Cosmetic doctors swear by it as an alternative to unreliable dermal fillers; patients rave about the results; it’s proven to deliver incredible medical and cosmetic results.
What are we talking about? Microneedling. This is the story of how a 90s favourite beauty treatment got a fancy facelift for 2020.
As we think of it today, microneedling became a cosmetic phenomenon in the mid 90s in America, when a skin rejuvenation expert used a needle stamp to treat scars and then lines and wrinkles. This was initially known as collagen induction.
The needles were administered using manual dermarollers that, while still used today, don’t offer the same precise application of the mechanical microneedling pens that arrived later down the line.
The advent of at-home dermarollers seemed positive but brought about cases of women damaging their skin, by using low-quality devices or incorrect needle settings causing infections.
So whether you choose to use at-home devices or seek the specialist treatments available in clinics only, how does microneedling actually work?
Microneedling devices differ but all involve small needles being pushed or rolled over the face and neck area to create controlled punctures, which force your skin into repair mode.
When your skin starts repairing itself it turbocharges your body’s natural ability to produce collagen and elastin, which provides that firm plumpness. It also helps improve skin texture, reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks and creates a more youthful skin tone.
Those with a fear of needles shouldn’t discard this technique straight away as, depending on the device used, the microneedle length can vary from 0.5 to 3.0 mm, which is incredibly tiny compared to a traditional needle.
The number of treatments depends on the skin condition, but typically you’re looking at a minimum of 3 treatments with 4-6 week intervals with maintenance treatments every 4-6 months at a clinic.
So how has this type of skin rejuvenation treatment evolved? UK aesthetic experts agree that at-home dermarollers, made popular in the 2000’s are not as effective or safe as in clinic microneedling treatments.
While dermarollers can pull and tear the skin, microneedling pens offer more precise and controlled rejuvenation.
SkinPen, as example, is an advanced medical microneedling pen and an anti-ageing procedure designed to create a healthy, even looking complexion, while softening lines and wrinkles.
Coined ‘perfection by pinprick’ by leading UK skin experts, the micro needling device offers superior skin rejuvenation for patients with less downtime – and it’s far more effective than any at-home dermarollers.
Aesthetic Doctor Maryam Zamani says: “SkinPen can be used all over the body, but the areas I see the best results are in facial rejuvenation – softening lines and wrinkles and improving skin texture and skin firming
“I would always recommend treating only one area at a time. This is because SkinPen encourages the body to instigate its own wound healing response, so ideally you want it to apply all its energy in one place, rather than diluting its efforts across multiple areas.
“One area at a time would be treated in a series rather than simultaneously (eg face followed by neck and décolleté). It’s got FDA Clearance and the design protects patients from cross contamination which gives me peace of mind. This is due to the cartridge being self- sealed, and the body of the pen is also 100% sealed preventing fluid entry. This makes the procedure easier and creates great safety for all my patients.”
SkinPen is the ideal treatment for someone who has looked in the mirror and would like to improve skin texture and tone. As it can help to stimulate growth factors in the skin toproduce new baby collagen which matures over several months, it supports the epidermis and sofilling out lines, wrinkles and scars.
A medical grade treatment, there is some down time associated with this kind of treatment, like with all other medical grade treatments. However, people choose to have the SkinPen microneedling for a real result rather just for an experience, like a facial.
Dr Qian Xu says: “Skinpen is my most popular anti-ageing treatment because it stimulates the skin to produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, which are the 3 main components in the skin that depletes with the ageing process. This is what leads to the formation of lines and wrinkles.
“Any form of supplementation, whether it is oral, applied to the skin or injected, will not be as effective as the skin producing more collagen for itself. Therefore, Skinpen is an effective, long-term solution to reduce lines and wrinkles.”
The device uses 14 state of the art smooth Japanese needles in the cartridge tip to boost collagen production and therefore reduce fine lines. The needles offer super precision sharpness to prevent tearing, often caused by blunt or hooked needles and at-home derma rollers
“This pen can be used on any part of the body to help improve skin quality, reduce scarring, stretch marks and hyperpigmentation – it’s so much more than an anti ageing treatment. It is most commonly used on the face, but I’ve also used it on the back, chest and tummy with great results.“ Dr Qian Xu concludes.
For most people, the downtime is less than 24 hours. There may be some mild skin peeling a couple of days after the treatment as the superficial dead skin cells are shed.
The downtime may be slightly longer for those who have more sensitive skin; however, it is generally a very well-tolerated treatment.
Cosmetic doctor Dr Benji Dhillon offers microneedling and says: “It always astounds me that people are happy to spend hundreds of pounds on temporary hair treatments or manicures, yet they baulk at the idea of investing in their skin.
“Perhaps it’s because the results aren’t always immediate, but your face is what the world sees each day, everyday. Keeping it healthy and a mirror of how feel inside is vital for your overall wellbeing.
“To me, excellent home skincare together with Professional Advanced treatments and procedures should be as essential as eating well and doing exercise.”
SkinPen is the ideal treatment for someone who has looked in the mirror and would like to turn the clock back – a realisation that it might take more than an expensive moisturiser to bring back the youthful plumpness and luminosity their skin once had.
For someone simply looking to plump and add luminosity to their skin it could be used as a one-off treatment; SkinPen could most definitely be an advanced specialist treatment. But for those skins that have more serious anti-ageing concerns a course of three would be recommended.