Choose Between Two Options
- $49 for one PCA peel with an at-home care kit ($120 value)
- $79 for three PCA peel with an at-home care kit ($280 value)
Chemical Peels vs. Microdermabrasion: Picking the Best Solution for Your Skin
The arsenal of age-fighting treatments includes both microdermabrasion and chemical peels. Consult our comparison below to help decide which is the best fit for your face.
Typically performed in med spas or in the offices of dermatologists and plastic surgeons, both of these treatments are used to deeply exfoliate the face to help fade wrinkles, light scarring, irregular pigmentation, and tenacious Kool-Aid stains. Here are some of the subtle differences to help you decide which treatment is right for you:
How they work: During a chemical peel, an acid solution is swabbed onto the skin, causing the outer layers to lightly flake off either immediately or over the next few days, which diminishes with the post-procedure at-home care kit.
Custom options: The effects of microdermabrasion vary little between systems or practitioners—patients will simply undergo more sessions for more extensive resurfacing. With chemical peels, there are more choices to make. Med-spa menus will typically offer light peels, which remove only the outer layer of the skin—the epidermis—via a solution of salicylic acid (good for simultaneously treating acne), glycolic acid, or another fruit-derived acid. Medium peels go deeper, reaching below the epidermis into the upper dermis with tetrochloroacetic acid (TCA) for more extensive skin regeneration. In the past, doctors sometimes performed deep peels, the most aggressive level of peel, to address deeper wrinkles, scars, or precancerous growths, but today laser treatments produce the same effects without the need for sedation or extended recovery. They also have a PCA Vitality Peel that is a good option for people with a lighter skin tone, freckles and red hair, or larger pores.
Off limits for: Chemical peels are usually not recommended for those with either dark complexions or very light, freckled skin and red hair, since they present a risk of discoloration. Habitual tanners should also abstain from the sun for up to two months before their peel. Microdermabrasion may be a better option for these patients. It can also be better at smoothing out rough texture produced by enlarged pores, and it’s safer for use on the neck and chest than some stronger peels.
Time commitment: Patients typically undergo anywhere from 5 to 16 microdermabrasion sessions before seeing significant improvements in skin condition. Light peels take more immediate action—usually performed in a series of 3 to 6—and a medium peel is generally a stand-alone treatment. Either treatment may be performed within about 30–60 minutes.
Side effects: No downtime is required for a chemical peel. Please inquire for more pre and post-procedure information at the time of your visit.