POSTED: 1 Nov 2017


Its the hottest beauty trend that you’ve probably never heard of. Microneedling, or more accurately collagen induction therapy, stimulates collagen and elastin production to improve skin plumpness and radiance. Its a professional skin treatment but there are increasingly at home equivalents. In this post, we review the treatment that’s often hailed as the obvious successor to Botox and fillers. We’ll also show you how you can integrate it as part of your fuss-free beauty routine.

What Is Microneedling & How Does It Work?

The principal behind microneedling is to produce a series of superficial micro punctures into the skin in a controlled fashion using a specialist device.  You may have already seen pictures of them and recoiled in horror slightly but dermarolling devices are the secret behind effective microneedling. Dermarollers look a little like a paint rolling brush. They contain hundreds of microneedles which are designed to puncture the skin at specific pinpoints without tearing or shearing the skin. This process stimulates the release of growth factors which then induces production of elastin and collagen.  Since both collagen and elastin are proteins which are the skin’s main connective tissues, their presence increases firmness, plumpness and smoothness. Hence, stimulation of collagen and elastin proteins leads to fresher and more youthful looking skin.

What Kind Of Results Can I Expect To See?

Since microneedling activates the skin to regenerate and deposit more collagen as well as elastin, its great for resurfacing, tightening and thickening the skin. The most commonly effective uses of microneedling include acne scarring, pigmentation, wrinkles, thin skin and stretch marks. Another benefit to microneedling is that you can use it to increase the penetration of your skincare products by applying targetted serums during the procedure. In terms of how much improvement and how many treatments, this depends on your skin type and specific complaint. Whilst microneedling is an effective treatment, there aren’t any overnight results. Normally, most people need several treatments. Also, it will take some time before you see the final results since collagen takes around 4-6 weeks. That being said, this is a permanent treatment. So, once you have the result you want, you’ll only need to maintain the results.

Professional Vs At-Home Treatments

It can be a little confusing to decide whether to have an at home or professional treatment especially since the price points are so different. The best way to make up your mind is to appreciate that although they both work the same way they have different endpoints.  Professional microneedling treatments use longer needles and tend to use a larger number of needles. As such, they can penetrate deeper into the skin and are most effective at smoothing out wrinkles, rough texture and treating scars. They also deliver results more quickly (especially if RF microneedling is used) and you ought to repeat every 6 weeks until you have the result you like. After that, you should repeat once every 6-12 months for maintenance. Typically, treatments start from £250 for the face and neck. They can also be combined with a chemical peel for maximal skin resurfacing and collagen induction. As with everything, do your homework first. It is vital to choose a reputable doctor and clinic. You should aim for a bespoke skin treatment designed around your needs.

At home, dermarolling devices tend to be cheaper and there is something very attractive about the convenience. However, like anything, at home treatments tend to be limited in how much they can at achieve and how long it takes. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth pursuing or trying out though. At home microneedling can be very effective at improving skin texture, thickening skin and smoothing fine lines if used thoughtfully. Firstly, whilst its possible to get dermarollers very cheaply and larger needle;e lengths, you should avoid this temptation as you can end up seriously injuring the skin and causing scarring. Instead, opt for a well-known brand with needle lengths of less than 0.5mm.

A good place to start at home is with a quality starter dermarolling pack which cost between £130-200 and come with a cleaning solution. The market leader in this area is The Genuine Dermaroller Home Kit whilst the GloPro MicroStimulation Facial Tool is quickly acquiring a cult beauty following. For best results, cleanse your skin then use roll your skin. You should use a verticle, horizontal and diagonal motion on each area (a bit like an asterisk). Apply gentle but constant pressure (you should not have any bleeding or pain). Finish by applying a dedicated microneedling serum to your skin for added benefits. Spray the dermaroller with the cleansing solution and put away until next time. Repeat this step 2-3 times a week at night. You should see results in about 8-10 weeks so its definitely worth persisting for results.

The Best Way To Introduce Microneedling To Your Skincare Routine

Like any beauty treatment, the first place to start is getting to understand your skin type. Make a list of your problem areas and see whether microneedling can help. If you have specific problems like thin skin, deep wrinkles and acne scarring, then a opt for a professional treatment. This is likely to deliver more in dramatic and quicker results for you. On the other hand, if you want to generally improve the appearance of your skin over time and don’t mind regularly dermarolling then try at home microneedling. For the best of both worlds, we recommend a course of professional treatments and using at home dermarolling. Use the latter in between treatments and then to maintain the effect as directed by your doctor. This will boost the effects of the professional treatment and will reduce the number of treatments you need.

We hope that this little guide gives you a bit more of an idea around microneedling. Remember in beauty, there are no quick or magic fixes. If you invest the time and effort, microneedling can offer a more long-lasting treatment. It is particularly effective for scarring, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and texture. Regardless of whether you choose a professional or home treatment, you will notice firmer, fresher and more radiant skin. Let us know if you’ve given dermarolling a try and what you think.

What next?

If you’re interested in finding more about the difference between chemical peels and microneedling, check out this post we wrote a while ago.

This way for more information about the bespoke skin treatments we offer at the clinic.

What next?

Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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