Have you ever wished that you could turn back the clock on your skin? When fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, acne and large pores creep in, microneedling offers a natural solution for those seeking a smoother, younger-looking complexion. Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive procedure that leaves the skin looking younger and revitalised.
This minimally invasive procedure is gaining popularity, and for good reason! It naturally tightens and firms the skin, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, scars and enlarged pores, tackles hairloss and thinning, reduces cellulite, hyper-pigmentation, age-spots and rosacea whilst restoring skin luminosity for a healthy looking youthful complexion. So let’s delve into the world of microneedling and explore the journey to achieving a naturally youthful glow…
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling involves many tiny needles creating micro-channels into the skin. It may sound intense, but fear not, these needles are microscopic and the process is surprisingly comfortable.
Microneedling essentially creates controlled injuries to the skin that trigger your body’s natural healing response which conveniently increases the production of collagen and elastin, the proteins responsible for skin’s firmness and elasticity. Think of it as a workout for your skin, stimulating it to rebuild itself stronger and smoother.
Benefits For A Youthful Complexion:
- Reduced wrinkles and fine lines: As collagen production ramps up, those unwanted fine lines and wrinkles start to fade away, revealing naturally smoother, plumper skin
- Diminished scars and stretch marks: Microneedling can improve the appearance of acne scars, surgical scars and even stretch marks by stimulating collagen regeneration in the affected areas
- Enhanced skin texture: The tiny channels created by the needles also promote cell turnover, leading to a more even and refined skin texture
- Improved product absorption: Microneedling creates temporary pathways in the skin, allowing skincare products to penetrate deeper, maximising their effectiveness
- Reduced hyperpigmentation: Microneedling can help to address an uneven skin tone and dark spots by encouraging skin cell renewal and reducing melanin production
- Needle depth matters: Depending on your skin concerns, the needles used can be adjusted to reach different depths, delivering specific targeted benefits at each layer of the skin
- It’s a process: While one session can bring results, multiple treatments spaced over time are typically recommended for optimal and lasting effects
- Consult a professional: This is not a DIY project. A dermatologist or licensed professional can assess your skin and determine if microneedling is right for you and perform the procedure safely.
Is Microneedling Right for Me?
While microneedling boasts impressive benefits, it’s essential that you consult a professional to administer this treatment as they can determine if this procedure is suitable for your skin type and concerns as well as the correct needle depth and frequency of treatments necessary to achieve the individual results that you desire.
It’s important to remember that whilst microneedling can significantly improve your skin’s appearance, realistic expectations and a consistent skincare routine are key to maintaining optimum results. With time we will continue to age and therefore maintaining healthy, youthful skin is a lifestyle and not a one time fix. Wearing an SPF30+ sun protection is also paramount after microneedling, as your skin will be more sensitive after your treatment; it’s highly beneficial to shield your skin from the suns harmful UV rays regardless of when you had your last skin treatment.
My Microneedling Journey
At the age of 36yrs, as a mother of two and running multiple businesses, it’s safe to say that I’ve put my body through the mill by burning the candle at both ends and working long hours. Throughout my teens to my mid twenties my skincare routine was all but non-existent, I frequently used sunbeds and sunbathed without sunscreen, before discovering dermal fillers and botox as a way to restore lost volume and remain squeaky wrinkle-free.
Fast forward to my mid-thirties and I haven’t had botox for as long as I can remember, my skincare is far more naturally hydration-based, and I appreciate having the ability to naturally move and express my facial muscles rather than looking constantly frozen.
Microneedling is therefore a wonderful choice for me in targeting my problem areas on the face which include: wanting to tighten and firm my face, to reduce the fine lines and wrinkles to my forehead and brows, to reduce my hormonal acne scars on my chin and shrink my enlarged pores and rosacea (redness) on my nose. I’m also looking to restore my skin luminosity for a healthy youthful complexion to enjoy being makeup free, as well as help my makeup to sit better on my skin without cracking or drying out.
Having had around 80 tattoos, 21 piercings, aesthetic treatments involving needles to my face and a few surgeries, when it comes to pain, I think that I have a pretty good threshold and tend to avoid using numbing creams or topical anaesthetics. This treatment can be performed with or without numbing cream, for which I’ve never been numbed for microneedling as the depth of the needle starts out as shallow and gradually builds its way up to the deeper levels where appropriate. So by the time you’ve had a few treatments the sensation of the buzzing needle becomes normal, rather than uncomfortable or painful.
This treatment can be used across the whole body as well as the face, including hard to reach areas such as around the eyes, nose and upper lip. The adjustable needle depth is used to accurately penetrate the skin vertically, providing maximum results with minimal trauma and recovery time. This vertical varied depth technique reduces side effects and recovery time compared to the traditional diagonal needles used in other needle-based treatments such as at home derma-rollering.
The precise depth and penetration of the microneedle therefore allows the skin to be penetrated up to 100 times per second to maximise individual results in the shortest period of treatment time and recovery with minimal discomfort. A soothing hyaluronic acid is applied to the face to hydrate, plump and smooth the skin as the needles create channels in the skin to allow it to penetrate the surface and work more effectively on a deeper level.
I like to close my eyes and listen to relaxing music during my treatments as the time passes so quickly and the cooling hyaluronic acid allows the needles to glide across the skin to cause tiny pin-pricks of blood or redness to indicate that the treatment is effective. A full face treatment takes around 40mins from cleansing, to performing the treatment and explaining aftercare but you can choose as many areas of the face or body as you wish which will cause the treatment time to vary.
I was comfortable enough to have the maximum depth of needle used in each area, as it gradually built up from 0.25mm to 0.5mm, 0.75mm and 1mm where appropriate and doesn’t feel incredibly different between the levels. Areas of the face that have the most tissue are the least noticeable to feel, as my cheeks felt more like a tickle, whereas my chin and forehead more of a light scratch.
As the treatment progressed I noticed my face feeling more warm and enjoyed the soothing sensation of more hyaluronic acid being applied as my face shimmered and glowed a healthy shade of red to signify that my treatment was complete. The name “acid” may seem scary, but there’s nothing to fear as it doesn’t melt or harm the skin as you might think, but instead is naturally produced by the body and is found in the eyes, joints and skin. It is frequently used in moisturising creams, lotions, ointments and serums to make the skin more flexible and stretchy as well as helping wounds to heal faster and reduce scarring.
Following my treatment my face was wiped clean and then an SPF50 was applied for protection. Redness to the area treated is expected for up to 48hrs which is necessary for collagen induction and will naturally cool and calm down by itself. My skin instant feels a little tight, a bit like having a mild form of sunburn and stepping outside into the cool air to return home felt so refreshing.
There may also be itchiness for which I can take an anti-histamine if necessary, however I haven’t experience this. Again, it’s perfectly normal for the skin to feel tender or tight to the touch and will be more sensitive to sunlight for several days, so I need to avoid sunlight and use a minimum of SPF30+ sunscreen for the next two weeks.
In more rare cases there can be bruising, swelling, small pustules or marks where the needle has entered the skin which will resolve on their own and none of which I’ve experienced. I basically need to just leave my face alone and continue with my day, applying moisturiser to cool, soothe and hydrate my warm skin and can return to wearing makeup tomorrow, but should ensure that my makeup brushes are clean to avoid infection.
It’s also advised that you avoid smoking, alcohol, swimming, excessive activities and sweating for the 48hrs to allow the skin to heal. This treatment can be repeated every 30 days for a total of six treatments before taking a two month break to achieve optimal results, which is the perfect way to start of my new years natural skincare regime to be summer-ready with a healthy complexion and youthful glow.
Collagen induction begins within the first 48hrs of the treatment and takes at least 4 weeks for superior results to be seen. These results will continue to improve for 3-12 months post-treatment as a new collagen matrix is formed within the skin whereby fine lines and wrinkles decrease as the skins firmness and tightness naturally increases. I will also be able to see a reduction in scar tissue, reduced signs of UV damage, reduced hyper-pigmentation and lesser symptoms of rosacea which I’m really looking forward to.
So here I will document my progress on my microneedling journey and hope that you find it helpful to see whats involved, as well as my own individual results. After my first treatment I’m already loving how fresh and bright my skin looks immediately after and can’t wait to see the longterm improvements. To think that my face is already healing itself as I write this, and will start to look naturally younger as I sleep tonight is such a mind-blowing notion.
The Morning After My Treatment
So it’s the morning after my treatment, around 18hrs ago, and I wanted to give a little update on the redness and sensation since having my microneedling as I know that this stage is the biggest concern for most. I just had the most soothing at home gold facial mask which has cooled my skin beautifully and left me dewy and glowing.
Whilst not all clinics will provide you with a post-treatment mask to go home with, Thrive Skincare gave me with this crystal collagen gold hyaluronic facial mask for me to use at any time which penetrates into the skin to assist with anti-wrinkle, anti-ageing, moisturising, hydration, firming, skin balancing, blemish clearing, nourishing, sculpting, anti-inflammatory and is suitable for all skin types.
When the skin is warm and red from microneedling, and the pores are open, it’s easier for products to sink in and deeply nourish the skin. But this mask can be used even without treatment for some TLC and to boost your complexion as part of a beauty regime. You can also apply your own suncream and moisturiser to soothe the skin, as the healing process looks and feels a little like a mild form of sunburn for the first 48hrs or so.
Microneedling sessions are therefore best suited to a Friday afternoon if possible, where you can have your treatment and then relax at home for the rest of the weekend, or if you’re able to book a day to work from home in the week it’s ideal. I can of course apply makeup again after 24hrs to hide any remaining redness, but I prefer to leave my skin alone and let nature take its course as I work from home.
My skin is already noticeably more plump and less tired looking, and despite having a pink glow and slight warmth to the surface of my face, I don’t find this treatment an inconvenience to my day as I could quite happily have this once a month to tie into my routine pamper sessions of hair, nails, exfoliating and deep moisturising. And I needed absolutely no excuse to lay in bed this weekend wearing my juicy quenching gold face mask to watch a spot of Netflix for half an hour with a cup of green tea before returning to my Mum duties!
Day Two Post-Treatment
At around 36hrs post-treatment now, the redness from my microneedling has all but gone, and I just have a natural redness to my nose and cheeks due to my skin condition of rosacea which microneedling can help to improve the symptoms of sensitivity and redness, but I may never be cured of.
I applied makeup to my face this morning, as I’d passed the 24hrs mark whilst sleeping, and the heat and tightness has gone from the surface of my skin, but instead has been replaced by dry and cracked skin which you have to get up pretty close to be able to see. I wanted to demonstrate how the face looks like makeup prior to exfoliating, should you wish to return to work, or have to go out, after having microneedling.
This part of the skin shedding process allows the dead skin cells from the surface to lift off and reveal silky smooth, soft and vibrant fresh skin beneath. Unlike with sunburn or having an acid peel, the skin doesn’t lift off noticeably in big patches or large flakes, but it discreetly cracks and makeup cakes into the creases prior to exfoliation. I really had to zoom in with my camera for it to show up in these pictures, and depending on the type of makeup you wear, it’s worth considering that different types of foundation may make this stage more discreet or obvious. I just wanted to show that this stage can be hidden with makeup if necessary.
There is something so incredibly satisfying about exfoliating the face, and it’s a part of my beauty regime that I just absolutely love. Much like a deep spring clean of the house after Christmas, I really enjoy stripping off all dirt, grease and grime from my skin to reveal a plump and fresh complexion with a gentle face exfoliating cream.
Day Three Post-Treatment
Approaching 72hrs after my treatment and my cracked skin has now all cleared to reveal beautiful shiny, smooth and fresh new skin that literally glows in the light. The reddened area on my chin which struggles with hormonal acne is noticeably clearer, my skin fresher and less tired looking.
Keeping well hydrated, using my high factor SPF50 cream and applying a high quality moisturiser has helped me to achieve these results for which the recovery time will vary from individual to individual. The better care that we take of ourselves, the more healthy and active our lifestyle and deeper our quality sleep the sooner we can rest, recover and enjoy aesthetic results.
Once you’ve experienced microneedling for the first time, and understand how quick and convenient the recovery actually is, completing a full course of sessions within a year is such a small part of your day which makes such a huge difference to your complexion.
I’m so excited to continue my course of microneeding treatments, spaced every 30 days apart, over the next six months to achieve maximum results as I approach my 37th birthday this autumn. My skin will continue to need moisturising and SPF as it heals over the next couple of weeks, and I hope that in sharing my journey to naturally youthful skincare, that I may inform and inspire others to invest in their own skin and take preventative measures to pause, if not turn back, the clock to look and feel your very best at every age and stage of life.
Please feel free to check back here soon to see how my results and treatments progress!
For more information about microneedling you can visit Thrive Skincare here: