Microdermabrasion vs Hydrafacial vs Microneedling

Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular skincare treatments available for the public in almost any office or spa are microdermabrasion, hydrafacial, and microneedling procedures.
However, are you aware of the difference between the three treatments? Do you have a few unsightly scars, blemishes, or fine lines that you want to get rid of, but don’t know what sort of treatment you should consider? Are you unfamiliar with spa treatments in general?
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about microdermabrasion, hydrafacial, and microneedling, including their benefits, and side effects.
Continue reading to find the best treatment for you!
Does microdermabrasion -

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is probably a procedure that you have heard about here and there–on a Facebook ad, or maybe even one of your friends have gotten the procedure and raved about it. But what exactly is microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a procedure that removes all of the dry, dead skin cells that are on the uppermost layer of your skin (the superficial layer) via advanced exfoliation technique machines.
Generally, these machines work by either swiping a diamond or crystal tip across the skin, or by spraying tiny crystals onto the skin to buff away dead surface skin, at the same time, a built-in vacuum system will suck the dead skin and impurities off of your face.
The treatment can be done at a salon, at the doctor’s office, or at-home. This procedure can greatly benefit your skin for the better, so continue reading to learn more about it.

What are the benefits of Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion can greatly benefit several types of skin issues. Because of its exfoliating action, it can help even out the texture and tone of your skin, particularly after several treatments. However, one of the benefits of the microdermabrasion procedure is that you will see an immediate improvement to your skin tone and texture. This is also useful for reducing the appearance of any dark marks left behind by healed acne (scars).
Beyond the improvement to your skin tone and texture, microdermabrasion can also help with reducing the appearance of superficial wrinkles and any fine lines you might have by boosting collagen production, It also helps reduce the damage done to your skin by the sun. Not only that, but it also can help improve mild forms of acne, get rid of blackheads, reduce the appearance of stretch marks, shrink large pores, and reduce the oiliness of your skin.

What is a Professional Microdermabrasion Session Like?

A professional microdermabrasion session is actually relatively quick, it takes around 15 to 30 minutes on average. Generally what happens is that when you arrive at the spa, you will have a technician bring you to a private room and be instructed to change into a paper gown and to then lay on the bed.
The technician will then wash your face, perform the microdermabrasion procedure, using the microdermabrasion machine. Afterward, the technician will wash your face again to clean up any spare crystals that might have been left on your face, and that’s it, as far as the procedure goes. Afterward, you should put on your favorite sunscreen and moisturizer to help with any skin sensitivity you may experience.
All in all, it is a quick and relatively easy procedure to undergo.

At-home Microdermabrasion Kits

Nowadays, microdermabrasion is not only reserved for people who take treatments at the spa or at dermatologist’s offices, there are a wide range of kits that can be used easily at-home. These can be very effective and safe.
Using an at-home microdermabrasion kit has a lot of benefits, you can treat yourself in the comfort of your home and you are free to do it whenever you want; in addition, not only you will get nearly the same results as those achieved at a dermatologist’s office, but you will quickly see how cost-effective it is as purchasing an at-home microdermabrasion kit costs less than a single professional treatment.
If you are interested in purchasing a microdermabrasion kit or simply want to find out more about the procedure, check out our guide and reviews of the top kits on the market here.

What Are The Side Effects of Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a skin rejuvenation technique that is gentle and safe; it has the advantage of having very few side effects when done correctly. The most common side effects you may experience are some redness, skin tightness, and increased sensitivity for almost a day after treatment.
More rarely, you could experience some bruising caused by the vaccuming system, sun sensitivity or pigment changes.
The procedure can also cause skin infection if the machine is not properly cleaned, you can avoid that by visiting only clean salons and spas or by using your own device at home and making sure to thoroughly clean it after every use.
Keep in mind that to minimize any side effects, after each session, you should wash your face with a gentle cleanser, apply a fragrance-free and soothing moisturizer, and use a sunscreen with high SPF.

Is Microdermabrasion Painful?

Thankfully, microdermabrasion is not painful. You should not feel any pain during the procedure. After each treatment (generally, spas and dermatologist offices plan treatments in 1-2 month intervals, which are mainly dependent on your financial ability), your skin should be red and slightly sensitive for a few hours. If you use a soothing, moisturizing lotion and your favorite sunscreen afterward, you should be fine.


Hydrafacial - Microdermabrasion vs Hydrafacial vs Microneedling

What is Hydrafacial?

Hydrafacial is similar to the microdermabrasion procedure–in fact, it is sometimes called hydradermabrasion. This procedure combines three procedures into one–cleansing and exfoliating, extracting impurities, and infusing serums into the skin.
Hydrafacial is considered to be a gentle approach to exfoliating the skin; it is suitable for all skin types. The hydrafacial technique consists of cleansing and exfoliating the skin using a hydrafacial tip, then vacuuming out the pores using a vortex extraction nozzle, and lastly, pushing in specialized hydrating and cooling serums into your pores.
That is a typical treatment, although you can get add ons, called “boosters” to treat specialized skin imperfections, such as tags or brown spots. All in all, this procedure is very versatile and can be used on patients of all ages and skin concerns.

What are The Benefits of Hydrafacial?

The benefits of hydrafacial are that it can treat a wide range of skin conditions. It uses a patented vacuum vortex whirl tip to gently remove and cleanse your pores, and then suck it all away.
This treatment is especially known for its immediate effects, which may be a priority for you, depending on why you are undergoing this treatment option.
It is used to treat oily or acne-prone skin, enlarged and clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, acne, and wrinkles and fine lines.

What is a Hydrafacial Session Like?

The hydrafacial is a procedure that is known for its three-step process in removing impurities from your skin. It uses a special spiral suction tip that exfoliates, cleanses, and removes any dead skin cells and other impurities from your pores/skin. This tip then injects a special serum into your (now open and cleansed) pores, that is generally made up of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and peptides.
This procedure, which has been referred to as feeling like a “light massage” by those who’ve experienced it, takes no more than 30 minutes to administer.
Note that this procedure can’t be performed at home, it can only be undergone at spas or at dermatologist’s offices.

What are the side effects of Hydrafacial?

The side effects you may experience after undergoing a hydrafacial are rare and slight. Most people who do experience side effects suffer from redness and a slight twinge of tightness to their skin for about an hour or so after the procedure is over.

Is Hydrafacial Painful?

Because there is no actual exfoliation that your skin undergoes, in the traditional sense, there is no pain associated with this procedure at all.


Microneedling Treatment - Hydrafacial - Microdermabrasion vs Hydrafacial vs Microneedling

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling is a procedure that is more invasive than microdermabrasion and hydrafacial procedures. To undergo a microneedling procedure, a technician will use a dermaroller all over your face, which pricks your skin with its tiny needles. This then encourages your skin to produce more collagen and new skin cells, which in turn creates an even and softer textured skin. As a by-product, this also helps the skin become more firm and elastic.
This procedure can be undergone by anyone who is considered to be in good health, otherwise, it is not recommended. Generally, microneedling is considered to be a “next step” procedure for those who did not respond well to facial peels or similar treatments.
Generally, it is recommended that you undergo at least four sessions to see results.
Keep in mind that microneedling is a progressive treatment, results won’t be seen until new collagen is formed, which usually takes about six weeks.

What are The Benefits of Microneedling?

Microneedling is an effective treatment for stretch marks and acne scars, particularly over several sessions.
It is also used as part of an anti-aging treatment for treating sun spots and as an accompaniment to eyelid surgery.

This procedure is used to treat wrinkles, scars, and enlarge pores by encouraging collagen and skin tissue growth via the needle pricking.

What is a Microneedling Session Like?

Sessions are relatively straightforward but fairly long. It takes around two hours to prepare and undergo the procedure, so that is something to consider when you decide to book an appointment.
Before the procedure starts, your technician will numb your face, using a topical anesthetic. It would take around an hour for this to take effect, so that is a downtime for you. During the procedure, your technician will use a pen or a dermaroller to create tiny pricks under your skin. These should not be noticeable at all after the procedure is over.
All in all, it takes around 30 minutes for your technician to actually perform the microneedling procedure.
Some technicians will then apply a serum or moisturizer, but this is not necessary, and it is a personal choice.

What are The Side Effects of Microneedling?

While this procedure is considered to be minimally invasive, you can suffer from side effects – mainly some minor irritation and redness for a few days after the procedure.
Other side effects include swelling, bruising, skin dryness, and flaking, skin pigment changes, sunlight sensitivity, infection, and sometimes bleeding and scarring if done improperly.
Keep in mind that you should avoid sun exposure for about 7 days after each session.

Is Microneedling Painful?

Due to the application of the topical anesthetic, an hour before the procedure, this procedure should not be painful. However, you do stand a chance at suffering minor irritation and redness for a few days after the procedure.

Microneedling At Home

Unlike the past where microneedling was a fancy procedure, administered only at skincare clinics or spas, today there are many handheld microneedling devices available on the market specifically developed for at-home use.
Microneedling devices are primarily used on the face to treat hyperpigmentation, scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and reduce enlarged pores, but they can also be used to treat a number of body-skin concerns, including hair loss and stretch marks.
The dermaroller is the most common microneedling tool for home use, however, a newer tool was developed, the Dermapen, aka microneedling pen.
A dermapen is a handheld device that offers an advanced microneedling mechanism to stimulate collagen production and improve the texture, tone and elasticity of the skin. Moreover, dermapen is hygienic, easy to use, and highly effective.
If you want to find out more about microneedling at-home, take a look at our reviews of the best microneedling pens in the market.

Recapitulation: Microdermabrasion vs Hydrafacial vs Microneedling

Microdermabrasion and hydrafacial are very similar procedures with the same depth of treatment, both methods are equally effective and will help even out your skin tone/pigment, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, correct dark spots, and smooth out your skin.
But you need to know that a professional microdermabrasion treatment is less expensive than the two other treatments; in addition, it can be performed at-home easily, which means freedom and cost-effectiveness; however, if your skin is too sensitive for a microdermabrasion treatment, then hydrafacial is your next best solution.

Note: If you are looking for an at home microdermabrasion machine, you can read our reviews of the top microdermabrasion kits here.

On the other hand, microneedling is an entirely different procedure than microdermabrasion or hydrafacial, it is great for those who want to firm and replace some of the elasticity their skin has lost ; in addition, it is generally used to treat scars, wrinkles, and pores by stimulating new collagen and skin tissue growth.
Keep in mind that microneedling has a larger risk of scarring and infection if not done correctly, plus, it is not recommended for people with low pain tolerance, but microneedling remains one of the best minimally invasive treatments for skin rejuvenation.
Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.