In the world of skincare, there is always some new treatment that promises transformative skin rejuvenation and eternal youth. Okay, maybe not eternal youth, but certainly youth that lasts past its usual expiration date.
We all jump on the latest treatments and best skin care products because—let’s face it—we all want to look our best for as long as we can (and there’s nothing wrong with that)! One of the most popular of these anti-aging wonders? Microneedling.
Microneedling is a procedure that promises to improve skin health and fix skin concerns that cannot be treated by topical creams, serums, or even medications - for example, acne scarring. It involves damaging your skin in order to stimulate your body to produce collagen and reveal new, baby-soft skin.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at microneedling and why it may be an option for you, as well as important aftercare treatments that can help you recover from the procedure more quickly.
1. What is Microneedling?
2. Difference between Cosmetic Microneedling and Medical Microneedling
3. Microneedling benefits and 'Before & After' Results
4. Microneedling Side Effects
5. Aftercare Treatments & How to Speed Up Recovery (Micro needling face & body)
What Is Micro Needling Treatment? (Benefits of Microneedling)
Microneedling (also called collagen induction therapy) actually isn’t as new as it may seem. It dates back to 1995 but has regained major popularity in recent years. But, what does microneedling do exactly? In the short-term, it helps plump up the skin to make it look more youthful. Other benefits of microneedling include boosting collagen and elastin, treating acne and acne scarring, and even encouraging hair growth.
What is microneedle therapy exactly? Unlike chemical peels which are less invasive, microneedling is a procedure that uses a tool studded with tiny needles to treat the skin. During the procedure, a professional (dermatologist or another skin specialist) rolls this tool across the surface of the dermis to create minute, microscopic punctures. So, what is microneedling for? Needling skin care stimulates collagen production and is used to refine and rejuvenate the skin for optimal dermal health and wellness. The needle does not go too deeply into the dermis to experience skin benefits. Microneedling causes tiny pinprick punctures, but the pain is minimal if at all existent.
As the needle “damages” the dermis, it causes your body to produce more collagen to help heal this damage. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. In the dermis, it keeps it firm and pliant. But, as collagen degrades naturally with age, we start to notice sagging, lines, wrinkles, thinning skin, and other signs of aging. Regular skin microneedling can potentially help prevent or reduce these imperfections.
A microneedling procedure essentially rejuvenates the dermis by promoting collagen synthesis to make it look younger and give it a lovely glow. Besides improving wrinkles, microneedling can also help treat acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and other types of skin damage to clear your complexion and improve its overall texture and tone. The skin will look and feel plumper after a microneedling session.
More helpful reading:
Cosmetic Microneedling vs. Medical Microneedling
According to the FDA, there are two types of microneedling: cosmetic and medical.
Cosmetic microneedling, or dermarolling, refers to the micro skin needling anybody can do at home. The needle depth is usually less than 0.3 mm. It is often used to reduce oiliness, shrink pores, combat fine lines, and improve the delivery of topical products into the dermis. Derma rollers (a mini-wheel covered in needles that you run over your skin) and skin pens are the most common at-home devices used.
Medical microneedling, as the name suggests, is performed in a doctor’s office by a professional like a nurse, doctor, or plastic surgeon. It involves microneedling with a needle at a depth of more than 0.3 mm. Professional microneedling can be used to improve the appearance of acne scars, large pores, sagging skin, and fine lines.
What Does Microneedling Do For Your Skin (What is Microneedling Good For?)
Heals Acne Scars
So, what is micro needling facial used for? One of the biggest micro needling pen benefits is the ability to improve acne scars. The American Academy of Dermatology says that microneedling works best for depressed indentations, like ice pick scars. What microneedling does is restore collagen in the area, essentially filling in the gaps where this protein is lacking in the dermis.
Helps With Hair Loss
Microneedling can potentially treat thinning hair and hair loss—caused by the aging process or fluctuating hormones—by stimulating and strengthening hair follicles. In other words, it is believed that this procedure helps promote the health and wellness of hair follicles, resulting in more hair growth or thicker hair. It can be even more effective when used in conjunction with other hair loss treatments.
More helpful reading: How to thicken hair.
Reduces Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Microneedling has anti-aging benefits thanks to its ability to produce new skin cells and increase the skin’s production of elastin and collagen, which can help improve skin elasticity. Thus, this procedure can potentially address the most common signs of aging that affect our complexions, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging.
Dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, is a big fan of microneedling skin because it provides some of the best results when it comes to treating fine lines and wrinkles, and creating a younger-looking appearance. Dr. Shah explains that since this treatment uses the body’s own healing process, the end result looks more natural when compared to other dermatological and surgical procedures. 1
More helpful reading: Skin care for women over 50.
Improves Scars and Stretch Marks
Another one of the many skin needling benefits is the ability to improve the look of stretch marks. Stretch marks can occur when the skin stretches rapidly and damages the proteins within the dermis layer.
Micro needle skin therapy can help rebuild the proteins within the dermis, making the stretch marks appear much less noticeable.
Age spots and hyperpigmentation from sun damage can cause your complexion to look uneven and blotchy. Microneedling has been proven to be helpful when it comes to lightening age spots, hyperpigmentation, and other dark spots that form due to exposure to toxins and free radicals. In fact, a 2015 study showed that collagen induction therapy can help reduce the appearance of dark spots and melasma.
Pairing this treatment with a skin health supplement like Taut Bright can drastically improve the appearance of dark spots and enhance the skin for a more radiant, luminous complexion.
What makes Taut Bright unique is its proprietary formula of 7 key ingredients (Glutathione, L-Cysteine, olive leaf extract, artichoke leaf extract, grape seed extract, alpha lipoic acid, and vitamin C) which all work together to minimize cellular damage caused by free radicals. Once these skin-loving ingredients get to work, they are able to limit the excess production of aging pigments from within.
Learn more about age spots removal.
Large pores can make your skin health and texture look less than ideal. Even from afar, large pores can be visible. By stimulating collagen, microneedling helps pores tighten and shrink. Remember, pores don’t actually open or close, but rather can be stretched when filled with oil and dead skin cells.
Improves Skin Care Penetration
We all obviously want our skin care products (many of which cost hundreds of dollars!) to work at their optimal levels so we can see maximum results. That’s not always the case, though, especially if you don’t exfoliate.
Micro needling skin benefits skin by improving the penetration of your topical skin care products so that they can work their best within the many layers of your dermis. Dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, explains that the tiny wounds from derma-roller create space for topical skin care products to seep into the skin, making them more effective when it comes to improving your skin’s health and appearance. 2
Microneedling Side Effects
Before you jump into microneedling procedures with in-office or at-home devices, get ready for the potential risks and side effects, so you won't be disappointed with the results.
Bleeding, irritation, & redness—These are common side effects, as you can imagine! With all those needles pricking your dermis during the microneedling process, it stands to reason that you can experience irritation like redness immediately following treatment. But it usually doesn’t last very long and can be assuaged with a bit of ice and time. Learn more about skincare for redness.
Bruising—Swelling and bruising may occur in those with sensitive skin, but this is rare.
Sun sensitivity—Your dermis has been breached with needles, so it will be more susceptible to sun damage. Make sure to wear sunscreen when going out—better yet, try to limit exposure to the sun.
Peeling—The skin might peel after treatment, especially if you have sensitive skin that is prone to peeling when treated with strong topical products or skin therapies.
Infection & other side effects—As your skin gets damaged by the device and bleeding occurs, the risk of infection can happen if the device is not properly disinfected and the skin is not treated properly after the procedure.
Note: Microneedling is generally discouraged for those who are pregnant, those with open wounds, those on certain acne medications, those with certain skin issues like psoriasis and eczema, those with a history of scarring easily, and those who have had recent radiation therapy. It’s essential to always use devices that have been properly sterilized.
How Long Does It Take To Heal From Microneedling
Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure, as compared to derma rollers. So, it does require some recovery time, which varies depending on your skin, the device, and the length and density of the needles used.
While some in-office treatments, like laser treatments, will give you comparable results, the downtime after a microneedling treatment is much shorter. After a microneedling procedure, your skin will be pink and red and you may experience minor bleeding within 24 to 48 hours. Sometimes your skin may even appear slightly bruised. As opposed to laser treatment, such as laser resurfacing, recovery can take up to 10 days.
After your treatment, your licensed pro will go over after-care instructions.
One of the many reasons why women choose to undergo a micro needling facial treatment is for the minimal required downtime. Many doctors' offices will provide aftercare instructions, which may include:
- Staying away from the sun or minimizing direct sun exposure
- Avoiding abrasive facial washes and scrubs
- Applying soothing aloe vera gel
- Keeping skin clear and free of makeup (letting the skin breathe and heal as body produces new skin)
They also offer medical microneedling post-treatments e.g. infusing skin with peptides, skin repair serums, and hydrogel.
Whether you decide to try cosmetic microneedling with at-home devices or opt for a medical microneedling procedure, it will be helpful to incorporate aftercare treatments into your routine to accelerate the recovery process and also ease the discomfort you may feel.
Post-treatments can help shorten your recovery time so you can go back to your regular lifestyle right away. And, post-treatments can lessen the appearance of scarring and reduce irritation and redness.
Here are some post-treatments you can do at home to help your dermis heal faster and shorten the recovery time:
Apply a Collagen Mask
Collagen masks help hydrate, plump, reduce pore size, reduce free radical damage, soothe irritation, and, best of all, accelerate the recovery process.
Choose a good quality mask, such as Taut Collagen Mask, that contains a high concentration of premium marine collagen peptides, with a molecular size small enough to penetrate your pores and go deep into the dermis layer of skin to help accelerate healing and further stimulate collagen production. You’ll notice brighter, more radiant, and glowing skin after just 20 minutes.
Use a Hydrogel Mask
A hydrogel mask, which is made out of gel instead of paper or cloth, is extremely nourishing. It can increase hydration to help reduce irritation after a microneedling procedure. There are many types of hydrogel masks available on the market, but be cautious when choosing a hydrogel mask for your complexion, as some are pre-soaked with skin care ingredients that can be irritating after microneedling. Look for those with ingredients that can help calm and heal the skin, such as aloe vera.
Take a Collagen Peptide Supplement
In addition to applying topical products like face masks, you can also use a collagen liquid supplement to help accelerate the healing process from within. Collagen helps with wound healing by attracting specialized cells called fibroblasts and keratinocytes to the wound area. Fibroblasts create new collagen and elastin while keratinocytes are the major cellular component of the epidermis, and are necessary for helping wounds to heal.
Taut’s Premium Collagen Intense Transformation is a great supplement program to try if you’re interested in accelerating healing after microneedling, or if you simply want to improve the appearance of your skin from within (you don’t have to have done microneedling to use this supplement).
Each tiny bottle contains high potency 13,000mg marine collagen peptides, which help to super-charge your dermis and speed up healing. This rich liquid collagen formula is designed to help restore and visibly reduce fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, dark spots and even give you stronger hair and nails. Other ingredients that help keep wrinkles and dull skin at bay include hyaluronic acid for hydration, grape seed extract to act as antioxidants to protect against free radicals, and vitamin C (a co-factor of collagen) which helps brighten the skin and synthesize collagen and elastin in the body.
Use of these post-treatments can greatly help reduce downtime, leaving you free to return to everyday life after a microneedling treatment. Moreover, regular use of the collagen peptide supplements from Taut can help give you visibly brighter, more naturally gorgeous skin whether you have done microneedling or not. It’s a dynamic duo if you ask us!
Want to make getting your daily dose of collagen even easier? Sign up for our skin care subscription service. This auto-ship program lets you decide how frequently you want to receive your products and gives you up to 15% off of each delivery.