microdermabrasion vs dermaplaning

Microdermabrasion vs. Dermaplaning

How can you tell which exfoliating treatment is right for you?

When looking to enhance your skin, you will find that there are a wide variety of exfoliating treatments available. The two most common (and popular) are Dermaplaning and Microdermabrasion. While they both are designed to remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate your skin, these two treatments are very different in both how they are performed as well as the end results.


Microdermabrasion has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular non-surgical treatments designed to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin. It is not a very aggressive treatment and as such it’s recommended that it be used as a maintenance tool rather than a complete solution.

The success of this treatment is highly contingent upon the skill of the aesthetician. You’re going to want to find someone who has experience in microdermabrasion as they will know how to correctly use the wand as well as the right pressure to put on the skin. Success also depends on the accuracy of the machine being used. There are two basic types of microdermabrasion: diamond and crystal:


This is the most common type of microdermabrasion technique used, and what we use here at The Baltimore Center. Dead skin cells are removed using a diamond tipped wand and are gently sucked away via a vacuum. How well this procedure works depends greatly on the skill of the aesthetician who is operating the wand. A good practitioner will know how to handle the wand as well as the proper amount of pressure to apply to your skin.

The end result is softening of fine lines and wrinkles, reduction of acne scarring, smooth texture along with a brighter complexion.


Crystal microdermabrasion uses a vacuum to shoot aluminum oxide crystals at your skin in order to exfoliate it. The overall success of the treatment relies heavily upon the quality of the machine being used. A lower quality machine (usually found in cheaper spas and salons) is not going to do as good of a job as a higher quality machine.

It’s generally recommended that you get around 5 treatments or sessions before you will see optimal results. While microdermabrasion works for most people, there are some who it is not recommended for.

Those who suffer from sensitive skin along with conditions that cause redness (eg: rosacea) are advised not to get microdermabrasion as it could inflammations to the skin, thereby causing even more aging signs to appear.


Dermaplaning involves a surgical blade being gently scraped along the skin at a 45 degree angle. As painful as this sounds, there is no pain or cutting whatsoever!

As the blade is being dragged along, it picks up dead skin cells along with ‘peach fuzz’ (otherwise known as ‘vellus hair’). The end result is a very smooth skin surface and healthy glow. One of the benefits is that it creates such a smooth surface that makeup and skin care products readily and willingly adhere to it.

Dermaplaning is usually recommended for people with red, sensitive skin or conditions that can lead to red skin. It is a non-invasive procedure that when performed properly, can rejuvenate your skin making it look both radiant and healthy. Another benefit is that there are no chemicals involved whatsoever, so pregnant women and clients with medical conditions can receive dermaplaning without worry about side effects or complications.

There are some slight drawbacks to dermaplaning. It is generally not recommended for those who have deep wrinkles and lines on the face, or those who have skin with an irregular texture. Dermaplaning works best for people who suffer from mild acne, and normal to dry fine lines and wrinkles. Much like microdermabrasion, it is recommended that you get anywhere from 4-5 treatments of dermaplaning in order to see optimal results, especially if you have never had any facial exfoliation procedures prior.

Which One is Best for You?

Both Dermaplaning and microdermabrasion are similar in the sense that they exfoliate and resurface the skin. They create a smooth canvas to apply makeup and skincare products to. Both require multiple treatments over a short period of time before you can see optimal results. They also do not involve the usage of harsh chemicals, and instead rely upon physical removal of dead skin cells. This makes them ideal for those who have high sensitivities to chemicals (as well as women who are pregnant).

However, that is where the similarities stop. Microdermabrasion is a much more aggressive treatment option than Dermaplaning. It is also used in cases where Dermaplaning would not make a significant or noticeable difference. Micro also utilizes a vacuum which can harm the skin of people with rosacea or other red/sensitive skin conditions. As it pulls by suction, it could potentially cause more harm than good in people with sensitive skin.

Dermaplaning is a much more milder procedure and requires very little physical contact with the skin. Microdermabrasion is best suited for those who are looking for a maintenance type of exfoliation. If you still aren’t sure which treatment is best for you, try starting off with microdermabrasion (assuming you don’t suffer from redness or other skin conditions). If you aren’t satisfied with the results, you can always try dermaplaning.

You can even ask your aesthetician for her recommendation as to which procedure would be best suited your particular type of skin. She will most likely recommend microdermabrasion as it is a very popular choice amongst those looking to get their skin exfoliated and rejuventated.

At Baltimore Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, our aestheticians are highly trained and can help advise you on the best route to take for your particular type of skin. Give us a call to set an appointment or ask any questions you may have about microdermabrasion or Dermaplaning and see how our skin expert Marsha Jackson can help rejuvenate your skin and have it looking as radiant and healthy as ever!

Founded and directed by Johns Hopkins faculty Dr. Randolph Capone, the Baltimore Center is a premier plastic surgery practice dedicated exclusively to providing state of the art care for individuals desiring body enhancement, rejuvenation, or repair. The Baltimore Center for Plastic Surgery was founded for one purpose: to combat the signs of aging and deformity.

baltimore plastic surgery center

From our blog...

​What is HydraFacial and How Much Does it Cost?


​The Importance of Choosing a Qualified Surgeon for a Rhinoplasty