Microneedling, or collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that stimulates your blood circulation. This multi-purpose treatment targets everything from acne scars to hair loss.
And while it does sound painful and a little scary, it’s been a sensation among dermatologists and the beauty-obsessed. Basically, microneedling creates microscopic punctures in the skin. Itty bitty, fine, short needles are inserted and are only pinpricks that are surface-level deep.
If you’ve ever heard of the derma-roller, this is the most cost-effective way to do the treatment at home, or you can have it done in-office with PRP (platelet-rich plasma), which is more costly but produces better results.
This is also known as the “Vampire Facial,” which most associate with the Kardashian crew. People are loving this treatment because it produces near-instant results. You’ll have plump, pink, and luminous skin that will last a few weeks. The visible transformation is quite amazing, but it doesn’t come without some side effects. Naturally, after puncturing your skin with needles, you will experience some redness.
What most people don’t know about is the aftercare required for microneedling. The redness and swelling can last up to 24 hours or longer, so you’re going to have to steer clear from makeup until it subsides.
The last thing your newly exposed pores needs is to be clogged up. Don’t be too alarmed if you experience peeling, bumps, breakouts, or dry skin – as it won’t last long (plus, not everyone experiences this).
If you’re down to try microneedling, here are a few important aftercare tips to follow:
As a general rule, you should be using sunscreen anyway, but it’s especially essential after this procedure. Anytime you are about to go outdoors, make sure you slather it on for protection. And try not to spend too much time outdoors. Your skin will be super-sensitive and more prone to damage.
Your skin will be extremely susceptible to infection just after the procedure, so always use whichever cream your doctor recommends or provides.
Wash Your Hands, A Lot
And don’t touch your face! Which you shouldn’t be doing anyway, but hey, it happens. Be extra conscientious about this.
Prohibit Your Activities
Don’t go to swimming pools, saunas, and situations where you might sweat heavily, including intense workouts at the gym, to protect your newly treated skin. After 72 hours have passed, you should be in the clear for these activities.
At least after the first few days. Anything scented, harsh or containing glycolic or alpha hydroxy acids. You should also avoid retinol or vitamin c for the first 48 hours. Anything considered “anti-aging” should be put off for a while. And after 48 hours are complete, slowly start adding your skin products back in. You don’t need to overwhelm your skin.
Consult with Your Provider
To take extra precaution, ask your skincare technician about any cleansers, toners, moisturizers, serums, etc. that could have irritating effects. The ingredients do matter during this time.
Use Hyaluronic Acid
It may sound counter-productive, but this acid actually helps in the production of collagen.
Typically speaking, if your skin is uber dry, you can use coconut oil as an emollient. This will lock in any moisturizer and keep you hydrated. The key is gentle, natural ingredients.
Be Patient with Healing
Microneedling is known as a safe procedure and most healing takes place within two to three days post-treatment. However, everyone will react differently and some patients have been known to experience side effects for up to two months.
Monitor Your Health
Infections can happen after microneedling for a variety of reasons. If you experience any of the following, definitely check in with your healthcare provider:
- Fever over 100.4°F (38°C)
- Yellow or green discharge
Here are some of the many benefits associated with microneedling:
- Improves fine lines and deeper wrinkles
- Reduces acne scars
- Softens stretch marks
- Evens skin tone
- Lightens hyperpigmentation and sunspots
- Reduces the appearance of pores
- Firms and smooths skin texture
- Heals scars
- Reduces broken capillaries and spider veins
- Brings back the glow for fresher, younger-looking skin
Some providers may send you home with a post-care kit. A cleansing solution, balm and mist are usually included in some kits. It will vary from provider to provider.
While microneedling can sound a little intense, it has become such a popular trend because of the beautiful glow you experience afterward. It won’t last forever though – so talk to your provider about a treatment plan which includes the frequency of your visits. According to a 2008 study, skin treated with four microneedling sessions spaced one month apart, produced up to a 400% increase in collagen and elastin six months after completing treatment. It may just be your new obsession once you start hearing so many fabulous compliments.