I’m excited about today’s post and hope you find it helpful! I’ve wanted to talk about microneedling at length for some time. The majority of you are very curious about the treatment and, since I kept receiving direct messages with questions, I thought I’d write a longer post answering FAQs that you can refer to down the road. Without further adieu, here’s everything you need to know about microneedling skincare treatments.
What is microneedling?
Medical microneedling, or collagen induction therapy (CIT), uses an electronic device to create tiny punctures in the skin. The concept is based on the skin’s natural ability to repair itself when it encounters physical injury. It stimulates new collagin and elastin, similar to how the body creates new skin to heal an open wound. Note that there are two types of microneedling: cosmetic and medical. Medical microneedling goes deeper than cosmetic needling because it uses a medical-grade device. Medical microneedling can also only be done by a medical esthetician, nurse, or doctor. This is the type of needling I receive.
What is microneedling useful for?
It’s useful for skin scarring issues from injuries or acne, fine lines and wrinkles, and uneven skin tone. It also helps shrink pores and tightens the skin. It’s practically like reverse aging. Everything simply looks smoother, firmer and younger afterwards.
How much does it cost for one session?
Anywhere from $175-300 per session. Medical spas often give package discounts (ie. $300 for one treatment or $800 for three treatments).
What happens during the treatment?
After I check in I’ll lay down on my esthetician’s table where she applies a numbing cream. We let that sit for about 20 minutes until I can’t feel anything. She usually offers me a stress ball, but I don’t need it anymore since I know what to expect.
Once I’m numb, she’ll begin needling. One thing she does that I love and highly recommend requesting is remove the numbing cream in sections. She needles my forehead first, so she’ll remove the numbing cream from that area only and let the rest of the cream continue to sit on my face. When she’s ready to needle the next section of my face, she’ll remove the cream from that area. This ensures that each area of your face stays numb as she’s moving through treatment.
Once the entire face has been treated, she “stamps” (aka needles harder) target areas like crows feet, smile lines, and deep scars.
The entire treatment takes 20-30 minutes.
What does it look like when you’re done?
It looks like your face has been attacked by a pack of fire ants. Your face should be bloody if you received a true medical microneedling. As in, you’re going straight home afterward.
How long are you red after a treatment?
This varies for everyone. I’m only very red for 24 hours and feel comfortable going out after that. By day 5 my skin is back to normal. Occasionally I experience slight bruising underneath my eyes, but nothing that can’t be covered with concealer. Other women bruise intensely and stay very red for up to a week. I’d say a week of redness/bruising is the maximum downtime. I schedule my appointments for Thursday, Friday, or Saturday so that I have the weekend to recover.
Is it worth it for someone my age (24) to get them? How often?
It depends! I started microneedling when I was 28. Truthfully, I wish I’d discovered it sooner and started doing 1 treatment per year when I was 24 or 25 as a preventative measure. My esthetician has also seen it help clear up existing acne, which I could have used help with at the time. The best way to answer this question is to schedule a consultation with the esthetician you would plan to see for the treatment. If you have had skin issues in the past (acne, scarring, texture, divets, etc.) then 100% go for it.
How often do I need to microneedle? Is it like eyelash extensions where, once you start, you have to keep doing it over and over again?
A friend asked me this question and my response was that, once you are happy with your skin’s appearance, stop microneedling! There’s no need to be spending that much money month to month. Our skin is, of course, always aging with the rest of our bodies, so that’s why I recommend 1-2 treatments every year or two to keep things looking fresh once you’ve healed up your existing issues.
How do you find a reputable esthetician?
I found my esthetician through Miss North Carolina’s Instagram account. Referral is the best way. Look on Yelp or Google for a medical spa (overseen by a doctor). I’m also not afraid to ask women my senior who’s taking care of them if they have amazing skin. People are pretty open about it these days. You should get more of a doctor’s office type vibe when you visit a med-spa. If it seems like your average relaxing facial joint, keep looking.
How long before I see results after the treatment?
I start to really notice a difference by week 4 and the results get continuously better for the next 2-5 months.
Does it help with pigmented/deep scars? Uneven skin tone?
Yes! The deeper the scar, the more sessions it may take to see a result you’re happy with. My spa says that there is generally at 60-70% improvement in scars within 4-6 treatments. Also, the higher your pain tolerance, the “harder” and more “intense” your esthetician can be with the tool, which will help produce results faster.
How long should I wait between treatments?
4-6 weeks. This gives the skin a chance to breathe and settle down, and it also gives you a chance to start seeing results.
How many treatments have you done?
Last summer I did a package of three treatments that were 4-6 weeks from one another. My sister told me that my skin had never looked better in my life. I plan to do the same pattern of 3 treatments this year.
How many treatments should I get?
This is completely up to you and the condition being treated. 3-4 treatments are recommended for mild to moderate acne scarring. For deeper scars expect 6. After those treatments are done, it’s a good idea to schedule a maintenance needling once every 6-12 months to keep things looking fresh, smooth, and bright.
How do you maintain the results afterward?
You shouldn’t really see results ‘fade’ unless your daily routine is lacking. Stay hydrated and eat a clean diet. For products, acne pads will help prevent new acne, and a great daily sunscreen and vitamin C serum (really the key) will prevent hyperpigmentation.
My holy grail is this NeoCutis product. It’s what my esthetician applies during the treatment, and I use this AM and PM at home. It helps stimulate collagen and the skin’s natural repairing capabilities. I can tell a difference when I’m not using it- it is 100% worth every single penny and lasts 6+ months. For my full product list, I shared my full morning and evening skincare routine here.