I tried micro needling for the first time – here’s what I wish I knew beforehand.
The first time I heard of micro needling, my first thought was, why on earth would anyone want to stick tiny needles into their face. No thank you.
Despite having regular Acupuncture treatments, and having a tattoo, I absolutely hate needles. Especially needles in the face.
I know, I know, it makes absolutely no sense at all. Why on earth would having needles put in my face turn me off, when I’m happy to have Acupuncture, and made a life-long commitment to a tattoo.
Well, it took me a full year to get my first Acupuncture treatment, and six years to get a tattoo.
With the face though, I have rarely stepped outside of my comfort zone to experiment with skin treatments such as fillers and injectables, which are all needles. For me the face is one of the areas of the body, where if something goes wrong, it’s out there for the world to see.
So, when I first heard of micro needling, I had no interest.
In-fact, a simple search online brought up loads of scary looking images showing people with terrible peeling conditions, bleeding, scarring and more. That was my first mistake. If you want to learn about something, often looking online is the worst thing you can do.
But then I met someone who had had it done, someone very close to me, and they explained where and how they had it done. And for the first time ever, I was actually intrigued. ‘Hmm’, I thought, ‘perhaps micro needling isn’t as bad as I thought’.
For any newbie to micro needling, let me explain what it is.
This is what an at-home micro-needling device looks like. Where you roll the device over your skin to penetrate the cells and help remove toxins trapped deep inside. You don’t any numbing creams to use this on your face, as the needles as gentle and don’t penetrate deep enough.
This is the Skin Pen. One of many electronic and battery operated micro needling devices, which operates by pumping tiny needles into the skin at hyper-fast speeds, to penetrate deep into the cells of the skin, to activate collagen production, remove dead skin cells and rapidly heal the skin. You do require a skin numbing cream for this, as there needles go deep into the skin.
According to a study conducted on the benefits of micro needling, almost 100 percent of micro needling participants reported a noticeable difference and vast improvement in the appearance of their acne scars, along with fine lines and wrinkles after only one treatment.
The procedure itself, is the use of a device, which has a bunch of very tiny needles on it, designed to puncture the very first layer of the skin. The process works to release natural collagen in the skin, helping with hydration, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, increase rapid skin reproduction and healing heal and rejuvenate the skin overall.
There is a numbing cream applied to your face first, approximately 10 to 15 minutes prior to your treatment, as it takes around that long for the full effects of the cream to work and numb the entire face. This ensures the tiny needles of the Skin Pen don’t cause any pain when penetrating the skin.
The benefits can include:
- Enhancement of skin texture
- Stimulation of collagen production
- A reduction in scars and hyperpigmentation
- Reduction in the appearance of wrinkles
After a bit of honest research on micro needling, the benefits and the differences between having the treatment at a day spa to one at a Cosmedical clinic with qualified nurses to conduct the procedure, It was time to try micro needling.
And yes, I was still feeling nervous and anxious about it. It was difficult to shake the thoughts of ‘what if something goes wrong’, ‘what if I can’t show my face for weeks whilst I recover’. There was a lot of noise in my head about how this treatment would go and how the skin on my face would respond.
For my micro treatment, I had the Skin Pen.
Skin Pen was the first FDA approved cleared micro needling device. It’s made in the USA and is rigorously tested for safety. With minimal invasive technology, there is little down time on skin healing after one treatment, and the results? Well, I can speak from my own experience, it works.
The clinic I went to was GMC Cosmedical at Randwick and I was treated by Madeline Calfas, aka: @the_wellness_factor who is a registered nurse, naturopath, nutritionist, integrative anti-ageing medicine practioner and has more than 20 years-experience as a cosmetic and wellness specialist.
Because GMC is a registered medical clinic, unlike other day and beauty spas, they are licensed to use a medical-grade topical anesthetic face cream before the treatment starts. You don’t feel a thing.
Mind you, this still didn’t bring me any peace of mind before my treatment. With my nerves pinging throughout my body and my heart racing, I threw every question imaginable at poor Madeline, and that was before the treatment had even started.
‘Are you sure the numbing cream will work and I won’t feel a thing’? ‘What about once the numbing wears off, will I be in pain’?
She assured me the medical grade numbing creams works, I would not feel a thing during the treatment, nor after the treatment once it wore off, as the procedure would have stopped by then. The worst thing I may feel she said, is a tingling tickly sensation around parts of my face, like the nose area, where the Skin Pen creates some vibration through the nasal cavity, making you feel like you want to sneeze.
Hands down she was right. I felt nothing. In-fact although it didn’t feel like the numbing cream had worked prior to us staring the treatment, once she started I felt nothing, except for a slight tingle, like pins and needles, going over my skin, and the ever so slight beginnings of a sneeze which never came, around the nose, as she worked those areas.
And afterwards? As the numbing cream wore off, which took around 3 hours for me until all sensations returned back to my face, my skin only felt slightly sunburnt – that’s it.
I was completely unprepared for my micro needling treatment. I went in blind and wasn’t sure what to expect, and how my skin would react after the treatment.
Though I had no serious side effects except for the sunburn feeling, the following day my skin was already starting to flake off. But not peel and flake off, like the horror stories I had previously seen online. The flaking is more like a dusty feel, as small dead skin cells begin to shed off your face and form tiny balls when you rub your hands across your face. The temptation to exfoliate is hard to resist, which is not recommended for at least five days after having a micro-needling treatment.
In truth, I was pretty happy with the results, and this was only 24-hours later.
Why? Overall, I could see a significant rapid healing of the blemishes I had prior to the treatment. They were flaking off in front of my eyes, leaving behind only small soft pink marks on the skin.
My only concern was all the flaking. I had an engagement party to attend in two days. How was I going to pull off wearing makeup over the top of icky dusty skin which was flaking off every second and a lot of it too?
I was told to wait at least five days to a week before exfoliating. But I couldn’t go that long, knowing I had the engagement party. So two days later, I used the softest facial exfoliator on the planet and on the morning of the engagement party, I exfoliated as much of the flaky skin cells as I could, so I could at least wear foundation without it getting stuck on all the dry bits.
Sorry Madeline, I know you’re going to be reading this and screaming at me whilst you do.
As I only did a light exfoliation, there was still a lot of flaking going on, but I managed to get through the engagement party with flawless makeup, which didn’t budge. Phew! My skin continued to flake slightly over the next few days, and I finished it off with a nice exfoliation after five days when all the skin that was going to flake off, flaked off.
My skin was glowing, youthful looking, dewy and looked so fresh and renewed. And it stayed that way for at least a month.
After a micro needling treatment, you must stay away from retinol (vitamin A) products, vitamin C products and anything with antioxidants. And you are given skincare products to use for your after care treatment. I also found using an aloe vera gel on my face before bed the day of the treatment helped to cool down the sunburn effect also.
After I got through the first week after the micro needling treatment, I noticed the following improvements in my skin:
- Better hydration
- No blemishes
- Skin plumpness
- Even skin tone
- Slight reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
I only had one treatment. I’d love to see how my skin looked after getting a another two or three.
Would I go again for a micro needling treatment? Absolutely. However, there are a few things to note, which I wish I knew before I had the treatment.
Keep your calendar free for at least 5 days, this means staying at home as much as possible. Difficult if you work a full time job, yes. But you can take a Friday off, have the treatment, and then at least get through the Friday, Saturday and Sunday with no makeup or plans, and then you just have to deal with Monday and Tuesday before your skin goes back to normal after a good exfoliation to remove any dead skin flaking off.
Make sure you book a treatment for micro needling, when the weather isn’t too warm. As your skin looks and feels sunburnt after a treatment, the warmer weather does make the skin feel hotter than normal. I had the air con blasting on my face for the drive home after the treatment to keep it cool. And then had my face in front of a fan once I got home. Though the aftercare skincare products do help with this, I feel the cooler month, when the air temp is not as warm would be a lot easier on the skin during the first 24hours of the treatment.
Did you catch my insta live interview with @the_wellness_factor? Check it out now – click here.