Microneedling vs Chemical Peel: Which Is Best?

We all have our fair share of beauty qualms and skin concerns that make us seek cosmetic treatments to correct these issues. But which treatment is best for your individual needs? Microneedling and chemical peels are both considered highly effective and popular cosmetic treatments for correcting a wide range of aging issues.

The treatments vary depending on the skin issues under treatment, and the cosmetician will determine the right intensity of the needling or chemical solution to address the unique skin condition. Read on to evaluate the merits of both microneedling vs chemical peel treatments and decide which one is best for your skin.


  • Microneedling provides more natural and effective results
  • Chemical peels only treat surface-level “appearance”, and don’t treat most underlying issues
  • Peels can be effective at removing the top layer of damaged and dead skin
  • Avoid using these treatments in combination

Table of Contents

What Is A Chemical Peel?

Chemical peels are a skin resurfacing treatment, using a chemical formula to remove the top layers of the skin. It can enhance the overall appearance by causing blister-like formations that make the skin peel off naturally. As the dead skin peels off, a new layer of smooth and healthy skin takes its place.

Chemical peel treatments can be done at different depths, depending on the skin imperfections being targeted. They can also be used in combination with other cosmetic treatments.

It’s ideal for people looking to reverse the signs of aging, as it can diminish the appearance of minor acne scars, wrinkles, fine lines, acne, dry skin, and uneven skin tone.

Overall, it enhances the appearance and texture of the skin, making it smoother, fresher, and more youthful.

What Is Microneedling?

Microneedling uses small sterilized needles to create tiny wounds to initiate a process of deep healing, that naturally increases collagen and elastin levels in the skin, resulting in a younger and more radiant look.

Also known as collagen induction therapy, this cosmetic treatment can help with a wide array of skin qualms, including hyperpigmentation, acne, large-open pores, fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and stretch marks.

Microneedling is also an effective solution for treating alopecia or mild cases of hair loss. It’s highly advisable for those struggling with sagginess as it boosts skin elasticity and firmness.

Microneedling vs Chemical Peels: How To Choose The Right Treatment?

Choosing the right procedure for your skin can be tricky, as both these cosmetic treatments address similar skin conditions. It’s wise to consult a cosmetician or dermatologist to determine the right therapy for your skin type and envisioned results.

Generally, chemical peels are advisable to address surface damage, as they use varying intensities of chemicals, such as phenol and trichloroacetic acid, to treat skin damage and eliminate layers of dead skin cells.

Microneedling works for deeper-rooted issues by boosting elastin and collagen production to heal the skin naturally.

Best For Acne Scars?

Answer: Microneedling

Microneedling can work wonders at treating and diminishing the appearance of acne scars, specifically Microneedling with PRP treatment. It works well at breaking down and remodeling existing scar tissue.

Chemical peels will not remove deep scars, as they remove the top damaged layer which can sometimes result in a better appearance.

Better For Sagging Skin?

Answer: Microneedling

Sagging or loose skin is a challenging condition to treat. Microneedling targets fibroblasts in the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin production which can help with firmness.

Chemical peels are not effective at treating sagging skin.

chemical peel

The Best Treatment For Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Answer: Both

Chemical peels are considered effective for treating surface fine lines by removing damaged layers and skin cells. They won’t treat issues that are deeply rooted as well as a microneedling treatment would.

Microneedling can treat more severe wrinkles by triggering the wound-healing response, which helps release growth factors and nutrients to the skin cells.

Which Is Better for Hyperpigmentation and Sun Damage?

Answer: Microneedling

Again, chemical peels can remove the appearance of discoloration, but do not treat the underlying issue. Medium or deep chemical peels may prove more effective in peeling off the sun-damaged layers and replacing them with healthy and smooth skin.

Microneedling can treat hyperpigmentation, but it is one of the most difficult issues to resolve. It can be effective as it influences skin cell turnover, repairing and remodeling damaged cells.

Should I Do Microneedling or Chemical Peel?

Both microneedling and chemical peels are effective cosmetic treatments for diminishing the signs of aging. However, you must ask yourself, are you comfortable exposing your skin to chemicals and acids? Or perhaps, you prefer a natural treatment that allows the skin to heal itself.

Microneedling is a great alternative to chemical peels as it is not as invasive and the procedure is governed by the skin’s natural healing mechanism. It provides natural results with minimal side effects.

Chemical peels are more popular among people who want fast and short terms results for their appearance. They are great for the absorption of rich nutrients and rejuvenating the skin, but they also have the risk of premature aging if used frequently.


What Type Of Chemical Peel Is Best?

Enzyme peels are generally recommended as the best peel as they do not damage the skin barrier when compared to most traditional peels. There are many superficial peels on the market containing harmful ingredients, especially for those with sensitive skin. Make sure to choose a peel with ingredients that are resourceful for the targeted skin issue.

Can You Do A Chemical Peel With Microneedling?

No, these treatments should never be used in combination. Microneedling will increase the absorption of the products within the chemical peel, which can cause severe inflammation and an increased risk of skin damage.

Can You Do A Chemical Peel Before Or After Home Microneedling (Dermarolling)?

It’s crucial to avoid dermarolling at home for at least a week after undergoing a chemical peel. Again, to avoid severe inflammation and skin damage. It’s wise to give your skin at least a week before dermarolling, but it can take two weeks or longer to heal from the effects of the peel treatment.

How Long Should You Wait Between A Chemical Peel And Microneedling?

Two weeks. If you are looking to use both treatments, it must be done with at least a two week-gap to allow the inflammation to clear up. The exact duration varies depending on the intensity of the microneedling session and the chemical peel used. Consult your dermatologist or cosmetician for an advisable timeline.