By Emma Fan
I’m Emma Fan, a college student at Georgia Tech studying chemical engineering. When I was in primary school, my best friend, Ivy, was a confident girl who was always smiling. However, everything changed when she reached twelve years old. Her skin began to develop lots of pimples and acne. She had tried all kinds of skincare products, and visited the dermatologist. In the process of having acne, her skin ended up with a lot of acne scars which ended up being her main concern. I’ve seen my best friend became afraid to socialize with others! I really wanted to help her…
Before I came to college, I heard about a technology called microneedling, that is becoming increasingly popular each year for renewing skin and treating acne scars. I doubted if this was true. But if microneedling could really help Ivy's acne scars, I needed to learn more. So, I decided to start my own research into microneedling and learn how it works. Now, I’m a researcher in the microneedle laboratory at Georgia Tech.
Let me introduce you to the amazing world of microneedles.
FIRST, LET'S GO OVER WHAT IS MICRONEEDLING EXACTLY?
What Is Microneedling?
Microneedling is also known as collagen induction therapy. It's based on the 1950's cosmetic treatment called mesotherapy. Microneedling is a non-invasive procedure where several sterile micro needles are pressed into the skin. These pricks create tiny micro holes that trigger the skin repair system to create new collagen and elastin fibers. Topical skincare applied directly after is also absorbed more effectively.
Benefits of Microneedling
According to researchers, microneedling for acne scars is 500 times better than using regular skincare products.
Who Can Try Microneedling?
Microneedling is becoming more and more popular in recent years since it iscost-effective, can be done onall skin types and colors, and can be done onareas that are not suitable for other skincare treatments. Microneedling maximizes the potential of skin regeneration. As we age, we lose the ability to regenerate collagen as efficiently.
Microneedling solves a large problem with skincare product formulations which is getting the ingredients to be able to pass the skin barrier and absorb into the skin.
What Does Microneedling Do?
When your skin is facing several problems at the same time, microneedling is one of the most effective treatments that can help you solve all of them simultaneously.
HOW DOES MICRONEEDLING WORK?
To understand how microneedling works, I’ll explain more about the different layers of skin and skin functions.
Skincare Knowledge 101
Our skin is the largest organ and it provides indispensable protection for us. Skin is divided into two layers, the Epidermis and Dermis.
The outermost part of the epidermis is the Stratum Corneum, which acts to protect bacteria from going in and to keep our tissue fluids from evaporating off. The Stratum Corneum is approximately 10-15 μm and consists of 10-15 layers of keratinized cell epithelial tissue. The Stratum Corneum also has 10-20% moisture, which is a factor that makes the skin feel hydrated.
The Dermis Layer is the tissue structure below the Epidermis Layer. The Dermis Layer is the last part of the skin and can reach a depth of 4mm. The Dermis layer is where there arecollagen and elastin fibers are and the main source of skin elasticity. Deeper in the dermis is the subcutaneous layer which has nerves and nerve endings,blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, and some muscle.
Traditional cosmetic ingredients are slowly absorbed by the skin; however, it isvery difficult to penetrate a certain amount of ingredients through the uppermost layer of skin. Most ingredients will beblocked by the skin barrier. Our microneedling technology solves this problem as it creates micro holes where the needles poke so skincare ingredients can effectively absorb into the skin.
What are the Main Skin Benefits Of Microneedling?
1. Stimulates the formation of collagen
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in our skin. As we grow, our production of collagen reduces. Thereduction of collagen leads to the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, and loose skins.
Microneedling is also calledcollagen induction therapy. The needle pricks signal our skin to cure these micro channels. Once the skin receives the signal, it recreates collagen to fill in the hole. As a result, the uneven parts of our skin are filled withnewly produced collagen, and it pushes out an old layer of skin to improve acne scars and fine lines over time.
2. Creating microchannels using microneedles
The Banish microneedles’ length is 0.5 mm. During the treatment, the microneedlescreating micro conduits (holes) on our skin. Since the holes don't reach the dermis layer, which contains nerves and blood vessels, Banish microneedling technologywon’t cause pain and bleeding.
The microchannels let skin absorb ingredients applied topically right after, whichimproves the effectiveness of skincare products. It's important to avoid applying products that are too strong or with a lot of preservatives right after microneedling.
Does microneedling work on hyperpigmentation?
Yes, microneedling has been shown to reduce hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of a part of the skin caused byexcessive production of melanin and increased melanocytes. Many factors may lead to hyperpigmentation, including exposure to sunlight, allergic reaction, hormonal imbalance, and skin injuries.
Through microneedling,small injuries were made on the skin. During the healing process, the old layers of skin will peel off and form collagen for new layers of skin.
This study shows that microneedling can improve both acne scarring and hyperpigmentation at the same time. The patients got general “lightening” of dark spots and improvement of scarring. The experiment got a 79% satisfaction rate, indicating the expected results and safety of the microneedling treatment.
Safety Of Microneedling
Is at-home Microneedling safe?
The length of microneedles
When you are using a microneedling tool from a reliable source, and proper handling and cleaning it is considered safe. Ones that are 1mm in length and longer could cause more risks versus the shorter ones. Longer sizes should be used in a professional setting only.
There are several different sizes of microneedles in the market. Each length has a different function. Longer needles (1 mm or longer) are usually used in professional microneedling treatments since they are more dangerous and can reach the deeper levels of skin that contain nerves and blood vessels so it's best for a professional to use those tools.
Banish uses a 0.5 mm microneedle, which will not reach the dermis layer or cause unnecessary trauma when used as directed. With the 0.5 mm needles’ length, the microneedling tool can still stimulate the formation of collagen and create microchannels for skincare ingredients.
24k gold plated
The material that Banish is using is 24k gold plated titanium which is completely safe after sterilization.
Gold is chemically unreactive, so it won’t easily react with the vapor in the air or the sweat on the skin. However, since pure gold is soft, it cannot be used as needles. It’s a good candidate for theouter layer of the needles.
Titanium is as strong as steel but much lighter weight. It does not corrode or tarnish, and it's non-allergenic.
Banish utilizes the advantages of both these two metals and forms the 24k gold coated titanium microneedle product in the Banisher 2.0.
What you need to know before usage
Although Banish uses the highest quality and safest materials, all microneedle tools require sanitation before usage. The best way is to soak in 70% isopropyl alcohol to kill bacteria on the bristles. The skin should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized with alcohol or witch hazel before use too. Banish microneedle products are safe to use by following the instructions on the website or in the provided booklet.
Microneedling Who can Do it?
Microneedling is suitable forall ages, but it's best to wait if you are older than 16. It works better in younger patients because the skin has a higher repair and regeneration ability, and younger patients usually don't have as much skin damage. It doesn’t mean older users won't see results, as it will still be effective.As a result, by microneedling, patients of all ages can see significant changes, including smoother skin, improved skin texture, and lighter acne scars on their skin.
It can be done on areas that are not suitable for laser resurfacing or peeling, including areas around the mouth, neck and the back of the hands.
If you want skin with fewer acne scars, fine lines, and less pigmentation, join us in our journey with Banish and be one of the soldiers.
People who are not suitable for microneedling:
People who have unstable skin withactive acne, active infection, open wounds or cuts on the skin and keloid scarring (hypertrophic scars/poor wound healing) are not suitable for microneedling. It may take a longer time to recover for people who havepoor self-healing ability. It is also important to note that it is not suitable for those who have used Accutane within the past 3 months.
Side effects or complications of Microneedling
Several scientific clinical trials have done and the results proved that microneedling is a safe and effective therapeutic option for the treatment of scars.
Possible side effects after microneedling are:
Bleeding is common after microneedling, especially if long needles were applied for the treatment. In most circumstances, bleeding is not an issue because it is caused by needles reaching blood vessels in our skin which should only occur in a professional setting. If you experience bleeding after 24 hours please see a doctor.
In order to eliminate this complication, sterilize your skin and microneedle tool thoroughly before the treatment and do not share your tool with anyone and replace it regularly.
A little bit of pain is possible after microneedling, but most people do not feel any pain at all. Itching can be common because your skin is healing the microchannels created on your skin and the healing process can feel like an itchy sensation. The itching feeling should go away after a day.
Again, side effects are not common after microneedling. If the needles are 1mm or longer, do not do the treatment by yourself and ask professionals to help. With proper sterilization and standard products, the possibility of experiencing these side effects is less than 0.1%.
Does Microneedling Damage Skin?
The mechanism of microneedling is utilizing human skins’ natural reactions to micro-wounds, healing, and producing collagen, to improve acne scars and fine lines. Since it’s all based on the reversible nature of human skin, with the proper method of application, microneedling does not cause long term damage to the skin. The microchannels created to heal and close up within a couple of hours.
To learn more about knowledge of the skin, check
Effects of microneedling
When do the microchannels close up and when skin barrier returns to normal?
Microneedling: When can we see the results?
How long do the effects of microneedling last?
At-home microneedling VS. Professional microneedling
Botox VS. Microneedling efficacy on fine lines
Microneedling VS. Chemical Peels for acne scars
When do the microchannels close up and when skin barrier returns to normal?
According toresearchers, the microchannels created by 0.5 mm microneedles have been reported to close within 18 hours. These microchannels are reversible in nature and close in several hours depending on the length of needles. Therefore, microneedling technology doesn’t damage skin and it’s a great way for controlled delivery of cosmetic agents.
Microneedling: When can we see results?
Microneedling doesn’t have immediate results since the skin will slowly repair itself. You may see redness on your skin at first, which is normal and a fuller skin tone and texture in several hours.
Based on the consumers of Banish, it usually takes2 to 4 weeks to see changes in the skin. For a large difference in fading acne scars, it can take a few more months to see results and results will vary from person to person. There is no exact answer to this question since everyone has a different skin healing time and different degrees of scars. If you want to see the progress of microneedling, check our consumers’ before-and-after on acne scars.
How long do the effects of microneedling last?
Skin is always growing and changing. No skin enhancement procedure is permanent, and microneedling is no exception. The results of microneedling will show in a few months and some patients will have continuous skin improvements after microneedling.
There is no precise answer to this question. The recommended treatment with the Banisher is once a week. Once our skin achieves the desired results, which takes different time for different people, we can relatively reduce the treatment frequency. We can make our personal plan based on our experience for our own skin type and condition. You can also refer to other Banish soldiers’ before-and-after examples on our website.
At-home Microneedling VS. Professional Microneedling
In comparison, both treatments have pros and cons. At-home microneedling is more cost-effective, available, and convenient.
Some people may be concerned about the safety of using microneedling at home. To learn about the answer to this question, check our previous section: Is at-home microneedling safe?
Botox VS. Microneedling efficacy on fine lines
What is Botox (Botulinum Toxin injection)?
Botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment for reducing fine lines in America. Some may use Botox as a treatment for migraines as well. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin derived from Clostridium Botulinum, an organism found in the natural environment. It can target our nervous system and paralyze muscles by preventing signals from the nerve cells. As a result, the areas with Botox injection will have fewer stiff muscles and appear smooth.
The approved Botox treatments (BTX-A) has been proved for safety and efficacy. The minor adverse effects may exist, such as headache and injection-site reactions. However, there is a large amount of off-label Botox treatments (BTX-B), usually they can be easily purchased via the Internet, in the current market. These products, which haven’t obtained approval for cosmetic use, are considered unsafe and are potentially a severe health risk for patients.
Both microneedling and Botox injections are safe and efficient. They are both suitable forall kinds of skins.
The greatest advantages of Botox injections are quick immediant results and costs less time.
It only takes 5 to 10 minutes to inject Botox and you only need to repeat the treatment every 3 to 6 months. You can see the results right after the treatment.
However, for at-home microneedling, it takes about 5 minutes each week in order to maintain the results. Since the mechanism of microneedling is our natural healing process, it takes 1 to 6 months to get the expected results.
The greatest advantages of microneedling are convenience, cheaper cost, more natural and it has several other skin benefits other than improving fine lines.
At-home microneedling doesn’t require professionals to operate and it’s apparently more affordable than Botox injections. Again, the mechanism of microneedling is our natural healing process, so it is more natural compared to Botox injections, which injects a drug that doesn’t belong in our skin. Botox injections can only reduce fine lines, while microneedling can also improve our skin tone and acne scars.
Both treatments have pros and cons. Each patient can choose their own treatment based on their needs.
Microneedling VS. Chemical Peels for Acne Scars
A chemical peel is a chemical agent applied to the skin and causes controlled destruction of skin layers. There are different degrees of Chemical peel based on how deeply the peel penetrates the skin. After the upper layers of skin are removed, the regenerated tissues regrow to form the outermost layer of skin. It can improve acne scars, fine lines, and uneven skin tones.
A common chemical peel is Jessner’s peel which is a medium depth chemical peel. Its solution contains lactic acid (skin renewal & moisturization), salicylic acid (keratolytic and anti-inflammatory), and resorcinol (skin renewal).
Pros of Chemical Peels
Cons of Chemical Peels
The mechanism of chemical peeling and microneedling is similar: the natural process of skin renewal. They both can be done at home to reduce acne scars, fine lines and improve skin tones.
The biggest difference between them is microneedling is less invasive because it creates microchannels and lets them heal without removing the whole layer of skin, while chemical peelingremoves all the affected areas. As a result, it takes a longer time to recover for chemical peels. Chemical peels also have a higher risk of causing hyperpigmentation in those with more pigmented skin especially if they are getting a medium or deep peel.
The advantage for chemical peels is deeper peels work better ondeep acne scars than microneedling. However, the drawback is that chemical peelscannot be applied to people with darker skin tone and sensitive skin because of the risk of causing hyperpigmentation and the range of surfaces it can be applied is not as broad as microneedling.
How to use a Microneedling tool?
Microneedling after usage
What should you avoid after microneedling?
How often to microneedle at home?
The recommended time for using the Banisher microneedling is once a week at home. Do not do a microneedling session too often since it takes time for skin to heal and recover. If you cannot consistently use it, the result won’t be as effective as you expected.
How to use the Banisher 2.0 microneedle tool? (check our video)
How Do I Take Care Of My Skin After Microneedling?
Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid is the most popular form of topical applied. Professional treatments apply PRP which stands for platelet-rich plasma taken from our own blood and separated with machines.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that maintains the biosynthesis of collagen on human skins. In order words, it accelerates skin repair, which can reduce acne scars, and it is a perfect product for anti-aging. The research study shows that vitamin C also helps the photoprotection from UV A&B and inhibit melanogenesis, which may cause hyperpigmentation.
According to the researchers, using Vitamin C with microneedling had a 63% possibility of leading to smoother skin. Applying Vitamin C after microneedling can amplify the benefits of both of them.
Banish Oil is a fresh and natural serum to apply after microneedling. Its ingredients contain L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin E, aloe vera, rose water, and ferulic acid. It can help the healing process without irritating our skin. Moreover, it’s easy and convenient to use. You can put the oil on a cotton pad and just dab it on the affected areas, or apply directly with your fingers.
Staying moisturized is also important after microneedling.
Drinking water is the easiest way to stay hydrated. Oxygen and nutrients were delivered to the wound using water. A lack of water will disrupt normal cell function and delay the wound healing process.
Except for supplying moisture through drinking water, we should also hydrate our skin by applying natural skincare ingredients directly on our skin. The Banish Vitamin C Spray contains Vitamin C, tea tree oil and aloe vera. Vitamin C is the antioxidant that promotes collagen, brightness and an even tone in the skin. Tea tree oil and aloe vera can calm the irritated skin after microneedling.
The best product to help our skin stay moisturized is always a good cream or moisturizer. The Banish Vitamin C crème is natural and doesn't leave a heavy or greasy feel.
What should you avoid after microneedling?
Avoid Exposure to the Sun (Sun protection)
Do not go outside for the rest of the day after microneedling because ultraviolet light may cause sun damage to your skin while it is still healing. It's best to microneedle in the evening so you don't have to worry about the sun and you can go to bed after.
On the next day, you can wear sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) value of 30 or more when you are outside. Without sun protection, microneedling may lead to higher PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) risk because of sun exposure.
Avoid Makeup - When Can You Wear Makeup After Microneedling?
Wear the makeup one day after usage. Since all of your skin channels are open, wearing makeup may lead to artificial cosmetic ingredients to enter your skin and cause infection and irritation. It doesn’t take a long time to heal the skin for most people when using the Banisher as instructed. Try to leave up to Leave 24 hours for your skin to breathe and recover after microneedling before putting on makeup, but if you must makeup is still ok to use the next day.
Avoid “Active” Chemical Ingredients
There are lots of skincare ingredients that may be harmful to apply after microneedling. Alpha Hydroxyl acid and Retinol (Vitamin A), which can help reduce acne scars, may irritate the sensitive skin. Also, chemical agents such as esters, azones, cyclodextrins, etc. have been proved to disrupt the stratum corneum layer and delay the recovery time.
Exercising should be avoided after microneedling since sweating may lead bacteria to enter our skin. It may cause infection and adverse reactions. Also, swimming should be avoided after microneedling for 24 hours.
Where to buy a quality microneedling tool?
Banisher 2.0 (Derma Stamp)
The Banisher Roller used the technology of dermaroller, the first appeared microneedling product for skincare. The new Banisher is safer, more convenient, more effective for deep scars, and causes less irritation. It prevents the risk of "Tram track" scarring which may be caused by rolling microneedles.
Here are some before-and-after results from Banish soldiers…
"I was in such a hard time in my life and I felt so empty but now I love myself again and I have used the Banisher about 4 times and I see a difference after about a week of each use."
"I remember trying so many products trying and trying to find something to help my skin. Spending so much money on products that “guaranteed” to help my skin. I honestly was just giving up at one point and thought this was just gonna be my skin forever honestly. I came across @banishacnescars and decided I’ve give one more shot and that was honestly the best shot that I ever did take. The banish kit is what DID THIS. Literally AT HOME, in my own comfort! Amazing if you ask me."
Submitted by Jeni. Age 21. Used Banish Starter Kit
"I’ve been using the banish starter kit for approx. a month. I have definitely been seeing results. I use the Banisher every two weeks. I use both masks 1-2 a week. and the elixir and vitamin c after Banisher. So far so good. Left is before Right is after"
Amazed by the awesome power of microneedling? I know I can’t wait to take this back to Ivy when we meet again this summer. What are you waiting for? Let us know in the comments if you would give microneedling for acne scars a try!