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Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion, and Ablative Lasers: What’s the Difference?

Posted in Chemical Peels, Laser Genesis by CUTERA®, Laser Treatments for Wrinkles, Microdermabrasion

Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and ablative lasers all address facial aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and age spots by exfoliating and removing the upper layers of your skin. But how do you know which of these facial treatments is ideal for you?

Woman removing a clear chemical peel mask from her face

These treatments begin with the idea that to achieve youthful-looking skin, you must first be willing to shed the top, damaged layer so that the healthier skin underneath can shine through. This is true in most circumstances. Your skin, especially the face and neck, is bombarded by environmental pollutants and sun damage every moment of the day, and eventually, your skin will start to show the effects of such wear and tear. So, naturally, the best way to get rid of the damage to the uppermost layer is to literally get rid of the skin.

Chemical Peels

Peels have been used for decades to address skin concerns such as fine lines, wrinkles, and tone and texture irregularities caused by sun damage and aging. A chemical peel is a reliable way to achieve rejuvenated and healthy skin. During a chemical peel, an exfoliating chemical solution is applied directly to your face, causing the upper layers of skin to flake off over the course of a few days. Chemical peels range in strength from mild improvement to deep rejuvenation. And just as there are variations in peel strength, there are variations in treatment results and the length of recovery time. While a stronger, deeper peel may require the most downtime, it will also provide the most significant results. Some of the chemical peels offered by The Spa at Spring Ridge include:

  • Glycolic Peel: This peel effectively treats fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven pigment.
  • Glytone by Enerpeel® EL: This peel targets dark circles, uneven texture, puffiness, and fine lines around the eyes and lips.
  • Glytone by Enerpeel® PA: The peel smooths skin tone and texture by increasing skin thickness.
  • ZO® 3-Step Peel™: This peel focuses on the improvement of melasma, acne, enlarged pores, and skin vibrancy.
  • ZO® Stimulator Peel: This peel reduces fine lines and collagen degradation to improve skin’s tone and texture.


Microdermabrasion involves the exfoliation of the top layer of skin just as chemical peels do; however, microdermabrasion handles it differently. Instead of chemical agents doing the work over several days, microdermabrasion happens in one sitting. During this non-invasive treatment, an abrasive diamond-edged wand moves over the surface of your skin to dislodge damaged and dead skin cells as a suction system removes them. With microdermabrasion, there is no chemical solution or wait time, and results begin to show shortly after treatment.

Laser Treatments

When facial laser treatments started, ablative lasers were the only option to effectively target the most visible signs of aging. Ablative lasers use laser energy to heat the skin, and in doing so, cause the skin to flake off. While ablative lasers are successful, they are no longer the only lasers that can get the job done. Now, improvements in laser technology have given non-ablative lasers the power of ablative ones, allowing you the option of full facial rejuvenation with less downtime and peeling. The Spa at Spring Ridge offers non-invasive, non-ablative treatments such as:

  • Icon™ 1540 Fractional Laser: This laser rejuvenates aging skin by treating wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, thinning skin, acne scars, and uneven tone and texture.
  • Laser Genesis by CUTERA®: This laser focuses its laser energy on facial redness, acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles.

While results will be visible after the first treatment for all of these procedures, multiple sessions are recommended to reap the full benefits. Now is the time to start enjoying your rejuvenated skin.

If you are interested in turning your tired complexion around, contact The Spa at Spring Ridge by calling (610) 927-3223 or fill out our online contact form.