For some, a microneedling tool might incite fear, and rightfully so. Because, well, rolling an object with tiny sharp needles on your face can certainly be downright daunting. But, once you learn how to properly use a microneedling tool, you'll find that the device isn't quite as intimidating as you once made it out to be.
Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, says microneedling therapy is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation procedure that involves the use of a device with fine needles. "The needles are used to puncture the skin to create a controlled skin injury and healing," the dermatologist tells TZR. "The slight injury stimulates the growth of collagen, the scaffolding under the skin, which then improves the appearance of some scars and wrinkles." (However, she says there are limitations, as the technique only works for more superficial scars and wrinkles.) Additionally, Dr. Engelman says by creating open channels on your face, these at-home devices can be used to enhance penetration of skin care products.
Just like most skin care products, patience is needed. According to Healthline, those who continuously use the tool will typically start to see results in four to six weeks. But, the usage depends on the tool. For instance, BeautyBio's Microtips Set is recommended to be used three times a week, while StackedSkincare's Microneedling Tool 2.0 suggests daily usage.
It also should be noted that microneedling is not necessarily recommended for everyone. Dr. Loretta explains that those with thin skin, who have taken Accutane in the last 12 months, experience a personal or family history of keloid scars, or have broken vessels on their face should avoid the at-home device altogether. And, if you're unsure if you're a good candidate for microneedling, always seek the advice of a professional dermatologist.
While using a device like a microneedling tool has its benefits, it's obviously not a substitution for a professional treatment. Dr. Engelman says the main difference here is the size of the needles. "The at-home [microneedling tools] don’t pierce the skin as deeply as the medical-grade devices," she notes. "The depth of the penetration can be controlled by a professional wherein they can use needles that are longer, [for instance] ones that are 0.25mm to 2.5mm."
If you're still contemplating a microneedling tool, it might be helpful to understand how exactly to use it. That said, ahead, find out how dermatologists recommend using the device.
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How To Use A Microneedling Tool: Sterilize The Tool
First and foremost, you'll need to make sure that the tool you're using is properly sterilized. "Piercing the skin by any means creates an open channel thereby increasing ones chances of getting an infection," Dr. Engelman says. And, she says each tool will come with instructions on how to properly clean it. For instance, the product description for StackedSkincare's Microneedling Tool 2.0 says to use rubbing alcohol to sanitize the product.
How To Use A Microneedling Tool: Cleanse First
Of course, you'll want to cleanse your face prior to using the tool. "You should avoid using potentially irritating products such as peels, scrubs, and retinols for at least three days before microneedling so that you do not inflame your skin," Dr Loretta adds.
How To Use A Microneedling Tool: Use In An Upward Direction
Dr. Loretta says the best way to use the tool is to hold the needles at a 90-degree angle from the face to get deeper penetration into living layers of skin. "If it’s a roller, always apply it in an upward direction," she adds.
How To Use A Microneedling Tool: Aftercare
After using a micro-needling tool, Dr. Loretta says it's helpful to ice the skin and then apply a soothing serum or mild 1% hydrocortisone cream.
How To Use A Microneedling Tool: Only Use It At Night
"Since the skin is perforated, it would be best to let it heal overnight as opposed to exposing it to bacteria, pollution, and sun damage throughout the day," Dr. Engelman says. To add to that, Dr. Loretta notes that it's best to do at night because the procedure can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Now that you know how to use a microneelding tool, shop five devices below. Whether you want to splurge or start out with an affordable tool, these options have you covered.
"A number of my own patients have purchased this and I saw their results which were dramatic in some cases," Dr. Loretta says. "I have shared this with other patients who are also happy with the results. It is typically more aggressive than roller devices, so I recommend it for deeper acne scars or thicker-skinned individuals."