Updated: Apr 28
So, micro-needling? Acne scarring, reduction in pores, improved texture and firmness, tightening of fine lines and wrinkles, are just some of the miraculous benefits micro-needling has on our skin, but let’s delve into what we really want to know!
Micro-needling: so, how does it work?
Micro-needling (also known as collagen induction therapy) is a semi-invasive, derma roller skin treatment which can be used on both body and face. It involves small needles repeatedly pricking the skin to generate new collagen and skin tissue, and enhances the absorption of your skincare products by allowing topical products to penetrate deeper into the skin - such as serums, retinols and acids.
It is said that the first hour after receiving the treatment, the absorption of skincare products are increased by 3000%!
Risk to reward…
Like most cosmetic procedures, there is a fine line between the noticeable changes micro-needling will have on your skin after the treatment and the possible implications and side effects whilst under-going the treatment.
It probably goes without saying, but as small needles are literally being punctured into your skin, this is likely to cause minor skin irritation immediately after having the procedure. In some exceptional circumstances, you may experience severe side effects such as bleeding, bruising, or peeling, but it is an unlikely occurrence.
Micro-needling is semi non-abrasive so, in general, it is suitable for all skin types however, you may not be the ideal candidate if you are pregnant, have had recent radiation therapy, a history of diseases such as psoriasis or eczema, or any open wounds.
Where did you come from, where did you go?
(Anyone who gets the song reference... virtual high five!)
Micro-needling has been used in aesthetic medicine for many years. It was founded in 1905 by German dermatologist, Ernst Kromayer. It was said that Ernst experimented with various-sized dental burs mounted on motor-driven cord equipment which he used to treat his patients for hyperpigmentation, birthmarks and scars.
The year is 1996 and we have had an upgrade! A Canadian plastic surgeon noticed a significant improvement in facial scarring when the skin was punctured repeatedly with small needles. This is where the first micro-needling device was born!
The evolution of facial treatments has literally gone from strength to strength; chemical peels, micro-dermabrasion and laser therapy all target the same problem areas, yet micro needling continues to be the most popular treatment because of the quick recovery time, deeper absorption of skincare products and it’s suitable for all skin types.
The Professional vs. The Amateur
Micro-needling is the procedure carried out by a professional aesthetician; they will usually begin by using a topical anaesthetic beforehand to reduce any inflammation or discomfort during the procedure. It is a treatment that uses tiny needles placed in the face to puncture the very first layer of skin to generate new collagen, and essentially make your skin look as Queen-like as Beyonce.
Both derma rolling and micro-needling create a micro-injury to the skin to remodel the damaged area, resulting in rejuvenated skin. However, a potential risk with using a derma roller is that the needles penetrate the skin at an angle therefore the speed and needle depth cannot be controlled and can end up causing more damage to your skin rather than good.
Understanding the Long-term Benefits of Micro-needling
Sounds good so far, right? As mentioned previously, the needles puncture the very first layer of skin which enables skincare products to penetrate deeper (with an increase of 3000%!) and the dermis (thickest layer of the skin) is forced to switch to its defence mode which results in elastin and collagen growth (aka ultimate goddess skin).
The renewal of skin cells is not a quick fix as it involves growth of new layers, however, in time, it will gradually reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines to help smooth the texture.
Getting the inside scoop on micro-needling!
I had the pleasure of speaking with Ola, aesthetician and founder of Body Language Health to help us dig a little deeper into the fascinating world of micro-needling!
“The basic science behind micro-needling is that the needles create channels within the skin. Our bodies have the inherent capability to heal itself, so new skin appears as there is a rebuild of collagen causing skin complaints such as acne scars to fade.” Ola continues to share her expertise and knowledge on the long-term effect of micro-needling:
“Skin building isn’t a race; you have to be patient and allow the collagen to build. Depending on the client’s skin type and problem areas, at least three treatment sessions are advised in order to see a noticeable difference to skin quality. As most things in life, consistency is key. This treatment is essentially speeding up the natural process and changes our skin goes through in terms of cell regrowth.”
I also had the opportunity to speak with the incredibly knowledgeable Maria Mann, owner of Maria Carmen Aesthetics who has used micro-needling herself to help combat her own skin issues.
“Having suffered with really bad acne in my 20’s, it had left me with acne scarring and unbalanced skin. Maria continues to explain in more detail the process and after-effects micro-needling had on her skin: “I was put onto a three treatment course that were six weeks apart. My practitioner used a derma-roller, which is the most invasive skin needling technique, with lots of little needles on what looks like a cotton reel on a stick!
My skin was numbed with a lidocaine numbing cream before the derma-roller was rolled continuously over my face which breaks the first layer of skin causing redness and blood spots.
My face felt immediately hot afterwards and looked bright red. This is due to new collagen being produced and rising to the skin surface to start the process of repairing damaged skin.
After about five days of my first treatment, my skin felt really dry and my breakouts had severely reduced. As the weeks passed and I had my second and third treatments, my skin was going from strength to strength. My scarring has almost disappeared, my skin’s texture had become smoother and softer, and I found my foundation was sitting better.”
The Bottom Line
So there we have it, when you really break it down and look into it under a microscope, is micro-needling really as scary as it sounds?
We would love to know your thoughts on this timelessly popular skincare treatment that almost everyone is raving about!
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About the Author
Gabriela is a blogger based out of South-East England, who specializes on topics related to lifestyle, wellness, and skincare. Elsewhere, Gabriela manages her own personal blog and platform, 'A' is for acne.
The aim of this platform is to 'normalise' what we consider being imperfections. The 'insta-worthy, flawless skin, not a pore in sight' person you see on your Instagram feed, making you feel insecure and inadequate is not real.
'A' is for acne is a place to share experiences, from skincare guidance that Gabriela has picked up along the way, product reviews, beauty hacks, lifestyle content and, everything in between! Gabriela loves people and making new connections so if you are a brand, business or just wishing to reach out, she would always be delighted to collaborate and help grow community.