Just like most self care routines this year, my skin care routine was basically non-existent. Last week I Googled quotes on success (I had a moment) and came across this one: “I just wanna have clear skin, full brows and 5 million dollars”, and for no apparent reason, clear skin seemed the most do-able.
The condition of my skin on any given day is very much a reflection of what I’m eating, my stress levels, hormones and exercising. I’ve never battled too much with bad skin, just the occasional hormonal breakouts and blackheads. My biggest issue is that I am a massive picker, especially when I’m stressed. Obviously the older I got the more unacceptable it is to walk around with pimple scars on my face so my stress picking transferred down to my chest and arms. And as is the case with all instant gratifications – there’s most likely to be bad consequences, in my case, permanent scarring.
So after some research, I decided that microneedling would be the best option for me. Out of all the treatments, microneedling gives the hope of eventually reducing scarring.
What is Microneedling:
Microneedling is amazing as a preventative skin care treatment or to correct any existing skin concerns. Microneedling is used to treat and improve conditions like acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, loose skin, skin texture, pore size, brown spots, stretch marks, and pigmentation issues. Collagen and elastin stimulation is very important to keep the skin looking healthy and youthful, and this can be done with microneedling.
Skin needling is based on the skin’s ability to repair itself after it has been physically damaged. It allows controlled ‘micro’ injuries to the skin to activate the skin’s natural repair process to activate collagen synthesis.
The Dermapen 4 was used for me.
Before the actual microneedling starts, my skin therapist did an analysis to make sure that my skin would be able to handle the needling. If your skin isn’t “strong” enough they’ll recommend you start off slow with a peel or with another specified skin treatment.
A numbing cream is applied to the face and neck, but the chest and arms are left bare. Right before the microneedling starts the skin is cleaned with an alcohol serum.
To put it lightly, the dermapen sounds like a dentist’s drill, so prepare yourself for a bit of a shock. I think the sound actually made the needling itself less painful since I was expecting extreme pain.
My arms and chest felt kind of like if you were to take a brush and aggressively brush your skin. It’s not unbearable but it’s not fun. I’ll give it a 4/10 for pain (granted, my pain tolerance is quite high). Seeing that it is 16 small needles piercing my skin 2000 times per second, it wasn’t bad at all.
My face and neck was a breeze. The numbing cream took away most of the irritation and I only felt a small pinch every now and then.
After the treatment a soothing face mask is used to hydrate, heal and protect the skin.
Downtime is 24 – 48 hours with no sun exposure or exercise allowed.
My numbed lips had me feeling like Kylie Jenner for most of the day. My face was red and tight with a cool tingling sensation (but this could also be due to the numbing cream wearing off).
For about 2-3 days after you basically have all the symptoms of a sunburn. My face was red, tingly, tight, itchy and sensitive. My arms and chest were more sensitive than my face. Some people get blood spots on their face but I luckily only had some on my neck.
After the third day I had some skin peeling around my mouth and on my cheeks, but not a lot.
The one thing that they strictly advise you not to do is POP ANY PIMPLES. After the second day I had a few underlying pimples come to the surface, and being the picker that I am, I couldn’t resist. Your skin is still super sensitive for about a week after and any picking WILL result in an instant scab. The pimples disappear really quickly so just hold out for a bit.
Even after only one treatment, my skin is definitely smoother, plumper and clearer. I have less blackheads and the broken blood vessels on my cheeks are more subtle. Makeup and creams also apply a lot smoother.
With microneedling you’re advised to go back almost every month for a few months to see better and long term results, so it can be quite expensive. And just like most healthy habits, you need to have a long term plan for it to have long term effects.
The following are rough guidelines of the recommended amount of treatments :
Rejuvenation/superficial treatments: 3 – 6 treatments, 6 – 8 weeks apart
Acne scarring: 4 – 6 treatments, 6 – 8 weeks apart
Stretch marks: 4 – 8 treatments, 6 – 8 weeks apart
Pigmentation: 4 – 6 treatments, 2 – 4 weeks apart
So like any relationship, skincare needs commitment not a miracle.. But here’s to me and my new skin care journey!