Microneedling vs Microdermabrasion vs Dermaplaning – My Experience and Results!
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)
- Microneedling (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 within a six month period.
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.
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.
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.
For a moisturizer, I used Kollagen Intensiv Cream which felt so good on my sensitive skin, like a drink! It’s very gentle and hydrating.
I 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 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.
I forgot to take a picture just before, but this picture was taken the day after Dermaplaning. The pinkness had pretty much subsided.
It 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?
Kim actually got the micro needling with PRP (platlet rich plasma) which is where they take your own blood, spin it in a centrifuge and inject the PRP or apply topically. I didn’t use my own blood, I used snail juice instead. 😉
Microneedling, 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.
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!
The 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 at night for the next few days.
I wanted to document this so she stopped in the middle of it before wiping me clean so that I could take a picture.
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
And here’s me after I got up from the table about to leave, obviously I went straight home!
I 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, etc. You want to use something calming and moisturizing.
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.
I 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:
Fast 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:
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 still use Kollagen Intensiv as my every day moisturizer and anti aging treatment cream, which also helps to build up the collagen in your skin to plump it up.
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!
Joovv Red Light Therapy
Check out my blog on the Joovv Red Light. Have you ever paid $150 – $200 for a facial where the give you 5 minute red light therapy at the end and it’s supposed to be the best thing ever? For collagen production, acne, circulation, inflammation?
Well, I bought a full body Joovv Red Light and have it on the back of my office door. May seem crazy (and it was expensive), but I will never have to pay for this treatment and the benefits are many! I use it 5-8 minutes about 3-4x a week now!
Does Microneedling look too painful or will you try it? Leave comments below!
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I like microneedling as the best option too.
I got the at home device and I luv it ,see new results everyday.
I’m in esthetic school and will be doing Microneedling. I loved reading your journey.
Hi! I was going back and fourth trying to decide which treatment I wanted to go with! I now was to start with microdermabrasion and then try the others! Thanks for your fun and informative review!
I needed the pep talk - thx!
I am scheduled for microneedling and your article was just what I needed to see to not chicken out! 😉 xoxo
Great review! Very detailed & informative. I was on the fence trying to decide whether to do it or not but you’ve convinced me!
Thanks for your review. Finally I understand what are the differences. I will start with needling and good products then for maintaining my skin I will do micro. Many thanks again for your very helpful review.
awesome review thanks!
Wow, been curious about all three of these and stumbled across your review. Thanks for the your detailed experience!
Microdermabrasion vs dermaplanning vs microneedling
This was very helpful. I have done the first two and now will try microneedling for fine line and hyperpigmentation. Watched a lot of YouTube reviews and glad to find your review in all three!
Thanks so so much for posting your reviews! Very,very helpful.
User Questions and Answers
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
10 out of 10 people found this question helpful.
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
3 out of 3 people found this question helpful.
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
4 out of 5 people found this question helpful.
Q: Does dermaplaning do anything to inhibit regrowth of facial hair? -Teri
1 out of 1 people found this question helpful.
Q: I've tried the micro-needling about 3 times but my doctor didn't use a great serum like yours afterwards and the price was significantly higher. I understand the best way to go is the, "vampire facial" or "PRP" That is what Kim Kardashian has in the picture above and why her face is so red. She has had her blood withdrawn and spun in a special machine to separate it for the rich blood platelets and then that mixture is put on the face. It's not red from the procedure but from the application of the PRP. Costs vary based on where you live for every procedure-the vampire facial cost upwards $1,000 on each coast but it's considered the best option. I only had half my face done with some vitamin C patted on afterwards (and sunscreen!) and it was $250.00 (I live in NJ 12 miles outside NYC- everything is more expensive here-sigh..) I'm told these procedures really work best when you do them in combination they all work together to stimulate collagen -I also get fillers and botox a few times a year. I'm 54. My doctor now has a new machine -when she does the micro-needling there is either a red or blue light depending on your issue (acne, wrinkling or hyper pigmentation) that goes over your face at that same time. The price has more than doubled with this new machine. I'm not sure I'm going back to her. I'd rather spend the money on the Vampire facial. -SlimKeith
I have been searching for a review like this for a long time. Thank you for your detailed experience and before and after photos. This helped me decide to try the microneedling (although I hate the length of time for healing) and microdermabrasion. Thanks again!
I had Microneedling at Epicenter in S Francisco. I am a mature woman; I was left with brown spots and more keep coming . Old scars I had worked on re-appeared and now just stay, The whole trip is a disaster. It can weaken your skin and cause brown spots.
Alexa, I’m sorry how awful! I’m surprised micro needling would have that effect. For me it helped to break up hyperpigmentation. My sister also gets this treatment for scars on her forehead where she fell in the shower and it helped smooth them out and build more collagen. I know our skin doesn’t always react the same way, however, and I’m very sorry you didn’t see a good result. You have to be extremely careful after any treatment like this to protect your face from any sun, SPF 50 all the way. If you go in the sun when skin is sensitive that can also cause melasma. So sorry! Rachel
The before and after pictures don’t do much if it’s not BEFORE the Microneedling. I’d like to see a picture with the same lighting, same makeup, same angle as before the Microneedling and 1 week after and 6 weeks after
Hi Emily, you’re right I could have done a better job documenting. It’s been a couple years since I’ve had it done and I’ll be doing it again soon, so I’m definitely going to take some better pics. I think I could probably find some to use however that demonstrates a representative before and after, I feel like I’m always taking selfies so I bet I could reproduce it..I’ll see what I can find. Thanks for your comment! xo Rachel
Hello, In this article you mentioned how you didn’t bleed as much as Kim Kardashian. The facial she had is totally different than a microneedling facial. She had a vampire facial done that consist of drawing your own blood and having it punctured into your skin. Microneedling will never cause you to bleed like the picture of Kim.
You’re right, she did micro needling with infused PRP, I used snail serum. Some people do bleed more than others during micro needling. My estethician said I wasn’t a “bleeder.” PRP is WAY more expensive as well… I’ve even heard of using your own period blood (not with microneedling but as a mask). As disgusting as it sounds (and I’ve never tried it)… apparently it’s thing and I know a girl who’s done it. No thanks 😉 xo Rachel
Hi Rachel 🙂 This is such an awesome review and comparison! I’ve never had a facial of any kind but I’ve been thinking about trying microneedling for a few years now and I’m pretty much ready to take the plunge. Just curious, have you heard of using PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma during microneedling? Just curious if this is what you had or if it’s really worth it vs without? I’ve also heard lots of buzz about hydrofacials. Have you tried those as well? Thanks
Hey Rach! I did not do the PRP (which is actually the true “vampire facial.” I’ve heard it’s good but I just used the Biopelle snail serum as an infusion which I loved!! I have not had a hydrofacial but I would definitely go for the microneedling and do a series. My mother in law told me today how good my skin looked still and it’s been over a year (maybe almost two?) since I had my last micro needling. It’s time to go again for sure! That’ll be my next treatment hands down. Good luck, and thank you I’m glad my review helped you make your decision. Rachel
Thank you so much for this! I was torn between what to try first and after reading your review I will do the microdermabrasion first. My main concern is the brown acne marks that just won’t fade fast enough for me. I use SPF everyday to avoid further damage, but my patience just ran out. I wear minimal makeup and even with these brown spots left behind, I don’t completely cover them up, I just blur them.
Eloisa, thank you!! Hopefully the micro will help things along – try the microneedling next! Also, using a topical skin lightener does help reduce the brown spotting, I have some on my upper/neck and lower cheeks that come back if I don’t use spf and a skin lightener. I’m loving the Beautycounter Brightening oil with Vitamin C but I also love the Image Skincare Vital C hydrating serum. Good luck!! Rachel
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?!
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
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
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
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.
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
Wow! Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us! I have been so nervous about what procedure to do. I’ve been researching various options and it seems I could benefit from so many different options that I truly couldn’t decide what to do. However, after reading about your experiences with the 3 different options… I realize my best bet is to go for microneedling! Thanks to you I just might be able to lessen the dark spots, acne scars and premature fine lines/wrinkles with repeat treatments.
Hi Cheryl, glad I could help! Yes, Microneedling all the way! It’s been a couple years since I’ve done this and I feel like my skin STILL looks good… but I’ve been wanting to go back for another round. I’m sure my skin care is helping as well. See if they have the Biopelle Tensage snail serum to infuse into your skin with the treatment. It costs a little more but I feel like it was worth it! Usually they will just use hyaluronic acid. Good luck! xo Rachel