For those, like me, a bit worried about injections with their beauty treatments, the word microneedling sounds incredibly reassuring. I mean ‘micro’ meaning ‘tiny, almost miniscule’…
In other words, not one of those big hypodermic style needles that make me want to faint on sight.
And that’s why scaredy-needle me volunteered to undergo this ‘miraculous treatment’ that I keep reading about in the glossy mags and newspaper supplements.
Another big attraction of microneedling is the cost – it’s not expensive when you compare results to other treatments (around 25 per cent of the price, in fact). It’s also been tried and tested for centuries. How so? Well, ancient Chinese alternative practitioners used it in acupuncture (although not in its present convenient pen-like form and definitely not for skin rejuvenation).
So, anyhow, before even ringing to book a consultation, like a good journo I did my research. And here are the facts:
What Exactly is Microneedling or Dermapen treatment?
The actual tool used for the treatment resembles a pen - hence the name Dermapen (Derma being the outer layer of skin). This pen has a small roller on the end with 12 micro needles. Yes, it’s a big number but remember they’re teeny tiny!
How Does Dermapen Work?
Microneedling is described as a ‘minimally invasive’ treatment. It’s designed to stimulate wound healing ie the needles ‘tear’ the skin and the body’s own collagen and elastin rushes to the spot to repair the ‘damage.’ It does this quickly and by producing more collagen and elastin that would normally be directed to the face.
What Skin Conditions is Microneedling Good For?
Most people get microneedling to improve their complexion because it really does make the skin glow. Others use it to treat fine lines and scars. It can also be used for specific skin conditions such as acne, and for hyperpigmentation. It’s fast-healing properties have even found to be successful for stimulating hair growth.
Now, About Me…
So, what did I learn during my consultation at the Omniya Clinic? Well, my super-friendly and reassuring skin specialist KerryLou gave me the sad news (which I’d already suspected), that at 38, my body was already producing less collagen than in my twenties. And this reduction would increase as I aged.
But how long do the collagen-increasing, skin-tightening and circulation-boosting effects last, I hear you say. Well, how long is a piece of string. Or, rather, it depends on the age of the individual, their health and lifestyle. In other words, it’s not a case of you will have to return to the clinic in a month’s time for another facial roll-over with the pen - rather it depends on how you’ve ‘weathered’ and what you’ve been up to since your treatment. In fact, the full fab results of your microneedling treatment may not even show up for a few weeks. But each of us are different, and a full consultation is required.
However, I note that you should pretty much notice a difference after a couple of days and this will build up as time goes on. The skin repairs itself every 45 days or so, meaning it’ll be like the treatment that just keeps on giving…
During the Procedure
So, after my thorough consultation, where KerryLou asked about my skin history, diet, exercise routine, what kind of make-up etc I wore, I was assured I would be a good candidate for microneedling. I was then given time to consider the treatment, and decided later to make an appointment for the following week. The initial treatment would take up to an hour KerryLou said, and then I would return every month for another four or six treatments, depending on how my skin was coping.
So, I was both nervous and excited when I entered the Omniya Clinic the following week. Nervous – well, just because. It’s my face, after all! And excited because, having done my research, I knew how amazing the results could be.
On meeting KerryLou again – who was just as lovely as the first-time round – I felt instantly reassured. She encouraged me to lie down on the couch then spent the next 25 minutes rubbing numbing cream into my face so that if there was any pain it wouldn’t be as bad.
Then the treatment started. A pen-like tool was rubbed over my face in sections at a time. After each section was complete a nourishing vitamin serum was then applied (the skin would ‘drink this is’ I was assured). And, let’s face it, if anything is going to be absorbed, you want it to be nourishing.
It would be a lie to say I didn’t feel anything. The process is repeated a few times for each area and on the final round it did feel a little ‘scratchy.’ But it wasn’t anything near what I’d describe as ‘pain.’
So, the needling done I was treated to a cooling mask to soothe any the redness that may have been created. At which point I remained lying for a good 10 minutes before KerryLou returned and applied cream to face. Then it was time to go…
I left the clinic with some redness on my face, and it was mostly around my chin. But, to be fair, I’d been warned about that. That night watching TV I could feel my face start to pulsate a little. This was the numbing cream beginning to wear off. Thankfully, the pulsating too wore off overnight.
A few days after my procedure I noticed my skin beginning to flake a little. I was expecting this though as Kerry said that would be a good sign. It means the dead skin is being pushed out by the new skin coming through. Talk about quick results, right enough! By the end of the week I could really start to see a difference. But then, I did do as I was told ie didn’t use cleanser for 24 hours afterwards or make-up for two days (yikes!) and I stayed out the sun for the same length of time.
To help with the healing process I drank plenty of water and avoided the gym for a whole week (sweating doesn’t help the skin while it is healing). I also applied an antioxidant serum and treated myself to a cooling mask every now and again.
Just two weeks after my initial treatment I can see my skin is more dew-like already. A few people at work have commented that I’m “looking really well” and I’m sure I’ll save a fortune on expensive moisturisers, as a result. But the best bit? It makes me feel better inside as well as outside, thanks to that big confidence boost it’s given me. Next up, Botox wrinkle injections or lip augmentation fillers??? Let's see!