What actually is microneedling? And how exactly does it work? Is it worth trying at home compared to the usual facial services we avail at a salon grade facial spa or our favorite aesthetic clinic? Is microneedling painful? When do we see positive results? What are the downsides or setbacks of this procedure?
These are just some of the few questions we often hear or ask about microneedling procedure and are curious to find out.
First of all, it is important to know what microneedling really is and how it works before trying it. Microneedling is known as a dermaroller procedure which uses small needles to puncture your skin and create microchannels. It has been originally referred to as Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI).
This procedure was based on the 1950s cosmetic treatment called the mesotherapy.
It is actually a popular procedure which involves using a handheld device featuring hundreds of tiny titanium coated bristles that are rolled or gently stamped over the skin’s surface. Microneedling is a creation of small microchannels and injuries using acupuncture sized needles.
Microneedling is a minimally invasive procedure which requires no downtime and is considered safe for those who are in overall good health.
Microneedling is done by rolling over the skin to create microholes or microchannels which trigger the skin to repair and produce collagen.
When trying the microneedling procedure at home or using a microneedling device to treat your skin condition such as acne, expect a minor redness and irritation for a few days after doing the procedure.
Microneedling actually has 2 purposes:
Here are at least 5 uses of microneedling at home :
1) Acne Scars – One of the uses of microneedling at home (Banisher for example) is that it helps fade or banish most types of scarring such as that from acne. What microneedling at home does is that it breaks up old scar tissues and forms or stimulates collagen and elastin production. Microneedling at home or skin needling may be used for treating burn scars, acne scars and surgical scars.
2) Hyperpigmentation –. A post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) occurs when our skin is injured or trauma heals and leaves a discoloration behind. Banisher/microneedling at home helps in fixing your hyperpigmentation by shedding the top layer of skin and producing normal melanocyte.
3) Fine Lines & Wrinkles – With fine lines and wrinkles, microneedling at home can significantly help these problems by producing natural collagen and elastin.
4) Stretchmarks – These are similar to scars only that they appear from rapid skin stretching. How microneedling at home helps is that it breaks down the stretch mark tissues and triggers collagen growth which can eventually reduce or fade away those marks over time. Microneedling at home helps treat stretch marks by filling in fine lines, smoothing out uneven textures and reducing any discoloration that occurs with pigmentation issues
5) Hair Loss/Hair Growth – Going bald? No worries! Microneedling at home also helps promote hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and inhibiting proteins that cause hair loss. This procedure may also be a method of treatment for hair loss or otherwise known as alopecia.
Though microneedling is a minimally invasive method of treatment for acne scars or other skin conditions, there are also limitations on how and who the candidates for this procedure are.
Yes, microneedling is suitable for all ages and skin types, preferably those who are 16 years old and above. It works better for younger patients as their skin has a higher repair and regeneration ability and they don’t have as much skin damage. Patients of all ages can see significant changes such as smoother skin, improved skin texture and lighter acne scars.
BUT! Microneedling also has its limitations including the following:
Possible risks or problems may arise after doing the microneedling procedure. But do take note that it’s not often the microneedling which is the underlying problem but rather the solution, cream or topical treatment you apply on your skin before or after the microneedling procedure. What you can do is to find out the culprit of that problem – it may be the ingredient of the skin care products or solutions you’re using.
Several scientific clinical trials have been done and the results proved that microneedling is a safe and effective therapeutic option for the treatment of scars.
Possible side effects after microneedling includes the following:
Some of you may be confused with how the microneedling tools are used, the downtime, if microneedling procedure hurts, how long does it take before you see results or improvements and so on and so forth. Here are some of the FAQs that we have:
Using your microneedling tools such as the Banisher/Banish Kit comes in at least 9 steps:
1) Start with a clean face. Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser. Make sure to do the treatment on a day where you won't need to wear makeup or you can also use the Banisher at night, before going to bed, since you can apply make up after at least 8 hours of using the Banisher.
2) Sterilize your Banisher every time you use it. Pour some rubbing alcohol into the cleaning container. Set the roller head in the container for at least 5 minutes. Take the roller out and leave to dry. If alcohol is not available, you may also use a denture tablet in purified water.
3) When the Banisher is dry, you are now ready to begin. Clean and sanitize your hands. It's important to have a clean area so the area you will be treating will not get infected. Make sure not to roll or stamp over active acne as that may spread bacteria.
4) Start with a small area and roll in one direction using light to moderate pressure. Use about 3-5 strokes in each area. For the pen stamp, press the bristle end down vertically as if "stamping" instead of rolling and lift it up and stamp back down again. Stamp about 3-5 times in each area.
5) After going in one direction, move perpendicular to that area and roll the roller in one direction. You can roll back and forth, however going one way equals one stroke and moving it back will equal another stroke.
6) Move along directions of the face. Most common are along the cheeks, sides of the face. If pain is tolerable, roller can be used along the forehead, sides of nose, and jawline.
Note: Minor bleeding may occur and is a normal part of the micro needling process. However, if uncomfortable with the bleeding, it is recommended to stop micro needling and begin again at some other time.
7) When done rolling, apply some of the vitamin enriched serum onto the skin. Apply a drop or 2 of the serum on clean palms and gently pat along the face. Some minor stinging may occur due to the small amount of citric acid in the serum. (Preferably Banish Oil or Vitamin C Crème)
8) Avoid wearing makeup or creams for the rest of the day. Skincare and makeup routine can be followed as normal the following day. If you roll at night, you can wear makeup and continue your regular skincare routine in the morning. Redness may occur and will disappear within the next morning or in about 8 hours.
9) Clean Banisher again (disinfect with alcohol) and let it air dry before storing it back in the case. It's important not to store a wet roller in the case as bacteria could grow. You can use the Banisher once a week or every 2 weeks, depending on skin sensitivity while the Banish Oil can be used daily for best results. Wear sunscreen or avoid sun exposure for the next 24 hours after using BANISH.
We recommend replacing the Banisher after 8-10 use for best results.
Recovery after a microneedling procedure or treatment depends on the length and density of the microneedling tools you used. It takes quite some time and patience.
No need to apply any of the two. If you have low pain tolerance, ice cubes may be enough to numb the skin before doing the procedure. The Banisher/microneedling procedure at home doesn’t really hurt that much because the bristles are only .5mm in length. It just feels like a Velcro touching your skin.
Patience is a virtue. Results don’t just happen or show overnight and it may vary on your skin type. There are some who see remarkable or positive results from first use to 3 months, some longer than that so it really depends.