It’s the age old question - how do you get rid of wrinkles? Microneedling and Botox are both great options, but which one is best for minimising the dreaded lines and wrinkles we all get, and which many of us want to avoid that bit longer?
Aesthetics Nurse Lucy spills the tea on what’s best - microneedling or botulinum toxin (commonly called Botox).”, whether you can use them together, her top tips on when to get the two tweakments, and which one is her personal fave!
What’s better for minimising wrinkles - microneedling or wrinkle relaxing?
For optimal results, a combination of both wrinkle relaxing and microneedling works wonders for treating stubborn fine lines and wrinkles. Toxin treatments work by ‘freezing’ muscle movement, preventing further formation of fine lines. However, it won’t always help with those deep-set static lines that have, unfortunately, been etched into the surface of the skin after years of repetitive muscle movement and other factors. That’s where microneedling can come in super handy. Microneedling uses multiple fine, sterile needles to puncture the skin with microscopic channels. This intentional and controlled injury initiates a skin healing response, resulting in thicker, plumper, firmer and smoother skin, due to the increased production of collagen and elastin.
As stand-alone treatments, these are both fantastic in their own ways. Botox will provide good visual results on the skin, as the area will look and feel smoother – although for firmer, plumper, healthy-looking skin, microneedling wins, hands-down.
It’s also important to note that wrinkle relaxing will provide more immediate results (within 2 weeks) than microneedling, as a course of 3-6 skin needling sessions, each 4-6 weeks apart, is usually recommended for optimal results. Following a thorough consultation, your practitioner should be able to recommend the best treatment(s) for you based on your desired outcomes.
Should I have microneedling before wrinkle relaxing? Or wrinkle relaxing before microneedling? Or does it not matter?
If you decide to go down the treatment combination route - i.e. Botox and microneedling - I recommend my patients leave two weeks between appointments. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, Botox needs to be administered to healthy, intact skin, and microneedling creates many microscopic channels, so it wouldn’t be ideal to perform both treatments within the same session.
Secondly, should you microneedle too soon after injectables, you run the risk of disturbing the placement of the botulinum toxin, which needs 14 days to settle and integrate into the muscles. Personally, I perform wrinkle relaxing injections on my patients first, enabling fine lines to soften naturally on the surface of the skin, then begin the course of microneedling two weeks later, optimising the results of toxin treatment.
Will wrinkle relaxing results affect microneedling results, and vice versa?
Providing they are carried out in a safe manner by a qualified medical practitioner, microneedling and wrinkle relaxing positively complement each other’s results. Used in combination, they offer a global approach to facial rejuvenation. Microneedling improves both the surface and deeper condition of the skin long-term, while toxin injections help extend the longevity of the former. A win-win combination approach.
Ok, so both treatments work wonders on wrinkles. But what else do toxin and microneedling treat?
Wrinkle relaxing and microneedling are commonly performed in combination to treat the face and neck only. However, as stand-alone treatments, they both offer so much more when performed safely. Not only can wrinkle relaxing be injected to reduce movement and soften fine lines in the upper face, but it can also successfully treat gummy smiles, reduce underarm sweating and slim jawlines.
Microneedling is suitable for an array of superficial body and face skin concerns. From large pores, sun damage, hyperpigmentation and scarring - it is a truly brilliant treatment for acne scarring! When collagen is stimulated by microneedling, it helps to fill out pitted acne scars, leading to smoother skin.
The most obvious place where microneedling can be extended to is your neck and décolletage which can feature some of the same concerns as your face - it can also help with those lines you get as a result of sleeping on your side. A procedure like microneedling is also great for stretch marks as they cause a disruption in the natural production of collagen. Microneedling will not only help restart that production, but this boost of elastin and collagen will also help in healing the damaged connective tissue in the dermis that create the stretch marks.
What’s your favourite?
It's a tough call! I absolutely love microneedling for the results it’s provided my patients in clinic. There’s plenty of science to back-up the impressive results of microneedling too. A 2008 study, carried out by a plastic reconstructive surgeon, showed an impressive increase in localised skin collagen production by up to 400% (4 sessions, each 1 month apart). As explained above, it’s a fantastic treatment for a multitude of skin concerns, not just those fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a very comfortable treatment, with no significant downtime. Within a couple of hours, most are back to normal and you can resume your day-to-day activities. It’s important to avoid DIY microneedling, as at-home microneedling devices run the risk of infection, bruising and grazing of the skin, so leave it to the professionals.
Looking for an incredible new microneedling or wrinkle relaxing practitioner? Find your new skincare pro now on Glowday.