If you haven’t heard about microneedling yet, it’s time to get in the know! Microneedling is also referred to as “collagen induction therapy.” It’s a minimally invasive service that can improve acne scars, wrinkles, enlarged pores, stretch marks, and even tighten lax skin. Research has shown that even melasma can be successfully lightened using microneedling treatments! Patients in clinical studies rated their skin as 60-80% improved after undergoing microneedling treatment.
So, how does it work? In a nutshell, microneedling causes minuscule and controlled injury to the skin. This activates the wound healing response which stimulates the formation of new collagen.
Using a device that looks like a pen, a practitioner creates hundreds of tiny micro-channels in the skin. This is another way of saying you are systematically pricked all over your face by teeny, tiny needles. But not to worry! A numbing cream is applied first, and it isn’t anywhere near as painful as it may sound! The end goal is regeneration through the body’s healing process. It can be a little off-putting at first to some, but I promise it sounds worse than it is.
As each tiny hole in your face (or stomach or thighs, etc.) heals, there is an overall tightening effect that occurs, leaving you with smoother, firmer, more even looking skin.
Thanks to all the micro-channels created in the skin during a microneedling session, any product applied subsequently can penetrate deeper into the skin. Active ingredients reach layers of the skin they normally wouldn’t. A liquid treatment such as epidermal growth factors, hyaluronic acid or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is often applied during or directly after needling just for this reason. PRP, for example, stimulates collagen production and accelerates the healing process. (Read more about PRP here)
At One Aesthetics in Winter Park, FL, they mix diluted Botox with PRP to accomplish something similar to Microbotox. Microbotox is a technique that is used to relax the sebaceous and sweat glands as well as the superficial layer of facial muscles. Unlike traditional Botox, Microbotox uses multiple tiny intradermal to just subdermal (not very deep) injections of very dilute Botox. The end result is a reduction in oil, acne, pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles. Using a diluted solution of botulinum toxin and PRP after microneedling produces a similar effect to Microbotox but with the additional benefits of PRP. Talk about cutting edge!
Microneedling can be used instead of lasers or chemical peels because it is safe for use on all skin tones, on all parts of the body, and at all times of life (like during pregnancy or breastfeeding). People with darker skin tones or melasma often can’t do certain lasers due to the risk of skin darkening or burning. Chemical peels can sometimes cause rosacea to flare up. Microneedling poses none of these risks.
There is very little downtime with microneedling—yet another advantage over lasers or chemical peels. You may be a bit pink or swollen after a microneedling session, but most people see their skin return to normal within 24 hours. Some lasers or chemical peels can have you “in hiding” (or heavy makeup) for up to a week or more.
Of course, microneedling and lasers can be used in tandem for optimal results, and the fact that microneedling is so minimally invasive makes it perfect to do between laser treatments if you wish.
For best results, most people do four to eight sessions with an occasional appointment after that to maintain their fabulous skin.
**I do want to caution those of you inclined to try this at home: just because there are rollers for sale for home use, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to have a go at it. Consider that you could cause an infection, scar yourself, or cause broken blood vessels to develop under the skin (that are often irreversible.)
Also, the rollers for sale for at home use usually have shorter, blunter needles that don’t penetrate as deeply as the professional ones. Save your money (and face) for the real deal.
7 Benefits of Microneedling, the Hottest Skincare Trend-Aubrey Almanza, Readers Digest.com, 2017
What is Microneedling? How poking tiny Holes in Your Face Can Make You Look Younger, Kathleen Mulpeter, Health.com April 06, 2017
Facial Rejuvenation Can Come from Diluted Botulinum Toxin Injections-Aesthetic Channel, Modern Medicine.com, Eliza Drewa, Dec 01, 2011