Photo: Natasha Kundi
Let’s be honest: We all want clear, glowing skin that looks like we have been diffused by an Instagram filter in real life. But what are we willing to do to get it?
For many, sticking tiny needles in their face is one option, and although the idea of it initially sounds scary, the glowing results are hard to ignore; Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts and Jennifer Aniston all benefit from this decades-old procedure currently booming in popularity. So, for anyone interested in taking the prickly plunge, here’s all you need to know about professional microneedling:
What is it?
Microneedling is a beauty procedure wherein tiny needles (on either a roller or a pen) poke the top layer of your skin, creating little holes that allow products to better absorb into the skin. Microneedling also promotes the stimulation of collagen, often referred to the “glue” that holds our body together, giving it structure and strength. Think of it as acupuncture for your face… on steroids.
The cost of Derma rollers for at-home use range from $30-$50.
What are the needles like?
According to Los Angeles dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald, there are different options when it comes to needle sizes and what they do: “Shorter needle penetration can enhance product penetration and smooth superficial skin while longer needle penetration can be used to create collagen response more deeply, such as when treating acne scars.”
Dr. Fitzgerald also says, “Lighter treatments leave the skin sensitive and possibly red for a day or two, while more aggressive needling can cause swelling, bleeding, and tiny pinpoints that eventually slough off. Choosing a needle size depends on your goals.”
Who are the ideal candidates for microneedling?
Nurse Neethi Masur of Rejuva Medical Aesthetics in Los Angeles said, “Microneedling is perfect for people of all ages and ethnicities who want to diminish scars, reduce pore size, and improve overall skin quality.” At Rejuva Medical, they see patients who range from teenagers with acne to patients who just want to maintain their glow. Microneedling can also be done to eliminate stretch marks, treat alopecia, and help with wrinkles and fine lines. And get this: It can be performed on your entire body! Nurse Neethi said that some patients microneedle their scalps before applying Rogaine to help grow their hair, and that other people microneedle body scars after surgery.
Does it hurt?
Most people who have experienced the procedure say it felt, at worst, uncomfortable, but some offices manage the pain by applying topical numbing gel on the skin beforehand. Dr. Lucy Peters of New York says that, “Lighter treatments have been typically compared to a similar feeling as if brushing sandpaper across the skin.” Sounds much more pleasant than a lip or bikini wax!
How soon can you see results?
Like facials or microdermabrasion sessions, to get the best results, you’ll have to commit to more than one session. It’s usually recommended to do multiple professional treatments over a three- to six-month period.
If microneedling isn’t new, why is it getting popular now?
Nurse Neethi said that microneedling returned to our pop culture radar after Kim Kardashian famously took a picture of herself getting a “Vampire Facial,” a treatment that maximizes skin quality in which your own plasma is applied onto your face after microneedling. It all sounds kinda gross and super-futuristic, but Kim’s skin looks so amazing that people were willing to try it. And apparently, once a microneedler, always a microneedler!
How much does it cost?
The price of one treatment varies and can run from as low as $150 to as much as $700+ per session. Since multiple sessions are recommended, most offices offer discounts if you purchase a package up-front.
Have you ever tried microneedling? If so, what’d you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.