The line between hydro dermabrasion and microdermabrasion can be somewhat confusing. The reason for that is because the two procedures attend to one need: skin resurfacing. But unfortunately, you have to pick one from the two? So, which one would that be?

Which one of hydro-dermabrasion or microdermabrasion is right for your skin?

To help you answer that question, we have listed and explained the differences between the two skin resurfacing treatments in this article. But before we delve into the details, let’s define the key terms!

What Is Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a surgical process that removes the outermost layer of the skin. In the process, it enhances the growth of the young and fresher skin beneath. Overall, your entire skin will have a flushed and softer feel.

However, you should know that dermabrasion involves surgery – it can be invasive. In particular, this surgical process uses a handheld peeler; the device peels off your outermost skin layer with its wire brushes.

And because of the nature of the peeling, patients often receive anesthesia to suppress the pain. Regardless of the pain, hydro-dermabrasion is a fast skin resurfacing treatment. Within 2 hours, the entire surgery will be over.

After the surgery, your skin would probably be red and swollen. But don’t fret; the look will get better as the young skin heals and grows. Also, you won’t feel the pain because you’d suppress all that with painkillers.

Overall, the healing process after dermabrasion takes up to 2 weeks. However, note that the timeline could also be longer or shorter than that. If you did only a minimal skin resurfacing, your recovery time would be a max of 10days. Otherwise, you can expect a timeline that spans over 2weeks.

That said, let’s see how hydro-dermabrasion and microdermabrasion weigh up to their base words!

What Is Microdermabrasion?

Unlike dermabrasion, microdermabrasion is non-surgical and non-invasive. It is a controlled treatment that uses microcrystals to exfoliate the skin. For that reason, microdermabrasion is less painful and only requires little time to heal.

However, there are two types of microdermabrasion: the crystal and the diamond-tip. So, you might want to be sure which to get before you proceed. Fortunately, we have a robust guide that can help with that:

Micro-dermabrasion: What Is It? – Benefits And Everything You Need To Know

What Is Hydrodermabrasion?

Also known as Diamond glow treatment, hydro-dermabrasion is a somewhat new skin resurfacing treatment. But it can be confusing because it uses a diamond tip to distribute its exfoliating agent like diamond-tip microdermabrasion. But they are different. How?

Hydro-dermabrasion doesn’t employ microcrystals for exfoliation. Instead, it uses saline solution and oxygen.

Now that we understand the key terms, let’s highlight the differences between hydro-dermabrasion and microdermabrasion.

The 5 Key Differences Between Hydrodermabrasion And Microdermabrasion

Intensity Of Resurfacing

The first and crucial difference between hydro dermabrasion and micro-dermabrasion is how intense their experience could feel on you. For the former, it is totally pain-free, and you’d rarely see any side effects. But for micro-dermabrasion, there might be a few complications. How so?

Indeed, micro-dermabrasion is not as invasive as dermabrasion. Nonetheless, it is still a bit sophisticated. For that reason, it can leave a bit of redness on your skin.


Ordinarily, hydro dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are both excellent skin resurfacing treatments. However, they are better suited to different skin types.

Hydro dermabrasion, for a start, is the best treatment for dry and irritated skin. Nevertheless, it can be customized for all skin types, but it works best on people with dry skin. Also, hydro dermabrasion is better suited for mild skin conditions.

Micro-dermabrasion, on the other hand, is the best treatment for oily skin types. And it works perfectly for patients with severe skin issues. In particular, this skin resurfacing treatment is the best fit for correcting:

Exfoliating Agent

Hydro dermabrasion adopts saline solution and oxygen to exfoliate the skin. And like the name, the entire process of this treatment harnesses hydration to remove the dead skin cells.

Thanks to hydration, hydro dermabrasion improves blood circulation in the skin. It does that by clearing out the impurities in skin pores through gentle suction. Afterward, it adds peptides and serum to improve the production of collagen in the skin.

Micro-dermabrasion, on the other hand, adopts microcrystals to exfoliate the skin. It does that through the abrasiveness of the crystals. In the end, both the crystals and the handheld wand will slough off the dead cells from your skin to deliver a fresh and healthier appearance.


Because of the nature of what hydro dermabrasion treats, its results are fast. Depending on your aesthetician, you can even start feeling the changes on your skin as early as the next day.

On the other hand, micro-dermabrasion takes a longer time to take effect. And that is justifiable, seeing that some skin issues might cut deep into the body. Nonetheless, you can rest assured of flushed skin after all the wait.

Frequency Of Use

This part often depends on how much resurfacing you are doing to your skin and your aesthetician. Nonetheless, we know that a single hydro-dermabrasion treatment every 2-4 weeks will do wonders for your skin.

In the case of micro-dermabrasion, you might need 6-10 treatments every 2-6 weeks before you can see changes on your skin. And that depends on the issue you’re treating too.

Which Is Better: Hydrodermabrasion or Microdermabrasion?

Ordinarily, the two skin resurfacing treatments are both excellent. But if you’re someone with sensitive skin, micro-dermabrasion might not be a good fit. And if what you are suffering is mild like blotches, steer clear of micro-dermabrasion. In your case, hydro dermabrasion will suffice.

But if your skin is dry, we will advise you to choose microdermabrasion all the way! You might suffer minor redness and sunlight exposure itching, but you’d be fine.

And we still have an additional offer for you. It is our trademark crystal-free micro-dermabrasion treatment at Skin Apeel. You can think of it as the best of hydro dermabrasion and the conventional micro-dermabrasion. Our offer is gentle but exfoliates deeply. More importantly, it is compatible with all skin types.

Last note: whichever skin resurfacing you choose, ensure you drink lots of water and use gentle skincare products. We wish you all the best!