While first introduced in the early 90s, microneedling has only recently gained some traction in the skincare industry. The process is fairly simple – thousands of small needles (between 0.5mm and 2mm in diameter) are used to make tiny punctures in your skin. This triggers the wound healing process, increasing the production of collagen and elastin.
It’s a minimally invasive treatment geared towards reducing the appearance of acne scars, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and other signs of ageing. Additionally, microneedling helps topical products penetrate your skin more effectively. There are more benefits to microneedling and we’ll explore them in-depth below. First, let’s take a look at the procedure.
Microneedling is performed by plastic surgeons, aestheticians and trained dermatologists. The process begins a month before your first session, where you’re given a topical formulation of Vitamins A and C. This is meant to increase collagen production in your skin.
Come the time of the procedure, the first step involves applying topical anesthesia to numb your skin, as well as an antiseptic for hygiene. Then, your skin is stretched and a derma roller is rolled around five times in all directions. Some professionals use derma rollers, while others use microneedling tools that penetrate deeper into your skin.
There will be some bleeding, but most patients report minimal to no pain at all. After the procedure, an ice pack or saline formula is applied to your skin. Some dermatologists will also apply a collagen-enhancing serum and hydrating face mask. Here’s what you should expect during the micro needling healing process.
Collagen Production: Studies have shown that increases in collagen production can make your skin more supple and improve its elasticity. This reduces the size of your pores, as well as the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. In other words, microneedling can shed years off your face.
Acne Scars: This is the most popular reason for microneedling. Acne scars are difficult to treat and most over-the-counter solutions make little to no difference in their appearance. Microneedling has proven to be an effective solution for these stubborn skin issues.
Heals Sun Damage: One 2015 study found that microneedling can minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage. It can also reduce melasma, a condition that causes dark patches.
Don’t Try This at Home: While you can purchase your own derma roller and attempt to perform microneedling at home, it’s not advisable. Home devices don’t offer uniform application and can promote inflammation from deeper wounds. They’re also not as sterile and require a specific technique to use properly.
It’s Not Agonizing: Despite what images of microneedling on the internet may have you believe, the process is more or less painless. Microneedling usually takes around 20 minutes and most patients report that it only feels like five.
Near-Instant Results: It doesn’t take long for the redness to disappear after microneedling, after which you’ll immediately notice your refreshed, glowing complexion.
Whether you’re looking to reduce signs of ageing, acne scarring or sun damage, undergoing a microneedling procedure is a worthwhile consideration. Be sure to first consult a professional to determine whether it’s right for your skin.