Combining Microdermabrasion and Light Chemical Peels

I heard a combination of microdermabrasion and a light peel can do wonders for the skin.  How often should the treatments be performed, and which should be done first? Can microdermabrasion be alternated with mild exfoliating pads instead of a light peel to produce a similar effect?? Thanks in advance. Brenda

Doctor Answers 7

Microdermabrasion and light chemical peels--wonderful? Maybe

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Microdermabrasion is an older treatment that has largely fallen out of poplularity as the results are minimal at best in most cases. That does not mean that people do not like the results as it does make the skin feel smooth, well at least for a week or two, as it removes the dead skin cells and keratin on top of the skin.

The combination of microdermabrasion and chemical peeling has become a recent fad, especially with estheticians and those less experienced with deeper peels. This combination does offer some advantages as the skin feels smoother and superficial peels can penetrate deeper into the skin. This is not to say that the same cannot be accomplished with a stronger peel without the microdermabrasion, because it can.

The bottom line is that if you like the combination of both and do not mind spending the extra money for microdermabrasion, then go for it. If you are not a lover of the smooth feeling that occurs immediately after microdermabrasion, then take a pass on the microdermabrasion and go for stronger peels. In the long run, it should be cheaper anyway and will have at least the same long-term benefits.

Boca Raton Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

A combination approach is the best way to rejuvenate your appearance.

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I do think that a combination of microdermabrasion and chemical peels offers a great solution for skin rejuvenation. However, there are other combinations that may work for you too: laser resurfacing plus BOTOX® Cosmetic and a dermal filler, or chemical peels plus rejuvenating facials, and so on. Really the list is virtually endless. Regardless of the specific treatments, a combination approach will definitely give you more comprehensive results than one treatment on its own. Find a cosmetic surgeon who will work out a long-term treatment plan for you that will address your particular needs (sun damage, frown lines, uneven skin tone, etc.), ensuring that you’re getting the right product/treatment for the right concerns.

Melapeel for the skin - Chemical peels in Los Angeles

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My chemical peel of choice is the MelaPeel to rejuvenate the skin and reduce pigmentary discoloration in patients on their hands, legs, and face. Raffy Karamanoukian, Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Microdermabrasion and Light Chemical Peels

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Great idea.

It is a safe way to do wonders to your skin. Then why do most people don't use this approach??

Because it involves patience and most of us are not patient people.


Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

These treatments take judgement for use on dark skin

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Facial skin treatments take judgment particularly when performed on those with darker skin. Too strong a peel/abrasion can stimulate the development of pigment variations that can look funky. In extreme situations this can produce a mess that may take quite a while to sort out.

With this being said, many aestheticians combine microdermabrasion with light chemical peels to get more improvement. It just needs to be done by someone with least in my opinion.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Microdermabrasion and light chemical peels

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Microdermabrasion physically removes the dead surface skin cells and stimulates collagen.  Light chemical peels chemically remove the dead skin cells and can penetrate into the pores to clean them.  These treatments complement each other and can be alternated every 2 weeks initially for 3 months and then monthly for maintenance.  Exfoliating pads would be milder than a peel but would still offer some help.  Home maintenance with tretinoin cream or an AHA is important.  Remember to use sun protection daily.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

Microdermabrasion and chemical peels

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I still do a lot of chemical peels and microdermabrasion as well as oxygen facials to the skin.  It definitely improves the tone, texture, and complexion of the skin.  The mild exfoliating pads that have alpha-hydroxy acids can be used as well.  These traditional methods still work well to rejuvenate the skin but may take longer than doing Fraxel and other lasers.  Also, these methods work on all skin type, especially those with sensitive skin or people who may not be candidates for lasers.  Please find someone experienced in cosmetic dermatology!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.