If someone told you that you could ward off the signs of aging and get a glowing complexion by creating hundreds of minuscule puncture holes in your skin, you’d probably find the suggestion beyond crazy. Yet, that’s exactly the premise behind microneedling, the latest skincare phenomenon that’s got the beauty set buzzing.
Microneedling therapy, also called Collagen Induction Therapy or skin needling, involves using very fine, stainless steel needles, which are swept across your face in a controlled manner to produce a series of minor, minimally invasive injuries. “Microneedling works by creating micro injuries that send signals to your cells to repair themselves,” says Kerry Benjamin, a skincare expert and the creator of StackedSkincare. “This micro injury will increase collagen production by stimulating Epidermal Growth Factors (EGF’s) which will smooth fine lines and plump and firm the skin.” Believe it or not, the tiny injuries also allow for a greater level of product penetration so that all of those amazing serums made with stem cells, peptides, hyaluronic acid, and growth factors can better work their magic.
You can shell out thousands of dollars for a dermatologist to perform a series of microneedling therapy treatments and come away from the experience with the best skin of your life. Or, you can spent about $40 and add a manual dermal roller to your skincare routine like StackedSkincare’s Collagen Boosting Micro-Roller, which utilizes more than 500 stainless steel .2mm needles. (For comparison’s sake, Benjamin says some in-office microneedling treatments use needles that are .5mm or greater and can cause pain and result in about 7-10 days of downtime.) “Typically you’ll see results within 1-2 weeks for at-home micro-needling,” Benjamin says. “You will get plumping and firming from the smaller needles.”
Microneedling without the proper serums is a little like going to the beach to surf and leaving your board at home–you just aren’t going to get the full benefit without them so it’s important to choose your serums wisely and to apply one with active ingredients. “The main purpose of at-home microneedling is to drive active ingredients deeper into the skin to really improve the tone and texture of the skin, to lift pigmentation and to plump fine lines,” says Benjamin. Microneedling works best with serums that have active ingredients such as stem cells and peptides like StackedSkincare PSC Peptide Serum, growth factors that can be found in StackedSkincare EGF Activating Serum and hyaluronic acid from StackedSkincare HA Hydrating Serum. These are the types of ingredients that will really maximize the effects of microneedling to stimulate collagen, speed up cell turnover, lift hyperpigmentation, smooth out fine lines, firm, plump and hydrate.”
One serum to avoid? “I don’t recommend using vitamin C when rolling,” Benjamin says. “Vitamin C is very active and driving that deeper could be very irritating. I’ve seen ads promoting rollers with larger needles and vitamin C–this is terrible advice.”
Now that we have all of the facts we need about micro-needling, let’s get down to business. Benjamin recommends using your roller up to five times a week and always at night. Cleanse your skin the way you normally would, apply a serum and begin to roll gently across three zones on your face: your cheeks, chin and lips, and forehead. Roll vertically, horizontally, and diagonally across all of these areas, but make sure not to apply too much pressure because the point, of course, is not to draw blood or really hurt yourself. After rolling, follow up with another serum like StackedSkincare PSC Peptide Serum and conclude with moisturizer. For really great results, Benjamin says you can even add a peel like StackedSkincare TCA Face peel once a week (before rolling) or an exfoliant like StackedSkincare TCA Multi Acid Face Peel.
Wondering how a dermal roller actually feels on your skin? I’ll start off by saying I have very sensitive, pale skin that never hesitates to let me know if it doesn’t like a product. I followed Benjamin’s tips and used my StackedSkincare micro-roller after cleansing with Skinfix Cleansing Oil Wash and applying StackedSkincare Serum. I won’t lie: the roller didn’t exactly tickle. I felt the teeny pricks roll over my skin, but at the same time, I wouldn’t call it painful, either. I was mindful not to push down hard on the roller and only used it for about one minute on each zone of my face. Afterwards, I applied my second serum and moisturizer and observed the changes in my skin. My face was slightly pink, but any semblance of irritation vanished within five to 10 minutes. My skin felt softer and–is it my imagination?–looked a little more radiant.
It’s too early to tell whether it can shave five years off of my appearance, but if this is the glow you get from needling your skin–count me in.
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