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In the world of skin care, beauty, and cosmetics, you will find a new product, a new technique or a new treatment almost on a daily basis. Each promises a better-looking skin, anti-ageing effects, the reduction of wrinkles, and the healing of skin issues, among others. What is microneedling, you ask? The newest, hottest, most heralded cosmetic treatment du jour.
As we all know, Botox was the supreme ruler of all treatments meant to offer you fresher, younger skin. However, Botox gained some competition in the shape of laser treatments and fillers, new skin care formulas and natural homemade skin care remedies for brown spots or other skin affections. Is the reign of Botox witnessing its dawn, now that microneedle therapy became all the rage? Let us find out from the following guide on what is microneedle therapy!
What is Microneedling – The Medical Perspective
This procedure is also known as “collagen induction therapy.” So far so good, as collagen is a word we all know and love when it comes to skin care. In fact, if you are interested in collagen injections, you can look at our collagen injections procedure guide to learn if this technique is right for you.
When it comes to skin rejuvenation and collagen, you may quickly figure out some needles are going to show up in the story. You are right. A microneedling facial treatment involves a device featuring tens of very fine needles that puncture the top layer of your skin. Do not cringe, even if “tens of needles” sounds scary. Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure that celebrities swear by. Not so long ago, we shared a few celebrities’ skin care and beauty secrets, and we noticed many favor clinical treatments, such as peeling, exfoliation, collagen injections and so on.
There is no secret, thus, that famous women like Gwynets Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Emily Skye are reportedly fans of the of the microneedle facial treatment.
Is Microneedling Painful?
Experts agree that medical microneedling is a risk-free procedure that has real benefits for your skin. The device pokes many tiny little holes in the top layer of your skin, triggering the body to produce new elastin and collagen on its own during the healing stage. If you want to get rid of fine wrinkles, acne, scars, stretch marks and other skin issues, it seems that the microneedle derma roller is the answer to your prayers.
Think about it this way: if you understand the benefits of dry brushing for skin care and you willingly perform this treatment at home, there is no reason for you to be afraid of microneedling.
Is Microneedling Better than Dermaplaning?
If you know what dermaplaning involves as an anti-ageing method, then the answer to your question is that they are different. According to experts, microneedling covers more skin issues than dermaplaning. We will list them down immediately.
Moreover, since the derma roller pokes your skin, it allows skin care products to be absorbed better and thus become more efficient. This is why we will also reach the subject of microneedling with PRP: the combination of microneedling with a topical treatment with platelet rich plasma or other vitamin-rich serums.
There are solid medical studies on the benefits of microneedling. Nevertheless, you may feel a bit discouraged by the idea of the many needles you will have to endure. Before you decide if this treatment is right for you, let us dive into the details of microneedling therapy.
What is Microneedling – The Explained In-Office Procedure
Your microneedling expert will apply an anesthetic cream on your face at first. This eliminates the worries you had about the pain. Your skin will get numb because of the cream.
The dermatologist may also apply a thin layer of water on your face as well. This procedure allows your skin to stay lubricated and hydrated, allowing the microneedle derma roller to glide more smoothly on your face.
The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on your skin issues. The dermatologist rolls the microneedle device over your skin in order to create those tiny holes on its surface. What it is important to know is that the needles may also come together with radiofrequency energy to stimulate the collagen in the skin. The needles thus jumpstart the skin natural healing process.
When doctors use microneedle therapy and radiofrequency therapy, they reach the deeper layers of your skin (the dermis, which is the thicker layer under your skin’s surface). The mixed procedure helps your skin create even more collagen tightening for greater constriction results. In comparison to dermaplaning, resurfacing lasers, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels, in-office microneedling has very little downtime.
At the end of the procedure, your face will get a reddish tone, like a sunburn. After a couple of days, your skin will heal and look normal again. The results of the microneedling will begin to show progressively. The first effects will be a smoother, more even-looking, firmer skin.
Skin Affections you can treat
As we said, microneedling covers a wider area of skin issues than other dermatological and cosmetic treatments. Look at some of the before and after microneedling photos and decide if you want to try the procedure. This is what you need to know about the major areas of intervention!
1. Fine and Deep Face Wrinkles
One of the primary appeals of cosmetic treatments is to stop ageing in its tracks and eliminate deep wrinkles, as well as preventing new fine lines from forming. The key to such an achievement is collagen and elastin stimulation and regrowth.
The cosmetic industry usually keeps its promises:
- we can choose between the Juvederm and the Restylane skin fillers;
- we can use some of the best hyaluronic acid supplements on the market;
- we can benefit from retinol creams’ power to reduce eye wrinkles;
- we can look for the newest and most praised vitamin C serums for skin care.
However, some doctors go as far as to say that microneedling is the most powerful method to prevent and remove wrinkles yet. In fact, after only a few microneedling sessions, you will be able to experience significantly reduced fine lines, crow’s feet, or deep wrinkles on your forehead.
One of the major benefits of microneedling is that it boosts the body’s natural mechanisms of defense and healing, being, in fact, the most natural (organic if you like the term better) anti-ageing treatments to date. In addition, because of its minimal downtime, dermatologists often recommend microneedling as a maintenance therapy to prevent and fend off the early signs of ageing.
2. Visible Fine or Deep Acne Scars
Studies have shown that a dermatological procedure using 3 mm needles is twice as affective as traditional scar treatments. Such an intervention can treat deep acne scars, which form beneath the surface of your skin. If you want to get rid of acne scars with cosmetic goods rather than procedures, here is a quick reminder on our top pick of nine best products for acne scars.
What you should know, however, is that microneedling for acne scars (either superficial or deep) is even more effective than fractional laser treatments for acne scars. The reasons are the following:
- Better tolerated by patients.
- Fewer side effects.
- Less downtime.
In the case of acne and acne scars, your dermatologist may also use a microneedling pen for a more localized approach.
3. Sun Burns, Damage and Skin Pigmentation
Collagen is the secret weapon against skin damage. As microneedling stimulates collagen, it can also reverse burns, damages, or pigmentation issues caused by sun exposure (including the melasma-induced hyperpigmentation). The blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation that is associated with melasma seems to respond very well to the microneedle treatment.
In order to improve extra pigmentation from sun-damaged skin, your dermatologist will probably use a derma roller with needle length ranging between 1.0 mm and 1.5 mm. Some beauty experts say that one microneedle treatment can clear your skin and make it glow again, despite many beach sessions.
As a friendly reminder, no matter how advanced the dermatological technology is these days, you should still use sunscreen (always, even in winter) and fix a bad sunburn with these quick tips and tricks in case you fell asleep on the beach.
4. Rejuvenating Aging Skin
Aging does not only come with wrinkles. It also comes with loose, flappy skin. The older we get, the less collagen we produce naturally. From this point of view, microneedle therapy is extremely efficient in tightening loose skin, a great achievement for older men and women. Some doctors go as far as to say microneedling will someday replace cosmetic surgery altogether.
Until we reach that point, it is important to mention that scientific research found that microneedling is a new and effective way of achieving skin rejuvenation, tightening, age-induced scaring, photo aged skin improvements, and many more.
To make sure your skin looks wonderful and naturally glowing no matter how old you are, do not forget to include in your diet some of the foods dermatologists swear by. Feeling good also means looking good, isn’t it?
5. Pores Shrinking
If until now, you imagined that microneedling therapy enlarges pores (poking holes in them), you were right to think that, but you were wrong in the same time. One of the major benefits of microneedling is that the derma roller actually makes pores look a lot smaller. Since the procedure stimulates your pores in and around them, they will plump and look shrunken, if not closed altogether.
Clogged pores represent a nightmare for many women, especially for those with oily skin. We have here our complete guide on how to take care of oily skin, although we understand that sometimes, home remedies are not enough.
In addition, getting rid of clogged pores temporarily is a healthy lifestyle choice. However, if you want a more permanent solution with long-term skin benefits, you may want to try microneedling.
Other Benefits of Microneedling
The greatest advantage of microneedling in comparison with other dermatological or home skin care treatments is that microneedling is not exclusive to your face. In fact, you can use it all over your body. It can work great on any area of your body, especially on those zones that display marks or scars (legs, chest, back or butt). Doctors say that as few as four to six sessions could make a difference in these problematic areas.
1. Microneedling for Stretch Marks
Stretch marks share a great number of causes, but the end-result is the scared-looking areas of skin. Just as it is the case with deep acne scars, stretch marks benefit greatly from microneedle therapy as the collagen boosts to repair the bad-looking scars and signs. Some patients confirmed amazing stretch marks fading times. If you have to deal with pregnancy stretch marks, microneedling may be the answer to all your questions.
Stretch marks also accompany cellulite and other skin issues. While stretch marks and cellulite oil-based home remedies work, if yours are becoming a serious issue, you might consider microneedling. Of course, laser therapy is a classic approach to the problem, but microneedling is better tolerated and has less downtime, as we said before.
2. Microneedling for Hair Loss
Now it is the time to talk about microneedling with PRP. The transdermal delivery of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) via microneedling has become a very popular treatment for hair loss in the last years. The logic is the same: the two therapies combined (the use of the microneedle roller for hair loss and the PRP treatment) boost the body’s natural collagen and stimulate natural hair growth. The studies are in progress, but the initial results show that microneedling is a promising treatment for men and women dealing with hair loss.
If you are still wondering about the efficiency of microneedling for hair loss, you can consult our review on Keranique hair regrowth treatment, which has plenty of positive feedback from people who used it.
3. Microneedling for Transdermal Drug Delivery
Another benefit of microneedling with applications in many medical fields is the fact that it can facilitate transdermal drug delivery to treat a great number of illnesses. The derma roller device produces microscopic holes forming channels that stay open for a few minutes towards the deeper skin layers. Doctors can use these temporary channels to deliver patients topical anesthetics and localized treatments for melasma, melanosis, aging skin conditions, unwanted tattoos and androgenetic alopecia.
4. Microneedling for Transdermal Cosmetic Products Delivery
In case you did not know, when you use a cosmetic product or serum, only a small percent of it actually penetrates your skin. One appealing benefit of the microneedle procedure is that improves product absorption tremendously. If you need to use topical medicine (for acne or acne scars, for instance), a microneedling derma roller allows the medicine to penetrate the skin more efficiently so you can enjoy the full benefits of the medicine.
Your clogged or infected pores do not allow a proper treatment. However, the microneedling technique does, since it creates temporary channels to conduct serums, creams, and medication deep into the skin layers.
This benefit, nevertheless, begs the following question…
Can You Perform Microneedling at Home?
The answer is YES. There are microneedling derma rolls for home use. Such gadgets are electrical or manual. Like most at-home alternatives to medical devices, these gadgets will not offer the same strength of treatment. However, they will offer excellent results in a less invasive way if you learn how to use them properly. Your skin will respond to frequency more than to needle length and needle depth.
This may also answer another question: “how often should you use a microneedle roller?” Specialists say you should use it on your face no more than one-two times a week. Since the skin on your body is thicker, you can use the roller at home up to three times a week.
How to Use how to use the Microneedle Skin Roller at Home?
Here is a quick guide on using a microneedle skin roller at home:
- Before use, thoroughly disinfect the derma roller with alcohol or a roller sterilizer.
- Use very mild pressure and do not press, push, or force the roller into the skin, no matter if you use it for your face or body.
- Follow this sequence of movement: roll back and forth at the same intensity on the treatment area 5 to 10 times.
- Remember to roll each time in each of the four directions: horizontally, vertically and diagonally.
- After you finish, apply creams, treatments, or serums, but avoid any irritating formulas such as retinol, vitamin C, acid-based products or products enhanced with perfume. Opt for hydrating formulas, natural oils, and serums.
As you probably know by now, we are huge fans of essential oils for all skin care needs, so if you are interested in some such natural treatments after the microneedle therapy, check out our essential oils for skin care guide!
Now that we are approaching the last section of our guide, we need to answer a few frequently asked questions that are on everybody’s mind.
Q: How Often Should You Get In-Office Microneedling?
A: Doctors recommend 3-5 treatments in 4-6 week intervals for acne scars, stretch marks, and deep wrinkles, since you might need a few sessions to see results. Specialists also recommend maintenance treatments every 6-9 months. It mostly depends on the severity of the issue, and your dermatologist will be more than able to offer you these details.
Q: What Are the Microneedling Side Effects?
A: While microneedling is allowed on all skin colors and skin types, you should avoid it if you have an ongoing and active skin infection, active and inflamed acne, rosacea, or skin cuts, bruises, or irritations. People suffering from hypersensitive skin, burnt skin, eczema or psoriasis should also avoid the procedure. Since the beginning of this guide, we emphasized on the fact that the treatment creates tiny wounds in your skin. Many skin affections we mentioned above can get worse after microneedling.
Q: How Much is Microneedling?
A: The cost of microneedling depends on many factors: the need of the client, the skin problem that needs treatment, the amount of total treatments needed, the specific serum used during the procedure, the combination of procedures, the patient’s age and skin type (which influence the treatment’s rate of response). Keeping all these factors in mind, you should know that microneedle therapies typically run $500.00 to $1,200.00 per service. The at-home treatment is thus more affordable, if this was going to be your next question.
Picking up the needles
Now that you know what is microneedling and what it is good for, you need to take a look at microneedle before and after photos and search for patients’ testimonials. While each individual experience is unique, you will soon understand if it can lead you towards the results you expect.
Our advice is to have a chat with your doctor or dermatologist before you engage in such a therapy. Moreover, before jumping at the opportunity of buying an at-home microneedling derma roller, ask for your dermatologist’s advice.
While you are pondering upon the benefits of microneedling, you can still check out our skin care guides! We have the full but simplified guidelines of the famous Korean skin care routine and many more!
If you have more questions on what is microneedling, do not hesitate to leave us a few words in our comment section below!