For over 50 years, microneedling has been practiced by various communities for beauty. It recently gained fame in the modern world because of the beauty claims surrounding the procedure. But does it really work?
In this latest post, we discuss the before and after effects of microneedling.
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is a procedure that uses many tiny needles to poke into the first layer of your skin. It rejuvenates your skin by making your body produce more collagen, which reduces wrinkles, scars, and, fine lines leaving your skin looking vibrant.
The procedure can be done using two different tools. These are
- Derma pens - A pen-like tool that has tiny needles at its tip.
- Derma rollers - A face roller with tiny needles on the roller.
Microneedling can either be done at home or in-office.
The purpose of microneedling
There are two effects that we look for when we microneedle. These effects are,
- To make small channels for skin-care products to easily penetrate the skin. Easy penetration and deeper absorption yield more powerful results.
- To activate the skin's healing abilities. The skin starts producing new collagen when injured. New collagen revitalizes the skin.
Some people also use microneedling to stimulate their hair growth.
Targeted areas of microneedling
It is mostly used on the face, for example, on age spots, scars, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. It also targets areas with stretch marks as it improves the elasticity of the skin.
What the derma roller does
Derma rollers are the most popular option for microneedling for good reasons. They were adopted from face rollers, which were previously the go-to skin-care routine for many.
Face rollers help drain excess fluids from the face, which leaves it brighter looking. They also fight wrinkles and makes it easier for the skin to absorb skincare products.
When fitted with microneedles, the face rollers become derma rollers, achieving so much more.
Derma rollers make the tiny holes responsible for rejuvenating the skin. They are cheap and easy to use, making them a home staple. Compared to other skin-care procedures, derma rollers deliver rejuvenating skin-care that lasts longer. They work from the inside out by making the body heal the skin from its deepest layer.
How to microneedle at home
To start the process, you will have to ready your skin.
Firstly, cleanse your face with a pH-balanced cleanser. Follow the cleansing with an application of one to two layers of a hyaluronic acid-based serum. The hyaluronic acid is a hydrating ingredient in serum that helps maximize the effects of microneedling at home.
Next, guide your derma roller across your face, making sure to cover all targeted areas. Apply another layer of your serum after microneedling. Cleanse your derma roller with rubbing alcohol after use. It is good practice to replace your derma roller after about 20 uses.
You can read about the aftercare of microneedling at home in one of our previous posts.
The microneedling procedure for other body parts such as the stomach (for stretch marks) is largely the same.
What happened when we used the face roller system
Here's an account of what happens after using the face roller system.
After the first treatment
In most cases, you may not see any changes after the first treatment. However, some people may go through change almost immediately.
In our sampled case, Jenna* noticed that her skin-care products soaked into her skin quicker. She also noticed that her skin, which was always dry, felt softer. In her own terms, she felt as though her skin was glowing.
After the second treatment
Her glow did not persist long after the first session, which was expected; however, her skin remained softer.
In the second treatment, she focused more on areas that got puffy such as under her eyes. She noticed that her skin felt tighter in the following days.
After the third treatment
She noticed that her skin maintained its softness, and it was also glowing long after the treatment.
The treatments were done periodically and not daily as required. Despite periodic usage, the results were great.
With daily usage, the results would have been even better.
*Not her real name.
Now, microneedling at the clinic is more demanding because of the stages it involves. These are,
- Pre-treatment care
- Day of treatment care
- Post-treatment care
To start the procedure, you will need to prepare your skin for the procedure.
Microneedling pre-treatment instructions
Pre-treatments are important for the success of microneedling.
The preparations may start as early as six months before, especially for in-office treatment.
Firstly, avoid the use of Accutane, which is a common drug used in the treatment of acne. You should stop using Accutane at least six months before your first microneedling experience.
At least two weeks before microneedling, avoid any laser procedures or direct exposure to the sun.
Avoid the following at least one week before microneedling,
- Anything that increases the sensitivity of the skin, for example, exfoliating masks, skin-care products with salicylic acid, and retinoids.
- Skin-care products that dry out or irritate the skin, such as those containing acids or hydroquinone.
- Waxing or the use of depilatory creams.
- Blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin.
If you are under any anti-inflammatory drugs, stop using them at least three days before microneedling. These drugs interfere with the natural inflammatory process of the body. They also affect the expected effects of microneedling.
On the day of the procedure, avoid shaving to prevent any skin irritation.
For better results, maintain a healthy diet 4-6 weeks before microneedling, and during the microneedling period.
Day of treatment
On the day of treatment, make sure to follow these,
- Keep your skin clean, do not use lotion or make-up before microneedling and, clean your face in-office if possible.
- Tell your doctor about any changes you went to that may affect microneedling.
- Your doctor will apply topical anesthetics on your face 45 minutes before the procedure starts.
- If you have any facial tattoos, also inform your doctor about them.
In some cases, patients may opt to try out microneedling with PRP (plasma-rich proteins). To get the PRP, your doctor will draw blood from you. You may also get plasma from a donor in some unique cases.
Like microneedling at home, your doctor will apply a hyaluronic mask and a moisturizer right after the procedure.
The following instructions must be followed,
- Avoid exposing your skin to the sun for long. Always remember to apply sunscreen when exposed to the sun.
- Do not take drugs such as ibuprofen, which are anti-inflammatory.
- Avoid putting ice on your face.
- In case of any pain, though usually rare, use Tylenol or paracetamol only.
For better results, maintain a healthy diet. Avoid wheat, sugar, and dairy as much as possible. Take collagen supplements to increase your collagen production. Eat more acidic fruits like pineapples, oranges, and cherries.
Find more pre- and post-care microneedling instructions here.
The healing process: What to expect after microneedling treatment
Right after the treatment, you may feel some irritation, for example, a tingling sensation on your face. Your doctor will apply a soothing cream to help with the discomfort. However, some people go through the procedure without experiencing any irritation.
On the days that follow, these will likely happen,
Day 1 to 3
What to expect
Firstly, your skin will experience a sunburn-like effect, which is normal.
It will feel dry, tight, and sensitive when touched. You will also notice redness of the skin after microneedling.
For patients who take microneedling with PRP option, bruising is common. It usually lasts about 5-7 days. Patients may also experience swelling after PRP injections, which lasts for about 4 days or less. It is important to note that the PRP injections also help in healing. The PRP also contains growth factors and cytokines, which will make the microneedling results better.
Treat your skin gently during the post-treatment period.
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser, cold water, and using your hands only. Do not rub but pat your face dry to prevent any injuries.
Avoid any strenuous activities that will open up your skin pores during this period.
Further, when sleeping, sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated. A good sleeping position is needed to reduce pain or swelling.
What to expect
During this period, you will notice your skin flaking off. In as much as you are tempted, do not peel off your skin.
Let your skin naturally flake off. You can cut off the excess flaking skin but do not extend the peeling. Flaking is because of the high number of new skin cells replacing the old ones.
Moisturize your skin frequently during this period.
What to expect
Your skin will have gone through the changes from day 1-5. Not much will visibly happen; however, new skin cells will be replacing old ones daily.
At this stage post-treatment, you may resume your regular skin-care routine but slowly, only if your skin is no longer irritated.
You can restart using products containing retinol or its derivates.
In-Office vs. At-Home Microneedling
To begin with, both in-office and at-home microneedling work. You will get good results with both treatments.
However, they have differences that may influence your choice. These are,
- Time. In-office takes about 3 hours of your time for one session while the at-home procedure takes, at most, 30 minutes.
- Results. With in-office treatment, one session may be enough to get some of the long-lasting results you desired. However, in some cases, more sessions will be advised. For microneedling at-home, daily sessions are definitely required for you to get the results you want.
- Pre- and post-treatment care. The at-home treatment requires very little preparation and post-treatment care. In-office treatment may require you to start preparing six months before your session.
- Cost. It is much cheaper to microneedle at home compared to in-office.
- Convenience. At-home sessions offer versatility. You can microneedle stretch marks, wrinkles, and other scars daily at your own convenience. The in-office set up requires you to book appointments, sometimes different sessions for different targeted areas.
Regardless of your choice, you will get the changes hoped for. From microneedling before and after photos, the difference in results between the two treatments is hardly noticeable.
Microneedling vs. home rollers
Devices used for in-office and at-home treatments are different.
The in-office treatment uses professional derma rollers and derma pens. The rollers and pens fall in different categories because of the size of their micro needles.
Most in-office microneedling devices penetrate deeper into the skin because of longer microneedles.
Compared to professional rollers, at-home rollers have shorter micro needles. They are designed to achieve the same results as professional rollers but over an extended period.
In terms of price, home rollers are generally cheaper, starting from around $20.
Build quality for both at-home and in-office devices satisfactory.
What to expect after microneedling
Firstly, expect to be excited but after some time post-treatment.
Microneedling effects take time. You may have to undergo about 3-5 changes to see significant changes. Plan future sessions about 4-6 weeks from the last session you had.
To get a better understanding of what to expect, the video below by Nikki Phillippi shows the before and after effects of microneedling on acne scars.
She suffered from acne in the past, so, she had to live with acne scars which affected her look. Nikki gives a very optimistic account of her experience with microneedling.
After six months, her facial scars are less noticeable. There is certainly a visible improvement, as seen on her close up shots towards the end of the video. Her skin also looks brighter and firmer.
In her case, there was some minimal bleeding; However, she does not complain of any pain. The numbing solution applied at the beginning makes the process as painless as possible.
Another YouTuber, Natural Kaos, also documented her journey. She shows the before and after effects of microneedling on wrinkles over one year.
The before and after images in the video are encouraging. Her face looks firmed up and healthier after microneedling. Her video proves that microneedling indeed works. It also stretches the skin.
Others have also recorded their journey showing how incredible microneedling is on stretch marks.
After microneedling, expect changes in your appearance. Expect your skin to look better, your scars to be less visible, your wrinkles to firm up, and your stretch marks to disappear.
Are there any risks to microneedling or derma rolling?
Generally, medical professionals consider microneedling to be a safe practice. A lot of research has been done on the procedure, with results showing that the procedure is safe.
However, there are some risks associated with microneedling such as,
- It can lead to severe reactions depending on your condition. Remember, microneedling is a medical procedure. Make sure you consult your doctor before microneedling at-home or in-office. In case you started the treatment, look out for these side effects; bleeding, bruising, peeling, infections, and flaking of the skin.
- Microneedle only at board-certified clinics. You can get infections from microneedling in unhygienic places. Always verify before making an appointment. Rules of hygiene also apply at home. Keep your derma roller as clean as possible.
As a precaution, those with any blood disorders or expectant ladies should consult their doctors first before microneedling.
So, while choosing to microneedle, make sure you have done enough research. Remember to source your products from trusted brands, read testimonials on those who have micro needled before, and consult your doctor as often as possible.
What could possibly be the benefits of microneedling?
Simply put, better skin at affordable prices!
Does microneedling tighten the skin? Yes, in a way, it does, and at a fraction of what other surgeries demand. Therefore, you can be wrinkle-free without spending a lot. The before and after photos of microneedling are also a revelation of just how good this is.
Does it clear wrinkles? Better than any other product in the market. Microneedling will keep your skin looking younger for longer.
What about scars? Microneedling is the best and cheapest way to clear out most scars on the face. After all, with just $20, you can buy a derma roller and get its benefits in a few months.
In conclusion, there is a lot to benefit from microneedling. Whether you do it at home, or in the clinic, it depends on what suits you. Regardless of your choice, the underlying fact is that microneedling works.