If you know me at all, you know by now microneedling is one of my all-time favorite treatments at our San Diego office.
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is as simple as it sounds: tiny needles are used to induce micro-injuries on the skin in order to stimulate the body’s wound healing process and in turn boost collagen and elastin. The boost in collagen and elastin is the perfect treatment for so many skin concerns: everything from acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, to loose skin, skin texture, pore sizes and hyperpigmentation.
I love seeing my San Diego clients walk out of microneedling treatments with plump, radiant skin that’s healed naturally through the body’s own mechanisms. This treatment really is all about boosting and emphasizing your natural perfect.
Microneedling Before and After
The History of Microneedling
While microneedling has recently hit the mainstream due to new technology advancements, the treatment actually dates back to the 1980s when dermatologist Dr. Phillippe Simonin found that facelift patients who had undergone camouflage tattooing after surgery to hide scars showed substantial improvement in how their scars appeared. In the 1990s, dermatologists further proved the relationship between the tattoo process using needles and scar improvement. Needless to say, it’s a tried-and-true method.
A Breakdown of the Microneedling Process
There are technicalities to the treatment and the skin's healing process, but in general the treatment is very straight forward. Microneedling involves the use of a pen-like tool (we use the Collagen P.I.N., which has a 36-needle cartridge and an adjustable needle depth of up to 3.0mm). The needles of the P.I.N. device create small dermal punctures that signal your body to repair the injured skin. This signal kickstarts a healing process that ultimately results in: cell turnover that creates new capillaries and reduces the appearance of scarring, and increased collagen and elastin production in the dermal layer of skin. In simpler terms, by turning on the body's natural healing process, skin becomes more firm, lifted, vibrant, smooth, and youthful.
Microneedling Before and After
The Benefits of Microneedling
Without getting too deep in the nitty gritty science, the benefits of microneedling ultimately breaks down to two major categories:
1. Microneedling encourages your body to produce collagen and elastin.
As we age, we naturally produce less elastin and hyaluronic acid, and we begin to lose our collagen by up to 50%. Hello, wrinkles and saggy skin.
When microneedles are inserted into the skin, the injury signals the skin to produce more collagen and elastin as a repair and protection mechanism. A 2008 study revealed that skin treated with four microneedling sessions, spaced one month apart, produced up to a 400% increase in collagen and elastin six months after completing the treatment. Additionally, collagen growth can reverse sun damage, reduce discoloration, and plump up the skin around pores so that they appear tightened. Instead of welcoming in wrinkles, say hello to elastic, rejuvenated, even and plump skin. Now that's aging-well!
2. Microneedling opens up the skin to allow better penetration of products.
Not only does microneedling boost collagen and elastin production, it also opens up the skin to allow topical products, like Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, to penetrate deeper and work more effectively. Products like these are critical to maintaining collagen production and targeting cells that affect skin pigmentation. This is how microneedling ultimately can affect acne scarring and hyperpigmentation in the long run.
When your products work better, your skin looks better.
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How Does Microneedling Work?
Microneedling can look and sound scary (no one loves needles!), but the process is actually minimally invasive and practically painless.
As long as you don’t have any previous issues with healing or any active lesions or infection, you can receive this treatment. Just be sure to use SPF and moisturizer in the days leading up to the service (which I always recommend!).
Prior to the treatment, you will be provided with a topical numbing. Once the agent has been applied, most people feel little to no pain during the brief treatment. Many even find it relaxing!
Microneedling is most popularly performed on the skin of the face, neck, and décolletage. But, it can also be used on the hands, arms, legs, stretch marks, abdomen and back for skin tightening and rejuvenation.
Most clients experience a sunburn-like redness immediately following the treatment for 1-2 days. Then some areas of “bronzing” where the skin can darken, dry and slough off may occur for 1-2 days.
Once this all subsides, you’ll notice a dewy, glowing complexion. I call it the “day 10 glow."
After the treatment, you should avoid excessive sun exposure for 72 hours and any exercise for the first 12 hours to prevent additional inflammation and discomfort.
What to put on skin after microneedling treatment?
I encourage my clients to stick with the Post Treatment Lineup for the 4 days of 'recovery' following the treatment. This lineup contains clean, paraben-free, dimethicone-free, fragrance/dye-free products that will ensure quick healing with great results.
On day 5, normal makeup and skincare routines can be resumed. Mineral makeup can be used if necessary before this time. Our Perfect Powder is a great pairing!
How often should I get microneedling?
If you're stacking a series of treatments, the ideal timing is 4 weeks apart.
If you’re between ages 25-35, dermatologists recommend 2-3 treatments per year. Following this age range, dermatologists recommend 3-4 treatments per year.
Boost Your Microneedling
On it's own, microneedling can produce beautiful, skin-transforming results. There are also a number of additions to the treatment that can further boost results and treat more specific skin concerns.
Microneedling with Protein Rich Retinol (PRR) Peel
Following microneedling, a protein rich retinol peel can be applied to enhance skin and support continued collagen production for lasting results. The peel helps to reveal fresh, smooth, glowy skin while the rich protein base of the peel boosts collagen and repairs damage at a cellular level.
Microneedling with Melanostop Depigmentation Peel
This minimally invasive add-on attacks pigment from multiple pathways using tranexamic acid and L-ascoribic acid, making it an effective treatment for melasma and discoloration. This solution to hyperpigmentation reduces the excessive vascularization that characterizes melasma, acts on the inflammatory process that occurs after acne and scarring, and regulates the production of tyrosinase which helps form melanin.
Microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) aka Vampire Facial
PRP treatments utilize your blood’s platelets, which are loaded with growth factors that initiate the healing process in the body. By combining microneedling with PRP, we are stimulating the body's healing process and supplying the skin with one of the most effective healing agents in the body. One of the growth factors released from platelets has been shown to have a dose dependent effect on inhibiting the enzyme that creates melanin, therefore decreasing melasma and making Vampire Facials loved for their effect on discoloration. Microneedling with PRP treatments can also increase skin volume and tone, resulting in more ‘glowing skin' post treatment and beyond.
Microneedling Before and After
The technology around this treatment only gets better and better. New state of the art devices now pair micro-injuries with the targeted delivery of radiofrequency energy for noticeable tightening and refined structure of the skin. Radiofrequency microneedling involves less downtime than traditional devices with increased effectiveness treating fine lines, wrinkles, scars, stretch marks and pores.
The Point of It All: Microneedling Benefits
Ultimately, nothing beats #PFAMmicroneedling. The combination of ongoing wound healing and new product penetration regenerates the skin and ultimately creates a fresher, smoother face like no other treatment can. So, if you’re not on the microneedling train, hop on!
Book your microneedling service today.