Yes, we know. Needles and pointy-things are scary, especially when directed towards your face. And yet, how much more frightening are persistent acne scars and large pores?
Micro-needling has attracted a multitude of adoring fans because of its efficacy, sustainability, and relatively small downtime. The idea of sticking needles in your face might make it seem as though you're scarring your facial skin more than you're healing it, but let's look at some facts before we get spooked by this unfamiliar and unconventional beauty treatment.
(Eternal Skincare offers an in-clinic treatment for micro-needling. Click here to book yourself an appointment.)
For those unfamiliar with the procedure, micro-needling is the process of gliding tiny, one-millimeter (for shallow scars) or 1.5 millimeter needles (for deeper scars,) over the first layer of the skin. This procedure breaks down collagen bundles that are responsible for scars and irregular textures on the top layers of the skin.
(Avail of the SkinPen® by Crown Aesthetics, clinically proven to improve the appearance of facial acne scars for people aged 22 and above in all skin types. It's the first ever cleared by the FDA.)
Micro-needling boosts the production of collagen, reduces dermal scarring, and leaves the skin feeling plumper. In addition, the procedure creates a more even skin texture and tone.
The procedure is relatively painless, gentle, and safe. In some cases, micro-needling is paired with light therapy and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy) which helps boost its healing properties. When coupled with blue light LED treatments, for example, it targets breakout-causing bacteria found on the skin; healing existing acne and reducing previous scars with a one-two punch treatment.
(SkinPen creates controlled micro-injuries to stimulate the body's natural wound-healing process while minimizing cellular damage. The result: effective remodelling of scar tissue, while keeping the overall structure of the skin intact.)
In preparation for your in-clinic micro-needling session, discontinue all use of topical treatments such as retinol or other exfoliating products, for at least 48 hours prior to your appointment. Avoiding direct sunlight for three days prior to, as well as after, the micro-needling session is also advised in order to reduce the risk of excess skin inflammation which can affect the healing process.
Now for the hard partpain expectations. Not to worry, because a topical numbing cream is typically applied 30 minutes before your treatment begins. The sensation is milder than expected, and only noticeable in sensitive and bony regions, such as the forehead, or around the lips. Depending on the technique, soothing serums/gels can be applied, and some clinics even apply a hydrating face mask on afterwards. Other skin care clinics may simply apply a sterile gel that can be used to ease mild discomfort and heat.
(Procedures take about 30 minutes, depending on the area treated and the desired results. Due to their non-invasive nature, micro-needling sessions usually require little downtime for patients.)
Typically, clients will leave with mild to moderate facial redness, (which goes away in a few hours), and pinpoint bleeding in some areas. Apart from that, most clients are able to continue their usual skincare regime after 48 hours with little to no down-time. Some clients may experience itchiness two or three days after the treatment, especially those with sensitive skin. These are all normal side effects of the procedure and typically clear up in a few days.
And the results.... Your pores should shrink significantly, leaving you with soft, plump skin and a lit-from-within, youthful glow. You may wish to go makeup-free as your skin heals while enjoying a refreshed appearance. After the procedure, applying topical products should prove to be easier as your pores have been opened, dead skin has been shed and the capacity to absorb products has increased. Overall, micro-needling enhances the texture of the skin, stimulates vital collagen production. It can also help to reduce acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and the appearance of pesky wrinkles.
Needless to say, one or six appointments of micro-needling please!