Photo Credit: facebook.com/stackedskincare
Microneedling is having a major moment, and this skin-rejuvenating treatment has seen a surge in popularity. Though simple in theory (at least on its own), microneedling can deliver significant improvement in fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, scars, stretch marks and overall skin texture at home and in a spa or doctor’s office.
“Microneedling uses thin needles to create microchannels in the skin with minimal epidermal damage. This controlled skin injury stimulates the dermal wound-healing cascade, in turn increasing collagen production and improving scars, wrinkles and other skin imperfections,” explains Washington, D.C. dermatologist Dr. Tina Alster.
But what’s the difference between DIY and professional microneedling? “At-home microneedling involves the use of fixed needle rollers that contain needles that are typically shorter in length and of lower quality than in-office devices. Professional tools have disposable sterile needle tips with a greater number of longer needles that generate deeper wounds to promote greater collagen production. The disposable needle tips limit the risk of infection and also permit treatment of smaller imperfections such as scars or upper-lip wrinkles that would be difficult to reach with a roller device,” she adds.
The beauty of this treatment is that you can do it yourself in just minutes. Starting with one cheek, roll in straight lines from top to bottom, left to right and in both diagonal directions and repeat on the other cheek, forehead, above the lips and on the chin—and you can roll your jawline, neck and chest as well. When buying a roller for your face, start with a short needle length like 0.2mm and slowly work your way up to no more than 1.0mm once you know your skin can tolerate it. If you’d like to try microneedling to improve scars or stretch marks on your body, start with a 1.5mm needle length.
“At-home microneedling devices are best used on skin that has been primed with a topical regimen of antioxidants and retinol or retinoids. These active topical agents should not be used during the procedure due to the risk of irritation,” warns Dr. Alster. “A hyaluronic acid gel can help facilitate the gliding action of the microneedles across the skin and prevent injury,” she adds.
Stacked Skincare Micro-Roller: A safe way to start rolling at home, this tool features 0.2mm stainless steel needles that help rejuvenate your skin without risk of irritation or injury.
GloPro Microneedling Regeneration Tool: This roller takes DIY treatment two steps further with the addition of gentle vibration and red LED light, which has been found to have anti-aging benefits for the skin. GloPro also offers a separate body attachment so you can treat larger areas in less time, and the brand just launched the Lip Edition to smooth and plump your pout.
Environ Skincare Cosmetic Focus-CIT: With 0.1mm needles, this targeted tool lets you gently “stamp” your way to smoother skin under the eyes, around the mouth and other areas that can be hard to reach with a regular roller.
Dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other skincare professionals have access to microneedling tools that penetrate deeper into the skin, as well as topical numbing agents to minimize discomfort. Another advantage, according to Dr. Alster: “In-office microneedling can be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures such as non-ablative laser skin resurfacing or chemical peels to enhance results. There are also devices that combine microneedling with radiofrequency to tighten the skin.”
It’s important to know that the FDA recently took steps to regulate in-office microneedling. In some states, aestheticians and other non-physician skincare professionals are limited to devices with needle lengths of less than 0.3mm, so keep this in mind when selecting a service and provider. One treatment to look for in a spa setting is ProCell, which combines microneedling and stem-cell serums to accentuate the health and beauty of the skin. According to Bonnie Marting, director of medical aesthetics at Anushka Spa, Salon & Cosmedical Centre in West Palm Beach, Florida, “Because this treatment utilizes a more shallow depth, there is very little downtime aside from the possibility of slight redness the day of treatment. Because the skin looks so great after one ProCell treatment, many clients come in quarterly to keep their skin in the best shape possible.”
Microneedling can take as little as 15 minutes, and depending on the needs of the patient, a series of two or more treatments are generally recommended to achieve and maintain optimal results, but body concerns such as stretch marks or scars may require more.
NOTE: Environ products were provided for review. All opinions are my own.