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Microneedling vs. Laser Treatment: Which Is Right for Your Skin?

Choosing between microneedling vs laser treatment

In the quest for youthful, flawless skin, two treatments have emerged as popular choices – microneedling and laser treatment. Although distinct in their mode of operation, these procedures are united in their objective: to rejuvenate the skin and alleviate the signs of ageing. However, understanding each treatment’s differences, benefits, and potential side effects is essential to make an informed decision. 

This article will delve into microneedling and laser treatment complexities, helping you determine which procedure might be the right choice for your skin.

Introducing Microneedling

What is Microneedling?

Microneedling, a collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure to improve skin texture and firmness. It involves using tiny, sterilised needles to create controlled micro-injuries to the skin’s surface, which will then stimulate the body’s natural wound-healing process, increasing collagen and elastin production. This treatment is widely used in cosmetic dermatology to address various skin issues, such as wrinkles, scarring, acne, alopecia, skin pigmentation issues (brown spots), stretch marks, and rosacea.

How Microneedling Works

Preparing utensils for microneedling procedure

Microneedling involves using a handheld device equipped with fine needles. As the device is passed over the skin, it creates hundreds of microscopic punctures in the surface layers. The needle penetration depth can be adjusted according to the target skin condition and the patient’s tolerance. These tiny wounds are invisible to the naked eye, and minor surface bleeding is usually self-limiting. 

When the body gets injured, it goes through a healing process that includes inflammation, building new blood vessels, and replacing the damaged matrix with a stronger one. This helps improve the texture and firmness of the skin and reduces the appearance of scars or stretch marks.

Benefits of Microneedling

Microneedling is one of the known skin rejuvenation treatments with many benefits. It’s minimally invasive and has shorter recovery times compared to aggressive treatments. It’s suitable for all skin types, even darker skin tones. 

Its main advantages are stimulating natural collagen and elastin production, improving skin firmness, and reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It also helps the skin absorb topical products better. 

Microneedling can treat acne scars and signs of premature ageing and is not limited to the face. Although it may cause discomfort, it’s generally well-tolerated with topical anaesthetics.

Introducing Laser Treatment

What is Laser Treatment?

Laser treatment, or laser skin resurfacing, is a cosmetic procedure that uses concentrated light to rejuvenate and treat various skin conditions. It directs pulsating beams of light at the skin, removing layers to improve wrinkles, blemishes, acne scars, pigmentation issues, and hair or tattoo removal. This laser therapy treatment targets the treatment area without harming the surrounding skin.

How Laser Treatment Works

Patient having a laser resurfacing treatment

Laser treatment uses a special kind of light set to a specific wavelength. When focused on the skin, this light can do various things. For one, it can help remove the outermost layer of the skin, similar to exfoliating, but on a much deeper level. This is particularly helpful for reducing signs of ageing and damage from prolonged sun exposure. But that’s not all; the heat from this laser therapy can also stimulate the production of new collagen deep within the skin. 

Collagen is a protein that helps keep our skin firm and youthful-looking. Increased collagen production can lead to tighter, smoother skin over time. So, laser treatment works by removing the old, damaged skin on the surface and promoting the growth of new, healthier skin from within.

Benefits of Laser Treatment

Laser treatment offers many benefits for skin rejuvenation. One notable advantage is its precision, targeting only the problematic area without affecting the surrounding skin. It can address various skin issues, from wrinkles to scars, in one go. Stimulating collagen production promotes new collagen growth for tighter, younger-looking skin. Recovery time for most laser procedures is short, with minimal redness or swelling. Laser treatment provides long-lasting results, making it a worthy investment for skin improvement.

Microneedling vs. Laser Treatment: A Closer Look

Treatment Depth

When it comes to skin treatments, microneedling and laser treatments work at different depths. Microneedling uses these tiny needles to create controlled injuries, reaching the dermal layer. This stimulates the body’s natural wound-healing response, encouraging the growth of fresh, healthy skin cells and can stimulate collagen production.

Laser treatments have a versatile range, targeting different layers of the skin depending on the type of laser therapy being used. Some lasers focus on the outer layer, removing dead skin cells and revealing healthier-looking skin. Others can penetrate deeper, similar to microneedling. This flexibility allows tailored procedures to address specific skin concerns effectively.

Targeted Concerns

Microneedling and laser therapy for acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles

Microneedling and laser treatments are effective for various skin concerns but excel in different areas. 

Microneedling benefits fine lines, moderate wrinkles, and acne scars and improves skin texture and tone. It enhances skincare product absorption for optimal efficacy. 

Laser therapy treatments are suited for severe skin concerns like deep wrinkles, sun damage, pigmentation issues, spider veins, rosacea, and port wine stains. Lasers can target different skin depths for accurate treatment. 

Laser skin resurfacing is versatile and accurate for multiple skin issues or severe problems. For gentler treatment to improve texture tone or enhance skincare product effectiveness, microneedling is favourable. 

Both treatments require multiple sessions for optimal results. Consult a qualified dermatologist for treatment choice based on skin type, concerns, and desired outcome.

Downtime and Recovery Time

Microneedling and laser treatments have different recovery times due to their varying intensity levels. Microneedling, a low-intensity treatment, has a relatively short downtime, with most patients able to resume normal activities within a day or two. Laser resurfacing, however, is more intense and may require several days to a week of recovery. Despite longer recovery periods, both treatments offer noticeable and long-lasting results. Consulting with a professional is important to determine the appropriate treatment level for your skin’s needs.

Safety and Risks

Microneedling and laser therapy, when performed by trained professionals, are generally safe. However, there are potential risks and complications associated with these skin treatments. Temporary skin irritation and minor swelling may occur, while mild discomfort, redness, and swelling are common. Following aftercare instructions and choosing a reputable clinic and experienced professional is crucial to minimise complications. Discuss your skin conditions and medical history with a dermatologist before treatment, and adhere to the recommended aftercare routine for optimal skin recovery.


The cost of microneedling and laser treatments can vary based on factors like treatment area, skin concern severity, treatment type, and location/reputation of the clinic or spa. Microneedling is generally less expensive than laser treatments, with an average session cost ranging from $500 to $1000, depending on these factors. Multiple sessions may be needed for optimal results, increasing the overall cost.

Laser treatments, being more complex and utilising modern technology, tend to be pricier. Session costs can range from $450 to several thousand pounds. Like microneedling, multiple sessions are often required, leading to a higher overall cost. 

While laser resurfacing has a higher upfront cost, it may offer quicker results for severe skin conditions, potentially proving more cost-effective in the long run.

Choosing the Right Treatment

When deciding on microneedling treatments vs laser treatments, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each treatment has different strengths and effectiveness for specific skin conditions. Consulting with a qualified skincare professional is crucial to assessing your skin’s needs and goals. Skincare treatments are a science; what works for others may not work for you. Rely on the expertise of a skincare professional to prioritise your health and safety and achieve your skincare goals. Book a consultation to make an informed choice between microneedling and laser treatments.

Should I Try One Before the Other?

Laser treatments are ideal for severe skin concerns like deep wrinkles or pigmentation. Some prefer starting with microneedling, while others choose the opposite approach or alternate between the two methods. Microneedling is effective for mild acne scarring and fine lines, improving skin texture and stimulating collagen production. Laser resurfacing provides quicker results for stubborn concerns impacting deeper layers. Combining microneedling and laser skin resurfacing can target multiple concerns simultaneously. Consult a skincare professional for personalised recommendations based on your goals and concerns.

Can Both Procedures Be Used Together?

Sometimes, microneedling and laser treatments can be used together for better results. Combining these methods can address skin concerns like deep wrinkles and fine lines on the face. Microneedling improves skin texture and stimulates collagen production, while laser resurfacing targets deeper wrinkles. It’s important to note that combining these procedures may require more downtime and cost. Consulting with a skincare professional is essential to determine the ideal approach for your unique needs.


Microneedling and laser treatments effectively address skincare concerns, each with unique strengths. Microneedling is affordable and suitable for milder conditions, while laser skin resurfacing yields quicker results for deeper issues. Combining both can deliver comprehensive results. Consult a qualified dermatologist for personalised advice based on your skin’s condition and desired results. Achieving beautiful skin is a journey guided by professionals, starting with a single step!


Medical Director

After graduating from the National University of Singapore, Dr Boey’s journey in aesthetics brought him to esteemed institutions such as Harvard Medical School, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Queen Mary University of London in diverse cities like Seoul, London, Boston and New York.