Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel : Which Exfoliation Method is Better for You?

Why Exfoliate?

microdermabrasion vs chemical peel Many factors come into play when evaluating the health of our biggest organ, the skin.  It is always exposed to external elements, and hence sustains most potential damage.

When choosing the proper treatments and products to enhance your skin, you should take into consideration such factors as skin pigmentation, acne, fine lines, wrinkles, skin sensitivities, oiliness or dryness.

Exfoliation procedures can be physical or chemical. Which is best for you? The best way to decide on Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel is to review the benefits and expectations of each procedure.


Microdermabrasion is the most common physical method for removing the very superficial level of skin. It is a manual exfoliation of the epidermis to remove dead skin cells, debris and impurities. Normally, an instrument, which combines suction and a wand made of diamond or small crystal particles, is used to remove these from the skin.

microdermabrasion vs chemical peel 2Microdermabrasion produces instant results, but may not be a good choice for inflamed, sensitive or rosacea type skin. In such cases look for resurfacing methods that utilize a dermafile, a manual exfoliation using diamond files. This technique reduces breakage of capillaries in someone with thin or sensitive skin. Microdermabrasion encourages collagen stimulation and a more rapid cell turnover in the skin.


Microdermabrasion wands consist of two main types:

Crystal tip – A mixture of fine aluminum crystals are used to abrade the skin, as the cells and debris are blown away.

Diamond tip  – Very fine diamond particles are used to remove any dead cells, oils, or debris, as these are also suctioned away.

What can I expect from Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion should leave the skin’s surface velvety smooth, soft, bright and glowing. This rejuvenation method is instant and in rare cases, a pinkness or sensitivity may occur a few hours directly after the procedure, lasting less then 24 hours.  Microdermabrasion is a workhorse of all rejuvenation procedures.  Although it is primarily used on the face, it can be used on any part of the body, from the neck to chest, to hands, etc.  Microdermabrasion is frequently done on the same day prior to other rejuvenation procedures for maximum benefits.

How often should I use Microdermabrasion?

To maintain the healthy glow associated with Microdermabrasion, it is recommended once a month for optimum results. Appointments made too soon together could irritate and redden the skin. Microdermabrasion is recommended before a chemical peel to prepare the skin for penetration of the

Microdermabrasion is recommended before a chemical peel to prepare the skin for penetration of the chemicals used in peeling solutions. Microdermabrasion also helps you obtain the best results with topical application of creams and serums, cosmetic or medicinal, as it removes any interfering layers of impurities.


Chemical Peel

microdermabrasion vs chemical peel 3Chemical peels use topical applications of peeling solutions to rejuvenate the skin, address fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, tone and texture.  They allow for cells that make collagen to function more effectively and remove any damage caused by the sun and other external forces that always act on our skin. Chemical peels are the preferred method in general for the treatment of the following;

* Counter fine lines and wrinkles

* Issues with skin pigmentation due to age or sun damage

* Acne and some acne scars

* General improvement in the skin’s texture, tightness and overall appearance

How do Chemical Peels work?

Whenever we take a step outside, or take a ride in a car our skin is exposed to harsh elements, pollutants, and harmful ultraviolet rays. With exposure to these elements, the skin is potentially damaged, leading to the aged appearance.

Chemical peels remove damaged cells; stimulate the growth of the new skin cells and collagen production.   Different peels are used for different purposes.  They can and should be customized for each patient’s particular skin types and problems.  There are wonderful new combination peels that are safe, effective, and have minimal down time. Anyone undergoing a chemical peel must stay out of the sun from 6 – 10 days and needless to say continue to use sun block.

What types of Chemical peels are there?

AHA Peel The most common chemical exfoliation is a superficial or medium chemical peels using alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxyl acids (glycolic, lactic, malic, tartaric, mandelic, citric, or salicylic). Enzymes are typically derived from fruit acids such as pineapple, papaya or pumpkin. Enzymes break down dead skin cells on the surface and can often be used as at-home treatments. Great choice for a mild resurfacing, but one should be mindful of any skin sensitivities.  These are wonderful and beneficial peels done routinely in the office and do not require any anesthesia.

Phenol Peel On the opposite end of the spectrum are Phenol peels. As much as an acid peel is considered mile, a phenol peel is very considerably strong. A phenol peel has the most dramatic results, but also the longest recovery time. This is due to the intensity of the concentration and may take upwards to 3 hours a session.  These peels may be painful and require anesthesia.

Effects of the phenol peel can last 3 months, and it is several weeks before most patients feel comfortable enough with their appearance to go out in public. Phenol has natural bleaching properties; so this is not an ideal solution for people of color or without a fair skin type.

Trichloroacetic Acid Peel (TCA) – A Trichloroacetic Acid Peel falls between the mildness of an acid peel and the severity of a phenol peel. They are generally as a method to even out skin tone without a ‘bleached’ look, or any residual discoloration.  The new peels available today, that contain TCA, are usually combination peels.  In that they use TCA with other products for maximum benefit, greatest safety profiles for all skin types and colors and maximum rejuvenating and skin conditioning effects.

Microdermabrasion vs Chemical Peel ?

It is always best to consult your physician when determining what will work best for your individual case and to help you accomplish your rejuvenation and/or skin-improvement goals. At Esthetica MD, information with solid science behind it provides for the most beneficial, effective and safe selection of procedures and products that can be customized for each individual patient including both microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

Dimitry Rabkin, MD, F.A.C.S. – Full Biography

Dr. Dimitry RabkinDr. Dimitry Rabkin, founder and Medical Director of Esthetica MD, is a skilled and gifted physician who focuses his talents on arresting and reversing the visible signs of facial aging, a process that is commonly known as “anti-aging medicine.”  Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Rabkin was trained in architectural and mechanical design and art. Dr. Dimitry Rabkin brings these skill-sets to his practice in order to provide his patients with the most proportional and symmetrical, natural and naturally-attractive, outcomes from all procedures.


When it comes to aesthetics treatments, experience and judgment are critical factors in success, and this is a hallmark of Dr. Dimitry Rabkin’s practice. As a facial reconstructive and head and neck surgeon, he brings to his patients nearly 15 years of experience with Botox and fillers; nearly a decade before it began to be widely used in cosmetic treatments. This high level of expertise is reflected in his every treatment.


Dr. Dimitry Rabkin’s strong commitment to delivering natural-looking results is a key component to his comprehensive and health-oriented aesthetic medical practice, and sets him apart from many others who provide aesthetic and anti-aging treatments.  For all of his patients, his goal is to help them look younger and completely natural.  In this, he is able to blend his scientific training, medical research and extensive undergraduate training in art, especially sculpture – along with architecture, design, engineering and even mathematics.


Dr. Dimitry Rabkin American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
Dr. Dimitry Rabkin American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine

The blending of facial plastic and reconstructive training with an architectural and mechanical design background gives Dr. Dimitry Rabkin a keen insight into facial structure below the skin, and his artistic sensibilities ensure that he creates balanced, beautiful and natural-looking results.  Together, these skills enable him to conduct expert facial analysis, including assessments of each patient’s unique facial shape, contour, texture, symmetry, deficiency of proportion and overall attractiveness.


The result of this comprehensive facial analysis that blends medical science, the “engineering of the face’s underlying bone structure and the natural beauty inherent in each face”, allows Dr. Dimitry Rabkin to deliver the optimum, natural and healthy-looking outcome for each patient.  Dr. Rabkin is a recognized master in the subliminal approach to facial rejuvenation, and spares his patients from the “shock” of overly dramatic and unnatural facial cosmetic procedures.  Instead, he prefers small, but additive life-changing improvements for his patients.


Dr. Dimitry Rabkin compares a face to a gift, one in which the underlying facial structure blends with the “wrapping” provided by the skin.  Both the structure (the gift) and the skin (wrapping) must be addressed and improved in any successful aesthetic procedure.  The result must look healthy and natural, and stress facial symmetry, proportion, and above all, balance.
His pioneering work in aesthetic and cosmetic minimally invasive treatments has led him to become one of the early advocates of preventative treatments that arrest the signs of aging before they begin.  This “prophylactic” treatment can significantly delay the appearance of aging.


Another  one of Dr. Dimitry Rabkin’s specialties involves the use of “liquid rhinoplasty” – the recontouring of the nose using fillers, rather than invasive surgery.  Using this innovative and scientifically sound approach, Dr. Rabkin can do amazing things with the nose, even for patients who’ve had failed surgical rhinoplasties and who are still not happy with their appearance.  The results of his liquid rhinoplasty procedures are often life changing.


Another conscious decision that sets Dr. Rabkin apart from other medical practitioners is his conscious choice to avoid inflicting “the latest hype” on his patients before they have proven themselves in hands-on medical practice.  Once a new procedure or device has proved itself to be safe, valuable and useful, he is quick to adopt it.  However, as a matter of principle, he chooses to spare his patients from the vagaries of the latest over-marketed and under-proven trends.


While a life-long innovator, he is also very conservative in his approach to each patient’s medical needs.  Dr. Dimitry Rabkin provides truly effective cosmetic and aesthetic procedures delivered at the very highest state-of-the-art level available.

dr. dimitry rabkinAs part of this conservative approach to patient care, he proudly offers his patients non- or minimally invasive, but completely effective, approaches to meeting their cosmetic and aesthetic needs.   He insists on a very natural approach to facial rejuvenation.  Dr. Rabkin believes that the results of each procedure need to look natural and subtle.


In addition, Dr. Rabkin has a strong personal commitment to charity. A portion of each dollar he earns from patient care is donated to the “Save the Children” fund.  He is a big believer in children’s causes.  Due to this commitment, he has been elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  This stems from his work with reconstruction of traumatic facial injuries in children.  Aware of the blessing provided to  him by living in the greatest country on earth, one with the best medical care available anywhere, he has always believed in “giving back.”


Dr. Dimitry Rabkin’s premedical work was at Brandeis University and postgraduate research at Harvard Medical School.  Dr. Rabkin’s medical education has focused around some of the most pre-eminent medical schools and teaching hospitals in America.  He received his MD from the world-famous Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and then undertook both of his internship and his residency at Albany Medical Center.  Dr. Rabkin’s Fellowship was at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, where he also served as an instructor for residents and students.


Dr. DImitry Rabkin - Esthetica MDIn his training, Dr. Dimitry Rabkin focused on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as on head and neck procedures, with an early concentration in the repair of traumatic facial injuries and deformities. These skills are critical in aesthetic facial reshaping and recontouring.  This is reflected in his cutting-edge published research and his early use of fillers for facial trauma during the early 1990s, a decade or more before it became widely used for aesthetic and cosmetic treatments.


Dr. Dimitry Rabkin is affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City.  Dr. Rabkin also travels to national and international conferences several times a year and keeps abreast of all new technologies and techniques.


More than just a gifted practitioner, and a master level injector, Dr. Dimitry Rabkin is Double Board Certified and is a fellow of American College of Surgeons and American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.  Over the years Dr. Rabkin has moved from surgical approaches of facial rejuvenation to minimally or non-invasive ones due to amazing advances in aesthetic medicine.  Beyond that, Dr. Rabkin is a skilled and widely recognized medical researcher, one who has made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of medical science.  For instance, he has published numerous peer-reviewed research studies and articles, and chapters in medical texts.  He has conducted many well-regarded presentations at national conferences, and has received awards for outstanding research, including the prestigious Seymour Cohen Award Dr. Rabkin lectures to students and other physicians and is a consultant to several missions to the U.N.

Iontophoresis Treatment: The innovative new science in restorative skin rejuvenation, facial surgery, and acne treatment.

The most visible sign of aging is the condition of an individual’s skin. Age leads to unwanted visible representations of this on the skin such as lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation.  Medical professionals are implementing rejuvenation techniques that utilize iontophroresis treatment devices to reverse and minimize the signs of aging.

What is iontophoresis Treatment? 

Iontophoresis TreatmentIn a nutshell,  iontophoresis is the more effective delivery of ingredients (such as vitamins, antioxidants or peptides) that permeate the skin beyond the superficial level.  The term is partially derived from the Greek word phoresis for movement and the electrical term ion, to define the use of electrical movements. Iontophoresis is an electric-based delivery of nutrients that circumvents many of the lipid bi-layers of the skin by directly penetrating between them, something that passive liquid diffusion cannot.  It is a reliable delivery technique when used in tandem with sonophoresis for enhanced lightening or hydration of the skin.

How does it make rejuvenation techniques more effective? 

Passive Ionic Delivery v.s. Iontophoresis TreatmentOnce delivered into the skin, the ionic molecules can be activated if stimulated with an electrical charge to further propel them into the skin. This method is vastly superior to standard liquid diffusion, as repeated ionization offers a more concentrated collection of nutrients delivered deeper than liquid diffusion can achieve.

How does iontophoresis treatment promote faster healing after a cosmetic procedure? 

Iontophoresis offers a number of supplementary benefits when used as a delivery tool. For example, when it is used after ablative laser procedures or chemical peels, it can improve the healing process by achieving a more rapid and more concentrated delivery of nutrients or medical ingredients.

How is iontophoresis used in facial treatments? 

Iontophoresis Treatment FacialThe depth to which iontophoresis treatment allows nutrients to penetrate during treatments, provides faster and more effective results.  Also during this technique, the lipophilicity of many molecules can be potentially increased as they form ion pairs which are more readily dissolvable than the molecule on its own.

Iontophoresis provides a very beneficial delivery system, and has found success in a variety of cosmetic procedures.  Iontophoresis has also been used in the treatment of acne scarring.  Rapid penetration that achieves a greater depth and more concentrated effect with decreased healing time post-surgical procedures is what makes iontophroresis the innovative new science in restorative skin rejuvenation, facial surgery, and acne treatment.