I’m starting to get fine lines and wrinkles. There I said it. I’m 34, soon to be 35, and it’s all happening — slowing of metabolism, gravity, lines, wrinkles, my hair root is showing the early signs of miniaturization…
All. The. Things.
I know, I look fine. Good even for my age. I take care of myself and have since I was young. Always moisturizing my face, sleeping with a humidifier next to my bed in the winter, never sleeping with makeup on. But I can’t stop the aging, mostly.
With all the new science and technology out there we have more effective beauty products and treatments for just about anything. And without going Botox crazy on you — I’m testing some of the more minor procedures and telling you all about them.
Baby step number one was getting a HydraFacial. I’ve only had one, and while I had great results from it, I think getting them monthly or quarterly is one key to consistently amazing skin. The results are pretty immediate and I had only a little redness for less than an hour afterward. You could get one and go back to work (with no makeup), or go to dinner that evening, although it’s recommended not to wear makeup within 24 hours afterward or as long as possible. You can read more about the HydraFacial here.
The fine lines on my forehead are more than a HydraFacial is going to solve, and while I have good skin texture, I know it could be better, smoother, with less lines. So my next treatment was Microneedling.
I interviewed my dermatologist, Dr. Lina Naga at SkinDC, about all the specifics below!
If you want to try microneedling at SkinDC, they are offering you 20% off during the month of February. Call for pricing and to make an appointment! Make sure to tell them I sent you!
What is Microneedling?
Microneedling a non-invasive treatment is performed to stimulate collagen production in the skin and help with fine lines, scars, enlarged pores, and discoloration. Tiny needles create controlled injury to the skin, stimulating a rejuvenating healing response that thickens skin and helps with fine lines, acne scars, skin texture, and pigment. It is one of the few resurfacing treatments that is safe for every skin type because it does not use any heat. Collagen production in the skin decreases significantly as we age, and treatments like microneedling are important to decrease the rate of thinning of the skin as well as the development of wrinkles. It’s one of my favorite treatments for younger patients to help stay ahead of skin aging!
How soon will you see results and how long do they last?
Collagen production begins at one month post-procedure, and continues for up to three months.
How long is the recovery time?
Most people are pink for the remainder of the day, sometimes for the next day as well, but it is a considered a low-downtime procedure. Certain areas of the face with thinner skin (such as under the eyes) may become bruised, but bruises can be covered with makeup (which can safely be applied two days after the procedure).
What do you recommend for after procedure care?
Post procedure care after microneedling is important. The small channels created in the skin from microneedling can introduce substances applied externally deep into the skin, which is not what most products are intended for. Therefore, the use of very gentle skincare products with no active ingredients is important. Appropriate products are discussed post-procedure.
Does it hurt?
Some people feel it more than others, but the microneedling pen vibrates and most people feel the vibration more than any pain. Also, topical numbing is applied to the skin beforehand to decrease any discomfort.
Are there different types?
Yes there are different devices that can be used to perform the procedure (pens vs. rollers, pens are better) and different depths can be used for different treatment goals and downtimes. We also sometimes combine PRP with microneedling (we’ll talk more about PRP in the future but feel free to call the office and ask about it).
Are there certain types of people/skin who shouldn’t get microneedling?
I would avoid it in patients who have active acne until acne is better controlled as it can sometimes temporarily lead to breakouts in these patients. I would also not perform it on a patient with a history of keloids or who is taking the medication isotretinoin.
Is it something you should do instead of Botox if you are too scared to do Botox?
Botox acts by softening muscle movements to help prevent treat and prevent wrinkles in areas of expression. Microneedling acts to thicken skin which helps treat and prevent wrinkles — I think that both treatments complement each other well and my recommendation is that for the best results, get both treatments regularly. But of course, if someone is scared of a treatment, either one is better than nothing!
How often should you get it?
The more the better! I usually recommend a series of three, one month apart to start with, and then maintenance treatments every 4-6 months.
Should I use an at-home microneedling device?
In-office microneedling is more sanitary because each tip of the needles has one use. There is no good way to ensure needle sterility if you’re using the tip repeatedly. Also, devices cleared for home use have significantly shorter needles, which are likely not long enough to penetrate to the depth that would actually induce a healing response and cause biological change in the skin.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
If you can’t tell, I’m easing into all of this face stuff. First a HydraFacial (nothing to be scared of), now microneedling. While I don’t think a teeny tiny bit of Botox in my forehead once or twice a year would be a bad thing, I’d like to avoid it as long as possible.
If the word Botox alone scares you, (mom) I’m telling you — if you are in your 30s I bet several of your girlfriends have gotten it and you might not have even noticed. We see the horror stories of fillers and way too much Botox in the rag mags (well I don’t because I never look at that crap) but a lot of normal women get Botox and when done right, it looks really good.
Personally, I just want to try everything else out first, and then maybe do Botox in a few years…? I still want to have wrinkles and have an expressive face so I don’t think I’ll ever overdo it. The good thing about Botox right now is that it only lasts around three months, so it’s not permanent.
Back to microneedling. The reason I wanted to try it was for the collagen production for my fine lines and to improve my skin texture. It’s only been a little over two weeks since my treatment, and results don’t show for 4 weeks, so I’ll get back to you on how it worked, but I think a lot of people want to know why they should get it and does it hurt!?!
I had a numbing cream put on my face beforehand, so I’m sure that helped. It only hurt a little in a few specific areas. And when I say a little, it was very minimal. A bee sting hurts worse. It’s completely doable pain. Dr. Naga “went to town” on my forehead since that is where most of my fine lines are (which I’m sure is thanks to all that sun I’ve worshipped over the years). Basically she was a little harder/more intense on my forehead, which bruised a little and took a few days to completely heal.
It actually didn’t hurt that much on my forehead. Under the eyes was a little sensitive, and under my nose where I had some blackheads removed during my HydraFacial was sensitive. Other than that, totally fine. I could see how someone with acne could find it painful but I think if you have bad acne you’re more than likely willing to do whatever to make it go away.
If you do it, I recommend doing it on a Thursday afternoon or Friday morning, and working from home on Friday, and maybe not making plans for the weekend or something like that. Since you aren’t supposed to wear makeup for 48 hours, and you will probably be a little red and maybe have bruising, I recommend planning to stay home for 48 hours, if not 72 hours after getting it done.
My minor bruising could have been easily covered with makeup after 48 hours but I didn’t want to put makeup on if I didn’t need to, so I just didn’t go anywhere for a few days. When I did go out, and maybe to the grocery store, I just put a beanie on my head and it covered my forehead.
I haven’t had any weird things happen since I had the procedure. My skin has been totally normal since, I’d say it’s been better. But I want to wait until after four weeks to give the results.
If you’ve had microneedling done I’d love to hear your stories in the comments! I’ll report back after a few months!
I have an ongoing partnership with SkinDC. I was given the treatment for free, but the coverage I choose to do is my own choice. I enjoy writing about it because I feel like it’s something a lot of people I know are curious about.