For my fifth appointment with Skin Philosophy, we tried a new treatment – micro-needling. Or Dermapen as it’s sometimes known. Micro-needling stimulates the body’s own collagen production, helping to reduce scarring, fine lines and stretch marks. It does this by using a number of fine, sharp needles that pierce the skin, creating ‘damage’ which makes the body produce more new collagen and elastin, generating new skin cells that ‘repair’ the damage. The skin becomes thicker, plumper and looks more youthful.
Before the procedure, the lovely Maria talked me through the experience and applied a numbing cream to my entire face. I was left for 20 minutes whilst the cream set to work. Once my face felt suitably numb, Maria used a small handheld pen type device, with a sterile, disposable tip, with 12 tiny needles. She then proceeded to gently move over my face, working from my left cheek, to my chin, my nose and forehead, and eventually my right cheek. Although the needles pierce the skin, it’s a relatively painless experience. I was expecting it to be far worse, but in reality it felt like a scratching. I guess the numbing cream did the trick, but I have to say the forehead was the worst place. As the skin is closer to the bone, I felt it a lot more, and as soon as Maria moved on to the next area, the one she’d just finished instantly began to feel hot with a burning sensation. My skin continued to feel hot and sensitive, but before I was finished, she also applied a retinol peel, to really clear my skin right up. This stung quite a bit, but no sooner had she finished, she applied sun-cream to my skin which instantly cooled it down.
Before leaving the salon I drank a glass of water, as I was feeling a little hot still and it’s important to drink plenty, as the skin will be very dehydrated. The redness began to lessen immediately, and it was lovely to get outside in the cool air. However, I was left with a little redness (similar to mild sunburn) for the following 36 hours. This meant that at work the following day, I felt very self-conscious, as I also couldn’t apply any makeup. Cold compresses throughout the day helped cool the skin but the redness was a little alarming every time I looked in a mirror! However, I know the long term gains will be worth it, and my colleagues were all very nice about it, trying to my mind at ease.
It’s expected that within a week or two, I’ll see a noticeable difference to my skin, with it being smoother and more radiant looking. But it can take up to a few months to see the true benefit. I’m booked in for another session in 5 weeks time, and Maria has told me that after about 3 sessions, I will see a huge improvement. You can safely have micro-needling every 4-6 weeks until you achieve your desired results, but some people continue to have it regularly to keep their skin looking younger.
There are no negative side effects, with none being reported in over 150,000 procedures worldwide. You just have to put up with redness for a couple of days following the treatment! It’s also best to not use any acidic products, and avoid touching or picking the skin. Exposure to the sun should also be avoided (I had this done the weekend of the super sunny May bank holiday – typical!), and to apply sun block but no makeup for the first 24 hours.
I must say, even after a few days, I can see a difference in my skin, especially when I compare photos from my first treatment 4 months ago (pictured above). My redness didn’t subside until day 4 following the micro-needling, but I had very little flaking after this 5th peel. Even thought the peel was strong again, my skin must be getting used to it and building up some kind of resistance.
Have you ever had micro-needling? I’d love to hear your thoughts!