Microneedling Made Simple
"As we age we continuously lose collagen," Dr Michael Prager—Bazaar beauty award-winner—tells us, estimating that between the age of 20 and 40 the skin's collagen diminishes by up to 50 percent. Subsequently, what we lose in fullness we gain in wrinkles.
Sitting between injectable and topical treatments that promise to counteract the visual effects of ageing lies microneedling, the use of a handheld device that creates controlled skin injury.
"In my opinion microneedling is still the best treatment there is, exceeding laser, PRP [Platelets Rejuvenate Plasma injections] or any other therapy out there" Dr Prager says.
Here the cosmetic doctor explains exactly how it works and the best technique for trying microneedling at home.
How does microneedling work?
"Microneedling is most likely the best treatment for skin resurfacing and the way it works is by using needles that are long enough to cause microscopic injuries to the fine blood vessels that are at the level of the hair follicles. When there is a small bit of bleeding, platelets leave the blood vessels and get exposed to the surrounding tissue. This causes a reaction whereby the platelets excrete hormones and growth factors which cause the stimulation of fibroblasts and other collagen-producing cells to start increasing their production. This, in turn, results in more elastic and rejuvenated skin."
What's the difference between a clinic treatment and doing it at-home?
"Done in a salon or clinic environment we can use much longer needles (up to 3mm for the treatments of deep acne scars or deep skin resurfacing—another benefit) whereas the derma roller microneedlingdone at home usually has a 0.5mm long needle. Microneedling works even better in combination with mild or moderate deep skin peels, which can be done in-clinic."
What's the best technique for doing microneedling at-home?
"With medium-firm pressure roll vertically, horizontally, and diagonally over the whole face in sections. It should take 10 minutes to do the whole face."
How does the skin look immediately afterwards?
"You will see a pinkness in the skin and potentially some little spots of bleeding. This is a sign that it works."
How long do the effects last and how frequently should you do it?
"This really depends on how intense and how long the needle was; however, it can be done repeatedly or as a one-off."
Which skincare works well with microneedling?
"For the aftercare, we recommend antioxidants simply because UV or free radical damage will always reduce the amount of collagen the skin produces. And following an antioxidant serum, apply sunscreen, of course, and maybe a light moisturiser."