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At Home Microneedling...Everything You Need To Know

Microneedling is the unsung hero of the skincare routines of many a fresh-faced celeb.

If you're looking to plump up your skin and improve the efficacy of any active skincare products you use, regular at home microneedling sessions might be for you...

So, what is microneedling?

Well, microneedling, as the name suggests, uses tools with tiny metal (ideally titanium) needles, to make microscopic holes in the skin.

There are two ways of doing this:

  • cosmetic microneedling which can be carried out at home
  • medical needling which is an in clinic treatment to be carried out by qualified professionals.

What's the difference?

Cosmetic microneedling

Cosmetic microneedling uses needles with a length of (ideally) LESS THAN 0.3mm but some are available upto should probably avoid these.

These needles create channels in the epidermis - the uppermost layer of the skin. Which enables skincare products to be more readily absorbed into the epidermis, boosting the efficacy of active ingredients.

Cosmetic needling can be done safely, weekly, at home - with some exceptions.

DO NOT EVER dermaroll over active acne. You will spread the bacteria that is responsible for your acne all over your face.

DO NOT EVER dermaroll over keloid scars.

DO NOT EVER dermaroll over broken skin or broken capillaries/blood vessels.

Medical microneedling

Medical microneedling is clinically proven to treat

  • wrinkles
  • fine lines
  • scars (including acne scarring)
  • stretch marks
  • large pores
  • hair loss
  • pigmentation

Medical microneedling uses needles with a length of 0.5mm – 1.5mm on the face, neck and chest, or 1.5mm – 2.5mm on the body.

As these needles are longer, they penetrate the epidermis and varying depths of the dermis (dependant on the length of the needles). The needles that reach the dermis create controlled trauma in the dermis, resulting in a skin healing process being triggered. During this process, the production of collagen and elastin is stimulated, helping skin repair itself from within.

Any treatment carried out with needles longer than 0.5mm is likely to be uncomfortable, will need numbing cream, will result in pinprick bleeding and an increased risk of infection. They are often carried out with specific, medical grade devices, with sterile, single use needle tips.

Microneedling with needles of greater than, ideally, 0.3mm SHOULD NOT BE DONE AT HOME. Treatments with needles longer than 0.5mm should be carried out in a clinic, by a qualified practitioner with an appropriate device, infection control and aftercare.

What kinds of results will I get with cosmetic microneedling?

Because the needles are penetrating only the epidermis, the results you will get from at home microneedling will be limited and will require commitment to adopting weekly microneedling treatments at home, alongside an effective skincare routine.

You can expect:

  • improved skin texture
  • reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • more even skin tone

Obviously, quicker and more noticable results will be possible with in-clinic medical microneedling.

How do I prepare for microneedling at home?

Choose a dermaroller with titanium needles of 0.5mm or less. Make sure you store it appropriately, so that the needles do not get damaged. Do not buy a device with 0.5mm needles or longer.

Prior to using your dermaroller, each time, you should inspect it closely. You are looking for bent or blunt needles. Discard your dermaroller if you see it is damaged.

Keep a track of how many times you use your dermaroller. With each use, the needles will blunt. Most titanium dermarollers can be used up to a dozen times.

Clean your hands and face thoroughly.

Clean your dermaroller with isopropanol alcohol. It is easier to either put the alcohol in a shallow dish and roll the roller through it or spray the alcohol over the roller. Allow the roller to dry before you use it.

Just before you begin, cleanse your hands with isopropanol.

Does microneedling at home hurt?

As you should be using a roller with needles of 0.3mm or less, this at home treatment should not be painful and it should not draw blood.

You may experience the sensation of mild sunburn:

  • Slight swelling
  • Redness
  • Slight tenderness
  • Dry skin

One rare side effect is hives. If you experience these, stop immediately and seek medical attention.

If, whilst carrying out dermarolling, you're experiencing tenderness and discomfort, then you are likely over-rolling the area and should stop.

How much is too much microneedling?

With microneedling, the saying "too much of a good thing" is true.

The key to dermarolling is to not treat the same area too intensively. Over treating has the opposite effect to the outcome we want because it can stimulate the production of an enzyme called collagenase. This breaks down the collagen in your skin, when what we want is to build collagen.

So, don’t think that by excessively rolling your skin you will get better results. The opposite is more likely.

How do microneedling at home?

Follow these steps to get the best out of your at home microneedling:

What do I do after microneedling at home?

You need to apply a gentle, non-perfumed, non-comedogenic moisturiser or serum. Ones containing hyaluronic acid, squalane and ceramides are good choices.

For 2-3 days after your at home treatment, avoid skincare products containing:

  • Alcohol
  • AHAs
  • BHAs
  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C
  • Perfume

You should also avoid direct sunlight for 2-3 days.

Clean your dermaroller with isopropanol. Store it in it's original container, making sure that the needles are not damaged.

There are loads of medical professionals on Glowday who offer medical microneedling. Simply search "microneedling" in your area on Glowday to find a pro!

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