Chemical Peels vs Microneedling: Which is right for you?

November 3, 2022

Microneedling and chemical peels are widely sought-after methods of face rejuvenation. Understanding the distinctions between the procedures and whether or not you are a good candidate for each is essential for selecting the one that will best serve your needs.

To compare the two, we will go back and forth for each treatment at each step of the process.

The Treatment 

Chemical Peels

To remove the outermost layers of skin and enhance its overall appearance, a chemical peel is an effective solution. Acne, uneven skin tone and texture, sun damage, and other skin problems can all be helped with chemical peels.

A chemical peel employs a variety of acids, the specifics of which are determined by the nature of the problem being addressed and the desired depth of the peel. Those without significant skin issues use light peels to achieve a more youthful appearance.


During a microneedling session, hundreds of tiny needles are used to puncture the skin, creating “micro injuries” that stimulate the body to produce more collagen and restore the skin’s young appearance and texture. Although it may sound painful, the procedure is actually painless thanks to the use of a topical numbing cream.

Collagen levels decline with age for many reasons, including but not limited to natural aging, sun exposure, tobacco use, and many others. This causes the skin to lose suppleness, become more dehydrated, experience fiber breakdown, and look older than it actually is. By stimulating collagen formation, microneedling can help rejuvenate the skin and delay the visible effects of aging.


Chemical Peel Candidacy

Chemical peels are an excellent choice for people who want to improve their skin’s pigmentation, texture, or both. Chemical peels work best on people with fairer skin. While people with darker skin tones can generally feel safe getting light peels, there is a chance that they could permanently cause uneven skin tones.

Because of its limited effectiveness, chemical peels are not recommended for people with excessive skin laxity or deep wrinkles. These situations have superior treatments (like microneedling) available.

Acne medication users should avoid chemical peels since they can delay recovery time. People with herpes should also avoid chemical peels because they can cause severe outbreaks of the virus.

Microneedling Candidacy

Anyone with fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin texture, stretch marks, sun damage, or scarring can benefit from microneedling, regardless of skin color or type.

However, those who suffer from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis should not use microneedling. Furthermore, if you already have acne problems, microneedling over these areas can cause infection. Last but not least, because microneedling involves creating tiny wounds to promote healing, it probably won’t be a sufficient solution if you have a history of troubles with wound healing.


Chemical Peel Process

At the start of your procedure with Boulder Valley Plastic Surgery, a paste is put around the patient’s eyes, nose, and mouth. As a deeper peel is more intense than a lighter one, additional pain medication may be required.

After that, the parts of the face with the thickest skin receive a peeling agent. This comprises the top of the head, nose, cheeks, and lower jaw. Tenderness throughout the time the peel is on the skin is a sign that the solution is having the desired effect. Depending on the area being treated and the depth of the procedure, the time required can range from 30 to 90 minutes.

Microneedling Process

Four to six visits to Boulder Valley Plastic Surgery, one month apart, are required for the microneedling procedure. The first step of your procedure will be the application of a local anesthetic by a trained professional. Then, a microneedling pen with dozens of tiny needles is used to make those precisely controlled micro-injuries to the skin.

The puncture healing process and collagen synthesis can be aided by using a serum applied after the surgery. Microneedling improves the body’s absorption of serums, allowing them to work much more quickly and efficiently. Your outcomes will increase over time as your skin reacts to the deeper microneedles used in subsequent treatments.

So Which Treatment Should You Choose? 

Both microneedling and chemical peels address concerns on the skin’s surface, but knowing the differences between the two can help you choose the best option for your needs.

Chemical peels are the most effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels are highly effective at removing age spots, freckles, dark spots, and other pigmentation disorders by removing the top layers of skin. The patient’s skin will be left looking healthy and radiant after a chemical peel.

Microneedling is a good option if you want to repair fine lines, wrinkles, and other visible indications of aging without any additional procedures. Microneedling is more effective than chemical peels for these concerns because it stimulates the skin to produce collagen, which in turn increases suppleness and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

When deciding between these two excellent facial procedures at Boulder Valley Plastic Surgery, there are a few other factors to think about.

The first factor is the number of sessions.  Microneedling is most effective when done in a series of four to six sessions. Only one session of a deep chemical peel is necessary, though typically a few touch-up sessions are needed afterwards. This also contributes to the price discrepancy, as the cost of microneedling increases as more sessions are required.

Next, there’s the post treatment recovery period. Recovery period after a microneedling treatment, even a thorough one, is rather short at only 24 to 48 hours. However, it may take up to three weeks for the skin to fully recover from a deep chemical peel.

Now, at home versions do exist for both chemical peels and microneedling. However, it’s not the same as getting professional treatment from a reputable plastic surgeon like you will find at Boulder Valley Plastic Surgery.

Microneedling using dermal rollers at home is effective enough to start the healing process, but it can’t compare to a professional treatment. Home chemical peels are also ineffective since they do not go deep enough into the skin and instead merely exfoliate the surface.

Schedule A Consultation

Call Boulder Valley Plastic Surgery today and we can help you make the right decision if you are still unsure about whether chemical peels or microneedling provides the best solution for your particular situation. We can go over both of the processes in depth and start a plan to reach your facial aesthetics goals as soon as possible.

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