Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning vs Microneedling, My Experience and Results!

Rachel Vrabel Last Updated: October 23, 2017 6

*Updated with a video of my sister getting microneedling! See bottom*

Hello Beauties! Today I’m going to tell you about my personal experiences with three of the most popular, non-surgical skin treatments:

  • Microdermabrasion (Price $125)
  • Dermaplaning (Price $125)
  • and Microneedling (aka the “Vampire Facial”, Price $125 + $125 for “optional” special serum infusion, total $250)

If you’re considering one of these treatments, I think this review will help you decide.

I decided to try these procedures because I was looking for a way to rejuvenate my skin without being too invasive and I’ve had all three performed in the past six months.

While I loved all of them, I definitely have a favorite so keep reading!

Treatment #1 – Microdermabrasion

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is an non-chemical, non-invasive procedure that uses a small electric instrument to spray tiny exfoliating crystals onto the skin while suctioning away all the debris.

Microdermabrasion before and after

Some use a fixed diamond crystal exfoliating tip which essentially scrapes the surface layers of the skin while suctioning.

Both methods exfoliate to remove the superficial layer of dry, dead skin cells to reveal younger, healthier looking skin.

Microdermabrasion works best on problems such as dull skin, brown spots and age spots. It can also help improve acne and remove black heads.

This is a subtle treatment with virtually no down time aside from a little pinkness for about 24 hours. It can be performed on all skin types and colors.

My Experience with Microdermabrasion

I was so excited to get my first microdermabrasion treatment! I had only had regular facials done before, and while they’re super relaxing and pampering, they really don’t create a huge change in the skin.

My technician use a fixed diamond crystal tip (vs. the exfoliating spray type) and I had it done on my face, neck and chest.

Those are my three problem areas with fine lines and wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation and just dull, aging skin.

The procedure itself was quick and painless and I was in and out in about an hour. She cleansed and prepped my skin, and went to town dragging the pen across my face in a methodical manner.

You can feel the suction and I especially liked how it felt on my nose, sucking all the pores clean!

When she was done she showed me all the gunk that had been suctioned off my face which was gross! The whole tip was filled with brown gunk – all my dead skin. But seeing that made me feel optimistic!

She then applied a light pumpkin enzyme peel which took another 15 minutes. I could feel it tingling but this was a fairly gentle peel on the alphahydroxy scale.

Post-micro is a great time to have an add on treatment such as a light peel since it will penetrate more deeply through the fresh skin.

Leaving the salon post-microdermabrasion, my skin was a little pink but nothing drastic and no tenderness, and my skin was definitely glowing!

Here’s my before and after pic, the after pic was about an hour post procedure. I don’t have any makeup on in either picture.

Microdermabrasion before and after

By the next day, the pinkness was gone and my skin looked great.

Not a drastic change, but I did feel like I had a better radiance to my skin.

It was smoother, more even toned and my makeup went on more smoothly. There wasn’t a huge change to my hyper-pigmentation, but it did seem a tad lighter all around.

This picture was from about a week post microdermabrasion (with a little bit of makeup). I do feel like I had a bit of a glow and I got a few compliments on my skin.

Microdermabrasion before and after photosI liked the results, so I had a second treatment done about a month later.

Again I had a temporary glowing of the skin, smoothness, more radiance, and overall I feel like my skin texture improved a bit which seemed to last.

I think Micro-dermabrasion is a good treatment, and I think a series of treatments would have more of a cumulative effect.

For best results, it’s recommended that you do a series of 5-6 treatments at least 3 weeks apart.

However, I decided to try something different! Dermaplaning….with a razor! Eek!

Treatment #2 – Dermaplaning

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning is a method of exfoliating the skin by using a scalpel (basically a very sharp blade) to gently scrape off the top layer of dull, dead skin cells in order to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion.

Dermaplaning the face

Dermaplaning offers some of the same exfoliating benefits as microdermabrasion, however there is quite a difference.

Dermaplaning also removes the velus hairs from your face (the peach fuzz) to leave your skin smooth all over whereas microdermabrasion does not.

However, with microdermabrasion you get the added bonus of the suctioning of pores around the nose, chin, and mouth or wherever you may have enlarged, clogged pores.

Both treatments exfoliate to prime the face for further skin rejuvenation such as chemical peels or even laser resurfacing.

Since dermaplaning requires a skilled hand (it is a straight razor ya’ll), it’s essential you choose your practitioner wisely.

My Experience with Dermaplaning

I’m not gonna lie, I was a little afraid of a couple of things. One, I was afraid of someone going at my face and neck with a straight-edged razor!

Two, I was afraid my peach fuzz would grow back thicker, like when you shave your legs. I don’t have a lot of peach fuzz and it is blonde so it’s not that noticeable.

My skin was prepped which basically consisted of a general cleansing of the area and before I knew it, she started scraping away with the blade.

She did my face first, gently scraping small sections of the skin at a time, before moving on to my neck and then my chest.

It doesn’t hurt and it’s actually less of a sensation than microdermabrasion since there’s no suction. It took about 45 minutes to do all three areas.

Once she was finished, she applied a collagen plumping mask and let it sit for about 15 minutes which felt amazing! Once that was done, I was out the door and couldn’t wait to peek in the mirror.

I had some pinkness and I could actually see a few lines (scrape marks) where maybe the razor went a little too deep in those spots, which freaked me out a little as I was afraid it would scar.

How did my skin look? Once again I was glowing! My skin was a little pink that evening, but overall my face was more radiant, soft and fresh looking.

Despite what she said, I still had “some” hairs on my face but I could tell it was a lot less (but I didn’t have much to begin with).

I forgot to take a picture just before, but this picture was taken the day after Dermaplaning. The pinkness had pretty much subsided.

Dermaplaning before and afterIt seemed to soften the fine lines and wrinkles on my cheeks and my serums and moisturizers seemed to absorb better with this fresh layer of skin being exposed.

My face felt tighter this time. You can feel yourself healing and those little tiny scrape marks actually felt rough like I had a micro scab on it but they healed up and left no marks at all.

And to the naked eye, you couldn’t really see those marks, only if I looked closely in the mirror.

Overall I was happy, and the result was just about the same as it was with microdermabrasion, except my pores didn’t look as cleaned out with the dermaplaning.

I think for that reason, I would choose microdermabrasion over Dermaplaning.  If you’re more concerned about the peach fuzz, then go with dermaplaning.

You’ll get that overall fresh-faced, glowing feeling of a deep exfoliation with both and an increased effectiveness of your anti-aging treatments and serums.

However, if you want the most bang for your buck, you’ll definitely want to read about my experience with microneedling! I saved the best for last!

Before you read about my experience, here’s a video of my sister Katie getting microneedling! She has two scars on her forehead that she really wanted to try and smooth out. Owie!!

Treatment #3 – Microneedling

What is Microneedling?

Most of us have probably seen that picture of Kim Kardashian with a bloody face and thought what the heck?

Vampire facial Kim kardashianMicroneedling, AKA “collagen induction therapy” is a minimally invasive procedure where small needles are used to create micro purferations in the skin.

These tiny “holes” give the skin the opportunity to react as if it were injured, which stimulates collagen and elastin production.

Results can include improved texture and firmness, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, as well as reduction in scars, pore size and stretch marks.

These micro purferations also support the penetration of special serums that are infused into the skin during the treatment, and some are more expensive “add on’s” than others.

During the healing process, the skin is renewed due to the collagen production and it can take 6-8 weeks for the full result to be seen (all the while your skin is building up collagen).

While it is considered “minimally invasive” this treatment definitely went deeper and left the marks to prove it.

However, this is the treatment that gave me the best results, and I’ve got my next microneedling appointment scheduled for mid August!

My Experience with Microneedling

So there’s a couple devices they can use for Microneedling. One is a roller with a bunch of tiny needles on it that they manually roll over your face in a certain pattern.

However, the more precise way is to use a Dermapen, which is an electric pen with a tiny roller tip on the end that has needles on it which is what they used on me.

Dermapen Microneedling review

I was afraid this was going to hurt, and it is a bit uncomfortable at times. But the pain was tolerable and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

The forehead was definitely more tender since there’s less skin there and it’s closer to the bone.

A couple times she went a little deep along my jawbone and that kinda hurt too. It definitely made me flinch a couple times – I mean, they are poking holes in your face with needles!

Microneedling before and after photoThe sound and friction made me think of how it might feel to get a tattoo on your face! I doubt this was nearly as painful however.

Here’s me before, she applied a numbing cream to all the areas and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

About those expensive add-on’s…..the standard is to infuse hyaluronic acid (a moisturizing agent) into the skin with the Dermapen.

I paid $125 extra for a special “snail serum” with growth hormone to be infused into mine.

Gross right? Well apparently these snails have the ability to shield all of the harmful effects of the environment like the sun, so apparently it gives your skin this same super power!

The snail juice is called Biopelle Tensage Serum 40 and came with 12 vials. She used 3 on my face for the whole treatment, so I had 9 leftover. I used one full one each morning and night before applying my Kollagen Intensiv moisturizing cream.

Biopelle Tensage Serum reviewI wanted to document this so she stopped in the middle of it before wiping me clean so that I could take a picture.

I didn’t bleed as much as Kim Kardashian, but some people bleed more than others.

It also depends on the depth of the needles. I believe she used a .5mm on my forehead and 1.5mm on the rest of my face, neck and chest, next time they’ll go deeper and use 2mm.

So just after the treatment, my skin looked very pink, with darker red patches all over. Enough to make me want to go straight home and hide at least for the rest of the night.

Here’s my during photo, she had already wiped up the excess blood but I wasn’t a “bleeder” as she put it. I kinda look scared! LOL

Vampire facial before and afterI was told to not wear makeup for 24 hours (I went 48 hours) and to use only gentle products with no active ingredients for a full week.

So this means nothing with glycolic acid or other AHA’s (alphahydroxy acids), hydroquinone or Retin-A, not even Vitamin C serum.

I used Kollagen Intensiv moisturizing cream since it’s a very gentle cream that calms the skin, cuts redness and plumps it up with collagen. She looked at the ingredients and said it was a great cream to use post-treatment.

Loss of collagen is what causes wrinkles so anything you can do to add collagen back in is what you want!

Here’s me later on at night, the same day of the procedure. Red all over with darker patches.

It does take about a week for the healing process and during that time my whole face felt really “tight,” similar to how you might feel with a sunburn.

Microneedling before and after photoI did mention my face felt “tight” after the Dermaplaning, but this was definitely a more noticeable tightness.

I didn’t have any scabs, just mainly the tightness as all those tiny holes were healing and my face definitely begged for moisture. The red patches cleared up within a week and I saw results right away!

At day 6, my skin was already softer, smoother, and my hyper-pigmentation patches looked as though they’d been broken up – yay!!

I saw more regular skin in between the brown spots where there used to just be all brown.

Here’s the side by side before and after, of just after the procedure (when I got home) and six days later:

imageFast forward two weeks and my results continue to show! Every day my face looks better!

My face is so much smoother, and my wrinkles are less noticeable, and every day my dark spots have continued to become lighter.

I think this treatment definitely allows your anti-aging products to work their very best!

Here’s a picture showing my results after about 10 days:

Microneedling before and after photo

I do have a little makeup on but not much foundation. I never really wear heavy makeup (my fave is Makeup Forever HD foundation which is actually a really light formula).

Full results take 4-6 weeks as your collagen continues to rebuild and repair itself.

So over time, your skin just becomes plumper and younger looking!

I absolutely think Microneedling is the best bang for your buck as compared to Microdermabrasion or Dermaplaning.

All three treatments are the same price, which is roughly $125 just for the face. I paid more since I got my face, neck and chest done but that’s baseline price. They usually offer packages as well which can bring the price down if you get more than one.

My next appointment is scheduled for mid-August! I am a little nervous because they’ll be going deeper so I’ll probably look even worse, but this is a treatment that brings REAL RESULTS.

I am OK looking like I got into a fight for a few days for younger looking skin that does not require surgery!

Does Microneedling look too painful or will you try it? Leave comments below!

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Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning vs Microneedling, My Experience and Results!

5 out of 5 stars

Apr 04, 2017 by 

Beatrice

Thanks so so much for posting your reviews! Very,very helpful.


Thank you for the info

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning vs Microneedling, My Experience and Results!

5 out of 5 stars

Jan 08, 2017 by 

Carrie

Hey Rachel, thanks for sharing all of this information. I ended up trying microneedling and loved the results! I didn’t opt for the snail serum however, lol. She just used the “standard” protocol which was hyaluronic acid. I did order the Kollagen cream and it really helped to calm and hydrate my skin after. My skin didn’t stay red for very long and it just soaked up all the moisture. Thanks so much for the great advice, my skin is looking good! Carrie, from Georgia


Nice review

Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning vs Microneedling, My Experience and Results!

5 out of 5 stars

Jul 22, 2016 by 

Kate

Rachel, thanks for posting this. After reading your review, I think I’ll go for microdermabrasion first since my issue is mostly skin tone and I have a lot of black heads and some acne scarring. You helped me make my decision, thanks!


5.0 5.0 3 3 Thanks so so much for posting your reviews! Very,very helpful. Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning vs Microneedling, My Experience and Results!

User Questions and Answers

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User Questions and Answers



Q: Hi! I was thinking about doing Microneedling for my age spots and scars on my chin. Will this help? -Jo

A: Jo, it should help yes, it builds collagen. I would do a series of three treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart for best results. ~Rachel

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Q: My main issue of concern is my under eye tear troughs, these are quite deep and the skin is thinner here with a different texture to the rest of my facial skin, which treatment would you advise to help plump up this area and improve the skin texture. -Sandra

A: Sandra, they can do a gentle treatment around the eyes with the microneedling. They don\'t do dermabrasion around the sensitive eye area nor the dermaplaning since there\'s no way to adjust the level of it. With microneedling there\'s a smaller device they switch to to use around the eye area. I would visit a spa who performs the procedure and tell them your concerns and see what they advise. But I do remember them doing it gently around my eyes. Good luck!~Rachel

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Q: Have you ever tried Meta-therapy... Dermatude... it is a form of microneedling that perforated the skin but does not reach the live tissue ( the epidermis) so there is virtually no bleeding, resulting in much less down time and recovery while affecting the same results. I would be very interested in your opinion and research on this treatment. -Lauren

A: Hi Lauren, I haven\'t tried Dermatude, but it looks like it would be a good treatment. I like that they have a very skinny needle they can used to target deeper wrinkles. I\'m pretty much sold on microneedling however, I go in for a 3rd treatment next week. I really only look a little red for a couple of days, so to me that\'s very little down time. No makeup for 24 hours, but if you schedule it on a Friday, you can wear makeup to work Monday and hide it for the most part. If you decide to try it, let me know how you like it! Rachel

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Q: I am 51 and have brown spots/agespots/pores as well as acne scars. What do u suggest would be most beneficial for me? Also with microneedling do u still have the fuzz hair? I have a friend who has mild acne which one would u suggest for her by she has acne. Thanks for your post and sharing your experience. -Debbie

A: Hi Debbie, microneedling by far is the best treatment! Especially for the issues you mentioned. However it doesn\'t get rid of the hair, although when they dermaplane it\'s just like a close shave since they use the razor to gently scrape the top layer  off including the hair, and the hair grows back.  As far as your friend with acne, it would really depend how bad it is and if she has any flair ups/open sores, she should get a consultation at a spa who performs these procedures to see what\'s best for her.  If you do the microneedling be sure to stay out of the sun for a while and protect with spf.  Post micro you\'ll need a really gentle, hydrating moisturizer without any \"active\" ingredients (such as Vitamin C, or AHA\'s), a good one to try is Beautycounter\'s Nourishing Day Cream, and for SPF their Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, it\'s an SPF 20 and has a wonderful feel and lighter coverage.  This line doesn\'t contain any bad chemicals at all and those two products are really gentle on the skin. Good luck, I had two rounds of microneedling and would recommend doing the same. Just wait a couple months in between treatments.  ~Rachel

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Q: I was told that I should not do Microneedling until my acne clears up, so I'm going to try microdermabrasion. How long did you have to stop wearing makeup after the treatment? -Angelica

A: Angelica, thanks for your question. When I did microdermabrasion, I didn\'t wear makeup the rest of the day after treatment, but by the next day you\'re fine to wear makeup. There isn\'t much healing involved with Microdermabrasion, not like with Microneedling :) Rachel~WomensBlogTalk.com

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6 Comments »Leave A Comment

  1. Cf August 13, 2017 at 4:19 am - Leave A Comment

    Thanks so much for the review it was very helpful. I am 24, no wrinkles, yet 😉 and more or less not a fan of getting older. I use rodan fields products and Clinique mostly. I’m trying to delay any aging process as long as possible and i want to have amazing skin and take care
    Of my skin. well I also have about 7500 freckles on my face!! I don’t hate them but I don’t love them either, any advice for a 24 year old freckle face girl?!

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel August 15, 2017 at 1:57 am - Leave A Comment

      Hi CF, you’re welcome! I need to do micro needling again soon…. I have a lot of sun spots, I’m always battling dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Beautycounter’s Brightening collection is fabulous, and the Spa set would be a good way to try smaller sizes to see if you like it. One use of the mask and my skin is lighter and the brightening oil feels fantastic. Be sure and use spf daily to keep your freckles light if that’s your desire. Beautycounter’s Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer is also wonderful and it’s spf 20. None of their products have any bad chemicals, it’s about as safe as you can get. Thanks! Rachel

  2. Amy March 20, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Leave A Comment

    Hi Rachel , I’m considering microneedling treatment for my acne scars and really want to know if you could see the tiny puncture holes made by the needle ? I don’t want more holes in my skin than when I started if that makes sense! 🙂 Thanks Amy

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel March 21, 2017 at 2:12 am - Leave A Comment

      Amy, it’s the BEST out of those three treatments. Your face will be a little red and splotchy for 2-3 days but you don’t see holes. You can wear makeup after 24 hours and no one can even tell. It makes tiny tears in the skin and the skin starts recruiting and building new collagen to repair the skin. I would highly recommend getting 2-3 treatments and spacing them 6 weeks apart. They may try to tell you 3-4 weeks, but go for six weeks. It’s a good idea to use a collagen building cream after the treatments to help the process even more. You could use either one of my two top creams. I’ve been loving the XYZ cream, going on about 6 weeks now of using it and I love it! It’s also organic and fragrance free. It’s very gentle and you could use it on your skin post treatment. Good luck! Rachel

  3. Jeannette March 18, 2017 at 6:24 am - Leave A Comment

    Good job!!! I love how you explain every treatment step by step. You answer all my question and help me to make a decision. Well done, thank you Rachael.

    • Rachel Vrabel
      Rachel Vrabel March 18, 2017 at 7:22 pm - Leave A Comment

      Thanks Jeanette! I’ve been wanting to go back for another microneedling session soon. I continued to see results for months after and still do – the collagen really does build up over time. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on my skin since then! Rachel

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