Shopping Cart

Hydrafacial, Silk Peel, and Microdermabrasion...What’s the Difference?

Posted by Dan Narsete on

In the aesthetics and beauty world there are always new and improving technologies coming out. Practitioners use dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and most recently dermal infusion based machines to help resurface skin. But what is truth/ fiction, good/bad? Let’s take a look at three technologies that have recently become very popular.


Skin resurfacing dates back to the Egyptians who apparently used sandpaper to resurface scars. Crazy, right? In the 1900’s practitioners began to use dermaplaning to promote some level of skin rejuvenation. Essentially the practitioner takes a scalpel and essentially “peels” superficial layers of skin--in the right hands this can be very effective. But if they don’t know what they are doing… yikes! 


Fast forward to 1991 where Mattioli Engineering developed the first microderm machine, which gained an FDA Clearance in 1996. The idea behind microderm is using an abrasive head made of crystals or diamonds that rolls or spins to remove the upper layers of your skin (epidermis). They are primarily used in medical spas and aesthetic offices. The practitioner cleans and preps your face. Next, they use a wand connected to the machine and basically move in a line-type motion around your face. This takes about 10-15 minutes and removes dead skin and superficial layers of your epidermis. It is painless but it can feel like someone is sanding down your face, which on a microscopic level is exactly what it’s doing.

PRO: simple, fast inexpensive, effective. Good for removing dead skin and pimples.

CON: can cause inflammation and pain if done in excess and serum or moisturizer must be put on manually.

Dermalinfusion (Silk Peel)

Next in the evolution of epidermal skin resurfacing is Dermalinfusion (formerly called Silk Peel). Envy Medical is the parent company located in Long Beach, CA, and they have some proprietary serums developed in conjunction with Stanford University. Dermalinfusion works by spinning a coarse head/wand and suction to remove dirt, blackheads, etc. Next, the device “infuses” a serum depending on what you are after (hydration, brown spots/pigment, anti-aging, etc). Living at high altitude I tried the treatment and found it to be a good one. The advantage over microderm is you get the removal of dead skin and simultaneously replace it with a serum of some sort. My choice was the hydration serum since I live in a dry climate and I can say my skin felt as if I had done a cleansing wash combined with hyaluronic acid and moisturizer all in one!

PRO: fast, effective and inexpensive. Great selection of proprietary serums for infusion.
it is not as widespread in use as compared to other modalities.


Edge Systems is the holding company for Hydrafacial, which exfoliates dead skin, acne, etc through a vacuum-sealed wand.  While it is removing dirt, etc it simultaneously sprays different serums onto your skin. Having done this on my own face I can say it was a good overall experience. It is a bit longer than a microderm treatment and is almost disturbing to see all the dirt, etc you don’t realize is on your face. The dead skin, blackheads, etc are collected into a little tube that the practitioner drains- not saying you want to look at it, but it’s akin to the wreck on the freeway everyone slows down to see, you just can’t help but look.

PRO: minimal or no downtime. It is fast, economical, and effective at removing dead skin.

CON: only penetrates the skin superficially (shallow). Some people have reported via Realself issues with prolonged redness.

Moving forward

We’ve gone over three separate possibilities for you to quickly exfoliate dead skin off your face. When considering such a procedure, make sure you visit a certified provider that either practices under the care of or is a licensed physician. After all, it is your face we are talking about and nobody wants problems. In the unfortunate situation where you have a reaction, having access to a medical provider is worth it’s weight in gold. Though not a replacement for a long-term skin care regimen, these possibilities are a great way to prep for a party, wedding, or even the weekend. In the meantime, you need to be on a long-term solution. The best way to do this is take our skin care quiz and get on a regimen. Give one of them a try and let us know how it was--we would love to hear about your experience!

To great skin,

Team Reflect


Please be sure to follow us on your favorite social media feed, or share this with someone who could learn from it.


Older Post Newer Post