target areas of your skin in a deeper way.  If you have moderate wrinkles of the forehead lines, crow’s feet, around the mouth and cheek area, or perhaps other problem areas, microneedling may be a more suitable option. It has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin than most chemical peels. Microneedling is safe and effective for almost every skin type.

Your skin tone may be a determining factor as to which procedure will be safest for you. In general, microneedling is relatively safe for any skin type. If however, you are darker complected, you should avoid certain types of chemical peels. Certain chemical peels may result in either hyper or hypo-pigmentation of the skin. This is the uneven lightening or darkening of areas after having a peel. More often this occurs in areas of the skin that did not receive the peel (around the eyes and mouth), there may also be some slight gradient discoloration. If you have concerns, we highly recommend you speak with your skin care professional. They will discuss in detail the levels of chemical peels, ingredients, and anticipated reactions.

Both options are equally beneficial. You just need to know the microneedling vs chemical peels which is best for you.

Schedule Your Skincare Treatment Today

Here at The Skin Center by CPS, we offer a wide range of non-surgical skin treatments, including microneedling and chemical peels. If after reading this blog you’re still unsure which treatment is right for you, we can help. Schedule your complimentary, in-person skincare consultation. We are your resource on how to improve the health of your skin and its overall appearance. You’re just a phone call away.  Don’t wait, call The Skin Center by CPS today.