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Skin needling: A guide to everything you need to know

skin needling

When it comes to skin needling, I would firmly rank myself in the position of a big fan. After struggling with acne scars for most of my adult life, skin needling has been one of the only effective remedies for uneven texture caused by scarring. Yes, it sounds nuts, and yes, it is exactly what its name suggests it is, but it's certainly not nearly as terrifying. If you are curious about what skin needling is, how it all happens, and all of the necessary details before embarking on your own skin needling journey, this one is for you.


What is skin needling?

Stripped bare, skin needling, or micro needling, is a dermal therapeutic modality which sees microscopic needles on a medical grade pen to evenly puncture the epidermal layers of the skin. Through physical trauma from needle penetration, skin needling causes your body to have a wound healing response with minimal damage to the epidermis. This allows for increased collagen production to heal the skin, and enhancement in the absorption of topical products.


What are the benefits of skin needling?

According to Samantha Appel from The Skin Bar, who spoke to us about skin needling vs. laser treatments, skin needling is "fast becoming the natural alternative to Botox and fillers, with results scientifically and medically proven to tighten fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen and elastin levels in your skin." With between four to six sessions, those whose concerns are acne, congestion and acne scarring, fine lines and deep wrinkles, pigmentation issues, melasma, enlarged pores, scarring and even stretch marks can experience a complete skin overhaul with the right amount of sessions.


How often should you get skin needling treatments?

According to Appel, visible results can be seen just five days following a single skin needling session. "We recommend skin needling once a month for four to six sessions. Your skin feels smooth and silky five days post skin needling and you will notice the process of damaged sun spots and pigment spots coming off the skin." Which, in experience, is a little like the aftermath of a sunburn, except fresh, undamaged skin is the end result, and not the other way around.


Does skin needling hurt?

Skin needling is obviously not as luxurious as a face massage, but in terms of pain levels, it is certainly tolerable. Most clinics that perform the modality offer a numbing cream, which is applied before treatment. After this, it mostly feels as though someone is scratching your face with a sharp pen. Clients may experience sensitivity in some areas over others (hairline, temples, and around the mouth is common), but overall it is a bearable experience with regard to pain.


Can skin needling ruin your skin?

As with all cosmetic procedures, you should consult an expert before treatment. There is no evidence of skin needling causing negative long-term side effects, with potential prick bleeding and light peeling being a normal short-term side effect. If you are pregnant, have certain skin diseases, have had another dermal therapy recently, or are on medication you should consult your skin therapist before treatment, but any expert will be able to guide you in the direction of treatment that is right for you.


What is the recovery time for skin needling?

According to Appel, "There is minimal downtime and if needed, make-up can be worn 8 hours after treatment. You will have new radiant, rejuvenated skin in just five days." From personal experience, there is no physical recovery time involved, but you may feel a little sunburnt for 24-48 hours post-treatment.



As you have just had a treatment that has intentionally wounded your skin, it's already doing the heavy lifting to recover, so be sure to go easy on it in the following days after treatment. Avoid any active products, such as retinol and chemical exfoliants, and focus on simple, irritating hydration and nourishment for optimal absorption. Skin can be quite sensitive while it recovers, so it's important not to aggravate it. We recommend avoiding direct sun if possible, and applying a good physical SPF each day to keep skin protected.

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