Everything you need to know about microneedling Don’t let the word ‘microneedling’ intimidate you! Yes, it’s not quite the standard facial as you know it, and yes, there’s a pot of numbing cream involved. But it’s not as scary as it sounds. Microneedling is essentially a completely levelled-up facial, with lots of people raving about the longer-lasting benefits and the boost that they get to their skin. What does microneedling do? Tiny microneedles prick the skin, stimulating collagen production. Those who rate it say it leaves their skin thicker, plumper, smoother and radiant for considerably longer than a standard facial. What is microneedling? Sometimes microneedling is actually called collagen induction therapy. Its goal is to get the skin to rejuvenate. Tiny little needles are carefully used to puncture the very top layer of the skin. This stimulates the body to produce more collagen and elastin. The needle is a little more complex compared to what you’d get from whipping open a sewing kit: in each needle’s tip there are actually 11 really tiny needles. These can be adjusted, by the skilled technician, to determine how deeply they penetrate. Nonetheless, it is very much just the surface that’s breached, with the needles penetrating between 0.5 mm and 2.5 mm depth. Your skin is a remarkable organ and it treats these ultra-small wounds like it would a notable injury. It therefore sends healing fibroblasts to the area. Effectively you’re conning your skin into getting the healing benefits it is so great at delivering, without the actual wound! When you have a microneedling treatment, you have a topical numbing cream applied first. Usually a serum will then be applied before the microneedling pen is moved over your skin, all over your face. Once that’s done, another layer of serum is applied. Some experts will then apply a mask too. Does microneedling hurt? You’re not the first person to slightly recoil at the idea of having lots of needles play a merry dance over your face. However, that’s precisely what the numbing cream is used for. Secondly, following the procedure, you shouldn’t experience anything more than sensitivity and pinkness. Even if you’re one of the few who experiences tiny little scabs, they disappear within a few days. Microneedling benefits So, obviously the big million dollar question is: does microneedling work? Most of the microneedling benefits are anecdotally raved about. Whether it’s successful for you will depend on what you’re having it done for. There are lots of different skin issues and complaints where microneedling benefits are most greatly experienced. Microneedling may help with acne scars, pore size reduction, wrinkles, minor scarring, stretch marks, skin pigmentation issues, and even loose skin (such as following liposuction and notable weight loss). Others opt for microneedling because of its ability to rejuvenate the skin. It can be done on the face, most commonly, but also elsewhere on the body. One of the big benefits of microneedling is that it can be used to deliver skin-boosting compounds more deeply, such as vitamin C or tretinoin. It’s not just anecdotal either. In 2018, a scientific review by Science Direct, found that microneedling was not only safe, but it was also an effective way to treat scars and wrinkles. To ensure you reap all of the microneedling benefits, always have the treatment on calm skin. You shouldn’t have any inflammation or infection when you have the treatment done. Wait for any acne, eczema or rosacea to be clear before having the treatment. The procedure is also not recommended for those who take blood thinners. You should also avoid drinking alcohol for seven days after your treatment, as the dehydrating effects of alcohol will slow the healing process. Microneedling aftercare It is very normal to have pink or red sensitive skin after a microneedling treatment, rather like sunburn. Many dermatologists recommend using a broad-spectrum chemical free sunscreen for at least two weeks after the treatment. You need to be religious about applying it, even when you’re not leaving the house! Also, during the first few weeks after the treatment, avoid any acids in your skincare, such as salicylic, hyaluronic or retinol. These will be too intense at this stage. However, you can make sure that your skin stays hydrated by using a gentle serum. Don’t use exfoliating scrubs or brushes for several days. We recommend not wearing make-up for at least one day. However, some treatment providers are happy to say it can be applied later the same day. Can I get a microneedling treatment at home? There are various tools, such as dermarollers, that are billed as being equivalent to an at-home microneedling treatment. However, the reality is that these tools can’t really compare. They may prove beneficial to you, but they aren’t equivalent to actual microneedling. It’s like working out in the gym on your own, rather than working out with a personal trainer. You’ll get benefits, but they won’t be quite as profound. Alternatives to microneedling If microneedling sounds too intense for you, then you’re not alone and it doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives. The simplest and easiest alternative is to choose to have a relaxing and rejuvenating facial which uses a serum jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. A good example is a serum containing copper, as this stimulates collagen production without the need to trick the skin via minor damage. The good news is that you can have these facials within the comfort of your own home. At Secret Spa we have two facials which we’d really recommend for their outstanding rejuvenating properties. The first is the Decléor Ultimate Vitamin Glow which delivers vitamins and antioxidants into the skin, as well as involving a decongesting mask to purify and replenish your skin. The second is the OSKIA Ultra-Revitalising Facial which is specifically designed for anti-ageing and collagen stimulation. View our facial treatments here.