The Ultimate Guide to Home Microneedling
Microneedling is probably something you've read about and watched numerous video tutorials on, but never actually taken the plunge and given it a go. We asked our Nurse Independent Prescriber, Kate, to give us a step-by-step guide on microneedling at home - including a video demonstration from the woman herself.
Microneedling can be a fantastic addition to a home skincare routine. Whenever I see my patients that have incorporated a really good home needling programme into their skincare routine, I can never believe how healthy and strong their skin looks!
Those of you that know me well know I'm a huge advocate for microneedling and make sure I use my trusty MTS Dermaroller regularly.
What is microneedling?
In the words of international authority and educator on microneedling, Dr Lance Setterfield: “microneedling is the best weapon we have to combat ageing skin. In-clinic microneedling (often called Collagen Induction Therapy) is a minimally invasive technique, which creates a “micro injury to the dermis. The dermis is the middle of skin's three layers and is where our fibroblast cells are found. Fibroblasts are extremely important in supporting skin health, repair and growth. The main role of microneedling in a clinic setting is to stimulate fibroblast cells, which in turn stimulates collagen and elastin production.
Microneedling at home
We've always known that home microneedling helps with the penetration of ingredients into the skin. What we didn't realise until fairly recently, is that the keratinocytes in the epidermis, (the top layer of skin, which is stimulated with home microneedling), still retains communication with the fibroblast cells in the deeper dermis of the skin. So although home microneedling is much more superficial than in a clinic setting, it still creates a minor injury, which allows the keratinocytes in the epidermis to communicate with fibroblast cells in the dermis to stimulate collagen and elastin production.
Why should I try microneedling?
Collagen fibres are responsible for our skin firmness, whilst elastin keeps skin tight, smooth and refined. Microneedling is one of the only treatments that helps to promote both collagen and elastin production safely. I tend to recommend my in-clinic microneedling patients continue with a home microneedling routine to ensure that skin just gets better and better.
Your step-by-step guide to microneedling at home
Microneedling can target specific skin concerns but is also a fantastic treatment for overall skin rejuvenation, helping to improve lines and wrinkles, transform skin texture and tone and increase firmness. But how do you actually do it?
Always remember that it's imperative to look after your microneedling device by cleaning it before and after each use and ensuring that the needle heads do not get damaged or blunt. If a device has been well looked after, it can last for 12 - 18 months. We love the Swiss Clinic Microneedling Home Treatment Skin Roller, which has interchangeable heads to treat the face and body.
Home needling should always be done in the evening, giving your skin the best chance of rest and recovery. Experts in the field, like Dr Setterfield, would encourage us to needle daily, but I normally recommend starting for two or three minutes a day, three times a week. You can then build up slowly, as you get more comfortable.
It's also really important to ensure that only the correct type of ingredients are introduced to the skin, as poor products can cause irritation and damage - more on this later!
1. Cleanse your face with a non-abrasive and non-acidic cleanser. I like Mesoestetic Hydra Milk Cleanser.
2. Rinse skin thoroughly to ensure all cleanser has been removed and gently dry skin.
3. Use a microneedling device such as Swiss Clinic Skin Roller.
4. Gently roll over skin in a Union Jack style pattern (i.e. vertically, horizontally and diagonally from left to right and right to left), ensuring that all areas of skin are covered.
5. I like to start at the jawline and work my way up, but it doesn't matter which order you approach it.
6. It is safe to microneedle around the eyes but use a lighter pressure and sweep outwards in single strokes rather than back and forth.
7. Aim for a mild reddening of the skin. We don't want to raise little blood spots with home microneedling, just a mild erythema (redness).
8. Treat skin for around two to three minutes, until you notice a nice rosy glow.
What can I apply post-microneedling?
As you can see from the above step-by-step guide, microneedling is not a complicated process, but it is important to choose wisely when considering which products to apply to the skin post-needling.
My particular favourites include Mesoestetic Organic Silicon Regenerating Ampoules 0.5% from the Mesoestetic Professional Ampoules range, which complements microneedling perfectly. Another go-to for me is the Endocare Tensage Concentrate, which are designed to regenerate and firm ageing and photo damaged skin. You can also opt for a Hyaluronic Acid serum such as Mesoestetic HA Densimatrix.
If you want to give your skin an extra treat post-microneedling, I love the Mesoestetic Post Peel Crystal Fiber Mask, which is packed with Hyaluronic Acid and works to enhance the cell renewal process, restructure the water lipid layer and increase skin's moisturise levels.
What can't I apply post-microneedling?
The process of microneedling creates small channels in the skin, so it is important not to apply products that could irritate the skin's deeper layers. For that reason it's recommended to avoid ingredients such as Vitamin A (retinol) as well as any exfoliating acids such as Glycolic Acid and Salicylic Acid.
If you are using Vitamin A as part of your skincare routine, that doesn't mean you should avoid microneedling, simply just avoid applying retinol-based products on the nights you are microneedling. Once you have built up your microneedling routine to three or four times a week, you can apply retinol on the nights you are not microneedling.
What results can I expect from microneedling?
It's important to remember that any changes to skin can take time. I usually say to expect to see results after at least one to two skin cycles (6 to 12 weeks) before you start to see changes in your skin.
Initially you may even feel that skin feels excessively dry, uncomfortable and tight for a couple of weeks, until the skin gets used to the microneedling treatment. This is absolutely normal and nothing to be concerned about as the skin will adjust quickly. Once skin settles, it will look and feel amazing, soft and smooth, with a healthy glow and a tighter more uplifted appearance.
Written for you by: Kate, Face the Future