While rolling a wheel of needles across your face may sound painful, it’s actually not that bad — and it comes with glowing skin benefits. “Microneedling is the creation of small microchannels and injuries to the skin using acupuncture-sized needles,” says Dr Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin, dermatologist and founder of Entiere Dermatology in New York City. “These ‘injuries’ to the skin cause the body to respond by stimulating and producing collagen, which can treat fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, stretch marks, acne scars, and textural concerns.” Read on for everything you need to know about microneedling.
“In-office microneedling procedures use sterile needles that puncture deep enough in order to cause bleeding for stronger results,” explains Dr Levin. This treatment is done by a dermatologist using a dermapen — think a small stamp of needles — that’s pressed into the skin.
Then, there’s at-home microneedling which you’ve probably seen on Instagram or Youtube. It involves using a dermaroller (a rolling wheel of short micro needles). It works similarly to a tool used for aerating soil and makes way for the products that you follow up with afterwards.
“Normally, only about four percent of a product’s ingredients penetrate into the skin, but using a dermaroller allows up to 70 percent to make it through,” says Danna Omari, esthetician and founder of Noy Skincare in New York City. “So, any condition you’re concerned with — wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, scars — will improve that much faster because the ingredients in your skincare are actually able to get to work.”
In-office treatments can set you back between R2000-R2500.
Meanwhile, at-home dermarollers can cost anywhere from R250 to R800 — but Dr Levin says you may want to consider paying the hefty price tag because “at-home devices are much more superficial and not as precise.”
Microneedling shouldn’t hurt if you’re doing it correctly.
Here’s your step-by-step guide for microneedling, according to Omari:
- Completely clean your skin.
- Once you’re makeup free, roll each area of your face and neck in different directions (horizontal, vertical and diagonal — like an asterisk) for two to five minutes.
- Immediately follow it up with your favourite eye cream, serums, and moisturizer.
READ MORE: “I Tried The Blood Plasma Facial — Here’s What Happened”
You’ll want to make sure you’re investing in a safe tool for microneedling.
Opt for a roller with “sterilized stainless steel and has surgical-grade needles at the optimal length and angle to help prevent micro tears,” says Omari.
Keep in mind that while in-office treatments are meant to draw blood, at-home rollers should not.
There are some risks involved with microneedling — particularly if you DIY.
“At-home microneedling devices are difficult to clean, so there’s a higher risk of infection,” warns Dr Levin. Omari agrees that keeping your tool clean is key and recommends running it under hot water after each use then letting it dry completely before putting it back in its case. Once or twice a week, she also recommends soaking it in a cleansing solution for 10 minutes. If you’re in a pinch, she says denture solution tablets work, too.
Microneedling isn’t for you if you have inflamed skin.
“If you’re dealing with an inflammatory condition — such as psoriasis or eczema, or actively tanned, sunburned skin — or you have a skin infection such as cold sores, microneedling should not be performed,” explains Dr Levin. “You don’t want to further stress out skin that’s already irritated.” If you’re unsure which camp you fall in, always ask your dermatologist or esthetician before getting started.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za
Image credit: iStock