First, let’s talk about what microneedling is. Even if you’ve heard of microneedling, you may not fully understand the benefits of this remarkable cosmetic treatment. In a nutshell, microneedling is collagen induction therapy. This is one of the most effective, least invasive medical modalities in the aesthetics world. Using sterilized microneedles, the skin is repetitively punctured with precise movements, depth levels (depending on the treatment area being worked on,) levels of power, and with specific growth factors specific to the needs of the individual. Each tiny needle is creating trauma, or “micro-injuries” to the skin. This sends a signal for your body to heal itself, leading to collagen and elastin production in the dermis.
Benefits of Microneedling
Microneedling benefits pretty much everyone. Skin conditions that might benefit from a microneedling treatment include:
- Acne scars
- Hair loss
- Scars from injuries or surgeries
- Signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles
- Skin texture like large pores
- Hair restoration due to increased blood flow to the hair follicles
- Skin rejuvenation
- Smoother texture and even skin tone
- Wrinkle Reduction
Do You Have Contraindications to Microneedling?
Before you schedule any medical aesthetics procedure, you should have a consultation with your aesthetician and see if this skin treatment is right for you. Here is a list of some of the most common contraindications:
- Cold Sores
- Chemotherapy and Radiation
- Active Acne
- Accutane within the last 6 months
- Severe rosacea, eczema, or other skin irritation
Medication & Supplements
Before your treatment, you will need to list the medications you are currently using— including vitamins. Fish oils, blood thinners, aspirin, etc. should not be taken up to 4 days before treatment. However, you should talk to your doctor first before changing indicated dosages for prescribed medications.
If you have dermal fillers or plan on receiving dermal fillers, you will want to wait at least 2 weeks before or after dermal fillers when having a microneedling treatment.
Now, Let’s Prep for Your Appointment!
Remember to avoid retinoids, salicylic acid products, hydroquinone, and other exfoliation treatments up to a week before this procedure. We don’t want your skin to show signs of sensitivity. Signs of sensitive skin may include redness, inflammation, or dryness. After making sure it’s ok with your doctor, at least one week before your appointment, avoid vitamins and medications that can thin the blood.
The Day of the Microneedling Treatment
On the day of your appointment, it’s best to come into the spa free of makeup, lotions, oils, and creams. Regardless of what you have on your skin walking in, your aesthetician will make sure to do a double cleanse and afterward, an alcohol wipe cleanse to ensure you have the cleanest skin possible before your treatment. You will be numbed using a numbing cream for your comfort.
Once your skin is numbed and ready to go, your esthetician will determine the microneedling levels of depth according to the areas of the face/body being treated and will adjust as needed to each area. The needle length can vary from 0.5mm to 2mm. Usually, there is a hyaluronic glide used during the process, but the star of the show (aside from the actual microneedles) is the growth factors used, which will be needled and absorbed into the skin. At Elysian Skin & Beauty Studio, we research the best growth factors and are proud to use AnteAge microneedling solutions. Microneedling alone does wonders, but adding the growth factors is the icing on the cake and is a superior treatment. Patients report back having faster healing times and more noticeable results.
Your microneedling procedure should take no more than 20 minutes, after the numbing time of about 25 minutes. You can also opt for a specialty cellulose-after-microneedling mask to cool and calm the skin or a 30-minute LED therapy mask add-on to start that wound healing and calm the skin right away. With every add-on, keep in mind, your service will take a little longer, so please account for this and schedule in advance to ensure we have plenty of time for your total services.
After all is said and done, you will leave with an aftercare reminder sheet, and not a thing on your face. No SPF even!! We want NOTHING getting into your pores or your tiny micro-injuries.
After Microneedling: Your Post-Treatment Care Homework
Days 1-2 Skincare
So, your microneedling procedure is complete. You will have some erythema (redness), and your skin will feel tight and super-shiny. You may compare it to a sunburn feeling. The redness, oftentimes, should subside in 24-48 hours.
Using a quality hyaluronic acid serum or our Alastin Regenerating Skin Nectar will help with any discomfort and is safe to use after the procedure. The Skin Nectar will also aid in the faster healing of your skin. We carry a few products safe and gentle to use post-procedure.
You will want to use a gentle cleanser, like our Alastin Ultra Calm Cleansing or Alastin Gentle Cleanser. Avoid wearing makeup. Make sure you don’t use harsh products during the first 48 hours post-procedure.
After about 4 hours, you may use a quality, broad-spectrum physical SPF of at least 30 and reapply every 2 hours. I recommend our Alastin Hydratint Pro Mineral SPF 36. This brilliant SPF contains botanicals that are used to soothe the skin, so it’s perfect for aftercare. I would even suggest wearing a hat when outdoors for longer periods of time.
Days 1-2 Lifestyle
Drink plenty of water, maintain a healthy diet, and try to avoid wheat, sugar, and dairy as much as possible. It’s important to your body to have proper nourishment, which only aids in the rejuvenation and regeneration it’s working hard to achieve. You may even supplement with collagen peptides, which don’t make collagen itself, but your body breaks it down into amino acids which then are used as building blocks for new connective tissue. Get that protein! Great skincare is achieved from the outside and inside, always remember!
Some would say this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many overlook this. It is extremely important to avoid heat, exercise, saunas, hot tubs, swimming pools, etc for up to 3-4 days post-procedure. Remember, your skin is more susceptible to bacteria and infections right now, so be careful what you expose it to. Make sure all towels and washcloths are clean when patting your skin dry, after cleansing and rinsing with cool to lukewarm water. Better safe than sorry.
After about 48 hrs- day 3, you may start reintroducing some of your normal skin care products, within reason, meaning refrain from using actives still at this point. To enhance your microneedling, I recommend using our award-winning Alastin products to start your new skin off on the right foot. Alastin’s Dermatologist-recommended Regenerating Skin Nectar has TriHex Technology® which penetrates the pores and helps eliminate damaged collagen fibers and supports the new/fresh collagen production in your skin. Alastin was made for procedures like this, along with daily skincare regimens to maintain the health, elasticity, and smooth texture of your skin.
You may be experiencing some flaking of the skin or even peeling. NEVER pull peeling skin or pick at it. I advise using a clean pair of brow scissors to carefully snip away at dead, peeling skin, just like you would do after a chemical peel.
A New and Improved Normal
Moisturize often. Makeup is safe now, but make sure all your brushes, sponges, and tools have been properly cleaned and sanitized before use. Light to moderate exercise is ok right about day 3 post-procedure. By day 5, you should be able to return to your normal skincare regimen and use actives again. By days 6-7, you should be clear to go about your regular routine, maintaining your usage of SPF. Your skin should be glowing and more youthful looking, even after one microneedling treatment. A series of 3 to 6 is beneficial and highly recommended, especially to help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars.
To Book a Series
You may be completely satisfied with your one microneedling session, but some may need more than one. For optimal results, you’ll want to consider booking a series of this promising procedure. To anyone targeting wrinkles, scars, or any other specific skin concern, you may want to schedule a series of microneedling sessions of 4-6, spaced 4-6 weeks apart for optimal results.
A consultation with one of your aestheticians will help determine what plan is best for you. We offer several unique options. If suffering from acne scars, you may want to schedule an alternating chemical peel/microneedling series starting with the chemical peel before moving on to microneedling. This is THE BEST way to combat not only active acne but the scars, texture, and hyperpigmentation as well. Once you finish the series, we can work on a maintenance routine to ensure your skin stays healthy and youthful.
Elysian Skin and Beauty Studio strives to provide every client with excellent service and world-renowned skincare in our little corner of Southern Pines, NC. You can check out “Our Guide to The Best Facial in Southern Pines” or view other services we offer on our website. We hope to see you soon!
Elise is a licensed Aesthetician, Microblading/PMU artist, and owner/CEO of Elysian Skin & Beauty Studio. Elise earned her Aesthetics certification from Central Carolina and is licensed in the state of North Carolina in Aesthetics Technologies. She is also certified in various facial and aesthetic modalities.