Beauty / Favourites

What’s better, skin needling or laser? We asked an expert

We've written about needling before, and we've also reviewed skin laser before. But what treatment is best especially since both treatments seem to offer similar benefits? I had a friend of mine ask about this recently. She was looking for something to plump up her skin and was tossing up between laser and needling but couldn't decide since they appeared to offer the same results when you read about them online.

I didn't have the answers, so I asked an expert instead. Samantha Appel from is just that, a skin needling expert. The operations manager and an esthetician at The Skin Bar, Samantha has years of expertise in skin rejuvenation. Below, she helped answer all our questions on skin needling vs laser.


What exactly is skin needling and what does it do?

Skin needling is also known as collagen induction therapy. Basically this treatment is fastbecoming 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. In my opinion, skin needling is also the safest skin resurfacing treatment, meaning all skin concerns are targeted and treated.

Skin needling is a 10 minute minimally painful clinical treatment that uses micro needles on a medical grade pen that is moved over the skin to create tiny, evenly-spaced channels. These micro-channels create a microscopic, painless injury to the deeper dermal layer and the minor injury triggers a wound-healing response, resulting in increased collagen and elastin production.

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. We recommend needling treatments once a month, for four to six sessions initially. Most clients love the results so much that this becomes the facial of choice for their monthly treatments. Skin needling can be performed not only on the face but also on the body. You can add on any area to your skin needling session. Skin needling has shown incredible results for stretch marks and surgical scars, ingrown hair scarring and any uneven skin tone concerns. In our clinics, upon client’s initial consultation we discuss the best treatment plan for their skin concerns and needs. We review their skin regime and suggest products that we feel will be beneficial to achieving their skin goals. We then provide them with everything they need post-treatment to ensure the best results.


Why would someone seek out skin needling? What sorts of benefits does it offer?

Anyone who is looking to improve their skin condition or has any concerns they wish to improve would benefit. Skin needling improves the appearance of acne, congestion and acne scarring, fine lines and deep wrinkles, pigmentation issues, melasma, enlarged pores, scarring and even
stretch marks.

Completing a series of four to six skin needling sessions, completely overhauls your skin. It's like joining a gym and watching the transformation over four to six months. Your skin is your largest organ, so just like your muscular system, the benefits are visible after commitment to
a series of treatments. A trend I’m noticing is clients seeking out skin needling to minimise Botox and laser treatments, coming from a holistic lifestyle point of view.


How does skin needling compare to laser facial treatments? Are the benefits the same?

There are a variety of laser treatments on the market, ranging from hair removal lasers, to Fraxel (scar revisions and resurfacing lasers), skin tightening lasers, pigment removal lasers and vein removal. Lasers use light energy to target a specific concern and are a heat based energy treatment.

Skin needling is not heat based. Skin needling typically revolves 12 micro needles on a handheld device which stimulates your body to generate new collagen and elastin and permanently pushes out damaged skin cells to resurface your skin, while regenerating and repairing.


Is there a reason why you might select skin needling over laser? Or vice versa?

I have found skin needling safe for all skin types and concerns. However, some laser treatments cannot treat darker skin tones as there is a high risk of burning the skin. If you have multiple concerns you can treat all concerns in one session of skin needling. For example, if your concerns are congestion, sunspots and ageing, we can blend actives into your skin needling session to target all three of those concerns in the one session - no matter the skin tone.

Skin needling can not remove red veins or capillaries, lasers can.


Would you say that one is better than the other?

It comes down to personal experience and concerns.


How many sessions will you need of skin needling to see results? How does this compare to laser?

You will be able to visibly see and feel results five days post one 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.

Laser treatments have a similar recovery time, with rejuvenation being felt around five days post treatment. Generally three to six sessions of laser is also required.


What's your best advice for anyone choosing between rejuvenating facial treatments?

Do your research and ask your friends if they have been to the clinic or had the treatment you want to try. Read the clinic's reviews online, and always have a consultation before you choose your treatment of choice.

This industry is saturated with treatments. My advice is once you decide on your treatment of choice, select a clinic that has a reputation for that specific treatment. Many clinics may offer skin needling for example, but they might not often use that treatment on their clients, so the therapist's experience may not be as great as a clinic who specialises in that treatment and is treating clients all day. Same rules apply to laser treatments. Ask around your local community who people recommend.