When it comes to beauty procedures and skin facial treatments we can use at home, having dozens of small needles penetrating the skin sounds like something that should be way down the list.
However, it could just be your secret pass to better skin and we’re going to explain why today! Let’s discover the benefits of microneedling at home.
- 1 Introduction to Microneedling
- 2 What are the Benefits of microneedling for skin and hair?
- 2.1 Improves Skin Texture quickly
- 2.2 Even Skin Tone, Reversed Sun Damage, and Reduced Hyperpigmentation
- 2.3 Improve Scars and Pock Marks
- 2.4 Cystic Acne and Acne
- 2.5 Reduced Wrinkles and Fine Lines
- 2.6 Black Head Removal
- 2.7 Skin Exfoliation
- 2.8 Improved Efficiency of Your Beauty Products
- 2.9 Prevents Premature Aging
- 2.10 Reduce the Size of Pores
- 2.11 Hair Loss Aid
- 2.12 Improving the Appearance of Stretch Marks
- 2.13 Microneedling all over your body
- 3 When to Avoid Microneedling?
- 4 Which Dermaroller to use as a beginner?
- 5 How long to see the microneedling results?
- 6 Best cosmetics to use after microneedling?
- 7 Side Effects of Microneedling?
- 8 Conclusion
Introduction to Microneedling
If you aren’t sure what we were talking about in the introduction, it’s a treatment technique known as ‘microneedling’, or micro needle therapy, or derma needling (or collagen induction therapy).
Considered a huge step for anti-aging by many experts and cosmetic companies, hundreds of puncture wounds are created in the skin by tiny needles.
At first, this can sound like a traumatic experience you wouldn’t even want to watch in a horror movie but it’s actually a minimally invasive procedure.
While it can be administered by a trained dermatologist, aesthetician, or surgeon, it can also be done in the comfort of your own home.
Home treatments use a derma roller which is essentially a mini paint roller with needles attached to the roller itself; it’s a brilliant solution and one that causes very little pain.
Here is the dermaroller we like ( from amazon): good ratio quality/price. You can click on the picture to read some reviews.
With these tiny puncture marks, most needles will penetrate the epidermis while the longest will contact the dermis’s upper layers.
Why is this important?
The body reacts to the penetration and goes into ‘healing’ mode and, in turn, this means an increase in both elastin and collagen production. With this in mind, it’s actually incredibly similar to using light or heat in lasers but you are inciting the healing response mechanically to reverse the signs of aging.
Results – As well as textured, smoother, and firmer skin, users of derma rollers also tend to enjoy reduced scar formation, younger-looking skin, and improved acne scars. In fact, there are so many benefits that we’ve created this extensive guide to explain them all in detail!
What are the Benefits of microneedling for skin and hair?
So let’s discuss in details each benefit of microneedling face and body.
Improves Skin Texture quickly
First and foremost, the needles involved in the treatment will allow for a remodeling of not only collagen but also blood vessels (in a process known as revascularization).
Considering the treatment sessions can last anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes, you will experience some bleeding from the pinpricks but this should be seen as a positive (stay with us!). Despite the bleeding and the redness that occurs in the first 24 to 36 hours after the treatment, you’re also likely to see a boost in the texture of your skin.
For skin to have the ‘plump’ appearance we all crave, it needs two things: elastin and collagen.
Unfortunately, collagen and elastin production slows towards the end of our twenties and this leads to some sagging and various changes. With microneedling, many patients notice a difference as soon as the session is over and most love the new soft texture to their skin.
If you happen to have a romantic date the next day, don’t worry too much because the redness will look like slight sunburn and will quickly disappear!
Even Skin Tone, Reversed Sun Damage, and Reduced Hyperpigmentation
If you have problems with any of these three things, you’re in luck because microneedling can help (finally!).
That’s right, the boost in collagen production provided by microneedling can lead to an improvement in discoloration and melasma-related hyperpigmentation. Although a chronic condition and one that causes blotches and brown pigmentation, we know that microneedling can help thanks to a study back in 2015.
When skin is damaged by excess sun, extra pigmentation is the problem and, as long as the needle is between 1.0mm and 1.5mm, derma rollers can help.
In case you’re unaware, the word ‘hyperpigmentation’ refers to any changes in the skin caused by black heads, pimples, inflammation, white heads, and issues we’ve mentioned today. Essentially, it causes changes to the color of underlying skin and is a different shade to the surrounding area.
Rather than dealing with uneven and blotchy skin, microneedling could be the solution you need. How does it work?
Although not 100% proven, scientists have predicted the reduced hyperpigmentation comes from an increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases. Again, scientists can’t be certain but many also believe the technique boosts keratinocytes.
As well as the treatment itself, patients are advised to apply vitamin C serums after the treatment since these topical products can boost the effectiveness of microneedling. With vitamin C balancing melanin levels too, there’s a reason why doctors will recommend these products after the treatment.
Before moving onto the next benefit, women with darker skin (Fitzpatrick classification IV and V) are advised to choose microneedling over laser treatment for hyperpigmentation; this is perhaps the biggest compliment we could pay to the technique. Laser treatments are usually not recommended for dark colored skin as it could worsen the problem and lead to more hyperpiglentation, so with facial microneedling, this is your chance to see the improvements you deserve!
Improve Scars and Pock Marks
As we reach the third benefit, this is for anybody struggling with acne scars (you don’t need us to tell you how difficult these are to treat!).
Can microneedling help?
Yes (it wouldn’t be in this list otherwise!), and it’s important to note the process of fibrosis; a natural process for the body when scarring occurs in the face.
While this is positive for healing, because it helps everything stick together, it can create further scarring or pock marks as it glues tightly and pulls the skin downwards.
Rather than living with the consequences, microneedling will attempt to disperse the fibrosis and natural glue which then allows the surface of the skin to be released once more. Suddenly, you won’t believe the smoothness of your skin in such a short period of time.
How quickly does it work?
Hold on to your hats…almost immediately.
Most effective on smaller scars, many studies have reported positive results within just two treatment sessions. Even if you don’t have scarring but live with the after-effects of extensive acne, microneedling can still help the resulting uneven texture.
We should note that scars that were once stitched and larger lacerations won’t be easily resolved with microneedling, so have a discussion with your dermatologist because they know your case better than most.
2009 Study – If you want further proof of microneedling’s effectiveness, we turn our attention to a 2009 study in which participants experienced microneedling sessions for their acne scars. When all was said and done, nearly 100% said their scars had reduced in appearance.
While on this note, it’s important to discuss the length of needles since most home kits won’t exceed 1.5mm.
If your scars are severe, you may need to speak with your dermatologist about longer needles because they can extend to 3mm in a professional setting. With longer needles, you’ll be able to get to the deeper layers of skin while breaking up the scarring (just as we mentioned previously).
Are you considering fractional laser treatment and want to know your options?
If so, Dermatologic Surgery journal once published a comparison between lasers and microneedling with each coming out as an effective solution. Despite no preference being given to either, microneedling was praised for the lack of downtime, pain, and side effects (so keep this in mind when making your decision!).
Cystic Acne and Acne
As well as treating acne scars, some have been able to take advantage of microneedling for acne itself.
Sadly (for some!), we aren’t able to dig into the science of this one yet but possible explanations as to why microneedling is effective for acne include less oil in the skin’s surface and a decline in sebum production. With both of these potential effects, black heads are less likely and acne can clear. (study)
While we aren’t saying you should abandon all other treatments for microneedling, it can be something to try if you’re fed up of dealing with acne.
Compared to derma planing, rolling MAY be possible even with active breakouts so this is incredibly useful (check with your doctor first!). In addition to treating acne, microneedling will simultaneously improve small scars and texture too!
Reduced Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Next up, and the main reason why many people choose microneedling in the first place, you can reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and boast younger-looking skin for ALL to see.
As you should know by now, microneedling boosts elastin and collagen in the skin; both of which are essential for a youthful appearance.
For many, microneedling is the best way to stop wrinkles and fine lines.
Not only will it stop these nasty side effects of aging, it’ll also lead to new skin cells so it’s actually a double effect. As long as you’re willing to be patient, a few sessions will do the trick perfectly (it can even remove crow’s feet!).
There’s often a misconception that microneedling leads to several days off work but this simply isn’t the case because it actually utilizes the natural healing response of the body; it doesn’t inject a foreign substance, for example. With this in mind, your downtime will be limited.
How does it encourage the production of elastin and collagen?
Well, the body jumps into action once the needles create holes in the skin. Although considered ‘micro damage’, the body will still create collagen to repair the skin. As we get older, this extra collagen and elastin becomes essential because our natural resources are faltering. For this reason, microneedling is perfect for scar remodeling, skin rejuvenation, and tightening with a simple treatment (these are the words of the International Journal of Dermatology back in 2015).
Despite the holes being VERY small, your body doesn’t recognize extent and only knows it needs to heal the skin. At the same time as elastin and collagen increasing, the dermis also receives plenty of oxygen, nutrients, and blood from new blood vessels that form.
With all of these effects coming together, photodamage is healed, skin tightens, and wrinkles reduce – in other words, you’ll look YOUNGER!
Black Head Removal
Black heads are frustrating; we know it, you know it, the whole world knows it.
Therefore, you’ll be glad to know that blacks heads can be freed and knocked out during microneedling. For those with hormonal acne or PCOS especially, this is great news and the results can normally be enjoyed immediately.
During revascularization and the healing response, your pores will also be smaller for up to a month and this is noticeable.
Of course, microneedling isn’t magic so it won’t keep black heads away forever. However, they normally start to come back as the next treatment is due so your time with them will be limited. If you want to improve microneedling’s effect on black heads, be sure to use vitamin C serum ( check our vit C serum guide) after the treatment (another reason why this topical product is good for the skin!).
Whenever the epidermis is disrupted by a treatment, you can be certain of some level of exfoliation ( check our microdermabrasion guide) and this is what we have with microneedling.
As the layer of skin at the surface, the stratum corneum is removed and a fresh layer of skin comes through.
With microneedling, this occurs to a lesser extent than many other treatments but it still allows dead skin cells to be removed and replaced by newer ones (thus making you look younger yet again!).
Improved Efficiency of Your Beauty Products
Throughout this guide, we’ve been talking about using vitamin C serums ( check our vit c face serum guide) and how they can help improve results…but why is this the case?
According to one study, as little as 4% of your serums and products actually penetrate the skin – this is shockingly low. However, thanks to the tiny holes in your skin, product absorption increases after microneedling.
It means that more of your topical product will get into the deeper layers and all the benefits advertised on the bottle can actually be enjoyed.
Even with the best products, they struggle to get through the clogged pores so this opportunity shouldn’t be missed. Once the treatment has finished, the tiny holes act as channels and your expensive products finally have an easy passage to all the action in your skin.
Prevents Premature Aging
Time to deal with another common misconception – microneedling is only for the ‘older generation’.
As we noted earlier, collagen production can start to slow in our late twenties (mid-twenties for some) so it’s never really too early to start this microneedling treatment.
As your body starts to slow its collagen production, microneedling allows you to make up for its losses and maintain younger skin.
If there are certain things you miss about your teen years, add ‘collagen’ to the list because it starts to decline before we’re even ready to admit we’re growing older.
For many, they reach 25 and notice the difference in their skin. For those who smoke, spend excessive amounts of time in the sun, or eat excessive amounts of sugar, collagen production will be hampered even more. Soon enough, you’ll notice the dreaded sagging skin and wrinkles in the mirror.
With microneedling, your decreasing collagen production isn’t a problem; not only does it encourage new collagen, it also prevents the breakdown of existing collagen too.
That’s why we do recommend people to use vitamin C serum (the best collagen booster cosmetic product) in combination with microneedling as both will boost collagen production.
In conclusion, microneedling + vitamin C serum is probably the best antiaging tip to start as early as possible.
Reduce the Size of Pores
In the past, we’ve spoken to plenty of people who thought microneedling increases the size of pores…but the opposite is actually true.
With the increased collagen around the pores, they appear fuller and this shrinks their appearance; it can sometimes appear as if they’re closed altogether.
Since we all strive for smaller pores, this is an excellent reason to try microneedling!
Hair Loss Aid
Wait a minute…this isn’t serious?
As strange as it sounds, those with male pattern baldness and alopecia have been known to benefit from so-called ‘skin needling’.
In much the same way we’ve discussed on our face, microneedling in bald spots activates the healing response and boosts stem cells and growth factors (some related to hair growth).
Soon enough, thicker hair is encouraged alongside an improved follicle size.
Rather than vitamin C, you can try minoxidil (we like this brand from amazon here) to improve the results even further.
Of course, the benefit of using this technique for hair is that any redness will be hidden. Considering the downtime is minimal and your existing hair could be hiding some/all of the redness, there’s no reason why you can’t carry on your day as normal after treatment. If redness does show, it should disappear again within a day or two!
Improving the Appearance of Stretch Marks
Although similar in appearance to scars, stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched too quickly.
If you want to treat your own stretch marks, be aware that it will require many treatment sessions and they can be more difficult than normal scars.
However, the tissue can still be broken down with microneedling and collagen growth can be encouraged; over time, this means the marks will fade.
If your stretch marks are quite deep, your dermatologist is likely to recommend at least six sessions and possibly up to twelve too (but it will be worth it!).
Microneedling all over your body
With our own guide, and guides elsewhere, there’s likely to be a focus on the face since this is the most common treatment area.
Yet, positive results can really be achieved anywhere. We mentionned the case of stretch marks earlier, but in fact we can really use microneedling almost everywhere. Whether it’s on the legs, butt, chest, or back, the conditions we’ve discussed can be treated.
Even if the recovery is a little more awkward, the limited downtime means you’ll be back to normal in no time – and this is why microneedling is (very!) quickly gaining in popularity.
When to Avoid Microneedling?
While microneedling is effective on all skin types, problems can arise for those with active infections – this includes rosacea, impetigo, and inflamed acne.
Furthermore, we also recommend speaking to a specialist if you have sunburn, hypersensitive skin, or acute eczema because microneedling is unlikely to be a viable solution.
Which Dermaroller to use as a beginner?
We like this brand from amazon ( check here) as it is perfect for beginners and has a good ratio: quality /cost. There are more expensive ones out there but you really don’t need to spend more. Sabve your moeny for other cosmetics haha. This one is really perfect to get started and is ideal to be used as a dermaroller for acne scars or wrinkles….
How long to see the microneedling results?
Some people see good results after 1-2 months while others have to wait until 6-8 months so you have to be patient. For the skin to encourage the production of elastin and collagen, this takes some time so don’t get discouraged if results don’t show immediately.
Best cosmetics to use after microneedling?
As we discovered, it’s important to take advantage of the holes or channels created by microneedling but which products are best?
To encourage collagen production even further, reduce healing time, and improve skin tone, we highly recommend a vitamin C serum (check our awesome guide here).
In the studies mentioned throughout this guide, they would have used microneedling in conjunction with 10-15% vitamin C serum (L-ascorbic acid form).
Do you have sensitive skin? If so, it’ll be better to look for a gentler solution such as this one ( 60 day money back guarantee) and this can normally be found in sodium or magnesium ascorbyl phosphate. Not only is this a derivative of vitamin C, there’s every chance it will convert to ascorbic acid once in the skin so you’ll still enjoy the same benefits (without the irritation!).
Whichever you choose, make sure you cleanse the face before applying up to four drops of the serum. As you spread the product across the face, be careful of the eyes. The next morning, apply the same product and get into the routine of applying it regularly for the next month or so.
Side Effects of Microneedling?
Regardless of which treatment you use for skin conditions, there are likely to be side effects.
With microneedling, the same is true…but they’re only minor compared to others.
For example, you are likely to experience redness, tightness, and sensitivity. Over the next few hours, this should fade and you should return to normal after 24/48 hours.
After reading about all the benefits of microneedling, you know that even with these small side effects, this painless and safe technique has many more benefits than drawbacks.
Since there’s a focus on the natural healing response, it aims to boost what your body is doing already rather than introducing a new chemical or process. Therefore, it is a brilliant method of reversing the signs of aging and keeping your skin looking young; it won’t be long before the compliments come flooding in from friends!
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- guide to the best face steamers for skin and health
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- Our detailed article about the uses of witch hazel on face
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- our guide on microdermabrasion machines
- the 6 reasons why we are addicted to beauty products
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